Thursday May 2, 2013

WESTON -- The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company announces its sixth annual Artists Retreat, hosting seven collaborating artists for a week's work in Vermont, capped by a free public event at the Weston Playhouse on Saturday, May 4, from 4 to 6 p.m.

This year's visiting artists are all at work on new musicals and they include several writers and composers whose work has been seen recently on Weston's stage. Jenny Giering, the composer of Weston's world premiere musical, "Saint-Ex", returns to Vermont with collaborators Adam Gwon and Laura Harrington to work on a commission from Playwrights Horizons and producer Stacey Mindich.

"Alice Bliss," a coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old girl whose father is deployed to Iraq, looks at war from the point of view of those left behind.

Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald, whose "Pregnancy Pact" had its world premiere at Weston last summer, will be at work on Pied. This new musical charts the rise and fall of pop culture figure Anita Bryant through the Miss America pageant, the pop charts, Florida orange groves, and the battlefields of the gay rights movement.

Composer Benjamin Scheuer comes to Weston with director Sean Daniels to continue to develop "The Bridge," a new one-man musical. "The Bridge" is the story of a young man's journey through loss to discovery, written and performed by guitarist/singer Scheuer.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Anton Family Foundation and contributions from individual donors, the Weston theatre is able to provide round trip transportation, private bedrooms and work spaces, meals and per diem, artistic and administrative support to the artists throughout their residency. "We've always known that Vermont is an ideal location for contemplation and creation," remarks Weston Producing Director Steve Stettler. "We've been delighted to find how much this week means to the participating artists, and this summer we will feature a new musical, "Loving Leo," and a new play, "This Blessed Plot," that were developed in part at a Weston Retreat." The retreat week culminates in an Artists Salon which is free and open to the public. The participating artists will talk about their creative process and will share selections from their latest work on the Weston Playhouse stage, moderated by Stettler, on Saturday, May 4, at 4 p.m. An informal reception with the artists will follow, concluding by 6 p.m. No reservations are necessary. Ample parking is available surrounding the Weston Village Green.

For more information about the non-profit Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, its New Works Programs and its 2013 Summer Season, visit www.westonplayhouse.org