Jerry Mitchell and others will participate in the Barn on Fire residency on Fire Island

This summer, New York Theater Barn and the Fire Island Pines Arts Project will partner to create Barn on Fire, a new summer home on Fire Island for three musical theater writing teams and their original musicals in development. Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell will mentor the residency which includes the new musicals Sueños: Our American Musical, Buried, Little Miss Perfect and How to You: A Musical Guide to Black Boyhood.

Centering the artist and their work, the week-long intensive retreat at Fire Island Pines allows writers and their creative teams to collaborate and further develop their show in a supportive, creative, and tranquil atmosphere. At the end of the week, the artists will have the opportunity to present what they have been working on in front of a live audience. While on the island, the Pines community will get a glimpse of the plan for an original musical being developed in real time. Free and open to the public, the final presentation will take place on Saturday June 25, 2022 at 6 p.m. at Whyte Hall’s Brandon Fradd Theater at Fire Island Pines.

Jesse J. Sanchez (Boston Lyric Opera’s desert in, Music Supervisor/Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and Jeff Chambers‘Sueños: Our American Musical tells the story of three generations of a Mexican-American family and their pursuit of the American dream. The show has been developed through each of New York Theater Barn’s main programs over the past two years. Most recently, the show was on its feet for the first time in a week-long residency culminating in a virtual presentation of the work for a global audience called Inside the Incubation.

Buried, an untold story about love, AIDS and chosen family in the American South, is co-written by Michael Ferrara (Wicked, The Music Man) and director Joe Barros (Gigi, Cagney, Bastard Jones). Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of gay men whose families abandoned them at the start of the AIDS epidemic. Burks then buried the ashes of these men in the family cemetery in Arkansas for Leftovers of his Conservative Methodist parents. Buried explores an untold chapter in the AIDS crisis and a muted period in queer history.

A coming-of-age and coming-out story, Little Miss Perfect is written by Joriah Kwamé (winner of the 2019 “Write Out Loud” song contest) with dramaturgy by Teresa Attridge. Noelle’s world is turned upside down when she develops feelings for Malaya, the foreign student her conservative family takes in. As class president, she must also confront her privilege and conformity when her high school refuses to take steps to be more inclusive. The residency will also support Kwamé’s How to You: A Musical Guide to Black Boyhood. Directed by Kimille Howard (Ain’t Too Proud, Porgy and Bess of the Metropolitan Opera), How to You is a musical fantasy about the unborn mind of a black man learning the realities of identity, race and of humanity before entering the world.

The Barn on Fire residency is supported in part by the National Alliance for Musical Theater Frank Young Fund for New Musicals, Robert Alfadre Foundation, Straighten Your Crown Productions, Henry Robin and Bob McGarity, Sully Bonolly and Robert Litmann, Vinnie Petrarca, John Krawchuk, Richard Winger and Matthew Woolf. Tickets are available on the FIPAP website:

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