An industry reading of We Won’t Sleep, the new bio-musical based on the life of Jeannette Rankin, America’s first congresswoman, will star Tony winner Karen Olivo. The invite-only readings are set for December 17 and 18 in NYC.
Elected to Congress in 1916 (three years before white women were granted the right to vote), Rankin found herself to be the only female voice within the halls of power to vote on women’s suffrage.
The cast also features Jevon McFerrin (Hamilton), Adam Hyndman (Hadestown) and Myra Lucretia Taylor (Tina—The Tina Turner Musical), with Chloe Campbell, Kyla Garcia, Em Grosland, Jorrel Javier, Madison McBride, Diane Phelan, Andrea Prestinario, Cindy Tsai, Emara Vee, Princess Victomé, and Brandon L.Whitmore.
We Won’t Sleep features music and lyrics by Ari Afsar, a book by Lauren M. Gunderson, choreography by Yusha-Marie Sorzano and direction by Erin Ortman. Also on the creative team are music supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campell, musical director Cynthia Meng. The lead producer is Jen Bender, casting is by Tara Rubin Casting, and general management is by 321 Theatrical Management.
Another musical about women's suffrage leaders in the U.S. will premiere Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in March 2022. Suffs, from Shaina Taub, stars Nikki M. James, Phillipa Soo, and Jenn Colella.
Olivo, who won a Tony Award as Anita West Side Story was most recently seen on Broadway as Satine in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. They left the production after allegations of abuse and intimidation were reported against megaproducer Scott Rudin, who is not attached to the musical.