New Musical Penelope to Premiere at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival | Playbill

Regional News New Musical Penelope to Premiere at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Based on The Odyssey, the musical is by Alex Bechtel, Grace McLean, and Eva Steinmetz.

Grace McLean Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Alex Bechtel, Grace McLean, and Eva Steinmetz's new musical adaptation of The Odyssey, titled Penelope, will receive a world premiere staging at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival next fall.

Featuring music and lyrics by Bechtel, a book by Bechtel, McLean, and Steinmetz, and direction by Steinmetz, the musical repositions the classic tale to be told from the point of view of Penelope, Odysseus's wife. The piece has been in development for several years, including with the Founders' Club Residency within the Orchard Project.

Penelope is one of eight productions announced by the upstate New York stalwart as a part of their 2023 season. The season will begin on Earth Day 2023, April 22, with Processional Arts Workshops' light and lantern celebration Highland Lights. Free workshops will be held to construct and decorate the giant lanterns in the weeks leading up to the celebration.

A double bill of Shakespeare plays will be presented throughout the summer; Love's Labor's Lost as directed by Amanda Dehnert, and featuring original music by Dehnert and André Pluess; and Henry V as directed by Davis McCallum and starring Emily Ota will play in repertory from June through September 4. Penelope will immediately follow the classic plays for the rest of September.

Obie winner Orlando Pabotoy will bring a site-specific audio drama, titled A Listening, to the HVSF's 98-acre campus following a collaboration with technologists at NYU Abu Dhabi. Directed by Attilio Regatti, the October offering allows audience members to move throughout the campus as the immersive audio drama is orchestrated through wireless headphones.

Two developmental readings will be presented throughout the season, including Medea: Re-Versed by Luis Quintero as directed by Nathan Winkelstein, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Heidi Armbruster as directed by Ryan Quinn.

In addition to the offerings presented on HVSF's campus throughout the season, an educational tour of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet will be presented in middle and high schools throughout the region from March 20 to April 28. 

Information on opening and closing dates, cast and creative teams, and ticket availability will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit

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