You’re given money to write a play. Now what? In this insightful series on how new plays get developed, SCR’s commissioned playwrights get put in the hot seat. In this episode composer/playwright Adam Gwon and playwright Mike Lew chat each other up. The two are currently collaborating on a new musical commissioned by SCR’s CrossRoads initiative. SCR audiences experienced Gwon’s extraordinary talents with the chamber musical charmer Ordinary Days, and later with the hauntingly lyrical Cloudlands. Lew, a new face at SCR, is the creator of Teenage Dick, an adaptation of Richard III that made a big splash on both sides of the pond, and Tiger Style!, a comedy about tiger parenting gone hilariously wrong.
Watch the video here.
This event is part of SCR commUNITY:
SCR commUNITY is South Coast Repertory’s new digital platform dedicated to amplifying the artists and narratives of our region by producing stories inspired by or about the rich diversity of people living in Southern California. Using “virtual/digital” platforms, SCR commUNITY creates free play readings, interviews, radio plays and original innovative content. SCR commits to engaging Southern California-based writers, actors, directors, composers, designers and other artists to collaborate on these projects that lift our community, celebrate the human kaleidoscope and ensure that all see themselves in our work.
Mike Lew is the writer of plays that include Teenage Dick (Donmar Warehouse, Ma-Yi Theater Company at Public Theater, Artists Repertory Theatre); Tiger Style! (Olney Theatre Center, Huntington Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Alliance Theatre); Bike America (Ma-Yi, Alliance); and microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct Theatre Company, Next Act Theatre). He and Rehana Lew Mirza are joint Mellon Foundation Playwrights in Residence at Ma-Yi Theater, where they’re cowriting The Colonialism Trilogy and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It with composer/lyricist Sam Willmott (Richard Rodgers Award; Project Springboard and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat workshops). Lew is a Dramatists Guild Council member, Tony Award voter and a New Dramatists resident. His honors include Lark Venturous Playwright and NYFA fellowships, Edward Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre, PEN America Literary Award, and Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman and Alliance/Kendeda awards. He’s an alumnus of The Juilliard School and Yale University.
Adam Gwon has had his musicals produced on six continents, in more than half-a-dozen languages. His off-Broadway productions include Scotland, PA (Roundabout Theatre, Drama Desk Award nomination, New York Times Critic’s Pick), Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre, Keen Company, revival; Drama League Award nomination) and Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre, New York Times Critic’s Pick). Regionally, his works include String (Village Theatre), Cake Off (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination; Bucks County Playhouse), Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre) and Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma). On London’s West End, his credits include Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios). His songs have been heard prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and have been performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James. His honors include the Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre, and the Fred Ebb Frederick Loewe and Richard Rodgers awards. He’s the recipient of Second Stage Theatre's Donna Perret Rosen Award, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and Manhattan Association of Cabarets John Wallowitch Award. His recordings include Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald's Go Back Home (Nonesuch), The Essential Liz Callaway (Working Girl Records), Artists in Residency (Broadway Records) and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album. Gwon has been a fellow at MacDowell Colony, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, the O’Neill Music Theater Conference, and the Dramatists Guild.