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The epic American musical RAGTIME starts June 28th at Chance Theater

Chance Theater, Anaheim’s official resident theater company, is delighted to produce the award-winning musical Ragtime: The Musical. Based on the novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime: The Musical is written by Terrence McNally, and composed by Stephen Flaherty with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Ragtime: The Musical will preview from June 28th through July 5th; regular performances will begin July 6th and continue through July 28th on the Cripe Stage at the Bette Aitken theater arts Center.
 
Famous historical characters and a rich score propel Ragtime through a spectacular re-creation of turn-of-the-20th-century New York. Based on E.L. Doctorow’s acclaimed novel, this 13-time Tony-nominated musical paints a nostalgic and powerful portrait of three people — a stifled married woman from the upper classes, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young musician from Harlem — whose fates become unexpectedly intertwined. With music and lyrics by the Tony Award-winning team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the show boasts a Tony Award-winning book by Terrence McNally and such memorable songs as “Getting Ready Rag,” “Wheels of a Dream,” “Till We Reach That Day” and “Make Them Hear You.”
 
NOTE: Contains mature themes and strong language.
 
“A glorious, exhilarating musical that’s bursting with energy and ingenuity” Washington Post
 
“The play has so much resonance in our world today,” said director Casey Stangl. “The immigrant experience, the decaying of the American Dream, the intense divisions between groups, races, genders- all these themes are explored in a piece with a glorious score and fascinating characters.”
 
Not content to do a traditional re-telling of the musical, Stangl has something in mind to set this production apart from others. “Our setting will portray both past and present ideas with a warehouse that represents both the beginning of the Industrial Age and a gentrified industrial chic, emphasizing the great income inequality we are currently living in. A diverse cast will occupy this space as a community telling this story in an attempt to heal and come together.  We are all part of each other’s story, whether we want to be or not.”
 
Nominated for 13 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Ragtime tells the story of three families at the turn of the 20th Century in pursuit of the American dream. The award-winning score uses ragtime rhythms to paint a portrait of the people who built this country with the hopes for a brighter tomorrow.
 
MEET THE TEAM
Terrence McNally (Book) is an American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. McNally has been described as “a probing and enduring dramatist” and “one of the greatest contemporary playwrights the theater world has yet produced”. He has received the Tony Award for Best Play for Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, as well as the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. He is a 2018 inductee of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The honor of election is considered the highest form of recognition of artistic merit in the United States. His other accolades include an Emmy Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, four Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards, and three Hull-Warriner Awards. He is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his award-winning plays and musicals, he also written two operas, multiple screenplays, teleplays, and a memoir.
 
Stephen Flaherty (Music) is an American composer of musical theatre and film. He works most often in collaboration with the lyricist/book writer Lynn Ahrens. They are best known for writing the Broadway musicals Ragtime, which was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and won the Tony for Best Original Score; Once On This Island, which won the Tony Award for Best Revival Of A Musical, the Olivier Award for London’s Best Musical, and was nominated for a Grammy Award and eight Tony Awards; and Seussical, which was nominated for a Grammy and is now one of the most performed shows in America. Flaherty was also nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards (with Lynn Ahrens) for his songs and song score for the animated film musical, Anastasia.
 
Lynn Ahrens (Lyrics) is an American writer and lyricist for the musical theatre, television and film. She has collaborated with Stephen Flaherty for many years. She won the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for the Broadway musical Ragtime. Together with Flaherty, they have written many musicals, including Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Ragtime, Seussical, A Man of No Importance, Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones, Rocky, Little Dancer, and, recently on Broadway, Anastasia and Once on This Island. She was also nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for the animated Twentieth Century Fox film, Anastasia.
 
Casey Stangl (Director) is an award-winning director of theater, opera and film. Recent projects include The Children at the Jungle Theater, The Cake at La Jolla Playhouse, Sense and Sensibility at South Coast Repertory, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End at Arizona Theater Company, and Ah! Wilderness at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Recent awards include The Revolutionists at Everyman Theater, named 2017 “Best Play in Baltimore” by The Baltimore Sun and Cloud 9 at Antaeus Company, which won 8 awards from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, including Best Director and Best Production.
 
In addition to Stangl, the production team for Ragtime includes Chance Theater Resident Artists Robyn Manion (Lizzie) as music director, Kelly Todd (Big Fish) as choreographer, and Nicole Schlitt (in a word) as stage manager. We also have some returning Chance Artists — scenic designer Christopher Scott Murillo (Good People), sound designer Ryan Brodkin (Skylight), dramaturg Sophie Hall Cripe (Violet), and dialect coach Wyn Moreno (Emma, The Musical). Making their Chance debuts with this production are lighting designer Wesley Charles Chew, costume designer Wendell Carmichael, and props designer Danthi Tran.
The cast of Ragtime includes Chance Theater Resident Artist Rachel Oliveros Catalano (Big Fish), as well as returning actors Wyn Moreno (Violet), Ron Hastings (The Other Place), Joseph Bricker (Tigers Be Still), Sarah Pierce (Hairspray), Rebeka Hoblik (Ovation Award nominee for Violet), Glenn Koppel (Emma, The Musical), Matt Takahashi (A Charlie Brown Christmas), Sydney DeMaria (Big Fish), and Jake Burnett (The Secret Garden). Making their Chance debuts with this production are Dony Wright, Jennifer Talton, Bryce Hamilton, Brendan Knox, Yunga Webb, Jabriel Shelton, Kristin Yata, and Christianne Holly Santiago.
 
The Executive Producers for this production are Sophie & Larry Cripe and Rachelle Menaker & Eddie Schuller.  Bette & Wylie Aitken are the Season Producers and for the entire 2019 Season.
 
To schedule press interviews, request photos, schedule press comps or for any additional information, please contact Casey Long at (714) 900-3284 or by e-mail at [email protected].
 
ABOUT CHANCE THEATER
Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER has received the National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing for “nurturing a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre.” The Chance has won six Ovation Awards, including two for Best Production of a Musical – Intimate Theater for its West Coast premiere of Triassic Parq – The Musical and Southern California premiere of Jerry Springer – The Opera, as well as four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater “the Official Resident Theater Company of Anaheim” in 2014, and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as “Outstanding Arts Organization.” Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Orange County Theatre Guild, and LA Stage Alliance, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.

This article was released by the Chance Theater.