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DNA New Works Series: 'Chasing the Song'

January 24, 2013 5:04 p.m.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with La Jolla Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley about the DNA New Works Series.

Related Story: 'Chasing The Song' Has Its 'Concert Reading' Friday And Saturday

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

ANCHOR INTRO: The La Jolla Playhouse has long supported new play development with its Page to Stage program. Now they expand that support with the DNA New Works Series. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with the Playhouse's artistic director about what audiences can expect.

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A musical play can take ten years to fully evolve. That's how long it took Memphis to come together. Now the team that created that hit musical is working on another. Chasing the Song is set in the world of 60s pop music, It's also one of the plays being developed through the Playhouse's DNA New Works Series. Christopher Ashley is again directing from a book by Joe DiPietro and music by David Bryan. But even veterans like them can benefit from the DNA process of workshops, rehearsals, and public performances says Ashley.

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CHRIS ASHLEY: So a really experienced playwright can guess some of what an audience is going to feel but everybody needs to hear their play for the first time, every playwright needs to meet an audience for the first time.

DNA provides a chance for artists to fine tune new work. Ashley says Chasing the Song is already going through major revisions.

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CHRIS ASHLEY: We're doing massive rewrites of this show as it happens it's now when an audience comes to see it it's a story about a mother and daughter, the fact that they are a mother and daughter is an idea that we added today so Joe I think wrote 70 pages of rewrites and almost every song has been radically adjusted today.

Audiences can get a first glimpse of Chasing the Song this Friday and Saturday night at the Playhouse's Potiker Theater. It will be a bare bones production, what Ashley calls a "concert reading."

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.

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