Pregnancy Pact contains strong language and sexual content.There will be talk backs following every performance. Tickets range from $50-$22. Weston Playhouse Theatre (www.westonplayhouse.org) is located on 12 Park Street in Weston, VT 05161. Box Office: 802-824-5288. Customer Service Desk at the Playhouse is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and through intermission on show nights and matinees. Call administrative offices for gift certificates or AnyTime Tickets.
Originally published in The Commons issue #167 (Wednesday, August 29, 2012).
Is teenage pregnancy something to sing about?
On Aug. 30, Weston Playhouse Theater Company (WPTC) will present the world premiere of Pregnancy Pact, a pop-rock musical with music by Julia Meinwald and book and lyrics by Gordon Leary.
Rena Murman, former WPTC education director, said Pregnancy Pact was inspired by the sensationalized news story of an epidemic of teen pregnancies at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts several years ago, and concerns a group of teenage girls who decided to become single mothers together.
It’s all about “the motivations and dynamics of a group of high school girls who [at the same time] decide to get pregnant,” Murman said.
“Pregnancy Pact tells the story of 15-year-old Maddie who is devoted to her three best friends and they are to her,” she said.
“So when Brynn gets pregnant, the friends all plan to have children and raise them together in their dream of a perfect life,” she added.
“Their pact grows as other girls find out and want in. The bubble finally bursts when the teenagers’ secret is revealed, leaving each of the girls facing the hard realities of love, responsibility, and growing up.”
It is the second musical to receive its world premiere at the Weston Playhouse. The production will be directed by Joe Calarco, best known for his adaptation/direction of Shakespeare’s R & J, which ran for a year Off-Broadway and has become the longest running adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in New York history. It won the 1998 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement in Theatre (akin to Off-Broadway’s Tony Award).
Pregnancy Pact will feature a cast of young actors, including Caitlin Kinnunen of Spring Awakening and Jed Resnick of the first national tour of Rent and the Broadway cast of Avenue Q.
Last year, Pregnancy Pact won WPTC’s 2011 New Musical Award. This is an award Weston created in 2007 “to provide new writers accessible means of producing a demo recording, to develop the unique outlet and opportunity for new writers in the theatre.”
As part of the award, the Weston Playhouse had provided Meinwald and Leary with a stage director, music director, and five Equity actors for a three-day Vermont residency to rehearse selections from a new musical.
The musical was subsequently selected for workshop at the prestigious Yale Institute for Music Theatre last June, culminating with a public reading at New Haven’s Off-Broadway Theatre as part of the 2011 International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
However, only this year at Weston Playhouse is Pregnancy Pact being transformed from workshop incarnations into its first full-scale world-premiere theatrical performance.
Meinwald and Leary have been working on this project since 2009, but this week will be the first time they will see their work staged and performed complete in front of a live audience.
Weston Playhouse Resident Producing Director Steve Stettler said that, unlike many new shows, Pregnancy Pact was virtually ready to go when the authors arrived this summer in Weston.
“The show didn’t need a lot of tweaking,” he said. The authors, however, are eager to get it just right, and are still working to smooth out transitions and making everything flow together.
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