rachel chavkin

Rachel Chavkin
Chad Batka

Rachel Chavkin won the Tony Award for best direction of a musical last month for the Tony Award winning best new musical "Hadestown." Fresh from that win she's taking on her newest project, "Annie Salem: An American Tale," the first Musical Workshop production of the 2019 Powerhouse season presented by Vassar and New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie, New York. The workshop will have performances July 5-7.

Adapted from the novel by Mac Wellman, "Annie Salem" features a book by Chavkin, music by Heather Christian, and lyrics by Chavkin and Christian. The show is an otherworldly journey into the jagged heart of rust-belt Ohio, where blue monkeys play in the wreckage of post-industrial America, and where high school boy Jack Scan is in love with the prettiest girl in town. It is a timely adaptation of Mac Wellman’s wry, surrealist coming-of-age story that travels through time and space, to Mars and back again as it tries to make sense of the forces lurking in the American woods.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s second Main Stage production this year is the World Premiere Musical “Lempicka,” book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, music by Matt Gould, and directed by Rachel Chavkin.

Tamara de Lempicka, a Polish artist best known for her Art Deco paintings, was an active participant in the artistic and social life of Paris between the World Wars. She transformed herself from destitute refugee to a star of the art world. The musical explores the beauty and danger of one painter pursuing it all.

Sarah LaDuke spoke with Matt Gould and Rachel Chavkin in separate interviews that are both posted here.

Gould is the co-writer of "Invisible Thread" (Second Stage and The American Repertory Theater). He’s the recipient of the 2012 and 2014 Richard Rodgers Award, the Jonathan Larson Award and ASCAP’s Rodgers Award, Dean Kay, and Harold Adamson Awards.

Chavkin received Tony and Lortel nominations, and the Drama Desk, Elliot Norton and the prestigious Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards for her direction of "Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812" (Broadway, Ars Nova, Kazino, A.R.T.). Other select credits include "The Royale" (Old Globe, LCT- Obie Award, Lortel & Drama Desk Nomination), "Small Mouth Sounds" (Ars Nova, Nat’lTour), and "Hadestown" (New York Theatre Workshop). She is the Founding Artistic Director of The TEAM.