Some of the Most Buzz-Worthy News at BroadwayCon Wasn't on a Panel at All

Some of the Most Buzz-Worthy News at BroadwayCon Wasn't on a Panel at All

Chris Peterson

OnStage Editor-in-Chief

Amid the panels, performances and autograph sessions, there were a lot of buzz worthy moments and breaking news that will keep the Broadway community and its fans aflutter for months. 

However there was one bit of news that should please a good number of not only theatre fans, but the literary world as well. Sitting in the front row, among the passionate "theatre geeks" was best-selling author Jodi Picoult. Sitting with her friends at their second BroadwayCon, Ms. Picoult (who might be the nicest woman ever), had some very good news to share: The musical adaptation of Between the Lines is making its way towards a Broadway run. 

Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

The musical, based on the insanely popular young adult novel by Ms. Picoult and her daughter, Samantha van Leer, has been making its way through the development process for the past couple of years. But that progress seems to have been accelerated over the last year. The musical had a successful performance at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theatre last summer, which created quite the buzz among theatre friends of mine. 

It was also just announced that it will have its official world premiere run at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre this fall. 

The story asks what happens if the line between fiction and real life becomes blurred?  When the handsome hero of her favorite book literally starts speaking to her from the page, Delilah thinks she has found the perfect escape from a challenging junior year in high school… her overworked single Mom, her constant ability to get on the outs with the “in” crowd, and her need to find a friend who truly understands her. 

Given the popularity of teen relatable story lines on Broadway, the timing and need for a show like this, couldn't come sooner. 

The creative team, which Ms. Picoult referred to as having "the golden ticket to Wonka's factory", is chock full of industry heavyweights. The show is produced by Daryl Roth with book by playwright Timothy Allen McDonald, music and lyrics by Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel, and directed by Jeff Calhoun(Newsies). If you've never heard of Kate Anderson or Elyssa Samsel, you will in about nine months. They are the composing team behind Disney's Olaf's Frozen Adventure which will air during the upcoming holiday season. 

For Ms. Picoult, seeing her work come to life on stage is not only a dream come true as an author but for a theatre fan as well. Her love of the theatre arts runs deep and has been a constant in her life. Born on Long Island, Ms. Picoult's family moved to New Hampshire when she was young. Growing up, her family would often take annual trips to the city to see shows. 

But more than that, Ms. Picoult has been an active leader in cultivating the performing arts in her hometown. Along with Marjorie Rose, they created Trumbull Hall Troupe, a theatre group that produces their own material and performs to raise money for charity. The group was formed to fill the need for more theatre arts in town. Since then the group has raised over $80,000 and one of the Trumbull Hall Troupe plays, Over The Moon, is currently published and available for licensing at Playscripts.com.

Needless to say there will be a lot of people watching to see how Between the Lines premiers in Kansas City but if all goes well and given the buzz I'm hearing already, I don't think a Broadway run is far off. 

For more information about the Trumbull Hall Troupe visit, www.trumbullhalltroupe.com

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