UPDATE: A new video and new rewards! We know it looks like we've reached our goal (THANK YOU!) -- but that's only part of our total fund-raising efforts and we still need your help! Every dollar is still crucial to getting this important story told. We're more than half way to the $30k we need! Read below to learn more about this amazing project and why it's important!
What Is AMANDINE?
AMANDINE is created by composer Lance Horne, playwright Winter Miller and director Josh Hecht. It tells the amazing true story of a young French girl, raised in rural convents, deathly afraid that something is wrong with her.
AMANDINE is a musical about a person caught profoundly “in between.” As a girl raised in the most traditional and cloistered of settings, she is too smart, too ambitious, too awkward --too unlike the other girls. Twenty years later as a man trying to make her way in Paris, she still doesn't fit--too small, frail, thin, not a man at all in the traditional sense of the word. Yet Amandine is always Amandine. Always singularly outside societal expectations.
But what if, AMANDINE the musical asks, we let people simply be exactly who they are? What if all of the energy spent hiding, trying desperately to conform – or to hide – were spent instead in the pursuit of happiness, success, art, science, beauty. What a bounty the world would hold!
Why is it important?
Gender is truly the final frontier, the liberation that promises to free all of us, any man who has ever been called sissy, or crybaby, or drama queen, too emotional, too sensitive; any woman who has ever been called a bitch, too angry, too aggressive, too strong, too mannish, anyone who has struggled to fit in with constricting, shaming norms. As the writer Minnie Bruce Pratt has said, if even truck drivers mock one another's masculinity, who among us has not failed to live up to our gender's ideal? These issues, marginalized as “simply" transgender or queer issues, actually affect every one of us.
We have worked on AMANDINE for nearly a decade because we believe theater has the power to change lives. In this election year, these questions are more important than ever, when our gender, civil and reproductive rights are being challenged as never before.
Who We Are
Composer and co-lyricist Lance Horne is an Emmy Award and Jonathan Larson Award-winner who has composed, arranged and performed all over the world. Book-writer and co-lyricist Winter Miller is an award-winning playwright and founding member of 13P whose play IN DARFUR premiered at The Public theater and has been produced in theaters across the country. Director Josh Hecht is a Drama Desk Award-winner specializing in new plays.
Our design team includes sound designer Robert Kaplowitz, who won a Tony Award for his work on “Fela.” Lighting designer Tyler Micoleau is currently represented by the new Sam Shephard at Signature and the new Horton Foote at Primary Stages. Set designer Andromache Chalfant currently has the new Adam Rapp at Rattlestick and has designed for theater and opera all over the country.
2006 workshop at TheatreWorks New Works Festival, Palo Alto, CA.
2010 workshop at New York Theatre Workshop, NYC.
2010 workshop at The Public Theater, culminating in a sold-out concert at Joe's Pub, NYC.
2011 workshop at New York Theatre Workshop, NYC.
2011 artistic residency at The Orchard Project, Hunter, NY.
2012 Artists-in-Residence at Dixon Place, NYC.
Dixon Place and the Cherry Lane Theater have teamed up to help us bring AMANDINE to the stage. Rehearsals for the world premiere begin in late November for the January, 2013 production at the Cherry Lane, the oldest, continuously producing theater in the city, founded in 1921 by Edna St. Vincent Millay, initial home of playwrights Edward Albee and Sam Shepard.
AMANDINE is incredibly ambitious, however, and neither theater has produced a book-musical like it. Told in 25 quick scenes, it will require every visual trick up the sleeves of Josh and his team of designers to make you see the impossible. A cast of five play dozens of characters spanning age, gender, race and class. Our amazing ensemble includes Broadway veterans Lea DeLaria, Nathan Lee Graham and Alexandra Silber, who have been developing the work with us over the years.
What is this money for?
Though chamber-sized, AMANDINE is huge in scope and scale. The design demands are sophisticated. The music and book are complex and require a longer rehearsal period. The money we raise here will enable us to add an extra two weeks of rehearsals -- salaries for 5 actors, 3-5 musicians, stage management and rehearsal space -- time and space we desperately need to create a work of this magnitude.
We have been fortunate to have had artistic residencies at some of the most prestigious theaters and developmental centers in the country. At each, we have challenged ourselves to go deeper, to write and compose more beautifully, to bring our best artistry to bear.This has been by far the longest, richest collaboration of our careers. We are finally on the cusp of seeing our vision realized. The train has already left the station. Opening night is set. The theater has been secured. Casting is under way. Please join us in bringing this unique and engaging new American musical to life. AMANDINE's story, hidden from history for more than a century, deserves to be told. Through telling stories like ours, we just might turn the world we have into the world we want.
Thank you to Lauryn Siegal for creating this amazing video with us.
Risks and challenges
Once the project is funded, rehearsals commence November 26th. AMANDINE is sophisticated in sound and style,and there's certainly a lot to accomplish -- complex music to master, a physical vocabulary for the various roles and genders each actor must inhabit, a highly filmic quality to the flow of scenes that must be staged, and of course, depth of characterization to explore. For a chamber piece with a cast of five and three-piece band, it is a BIG little show. What are the "risks" involved with creating a musical this ambitious? The best art takes the biggest risks, daring the artists to create with their whole selves in a way they haven't before, to try something utterly new and ask the audience to come with them. The bigger the artistic risk, the greater the challenge, the bigger the potential for something truly transformative, both for artist and audience alike.
We three are artists and we have been working in theater in New York City for a decade each; this musical began gestating nearly nine years ago and is ready finally to be birthed. We have all opened shows in New York City, and garnered kudos and awards along the way. This piece, this musical, is for each of us our greatest artistic challenge yet and we are all in.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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