Duke welcomes director Kay Matschullat and composer Duncan Sheik to campus

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Theater Studies department and Hoof'n'Horn welcome two very special guests to campus this week.  Director Kay Matschullat arrives to begin her spring residency directing a brand new musical version of THE AENEID from Tony and Grammy Award-winning composer Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening, American Psycho) as the spring production for Hoof'n'Horn.  On Wednesday, February 15,   Sheik himself will be on campus to meet the cast and attend a preliminary rehearsal.  Matschullat works internationally and has directed premiers of plays by the likes of Derek Walcott, Ariel Dorfman, and Vaclav Havel.  Theater Studies Professor Bradley Rogers presented Hoof'n'Horn with this ground-breaking opportunity as part of the department's musical theater initiative in conjunction with the new minor in musical theater. The cast is participating in his Musical Theater Performance class as part of this experience. Theater Studies is sponsoring Matschullat's residency along with Sheik's visit, as well as bringing in a professional music director and a choreographer to work with the all-student cast for this new AENEID, written by Oliver Kermeid, translated by Maureen LaBonte and adapted to music theater by Matschullat and Sheik.  In addition to directing the show, Matshullat will be mentoring students and collaborating with the Musical Theater Performance class.

Working with this caliber of professional theater artists to premiere a new work represents a whole new level of engagement for the dedicated students in Hoof'n'Horn.  The choice to present this piece feels especially timely in spite of Virgil's original masterpiece dating back to between 29 and 19 BC.  As explained on Hoof'n'Horn's website, this version of THE AENEID "finds its inspiration in the young idealists who initiated the Arab Spring.  Aeneas' timeless challenges echo the yearning and trauma across the globe today, embodying the tragedy and the hope of our moment.  This is a modern, progressive retelling of the epic, with rebellious, punk-rockish sensibilities."  The show will be presented in Reynolds Theater March 30-April 9 and tickets are on sale throught the Duke box office.  For more information on Kay Matschullat, please see http://theaterstudies.duke.edu/visiting-artists/kay-matschullat