Wynton Marsalis Pens Music for Rattner’s Eatonville

Posted on September 2nd, 2003 in News | Tags: bonnie lee rattner, composition, eatonville, new york, playbill arts

Amas Musical Theatre, whose previous productions include Zanna, Don’t! and Little Ham, will offer a new play with music this fall.
The 35-year-old multi-ethnic, not-for-profit theatre company will present — from Oct. 21-Nov. 23 — Bonnie Lee Rattner’s Eatonville, which boasts an original jazz score and songs by Wynton Marsalis. Based on Zora Neale Hurston’s novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Eatonville is set in 1920’s Eatonville, Florida, one of the first all-black incorporated American towns.

According to a casting notice, all characters in the play are African-American; they comprise 42-year old Janie Mae Crawford; Janie’s best friend, Phoeby Watson; Janie’s first husband, Logan Killicks; Janie’s second husband, Joe (Jody) Starks; and Janie’s third husband, Vergible (Tea Cakes) Woods; as well as an ensemble of four men and two women. Already cast are Novella Nelson and Side Show’s Norm Lewis; Vernice Miller directs.

Auditions for the play will be held 10:30 AM-6:30 PM Sept. 2 at the John Houseman Studios, 450 West 42nd Street. Those auditioning are requested to prepare a short monologue and a song that best displays their vocal ability. Rehearsals begin Sept. 22.

Eatonville will play ATA (American Theatre for Actors), located in Manhattan at 314 West 54th Street.

by Andrew Gans
Source: Playbill