Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Schooling in Love, from conversation to page to stage to page to stage...

The process that would yeild the musical version of A Schooling in Love began all the way back in 2002, when Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi were graduate students at New York University. They were busy adapting Mozart and Da Ponte's other two works, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, into the comic opera Don Imbroglio and the play with music Going Down Swingin', both of which would be seen in the New York Musical Theater Festival some years later.

The question arose: What setting and genre could contain such a broad conceit as two lovers in foreign disguises which would not be apparent to their girlfriends? The answer: the modern teenage "sex" farce, a la American Pie, John Tucker Must Die, Fired Up, etc. Since they were not in the business of creating teen comedy at the time, the concept was tabled.

In 2006, Todd Mielcarz, the drama director at OEHS, asked Matt if he had any concepts suitable for production in the impressive theater at a newly built high school in Illinois. Matt set about fleshing out the concept from 2002 into a play, featuring music by Peter.

The original script of the play was performed in a series of readings by actors at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. First it was read for the author who rewrote and shortened the piece, then it was read for the students who would be auditioning for the roles at OEHS. (Then it was rewritten and shortened again.)

After the OEHS production (which was smooth and well-received), the piece was AGAIN edited, and then mothballed as Matt and Peter turned their efforts to the NY premiere of their Don Giovanni piece, Going Down Swingin'.

In 2008, Abington JuItalicnior High School approached Hilliard and Boresi with a question similar to that posed in 2006. Do you have any material suitable for high school use? That's when Schooling went back to the drawing board and was expanded and adapted into musical form.

More productions of Schooling are on the way!

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