New Ann Arbor theatrical production company raises curtain on inaugural season

 

Runyonland Productions, the newest professional theatre company in Michigan, is proud to announce its inaugural season, which features three innovative, exciting productions.

Founded by producer and University of Michigan student Thomas Laub, Runyonland’s mission, according to Laub, is “To bring the best live theatrical entertainment to the widest, most diverse audience possible. Runyonland Productions aims to both enrich the community through producing Broadway-level artistic experiences and providing educational outlets for young artists and creators at the University of Michigan.”

Thomas is entering his final year as a musical theatre major at UM and has worked on Broadway with producers Disney Theatrical Group and Jujamcyn on Tony-winning shows from The Lion King and Frozen, to Book of Mormon, Mean Girls, and Angels in America. He is very excited to be producing new work in Ann Arbor before it potentially transfers to New York.

FOR THE RECORD by Geoff Packard – Dec. 6-7, 7:30pm*

For the Record is an original work written by Broadway performer and University of Michigan faculty member Geoff Packard. Runyonland Productions has been workshopping the show with the playwright, and this production will be the piece’s world premiere. Taking place in the Duderstadt Video Studio, For the Record explores the world of a young man trying to escape the history of his family, haunted by the genetic disposition of Huntington’s disease. He learns no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape what’s written in your DNA.

Geoff is delighted to be debuting the production in Ann Arbor with Runyonland, stating,

“I believe that Thomas Laub and his Runyonland Productions, are an exciting blend of positive energy, tenacity, and grit–all things necessary when bringing new works into the world. In the theatre, we ought to have a nurturing environment for the often-painful process of creating new works. I am optimistic that both the immense talent of its artists, and the intelligence of its audiences, will make Ann Arbor a nurturing environment for artistic achievement and a great incubator for new work.”

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth – Feb. 28 – March 1, 7:30 p.m.

The iconic 1981 musical by legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is being boldly brought to life through a staged concert production in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Merrily We Roll Along moves backwards in time, exploring the life of three friends from their disenchanted adulthood to the bright-eyed optimism of their youth, exploring all the choices they made along the way. The production will feature a full 15-piece orchestra sharing the stage with the actors.

Director Megumi Nakamura, a Senior in the renowned University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department, is thrilled to be taking on the challenging musical, saying,

“For any student or enthusiast of musical theater, getting to work on a musical written by Stephen Sondheim is both a daunting and exhilarating experience. The music and story of this play are beautiful and widely relatable, but because of what some label as a challenging script, the show is seldom produced. Consequently, getting the opportunity to direct this show with some of the best young musical theater actors and designers in the country is an enormously thrilling and unique opportunity.”

MYTHS AND HYMNS by Adam Guettel – March 30, 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Myths and Hymns is a series of musical pieces that explore the world of Greek mythology and Runyonland is bringing a unique lens to this production by incorporating area religious leaders and art history scholars to connect to the story in a new, immersive medium. This non-traditional piece of theatre will be performed in the beautiful gallery at the University of Michigan Museum of Art and is helmed by both a Broadway director and music director in Geoff Packard and Jason DeBord, respectively. Presented in partnership with the UMMA as a part of their SMTD@UMMA program, the performance space will create an intersection of artistic styles, resulting in a unique and non-traditional experience for the audience.

Tickets will be first made available to subscribers. Tickets can be purchased at www.runyonland.ticketleap.com. Visit RunyonlandProds.com or call (704) 778-2144 for more information.

 

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