HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Will Open on Broadway This Fall
The new musical How to Dance in Ohio – inspired by Alexandra Shiva’s Peabody Award-winning documentary of the same name – will open on Broadway this fall at the Belasco Theatre. With book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik, music by Jacob Yandura, choreography by Mayte Natalio, and direction by Sammi Cannold – all making their Broadway debuts - How to Dance in Ohio will begin previews on November 15, 2023, and open on December 10, 2023.
Reprising their roles from the world premiere engagement at Syracuse Stage, in the parts of the real-life autistic young adults featured in the HBO documentary, are a cast of seven autistic actors, all making their Broadway debuts: Desmond Edwards as Remy, Amelia Fei [Yi-Hsuan Fei] as Caroline, Madison Kopec as Marideth, Liam Pearce as Drew, Imani Russell as Mel, Conor Tague as Tommy, and Ashley Wool as Jessica. Also featured in the cast are Broadway veterans Haven Burton as Terry, Darlesia Cearcy as Johanna, Carlos L Encinias, Nick Gaswirth, Melina Kalomas, and Martín Solá. Additional cast will be announced shortly.
Based on the award-winning HBO documentary, How to Dance in Ohio is a heartfelt new musical about the desire to connect and the courage it takes to put yourself out into the world. At a group counseling center in Columbus, Ohio, seven autistic young adults prepare for a spring formal dance—a challenge that breaks open their routines as they experience love, stress, excitement, and independence. How to Dance in Ohio is a story about people on the cusp of the next phase of their lives, facing down hopes and fears, ready to take a momentous first step…and dance.
The full creative team includes Tony Award nominated scenic designer Robert Brill, Tony Award nominated costume designer Sarafina Bush, two–time Tony Award winning lighting designer Bradley King, and sound designer Connor Wang. Orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin, music direction is by Lily Ling, and Scott Rowen is the production stage manager. The production is cast by Benton Whitley, CSA & Micah Johnson-Levy of Whitley Theatrical. General management is by ShowTown Theatricals. Production counsel is Doug Nevin/ Klaris Law and the Production Manager is Bethany Stewert.
Through a dedication to authentic autistic representation, the musical’s creators adhere closely to the documentary’s narrative and spirit, offering a visible platform for autistic actors in a way that has never happened before in a new musical, either on or off the stage. Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt serves as the production’s Autistic Creative Consultant with Becky Leifman as the Director of Community Engagement. The Accessibility Team also includes Jeremy Wein and Nicole D'Angelo.
How to Dance in Ohio played its World Premiere engagement at Syracuse Stage in the fall of 2022.
The musical was originally developed with the legendary Broadway director Harold Prince and is dedicated to his instrumental work on the project.
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