You'll get that opportunity again
"There were so many submissions of good works, that this seemed like the best way to introduce a number of new works in development," explained producing artistic director
The concert lineup, performed by Human Race resident artists and friends, includes works by
Moore says by combining the staged reading with a concert, the audience will be introduced to 10 new musicals over the weekend and will get a snapshot of the work going on across the nation in musical theater.
Hosting the Saturday night showcase will be
"As a proud
Blackwell's theatrical career really got its start in
Blackwell said when she was growing up in
"Now I live in
The musical selected for presentation at this seventh annual festival is an adaptation of
It's the brainstorm of composer/lyricist
Ulloa has past connections with the Human Race, performing in both "Shenandoah" and "Man of La Mancha." He grew up in
"I took a Disney course when I was 14 and discovered that for every three minutes of film, I'd be drawing 2,000 pictures," said Ulloa, who was inspired to change directions in high school when he saw a musical production of "Li'l Abner."
After acting through college, he headed for
But in 2011, when the acting roles began to dwindle, Ulloa remembered his mother's advice: "Never forget your writing."
Ulloa has been writing ever since: his play "26 Pebbles," about the tragic shootings at
He hadn't thought of writing a musical until one day when he and his friend Caleb -- a performer and songwriter -- were talking about the state of the musical and Caleb came up with the idea of turning
"I went to the store, bought the play and called him and said 'let's start writing,'" said Ulloa.
You'll see the results next weekend.
"We have a very distinct advantage because as performers, we know when the script is lousy or the music isn't strong and we know when something is good," said Ulloa, who said that initially the two put together a few scenes and songs and then reached out to Friel in
"He's now in his 80s and we found his agent in
About the story
The plot revolves around a woman who has been blind her entire life and has a chance to regain her vision. When a once-great surgeon removes the bandages after Molly's surgery, the three main characters -- Molly, her husband and the doctor -- discover that learning to see comes with unexpected consequences.
"I've always been drawn to the idea of the human condition," said Ulloa," and there was something about this story -- the idea of people gambling with something they don't quite know -- that was so interesting."
Ulloa labels the show light-hearted, "but heavy in what they go through."
He said it's an interesting exploration of human folly.
"When we think we're being completely selfless, are we really being selfish?" he asks. "We always think we're going to help people, but is it really for ourselves?"
Eleven actors will appear in the show. The actor playing Molly --
The production features Human Race Resident artist
"I love the workshop format, the story-telling and making new art," said Stoney, who has been an active participant in the workshop program since it's inception and believes theater must be seen in order to reach its fullest potential to impact an audience.
Ulloa said there's a safety net in bringing a new work outside of
"We are completely open-minded, and ready to rewrite scenes or songs that don't work," he said. "Then we'll know about the next step."
Ulloa said one thing the Human Race does incredibly well is to produce interesting pieces of theater.
"It's very commendable that in this day and age when theaters are trying to keep up with lower audience attendance, higher ticket prices and cost, they still seem to give audiences really bold and interesting material."
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