Off Broadway's Keen Company has announced its first musical commission—a new musical by composer-lyricist Adam Gwon. Keen Company and Gwon previously worked together on a revival of Gwon's musical Ordinary Days in 2018.
Support for the commission comes from a Grant for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts and from The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund.
"When I assumed the artistic director position, it was my dream to commission a new intimate musical. Smaller musicals that speak honestly and poetically are rare to find, yet they are in high demand for companies around the country," said Jonathan Silverstein, who assumed leadership at Keen Company in 2012. "Ever since I met Adam Gwon, and subsequently produced and directed his musical Ordinary Days, it became clear that he would be the perfect fit for Keen’s first ever musical commission. His heartfelt writing and skillful drawing of complex relationships, coupled with his emotional searing melodies, beautifully examine today’s world. Thanks to the NEA's and The Shen's support, we look forward to working with Adam closely over the next few years to bring more of his work to fruition."
Gwon's other musicals include Scotland, PA (Roundabout Theatre), String (Village Theatre, Seattle), Cake Off (Signature Theatre, Arlington, Virginia; Bucks County Playhouse, Pennsylvania), Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre), and Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma).
Keen Company will return with its first post-pandemic, in-person production with This Space Between Us, written by Peter Gil-Sheridan and directed by Silverstein. The new comedy runs February 22–March 9.