New Works Provincetown, a developmental theatre lab founded by producer Mark Cortale with Jonathan Murray and Harvey Reese to create and develop new theatrical works, has commissioned its next slate of projects, including new shows about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s tumultuous marriage and an adaptation of Ira Sachs’ “Love Is Strange.” The shows are from creators like Mona Mansour, Hannah Corneau, Douglas Lyons, Craig Lucas, Daniel Messé, Nathan Tysen, Mindi Dickstein and Carmel Dean.
Among the shows is “Beautiful Little Fool,” which is a new musical inspired by the Fitzgeralds’ relationship. A developmental workshop took place this past August with Jessie Mueller, Damon Daunno and Hannah Corneau. Mansour wrote the book, Corneau wrote the music and lyrics and Michael Greif directs.
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Then there’s “Table 17,” a new play by Lyons. A first reading is set to take place at The Art House in Provincetown, Mass., on Sept. 23. It will be directed by Zhailon Levingston and features a cast that includes Danyel Fulton, Carter Redwood and Michael Rishawn.
Lastly, the slate includes “Love Is Strange,” an adaptation of the 2014 romantic drama about a middle-aged gay couple in the midst of a housing crisis. A first writers’ retreat took place in Provincetown in July 2023 with a second slated for January 2024. “Love Is Strange” has a book by Lucas, music by Messé, and lyrics by Tysen and Messé. Greif directs this show, as well.
In addition, New Works Provincetown also continued to work on the previously announced new musical “Maiden Voyage. Dean served as composer with Dickstein handling lyrics and writing duties. It continued development with a March 2023 workshop. This workshop was directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt and with a cast that included Kate Baldwin, George Abud and Chris Innvar. The show is inspired by the story of skipper Tracy Edwards and her crew of women who made history as the first ever all-female racing team to compete in the Whitbread Round The World Yacht Race.
Cortale, who recently completed his final season as producing artistic director of The Art House in Provincetown, began his partnership with Jonathan Murray and Harvey Reese (Wild Oak Media) in 2020. Murray, as half of television’s Bunim/Murray Productions, produced such shows as “The Real World,” “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Project Runway” and the Emmy Award-winning “Born This Way,” among others. Together with Reese, they have been longtime supporters and investors in theater, including “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays ” and “Motherhood Out Loud.” Cortale was recently announced as one of the lead producers for the Broadway premiere of “Days of Wine and Roses.”
“It’s been an incredible first three years for New Works Provincetown” said Cortale. “P-Town is known as the birthplace of American theatre and it has been thrilling to commission and develop exciting new projects here. There’s something truly magical about this place that inspires creativity and it’s a privilege to bring great writers here to experience that firsthand.”
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