Cast Includes Deaf, Hearing and Hard-of-Hearing Actors; ASL and Open Caption Offered on Select Performances
EAST HADDAM, Conn. (Sept. 15, 2023) – Goodspeed Musicals proudly announces the cast for Private Jones, an exciting and innovative new musical inspired by the true story of a deaf Welsh sniper in World War I. Private Jones will appear at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre from October 13 – November 5 in Chester, Conn. [Official Press Opening will be Nov. 1, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.]
“Goodspeed has supported the development of Private Jones throughout its lifespan,” said Donna Lynn Hilton, artistic director. “The musical was conceived at our Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove on the Goodspeed campus in 2019, presented in Goodspeed’s 2020 Festival of New Musicals, continued developing through creative workshops since and will now make its stage debut at The Terris Theatre. We are honored to support Marshall’s vision for this groundbreaking new musical.”
Private Jones is inspired by the true story of a deaf soldier in World War I who displays remarkable skill as a sniper while hiding his profound hearing loss. Driven by an ensemble of deaf, hearing and hard-of-hearing actors and a dynamic Celtic score, witness how one man’s journey through war becomes all the more treacherous because he―and we―can’t hear what’s coming next.
Private Jones features book, music and lyrics by Marshall Pailet (Off-Broadway: Who’s YourBaghdaddy; New York Musical Festival: Claudio Quest). Pailet will also direct this production.
Private Gomer Jones will be played by Johnny Link (Off-Broadway: Baby; TV: My Life with the Walter Boys). Jack King will be played by Claire Neumann (Off-Broadway: Who’s Your Baghdaddy?, Triassic Parq). Gwenolyn/Evans will be played by Leanne Antonio (Broadway: The Lion King; Off-Broadway: Black No More). Edmund will be played by Vincent Kenpski.
The ensemble will feature David Aron Damane (Goodspeed: Show Boat; The Terris: Glimmerglass; Broadway: The Book of Mormon, Don’t Dress for Dinner), Alex De Bard, Brandon Espinoza (Broadway: SpongeBob SquarePants, Tuck Everlasting, Big; TV: Raising Kanan), Dickie Hearts (Off-Broadway: Dark Disabled Stories), Amelia Hensley (Broadway: Spring Awakening), George Psomas (Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific), Jon-Michael Reese (Broadway: A Strange Loop; Off-Broadway: White Girl in Danger), and Emily Steinhardt.
Choreography will be by Misha Shields (Off-Broadway: Baghdaddy). Music direction will be by Myrna Conn. Director of Artistic Sign Language will be Alexandria Wailes (Broadway: Children of a Lesser God, King Lear; Film: A Quiet Place, Wonderstruck, CODA). Scenic design will be by Christopher & Justin Swader. Costume design will be by Phương Nguyễn. Lighting design will be by Jen Schriever (The Terris: The Theory of Relativity, A Connecticut Christmas Carol; Broadway: A Strange Loop, Death of a Salesman, 1776). Sound design will be by Jay Hilton who has designed countless productions at both The Terris Theatre and The Goodspeed and serves as Goodspeed’s Audio Supervisor/Resident Sound Designer. Orchestrations will be by Ryan O’Connell (Off-Broadway: Ernest Shackleton Loves Me; New York Musical Festival: Claudio Quest). Puppets will be by Emmy-nominated puppet and theatrical designer Nicholas Mahon (2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony; Off-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors; TV: Sesame Street Television).
Mysti Stay will be the Production Stage Manager (The Terris: Cyrano, The Bikinis). Additional casting for this production is by JZ Casting.
In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, there will be ASL interpretation and Open Captioning for the following performances of Private Jones: Saturday, Oct. 14 at 2:00 p.m. (ASL), Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. (ASL), Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 2:00 p.m. (ASL) and Friday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. (Open Caption). For the ASL interpreted performances, there will be an ASL interpreter available preshow, during intermission and post show to answer questions and support deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons.
Private Jones will run October 13th – November 5th, 2023, at The Terris Theatre located at 33 North Main Street, Chester, Conn. [Official Press Opening: Nov. 1, 2023.] Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Single tickets are on sale now and start at $49. Tickets are available through the Goodspeed Box Office (860.873.8668), open weekdays at 10:00 a.m. and weekends at 11:00 a.m., or online at goodspeed.org. For show highlights, exclusive photos, special events and more, visit us at goodspeed.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Private Jones is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Terris Theatre is supported by The Norma Terris/Albert D. Firestone Foundation.
ABOUT GOODSPEED MUSICALS
Goodspeed Musicals has achieved international acclaim and is the first theatre in the nation to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in musical theatre. Under the leadership of Donna Lynn Hilton, Artistic Director and David B. Byrd, Managing Director, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the celebration, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed creates powerful, world-class productions of enlightening new and established works to delight, inspire and challenge audiences on its two stages – The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn., and The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. From Goodspeed, 21 musicals have gone to Broadway (including Man of La Mancha, Annie, Shenandoah and Holiday Inn) and 85 new musicals have been launched. Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals, GoodWorks commissioning program and the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove at Goodspeed are distinguished cornerstones of the organization that highlight its commitment to nurture creators and the creative process. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. The organization is supported in part by the Burry Fredrik Foundation; Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; CT Humanities; The Hoffman Auto Group; Masonicare; The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; The Shubert Foundation; and WSHU Public Radio. Additional support is provided by Sennheiser, the official audio sponsor; and United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals. For more information, visit www.goodspeed.org.