Broadway's upcoming How to Dance in Ohio has revealed full casting. Performances will begin November 15 ahead of a December 10 opening night. Sammi Cannold makes her Broadway directorial debut helming the production.
Newly announced in the cast are Caesar Samayoa (Come From Away) as Dr. Emilio Amigo and Cristina Sastre as Ashley Amigo, along with Jean Christian Barry (Stranger Sings), Collin Hancock, Hunter Hollingsworth, Marina Jansen, Ayanna Thomas, and Marina Pires.
The work played a world premiere run at Syracuse Stage in 2022. Much of that production's cast, which includes autistic actors in the seven principal roles, will reprise their performances for the upcoming Broadway run, including the previously announced Desmond Edwards as Remy, Amelia Fei as Caroline, Madison Kopec as Marideth, Liam Pearce as Drew, Imani Russell as Mel, Conor Tague as Tommy, and Ashley Wool as Jessica. All seven make their Broadway debuts with the musical. The cast also includes Haven Burton (Shrek) as Terry, Darlesia Cearcy (Shuffle Along...) as Johanna, Carlos L Encinias (Les Misérables), Nick Gaswirth (The Great Comet), Melina Kalomas, and Martín Solá.
The work features music by Jacob Yandura and a book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik, both making their Broadway debuts with the production. They've adapted the work from Alexandra Shiva's 2015 HBO documentary, which follows the challenges faced by a group of autistic young adults at a counseling center in Ohio. With the support of clinical psychologist Dr. Emilio Amigo, the center arranges a spring formal dance and encourages them as they encounter love, fear, stress, excitement, and hope, along the path to human connection.
The creative team from the world premiere run is continuing with the show to the Main Stem, including choreographer Mayte Natalio, music director Lily Ling, scenic designer Robert Brill, costume designer Sarafina Bush, lighting designer Bradley King, and sound designer Connor Wang. Orchestrations will be by Bruce Coughlin, and Scott Rowen will serve as production stage manager. Casting is by Benton Whitley and Micah Johnson-Levy of Whitley Theatrical. ShowTown Theatricals serves as general manager, and Mary-Mitchell Campbell is a music consultant.
To ensure authentic autistic representation on stage, the production is also working with an accessibility team, including Autistic Creative Consultant Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Director of Community Engagement Becky Leifman, associate producer Jeremy Wein, and script consultant Nicole D'Angelo.
Producers are P3 Production's Ben Holtzman, Sammy Lopez, and Fiona Howe Rudin; and Level Forward. The musical was originally developed with the late Harold Prince and is dedicated to his work on the project.
See photos from the Syracuse world premiere run of How to Dance in Ohio below: