Stamford commissions Sheik, Jarrow

Duo will pen a new musical of ghost stories

NEW HAVEN — A commission for a new tuner by Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakening”) is among the three producing initiatives for the Stamford (Conn.) Center for the Arts.

Also on the slate is a production of Jan de Hartog’s 1951 two-hander “The Four Poster” and a remounting of the latest Frank McGuinness play.

The non-profit arts org commissioned composer Sheik and Kyle Jarrow (Off-Broadway’s “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant”) to pen a new musical of ghost stories set in a Connecticut lighthouse during World War II. That show is slated to be produced at the center in the 2008-09 season. The presenting house, under new exec director Kenneth A. Wesler, turns to producing with a three-show series that begins this fall with Guinness’ “The Bird Sanctuary,” starring Tony winner Elizabeth Franz. Show is followed in November by “The Four Poster” starring Jasmine Guy and Keith David, in a Harlem Renaissance-set production helmed by Keith Powell. A third show is yet to be named.

“The Bird Sanctuary,” which preemed in Dublin in 1994, bowed in the U.S. in 2005 at Pittsburgh’s Public Theater with Franz and Hayley Mills, and then played the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Kent Paul will again helm the work by the writer of “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

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