World Premiere Musical
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
Book by LYNN NOTTAGE
Music by DUNCAN SHEIK
Lyrics by SUSAN BIRKENHEAD
Based on the Novel by SUE MONK KIDD
Directed by SAM GOLD
Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street
South Carolina, 1964. Lily Owens, a restless white teenager, struggles with her merciless father and the haunting memory of her mother’s death. When Rosaleen, her black caregiver, is beaten and jailed for asserting her right to vote, Lily’s rebellious spirit is ignited. She and Rosaleen escape on an adventure where they are taken in by a trio of black beekeeping sisters. While Lily tries to unlock the secrets of her past, she and Rosaleen find solace in the mesmerizing world of bees and spirituality in this extraordinary tale of awakening, fellowship and healing.
The Secret Life of Bees is a world premiere musical written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat), with music by Tony and Grammy Award winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), lyrics by two-time Tony nominee and Drama Desk winner Susan Birkenhead (Jelly’s Last Jam), and directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home); based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd.
A world premiere musical from a powerhouse creative team that brought you some of the greatest works of the past three decades: Sweat, Spring Awakening, Working and Fun Home.
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Single tickets go on sale 12/12 at noon.
The Secret Life of Bees is supported, in part, by the National Fund for New Musicals, a program of National Alliance for Musical Theatre, with funding from The Hollywood Pantages, a Nederlander organization – www.namt.org.
Madonna painting by Gail Stoughton.
LYNN NOTTAGE (Book) is a playwright and a screenwriter, and the first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her play Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award) moved to Broadway after a sold out run at The Public Theater. Other plays include By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award, Drama Desk Nomination), Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award), Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play), Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (Obie Award), Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Las Meninas, Mud, River, Stone, Por’knockers and POOF!. In addition, she is working with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on adapting her play Intimate Apparel into an opera. She has also developed This is Reading, a performance installation at the Franklin Street, Reading Railroad Station in Reading, PA. She was writer/producer on the Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It” directed by Spike Lee. Nottage is a member of the Dramatists Guild, an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, and the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award, and PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award among others.
DUNCAN SHEIK (Music). Performer/Composer. Theatre credits include: Spring Awakening (2006) Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album; Because of Winn-Dixie (Alabama Shakespeare Festival 2017, Delaware Theatre Company 2015); Whisper House (London 2017, Old Globe Theater 2011), American Psycho (2016), Alice by Heart (upcoming 2018), Nero (Another Golden Rome) (currently in development), The Nightingale (currently in development) Noir (currently in development). Recordings include; American Psycho (Original London Cast Recording) (2016), Legerdemain (2015), Covers 80s (Sneaky Records 2011), Whisper House (Sony 2009), Spring Awakening (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2006), White Limousine (Rounder 2006), Daylight (Atlantic Records 2002), Phantom Moon (Nonesuch 2001), Humming (Atlantic Records 1998), Duncan Sheik (Grammy Nomination “Best Male Vocal”, RIAA Certified Gold) (Atlantic Records 1996).
SUSAN BIRKENHEAD (Lyrics) received a Tony Nomination and a Drama Desk Award for her lyrics for Jelly’s Last Jam. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Triumph of Love, was nominated for a Tony Award for Working, and won an Outer Critics Circle Award for What About Luv? She won an L.A. Drama Critics Award for Minsky’s. In addition to The Secret Life of Bees, she is currently working on Betty Boop, with David Foster and Sally Robinson, and Jerry Mitchell.
SAM GOLD (Director) is a Tony Award-winning director based in Brooklyn, NY. His Broadway credits include: A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Tony Award nomination); The Glass Menagerie; Fun Home (Tony Award); The Real Thing; The Realistic Joneses; Picnic; Seminar. Recent productions include: Hamlet (The Public Theater); Othello (New York Theatre Workshop); The Flick (Barrow Street Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, National Theatre; Lortel Award nomination); The Glass Menagerie (Toneelgroep Amsterdam); John (Signature Theatre; Obie Award, Lortel and Drama Desk Award nominations); The Village Bike (MCC); Uncle Vanya (Soho Repertory Theatre; Drama Desk nomination); The Realistic Joneses (Yale Repertory Theatre); The Cradle Will Rock (Encores! Off-Center); Kin (Playwrights Horizons); The Big Meal (Playwrights Horizons; Lortel); Look Back in Anger (Roundabout Theatre Company; Lortel nomination); Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons; Obie, Drama Desk nomination); The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; Obie Award). Training: The Juilliard School.
Photo by Atisha Paulson.