CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book & Lyrics by Tony Kushner
Directed & Choreographed by Matthew Gardiner
Musical Direction by Jon Kalbfleisch
Part of A CELEBRATION OF TONY KUSHNER
January 25 – February 26, 2017
Join us as we present the largest musical in Round House’s history! Set in the heat of the Civil Rights Movement, the Tony-nominated Caroline, Or Change follows a black maid working for a middle-class Jewish family in Louisiana. When a small amount of money goes missing, buried tensions threaten to rip two families—and the struggling Caroline—apart. Loosely based on Kushner’s provocative and personal story, Caroline features a virtuosic score from Jeanine Tesori (Tony Award for Best Original Score for Fun Home) that blends blues, gospel, and traditional Jewish melodies into a magical, show-stopping musical masterpiece.
Photos by Grace Toulotte.
Jeanine Tesori has been thrice nominated for Tony Awards® for her Broadway scores: Twelfth Night (1998) at Lincoln Center, Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002) at the Marquis, and Caroline, or Change (2004) at the Eugene O’Neill. Her first musical, Violet, produced off-Broadway in 1997, was nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding New Musical and won the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and a Special Obie Citation for Tesori’s music. In the field of film, she has composed new songs for The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove (2005), Wrestling With Angels (the 2006 documentary about Tony Kushner), Shrek the Third (2007), and three animated Disney DVDs (Mulan II, Lilo and Stitch II, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning). She also wrote the scores for Show Business: The Road to Broadway (2007) and Nights in Rodanthe (2008). Before Millie closed in 2004, the innovative Caroline, or Change, with book and lyrics by Tony Kushner and music by Jeanine Tesori, opened, making Tesori the first woman composer in history to have two original musicals running concurrently on Broadway. Though Caroline is considered more of an opera than a musical “comedy,” it won a Tony® nomination for the score and the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. The National Theatre production in London’s West End received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Tesori and Kushner, now close friends, collaborated again in 2006 on a new translation and adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, with Meryl Streep, produced as a part of the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park series. Tesori’s biggest project yet is the multimillion-dollar stage adaptation of the animated film Shrek (2001), Shrek the Musical, which opened in December 2008.
Tony Kushner grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and attended Columbia University and New York University. Kushner is best known for his two-part epic, Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. His other plays include A Bright Room Called Day, Slavs!, Hydrotaphia, Homebody/Kabul, and Caroline, or Change, the musical for which he wrote book and lyrics, with music by composer Jeanine Tesori. In 2012 he wrote the screenplay for Spielberg’s movie Lincoln. His screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, and won the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Chicago Film Critics Award, and several others. In addition, a revival of Angels in America ran off-Broadway at the Signature Theater and won the Lucille Lortel Award in 2011 for Outstanding Revival. The first part of Angels in America, Millennium Approaches (1990), won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for best play; the second, Perestroika (1991), also won a Tony Award for best play. Angels in America proved to be extremely popular for a work of its imposing length (the two parts run seven hours in total), and it was adapted for an Emmy Award-winning television film that aired in 2003. His recent work includes a collection of one-act plays entitled Tiny Kushner, and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. He received the National Medal of Arts in 2013.
DIRECTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER
Matthew Gardiner SIGNATURE: Director/Choreographer: Jelly’s Last Jam, La Cage Aux Folles, West Side Story, Cabaret, Soon, Sunday in the Park with George (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Musical and Direction of a Musical); The Threepenny Opera, Tender Napalm, Dreamgirls, Dying City, Xanadu, Really Really, The Hollow, Side by Side by Sondheim, Art, [title of show], See What I Wanna See; Choreographer: The Fix, Company, Sweeney Todd, Dirty Blonde. Associate Artistic Director (2011-present), Resident Director (2010-2011), Resident Assistant Director (2006-2010). NEW YORK: Director: NYMF: The Greenwood Tree; Assistant Director: Circle in the Square: Glory Days. DC AREA: Director: Round House Theatre: Ordinary Days; Ford’s Theatre: The Laramie Project; Director/Choreographer: Kennedy Center: Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred!); Everyman Theatre: Let Me Sing And I’m Happy; MetroStage: tick, tick…BOOM!; Catholic University of America: La Boheme, Candide; Co-Director/Choreographer: Studio Theatre: Jerry Springer: The Opera; Reefer Madness (2008 Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Musical and Direction of a Musical); Choreographer: Shakespeare Theatre: The Tempest; MetroStage: Jacques Brel is Alive And Well…; Studio Theatre: Grey Gardens, Adding Machine. EDUCATION: Carnegie Mellon University.