The College of Arts and Architecture

NU. Musical Theatre Festival Debuts New Works in July

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Penn State’s acclaimed NU. Musical Theatre Festival will present new works in the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center during the Central PA Festival of the Arts: Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s musical adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes on July 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 8:00 p.m.; Will Reynolds and Eric Price’s, Radioactive on July 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 2:00 p.m.; and a double-bill of Raymond Sage, Will Reynolds, and Susan Russell’s Seeking Flight and Women: Front and Centre, developed by J. Austin Eyer and Beth Burrier, on July 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 5:00 p.m. Admission to preview performances of Something Wicked This Way Comes on July 6 and 7 is free and open to the public. Performances of Something Wicked This Way Comes, Radioactive, and the double-bill of Seeking Flight and Women: Front and Centre on July 8, 9, 10, and 11 will require an ArtsFest button for admission (

The world premiere musical adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes comes to the NU. Musical Theatre Festival from Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, the writing team of the critically acclaimed The Story of My Life and The Theory of Relativity. For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience its hypnotic power, step inside – the show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark's ‘Pandemonium Shadow Show’ has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And, two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . . and the stuff of nightmares.

With music by Will Reynolds and book and lyrics by Eric Price, Radioactive is the story of the most mysterious, magical, and deadly element on the Periodic Table: radium. It’s also a love story–the love between the two scientists who discovered it, Marie and Pierre Curie. As the Curies work together to understand radioactivity and to isolate pure radium, they unlock a force that is both beautiful and frightening, that has the power to heal and the power to kill, and that changes our understanding of the universe forever. 

Conceived and written by School of Music faculty member Raymond Sage, with music by Will Reynolds and script development by School of Theatre faculty member Susan Russell, Seeking Flight tells the story of one professor’s realization of the artist’s journey through a mid-life maze utilizing the words of America’s greatest playwright, Eugene O’Neill. This riveting work will be paired with Women: Front and Centre, a look at the role of women in contemporary musical theatre, developed by J. Austin Eyer and Beth Burrier.

 “We are thrilled to bring Something Wicked This Way Comes, Radioactive, Seeking Flight and Women: Front and Centre, and the Broadway On Allen and Cabernet and Cabaret series to the community” said Raymond Sage, Artistic Director of the NU. Musical Theatre Festival. “I can’t wait for our audiences to experience the remarkable talent of the artists who have created the compelling new works we are offering this season, as well as the incredibly talented performing artists who will bring these works to life.”

Penn State’s NU. Musical Theatre Festival explores, encourages, and fosters new works of musical theatre by today’s progressive playwrights and composers in an educational setting, giving the students of Penn State University access to the collaborative process between the artist, the art form, and the professional world of musical theatre. The festival is an annual event that allows up-and-coming composers, lyricists, and book writers to workshop their original musical theatre pieces at the Penn State University Park Campus. Musical theatre works in development are selected each season to be work-shopped and performed as a staged reading. The performances of these works, which take place at Penn State’s Citizen’s Bank Theatre - a state-of-the-art proscenium theatre in downtown State College - feature students from Penn State’s Musical Theatre BFA program and are directed and music directed by members of Penn State’s MFA directing and musical direction programs. For more information on the NU. Musical Theatre Summer Festival, please visit