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By Brian Robin

Meet the Choreographer and Musical Director

See Past Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical Stories Here

Each week, as part of our “Prelude to … Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical," we will showcase past newsletter and blog stories chronicling elements from the centerpiece production to our 60th season. Should you miss a story, you can find them here, on the SCR Blog.

Two talented theatre professionals—Choreographer Julia Rhoads and Musical Director Wiley DeWeese—both make their SCR debuts on the creative team of Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical, which takes the Segerstrom Stage April 5-May 4. Directed by SCR Artistic Director David Ivers, Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical is the latest adaptation of Craig Lucas’ hit play that premiered at SCR in 1988, before going to Broadway and eventually, Hollywood as a feature film.

Rhoads is an experienced, versatile choreographer who—as the founding Artistic Director of Lucky Plush Productions—has brought 25 collaborative works to the stage. Several of those have toured the country, including Punk Yankees, The Better Half, Cinderbox 2.0, The Queue and Rooming House, among others.

Her other credits include projects at Milwaukee Rep, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Walkabout Theater Company, River North Chicago Dance Company and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

A former company member of San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group, Rhoads won an Alpert Award in Dance, a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award and numerous fellowships. She is currently Director of Dance and Assistant Senior Instructional Professor in Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago.

Based in New York, DeWeese brings extensive Broadway and off-Broadway experience to the production. On Broadway, he served as music director and co-orchestrator for The Lightning Thief, The Percy Jackson Musical, as associate music director for Girl From the North Country, and as a substitute conductor for The Band’s Visit and Amélie.

Off-Broadway, he was the music director for Whisper House (The Civilians), The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova) and The Wildness (Ars Nova).

One of DeWeese’s latest projects is serving as the music supervisor/orchestrator for the Michael Friedman Recording Project, where DeWeese seeks to preserve the works of the late composer. Since 2018, the project produced studio cast albums of “The Abominables,” “This Beautiful City,” “The Great Immensity,” “(I am) Nobody’s Lunch,” and “Paris Commune.”


About the author

South Coast Repertory

South Coast Repertory is a Tony Award-winning theatre is known for producing classics, contemporary hits and world premieres, for having the largest new-play development program in the nation and for advancing the art of theatre in service to the community. 

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