The in-development stage adaptation of Crockett Johnson's 1955 children's book Harold and the Purple Crayon has found its book writers in playwright Dan Rothenberg and Robert Quillen Camp. The pair joins a writing team that includes Jack and Ryan Met of indie pop rock band AJR, who are handling the score.
Both Rothenberg and Camp are alum of Philadelphia's Pig Iron Theatre Company, where Rothenberg serves as co-founder and co-artistic director and at which Camp has collaborated on such works as Chekhov Lizardbrain, Pay Up, and Franklin's Secret City. Camp also co-wrote All Hands for Hoi Polloi Theater Company with Great Comet composer Dave Malloy; and White on White, which recently premiered Off-Broadway at JACK.
The Broadway-aimed project, adapted from Johnson's classic book about a young boy who uses a magical crayon to create the world around him, transforms from the book's four-year-old hero into a young adult facing real-life problems, many of which may fall outside the abilities of that magical crayon. The work is being led by Jagged Little Pill producer Vivek J. Tiwary's Tiwary Entertainment Group (TEG+).
"We’ve loved Harold and the Purple Crayon since we were kids," say Camp and Rothenberg in a statement. "We’re so excited for the opportunity to bring some real-world emotional depth to match the wonder and charm of the original story. Ryan and Jack’s music is so infused with delight, mischief, and yearning—it will be the perfect conduit for Harold’s inventive spirit."
"To say I'm a longtime fan of Dan and Quill's work would be an understatement—I've been following them since high school!," adds Tiwary. "Dan and Quill have a unique ability to merge the new and experimental with the infinitely relatable—just like an AJR song! So I'm truly proud to bring this dream team together to adapt Harold and the Purple Crayon for the stage."
The Mets have reportedly already written and recorded demo songs for the project, and Rothenberg and Camp are well into working on the piece's book.
Tiwary's TEG recently re-branded as TEG+ with an equity investment that will newly allow the company to work with top tier music artists on creating narrative entertainment across many mediums. The company also recently named stage and film producer Elie Landau TEG+'s chief operating office. Landau joins the company after producing Broadway's Meteor Shower and Broadway's current revival of Funny Girl, along with the documentary film Paper Clips.