A new musical with a noteworthy cast and creative team will be developed at the Eugen O'Neill Theater Center's 2023 National Music Theater Conference. The Dark Lady features a book and lyrics by Sophie Boyce and music by Veronica Mansour, telling the story of Emilia Bassano, the woman some believe actually wrote Shakespeare's plays. Public readings will be held July 12 and 14 at 7:15 PM.
With a synth-pop score, the story takes on that authorship question of "what if" with a cast which will include Samantha Williams (Caroline, or Change, Dear Evan Hansen) as Emilia Bassano, Kyle Selig (The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls) as William Shakespeare, Erika Henningsen (Mean Girls, Les Misérables) as Viola, Elizabeth Ward Land (City of Angels, Passion) as Susan, Jade Jones (Vanities, Beauty and the Beast) as Lady Macbeth, Jane Bruce (Jagged Little Pill) at Kate, Leana Rae Concepcion (Merrily We Roll Along) as Juliet, and Manu Narayan (Company, My Fair Lady) as Henry/Alfonso.
Zi Alikhan will direct the readings with Anessa Marie as music director.
The Dark Lady is one of three new musicals being developed at the conference this year. In the past, the conference has developed musicals such as In The Heights, Nine, Violet, The Wild Party, Avenue Q, and In Transit.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center is currently presenting its 59th annual summer season which features a series of cabarets starring Alice Ripley, Alton Fitzgerald White, Christine Ebersole, Brad Simmons, Natalie Douglas, Lennie Watts, and Jason Graae.