Saturday, June 3 at 7:30PM Sunday, June 4 at 3PM

Participate in a talkback after the reading on Sunday, June 4 at 3PM and share your thoughts on the show with the creative team!

In a small prairie schoolhouse at the turn of the last century, the leader of a religious sect persuades Elin Hermannson, wildest troublemaker and greatest fiddler on the Nebraska frontier, to renounce sin and destroy her violin. Two years later, visiting Manhattan socialite Margaret Elliott encounters the now taciturn Elin and vows to save her from her ascetic existence and reawaken her passion for music. Margaret’s undertaking proves more dangerous than she thought, as both her and Elin’s lives are forever changed. Based on a short story by Pulitzer Prize winning author Willa Cather. (Directed by Lisa Peterson, with musical direction by Vadim Feichtner.)

About the Creative Team

Chris Miller (music & book)

Tuck Everlasting (Broadway 2016): The Burnt Part Boys (Playwrights Horizons/Vineyard Theatre, Lucille Lortel Nominee Best Musical 2011); Fugitive Songs (Drama Desk Award Nominee Outstanding Revue 2008); all have cast albums available at iTunes and Amazon. Television: Sesame Street, Elmo’s World & The Electric Company. Co-arranging and co-orchestrating Swept Away, a musical with a score by popular band The Avett Brothers and book by John Logan, directed by Michael Mayer. Upcoming: the book, music & lyrics for Ravello (Signature Theatre (VA) American Musical Voices Project);  Prairie Songs &April Twilights, a song cycle for soprano & orchestra using the poetry of Willa Cather; Cities an eight movement work for 2 pianos and chamber ensemble; The Goats, a commission for producer Barbara Whitman & Grove Entertainment; with Nathan Tysen, Blown Sideways Through Life (book by Claudia Shear) and Dreamland, for the Educational Theater Association & Concord Theatricals, which released a studio cast album on Craft Recordings available wherever music is sold or streamedProud graduate of Elon University and NYU.

Nathan Tysen (book & lyrics)

Broadway: Paradise Square (Tony Nomination), AmélieTuck Everlasting. West End: Amélie (Olivier & Grammy Nominations)Off-Broadway: The Burnt Part Boys, Fugitive Songs, Stars of David. Regional: Paradise SquareDreamland (or a musical riff on Shakespeare’s Midsummer set during the declassification of Area 51)StillwaterThe Mysteries of Harris Burdick, two circuses for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey. TV/Film: A Killer Party, Sesame StreetElmo’s WorldThe Electric Company. Upcoming: The Great Gatsby and a musical adaptation of Claudia Shear’s Blown Sideways Through Life. Awards from the Kleban, Ebb, Rodgers, and Larson Foundations. Writer and director for Lovewell Institute, creating original musicals with young adults. MFA NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, BFA Missouri State Univ. Husband to writer Kait Kerrigan, father to Lucy and Tess. Proud SOMA resident.

Meet the Cast

About SOMA backStage Reading Series

The SOMA backStage Reading Series emerged from SOPAC’s Creative Community Brain Trust member Dana Spialter and her local theater company SOMA Stage. Throughout the series, creatives will present readings of new plays and musicals written by or starring South Orange and Maplewood’s (SOMA’s) theater professionals in the Loft at SOPAC. Audience members can join in on the creative process at talkbacks following the matinee readings and share their thoughts on the new works with the creative teams.


About SOMA Stage at SOPAC

Creative Community Brain Trust member Diana Spialter and her local theater company SOMA Stage proudly support and partner with SOPAC.  SOMA Stage is a new non-profit theater company based in the South Orange/Maplewood (SOMA), NJ area that provides our many local professional theater artists with a creative home in their backyard and allows our community to support and enjoy the talent of their neighbors.


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