This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Pictured above: Playwright Keith Bunin talks about the play American Idiot on WAMC’S “The Roundtable.”

New Dawn for Green Day Musical After Powerhouse Summer

If you’re searching for an American idiot, it’s safe to assume Vassar is a less than ideal place to look. But for two weeks in July, Vassar was home to theAmerican Idiot, as New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater welcomed the cast and crew of the new musical based on the 2004 Green Day album of the same name. The show, which had been quietly workshopped several times over the past year, made one last pit stop in Poughkeepsie before it headed to Berkeley, CA, where it will begin previews this month at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

Upon hearing the pop-punk trio’s record when it was first released, Michael Mayer, the award-winning director of the Broadway smash Spring Awakening, was convinced that the album was a “new musical drama begging to be staged.” He has worked alongside Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong for the past year and a half developing the project, which includes an on-stage band and a whopping 19 characters.

“We’re so unbelievably fortunate to be blessed with this safe haven,” Mayer said of Vassar during his time at Powerhouse, noting that the crew didn’t have to show the work to anyone, including the press. “This is the perfect environment and, because we’re not in the city, all of the actors can stay really focused on this particular project,” he concluded.

September 2009

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