FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 24, 2017
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(207) 646-2402 ext. 215
Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime Opens August 2 at the Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit, ME – The Ogunquit Playhouse is proud to create an all new production of the Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime, on stage from August 2 to August 26. This sweeping musical is complete with a cast and creative team of Broadway veterans including Kirsten Scott, Jamie LaVerdiere, Darnell Abraham, Lindsay Roberts, Tony-Award nominee Josh Young, Director Seth Sklar-Heyn and Set and Projection Designer Tim Mackabee. The Ogunquit production will also feature the original Tony-nominated costumes by Santo Loquasto.
Ragtime tells the story of three families trying to find their way during the turn of the twentieth century in New York City; each struggling with the changing cultural climate in America and each facing the promise of hope and new beginnings in the midst of prejudice and bigotry. A stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician are each united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair... and what it means to live in America. Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, and based on E.L. Doctorow's distinguished novel, Ragtime is the winner of the 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations, and both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score. Called by Time Magazine “A triumph for the stage,” “Intoxicating” by the Associated Press, and "Explosive and thrilling!” by Bloomberg News, this acclaimed musical is filled with pageantry, emotion and hope, bursting onto the stage like no other show.
“Truly a story we need to tell at this point in our nation’s history, Ragtime is one of the most powerful shows ever written for the stage, and possibly my favorite show of all time,” stated Executive Artistic Director Bradford Kenney. “To tell this compelling story we have brought together a stellar creative team led by Director Seth Sklar-Heyn. Broadway set designer Tim Mackabee has also joined the team to create an all-new set for our Ogunquit production. I am looking forward to a production of Ragtime that we all will be so very proud of.”
Making her debut at the Ogunquit Playhouse is Kirsten Scott, as Mother. Ms. Scott’s numerous Broadway roles include Young Phyllis, in the 2012 revival and cast album of Follies, Jenny Hill in Big Fish, and Lorraine in Jersey Boys. Regionally she was the Narrator in Stages St. Louis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mary in Goodspeed Opera House’s A Wonderful Life, and Laurey in Lyric Theater’s Oklahoma!. Additionally, Ms. Scott has appeared in ABC’s Quantico and All My Children, as well as in the 2017 film, Green.
Joining Ms. Scott in his Playhouse debut as Father is Jamie LaVerdiere. On Broadway, Mr. LaVerdiere has performed in The Producers, Pirate Queen, and Motown, as well as the National Tours of Urinetown, Motown, and A Chorus Line. Recently, he has starred as John Adams in both CT Repertory and John W Engeman Theater’s productions of 1776. Mr. LaVerdiere’s film credits include The Producers and Hell Is Other People, winner of Best Comedy at the Boston Library Film Festival. He can also be seen on Comedy Central’s TV Funhouse.
Josh Young, returns to Ogunquit to portray Tateh. He last appeared on the Ogunquit Playhouse stage as Marius in 2008’s highly acclaimed production of Les Miserables. Mr. Young originated the role of John Newton in the World Premiere of Amazing Grace on Broadway. In 2012, he received a Tony Award nomination and Theatre World Award for his acclaimed Broadway debut as Judas in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Mr. Young also appeared in two seasons at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival where his credits included Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Connie Rivers in Grapes of Wrath, and Che in Evita, each of which earned him a Broadway World Award. He also appeared in the National Tour of Les Miserables as Marius, as Che in the National Tour of Evita, and as Tony in the 50th Anniversary International Tour of West Side Story.
Darnell Abraham joins the cast of Ragtime as Coalhouse. His recent regional credits include Coalhouse in the Barrington Stage Company’s production of Ragtime, Nakawa in Disney’s Festival of the Lion King, and Jake in Media Theatre’s Side Show. Mr. Abraham has also been featured in Symphony Space’s Project Broadway, the Tekken 7 Soundtrack through Bandai Namco Entertainment, and the NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles.
Lindsay Roberts is cast as Sarah. Regionally she has performed in Sister Act, Memphis, Shadowboxer, The Phantom Tollbooth, My Fair Lady, and Sweeny Todd. Ms. Roberts received a IRNE Nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her 2016 performance as Queenie in Fiddlehead Theater’s Showboat. She has performed in the National Tours of Porgy and Bess, Memphis, and After Midnight as well as in The Golden Apple, The New Yorkers, Lady, Be Good, and Gentleman Prefer Blondes at City Center Encores!.
Playing Younger Brother in the Ogunquit production is Julian Decker who recently was seen in the Broadway revivals of Sunset Boulevard and Les Miserables. He has performed in regional theatres across the U.S. in many productions including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bye, Bye Birdie, and Singin’ in the Rain.
Portraying Emma is Klea Blackhurst who is known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow, as well as her many regional theatre credits that include the world premiere of Drury Lane, The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis, and the 50th Anniversary production of Hello Dolly!.
Directing Ragtime is Seth Sklar-Heyn. Since 2013, he has served as the Executive Producer for Cameron Mackintosh Inc. in New York. Mr. Sklar-Heyn is the Executive Producer and Associate Director for the 2017 Broadway revival of Miss Saigon, and is the Production Supervisor for The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, as well as the Associate Director for the North American tour, which opened in the fall of 2013. Additionally, he directed the 2009 US tour of Frost/Nixon, the second National US tour of Billy Elliot, and the most recent US tour of Evita, based on the original staging of Michael Grandage. Mr. Sklar-Heyn was the Executive Producer for the 2014 Broadway revival of Les Miserables and has worked as Associate and Assistant director on numerous Broadway productions, including Evita, A Little Night Music, Finian’s Rainbow, Good Vibrations, Mary Stuart, Rock’n’Roll, Frost/Nixon, and The Coast of Utopia.
Jesse Robb joins the Ragtime production as choreographer. He was the Dance Captain/Swing for the World Premiere of The Lord of the Rings at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, as well as the Associate Resident Choreographer for We Will Rock You at the Canon Theatre. Mr. Robb has performed in Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney World, and with the First National tour of Fame. As an instructor, Mr. Robb has taught for Cirque Du Soliel’s touring production of Delerium, and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal.
Ragtime fight director is Joe Bostick who has worked on the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and Ragtime. In addition to his many credits as fight director, he is also a founding member of Fight Directors of Canada and has taught in many universities and theatre schools in both Canada and the U.S.
Scenic and projection design for Ragtime was created by Timothy Mackabee. Mr. Mackabee has designed numerous sets for performances on and off Broadway, including The Elephant Man, starring Bradley Cooper, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, directed by Spike Lee, and Guards at the Taj, for which he won a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Set Design in 2016. Regionally he has worked with ACT San Francisco, Ford’s Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Muny, and nine seasons of Williamstown Theatre Festival, among many others. On television, Mr. Mackabee’s work can be seen on NBC’s The Today Show, HBO’s Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo, FOX’s Gotham, and NBC’s Smash.
Ogunquit Playhouse Resident Lighting Designer, Richard Latta, is the lighting designer for Ragtime. He recently was nominated for Best Lighting Design by the IRNE Awards for his work on the Playhouse’s 2016 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Mr. Latta has created the lighting for dozens of Ogunquit Playhouse productions, including most recently Mamma Mia!, Bullets Over Broadway, Sister Act, Anything Goes, Million Dollar Quartet, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and White Christmas in addition to many regional theatres in the U.S.
Also joining the creative team is Jeffrey Campos, who returns to the Playhouse as Music Director for Ragtime. A veteran of the Playhouse, Mr. Campos has worked on numerous performances including 2017’s Mamma Mia! and 2015’s Saturday Night Fever, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Victor/Victoria.
Sound designer for Ragtime is Kevin Heard, returning to the Ogunquit Playhouse for his tenth production. Mr. Heard has been Associate Sound Designer for All The Way, The Cherry Orchard, The Country House, and Sylvia, on Broadway, as well as for Fun Home and Kinky Boots internationally at Atlantis Theatrical in Manila. He has worked with numerous production companies across the country, including The 5th Avenue, ACT Theatre, ArtsEmerson, Asolo Rep, Seattle Rep, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Village Theatre, among others.
The season continues with the world premiere of Heartbreak Hotel, the new musical from the creators of Million Dollar Quartet, on stage August 30 to September 30. This brand new tribute to the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” is the prequel to the Tony-winning, record-setting, smash hit Million Dollar Quartet and follows Elvis Presley in the early years of his bourgeoning career. Closing the landmark season is From Here to Eternity, on stage October 4 to October 29. The Ogunquit Playhouse is honored to be collaborating with Sir Tim Rice on the rollout of the North American premiere of this epic new musical set in Hawaii in the weeks before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mark your calendars now and get ready to see every show this year. Individual tickets are on sale and prices start at $52 each. To learn more about becoming a Playhouse member, or to purchase tickets, show subscriptions and gift cards, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org or call the Ogunquit Playhouse Box Office at 207-646-5511.
About the Ogunquit Playhouse:
The Ogunquit Playhouse, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization listed on the National Historic Register, is located on Route One in Ogunquit, Maine and produces the finest Broadway musicals each season with performances Tuesday through Sunday, from May 17 to October 29. Follow the Ogunquit Playhouse on Twitter (@OgunquitPH) and on Facebook (facebook.com/OgunquitPlayhouse) for behind-the-scenes info, photos and fun throughout the season. For a complete list of show times, pricing and more information about the season visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.