Shy Music, producers of Calling Us Home, are proud to announce that acclaimed American Director, Peter Flynn, has joined their Creative Team as Director of their original grand-scale musical opera, to prepare the show for international touring in 2023.
Peter will be travelling from his home in New York to Cape Town, to lead the Creative Team – which will be a hybrid of South African and American creatives – as rehearsals begin in Cape Town in January 2023.
A short season will be staged in Cape Town in February 2023 before the cast head out for the international tour. The Calling Us Home cast will be a fusion of local and international talent, with Shy Music intending to create as many opportunities for South African artists and talent as possible.
Peter Flynn fell in love with the music and libretto of Calling Us Home and shares his excitement for being part of the team in re-working and then staging of the musical, via this video link
Peter is a New York-based director, writer and teacher who works both in new work development, as well as staging classic American musicals in New York, and for some of the most notable regional theatres.
His New York directing credits include the off-Broadway premiere of Smart Blonde by Willy Holtzman starring Andréa Burns; the off-Broadway premiere of Curvy Widow by Bobby Goldman & Drew Brody; Rhapsody in Seth starring Seth Rudetsky; Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms; the 75th Anniversary performance of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with Adriane Lenox, B.D. Wong, S. Epatha Merkerson; On the 20th Century with Douglas Sills & Marin Mazzie; Chess with Josh Groban & Julia Murney; Funny Girl with Bebe Neuwirth, Whoopi Goldberg, & Andrea Martin; Skippyjon Jones, and Junie B. Jones (nominated for two Lucille Lortel Awards including Best Musical).
Shy Music will be holding virtual call auditions for South African artists commencing shortly. For those wishing to audition, information and audition requirements will be available on the Calling Us Home Website from Friday, October 29th, 2021.
Calling Us Home is a story of hope, a story of love and a story of home that ‘premiered’ in Johannesburg with a development run in 2017 and a further development run in Cape Town in 2018.
Composer, Lyricist, Writer, Arranger/Orchestrator Alice Gillham and the Shy Music Team have spent most of 2019 working on the show and establishing strong international relationships and Alice was, in fact, in Berlin in 2020 when Covid struck and the world came to a standstill.
Lockdown was devastating and challenging but Shy Music were determined to find the positive path forwards. They used the time to form new partnerships in the EU and USA and to explore new ways of creating experiences for their audiences in the ‘New-Normal’ Covid World.
In early 2021 Alice met Peter Flynn and began a cross-continental, virtual conversation with him. Since then Alice and Peter have been working together for several months – forming an exciting creative collaboration – combining their perspectives to create the most authentic version of the Calling Us Home Story.
Alice Gillham says; “Calling Us Home is a story set across two continents – that must be told from different perspectives- African perspectives, American perspectives, Human perspectives and exploring these has been a big part of our work. It is a story that needs to be authentically told from many different viewpoints – suddenly our village has become a global one!”
Of her and Peter’s collaboration Alice says; “Peter and I have been working together for several months already. He is truly wonderful to work with, with his phenomenal experience, insight and fresh and visionary approach. I am loving every minute of this journey together with him.”
Calling Us Home is an unforgettable, epic musical, fraught with danger, saved by love.
Follow leading lady Grace from her homeland across the sea, and into a land full of new adventures where she finds friendship, heartbreak and love.
Be moved by the soaring music, drums that pulse the heartbeat of a continent, and by an amazing journey that will sweep you from the plains of Africa, across the sea, to the icy North of an American city.
Calling Us Home is a story that tells of a great love, but it is also one that humbly yet firmly touches on some of humanity’s big issues, such as the plight of refugees, the many challenges women face and the need for greater empathy, understanding and care in an uncertain world.
As Calling Us Home heads into its final manifestation of itself, Alice Gillham concludes, “We pay tribute to our Originating Director Magdalene Minnaar. She brought unique insights, commitment, courage and a spirit of adventure and was a true creative partner without whom none of this would have been possible.”