Gurney housing book for ‘Mirth’ musical

Playwright will workshop in May at Sundance Institute

A.R. Gurney (“Love Letters”) is at work on a musical version of Edith Wharton’s novel “The House of Mirth.”

Playwright will workshop the new musical in May at the Sundance Institute Theater Lab at White Oak Plantation, Yulee, Fla. His collaborators on the project are composer Michael Torke and lyricist Mark Campbell. Gurney is book writer.

Bart Sher will direct the Lab workshop of “The House of Mirth.” Artistic director at Seattle’s Intiman Theater, Sher recently helmed the Goodman Theater production of Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas’ “The Light in the Piazza,” which was developed at the Sundance Theater Lab.

“The House of Mirth” charts the downfall of Lily Bart, a beautiful young woman who resists marriage but finds herself attracted to the glittering materialism of New York’s upper class at the turn of the last century.

Gurney has had a busy season in current Gotham. His play “Big Bill” recently closed at Lincoln Center, and his “Mrs. Farnsworth” now performs at the Flea Theater. Sigourney Weaver and John Lithgow headline.

The Lab’s second project for this May is “Dead Puppet Talk” by Roman Paska’s Dead Puppet Theater.

The Lab is run by the Sundance Institute Theater Program and the Howard Gilman Foundation.

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