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December 19, 2014   
Posted: January 17, 2012
Tony Award-winning composer brings new musical to Atlantic Stage

  From left, Monica Bell, Shannon Burke, Emily Brockway, Michael Lawrence and David Bankston in "Bigfoot." Sheriff Martha Cartwright, center, on the hunt for her own prey visits with the Bigfoot trackers as her dog looks on.  
Atlantic Stage will present the first professional workshop production of "Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls," a new musical comedy by Tony Award-winning composer Mark Hollmann, from Thursday, Jan. 26 to Sunday, Feb.12 at the 79th Avenue theatre in Coastal Carolina University Myrtle Beach Higher Education Center.

Hollmann who won Tony and Obie awards for his 2002 Broadway hit "Urinetown," wrote the music and lyrics for the new show. The book is by playwright Adrien Royce. Hollmann and Royce led a student reading of the show on the CCU campus in May 2011.

"Bigfoot" is the story of young journalist Bernie Bernstein, whose life takes an amazing turn within 24 hours of accepting an assignment to write a story on the elusive Sasquatch, Bigfoot. While encountering a slew of tabloid-sized characters, Bernie discovers the truth not only about the creature but herself as well. CCU theatre major Shannon Burke, who was last seen on the Atlantic Stage as Echo in the 2010 production of "Eleemosynary," stars in the role of Bernie Bernstein.

Atlantic Stage is the only nonprofit, professional theater in the Myrtle Beach area, and this production is being mounted in conjunction with Coastal Carolina University's Professional Theatre Training Program. The theater is located at 900 79th Ave N., Myrtle Beach.

"Workshop production" is a theatrical term that means the music and script are undergoing revisions right up until opening night. Plays are developed through a progressive process that begins with readings and rewrites, staged readings and rewrites, staged workshop productions and rewrites and then typically culminates in a series of regional productions and rewrites until the work is declared finished.

Guest artist Art Rotch is designing lights for the production. Rotch is coming in from Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Ala., where "Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls" will have its world premiere production after the Atlantic Stage workshop production concludes.

The cast includes local professional actress Monica Bell, founding member of Atlantic Stage and faculty member at the CCU Theatre Department, and David Bankston, associate professor of music at CCU who just concluded directing a CCU production of the opera "Hansel and Gretel."

This play is recommended for young adults 16 years of age and older.

"Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls" is directed by John Woodson. Music director and orchestrator is Steven Gross, and choreography is by Barbara Hartwig. Set design is by Ken Martin; costume design isby Eric Hall; and sound design is by Aloria Lewis.

All ticket proceeds from the opening night of "Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls" will benefit Horry County Literacy Council.

The complete performance schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m., preview night

Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m., opening night

Week 1: Thursday, Jan. 26 Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m.

Week 2: Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 pm., Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m.

Week 3: Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb 12 at 3 p.m.

New patrons and subscribers can purchase the new Flex Subscription or single tickets by calling the Atlantic Stage box office at 1-877-287-8587 or online at www.atlanticstage.com. Single tickets range from $15-$25 at the door. Discounts are available for students, seniors (55+), the military and groups.

For tickets, call1-877-ATS-TKTS (1-877-287-8587) or visit www.atlanticstage.com.

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