Water for Elephants, the world premiere musical running June 7 to July 9 at Alliance Theatre, is a circus-set spectacle involving puppetry, acrobatic stunts and an animal stampede onstage. Yet what drew some of the cast and creators to the story were the central themes of love and loss.
Jessica Stone, the musical’s director, who is also currently nominated for a Tony Award for directing Broadway’s Kimberly Akimbo, joined the project at its inception in 2018.
“I think it’s a really beautiful story,” Stone said of the adaptation of author Sara Gruen’s 2006 hit novel. “It’s almost a fable, this sort of memory play and this idea that you can take stock of a life lived.”
Actor Isabelle McCalla, who plays Marlena in the show, said in a conference call that Stone informed the entire cast on the first day of the initial workshop that the show would focus on emotion as much as dazzling sights.
“Jess, you said to us that even though our show takes place in a circus, it’s actually about what happens to people who lose everything,” McCalla said to Stone. “Who do you become? Who do you turn to? Because it’s set in the Depression era, I think it’s a very beautiful, complex story of these lost souls. They run away to join the circus.” … link to full length article at Arts ATL.
Do you have a story to share? Submit your news story, article or press release.