Zombies, Tesla, and Moving Castles, Oh My!

For close to two decades, Village Theatre has been ushering in the end of summer and entertaining its Village Originals Members with an annual Festival of New Musicals.

The Issaquah-based theater recently announced its five show lineup for the 2017 event, slated for Aug. 11 – 13, and it looks like it is going to be another banner year for the festival as the theater continues its commitment to the cultivation of new works gracing its stage while encompassing a vast array of music and story plots.

“This summer has an unbelievable mix of writers, shows, and styles,” associate artistic director, Brandon Ivie, said in a statement. “From established Broadway teams to up-and-coming writers, from brassy musical comedies to complex and emotional dramas, from authentic folk tunes to boundary-pushing electronic dance music. I’m thrilled to have such a varied and accomplished group of writers with us.”

See a full list of the theater’s lineup below. For more information, visit Village Theatre online.


Book, Music, and Lyrics by Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead

A misunderstood genius. A rivalry for the ages. A dream that would change the world forever. Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat is an electroic dance musical that turns the volume up on one of the world’s most influential yet overlooked inventors and his struggle to realize his vision of the future. In this anachronistic universe, Tesla is a genius DJ whose sounds push the limits of what his audience can handle. The innovative score translates his electric obsessions into electronic music: alternating current loop-pedal soundscapes, wireless dance-floor frequencies, and mad-scientist dubstep breakdowns. Come feel the beat drop.


Book, Music, and Lyrics by Danny Larsent and Michelle Elliott

**Contains strong adult language and content

Hart Island is the story of two people on the fringe of society — Charles, an incarcerated man, and Marielena, an undocumented young woman. Their lives intersect on Hart Island, New York City’s public burial ground. Although Charles and Marielena are marginalized by the rest of the world, they come to appreciate each other’s humanity — a powerful action in a world that elevates division and isolation over compassion and respect.


Musical and Lyrics by Zoe Sarnak, Book by Emily Kaczmarek

When an accomplished war reporter is killed on assignment, his diaries are left to his protégé, Jo. But their pages provide her with more questions than comfort, chronicling his turbulent midlife love affair and pointing mysteriously toward Kali and Simone, artist sisters mourning the loss of their volatile mother. As entanglements deepen and past collides with present, Kali, Simone, and Jo relay three sides of one story through the show’s music, set, and book. Afterwords is a new musical about three women bound by notes scribbled down on paper, and the art we make from the love that makes us.


Based on an original book by Diana Wynne Jones, Adapted by Myra Platt, Music and Lyrics by Justin Huertas

When Sophie unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, she finds herself transformed into an old woman. To break the enchantment, Sophie must strike a bargain with a fire demon and seek the help of the heartless wizard Howl before facing the Witch head-on. Based on the award-winning novel an animated feature, Howl’s Moving Castle inspires each of us to find our voice.


Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann, Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis

ZM takes place in a remote American town where a fast-food franchise is test-marketing a new sandwich that, apparently, turns people into zombies. ZM follows Barnabas Young and Mercy Rider, two teenage lovers/fast-food workers, who are separated during the outbreak. Barnabas searches for the franchise president to warn him about the sandwich while Mercy stays behind to look after the president’s wounded son. The lovers eventually reunite, but not before committing unspeakable acts that change them forever. In the end, the two learn the terrible truth about the source of the plague and the outcome it was designed to create.

is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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