Indiana's Discovering Broadway Inc.’s fifth Writer's Retreat will host Douglas Lyons (Chicken and Biscuits), Ethan Pakchar (Hamilton), and Harrison David Rivers (the bandaged place) October 9-14 to workshop their new musical Five Points.
Set in 1863 New York City, the musical follows two performers: young African American Willie Lane who takes the stage at Almack's Dance Hall, and Irish immigrant and jig champion John Diamond. Through their stories, Five Points explores the birth of American tap dance and becoming a part of the American Dream.
“Five Points is the celebration of what happens when cultural tension explodes through art. It’s territorial, percussive, and original. I’m thrilled to dig back into our world with this Discovering Broadway residency,” says Lyons.
“We have striven to balance the large scale of an historical drama while maintaining intimate and authentic relationships, all while bringing down the roof with song and dance," adds Pakchar.
Currently in development at Paper Mill Playhouse, the work will feature a book penned by Rivers, lyrics by Lyons, and music by Lyons and Pakchar. Discovering Broadway will host a benefit evening at Indianapolis' Madam Walker Theatre, which will feature the premiere of new music from the show. Casting for the concert will be announced at a later date.
“Douglas, Ethan, and I wrote much of Five Points long distance—me in Minnesota and them in New York," shares Rivers. "Any time we’re able to gather in person to create together in person is a gift. Thank you Discovering Broadway for the opportunity!”