Big River (2003) Production Files

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Identifier: BIGRIVER2003
Inclusive Dates: 2003
Production Files documenting the 2003 production of Big River at the American Airlines Theatre, a co-production with Deaf West Theatre.  The production was adapted from the novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, with music and lyrics by Roger Miller and book by William Hauptman; with direction and choreography by Jeff Calhoun, set design by Ray Klausen, costume design by David R. Zyla, lighting design by Michael Gilliam, sound design by Peter Fitzgerald, music direction and special musical arrangments by Steven Landau, and music coordination by John Miller.

All members of the cast received equal billing, with Daniel Jenkins as Mark Twain/Voice of Huck, Tyrone Giordano as Huckleberry Finn, Michael McElroy as Jim, Michael Arden as Tom Sawyer/Ensemble, Gina Ferrall as Widow Douglas/Voice of Sally/Ensemble, Phyllis Frelich as Miss Watson/Sally/Ensemble, Melissa van der Schyff as Mary Jane Wilkes/Voice of Miss Watson/Voice of Joanna Wilkes/Ensemble, Scott Barnhardt as Ben Rogers/Andy/Ronald Robinson/Voice of Young Fool/Voice of Sheriff Bell/Ensemble, Rod Keller as Jo Harper/Lafe/Donald Robinson/Ensemble, Ryan Schlecht as Dick Simon/Hank/Young Fool/Sheriff Bell/Ensemble, Drew McVety as Judge Thatcher/Voice of Dick Simon/Harvey Wilkes/Voice of Hank/Second Man/Ensemble, Troy Kotsur as Pap/Duke/Silas/Ensemble, Lyle Kanouse as Pap/King/Voice of Silas/Ensemble, Alexandria Wailes as Joanna Wilkes/Ensemble, Walter Charles as Preacher/Doctor/Voice of Duke/Voice of First Man/Ensemble, Gwen Stewart as Alice/Voice of Alice's Daughter/Slave/Ensemble, Christina Ellison Dunams as Alice's Daughter/Slave/Ensemble, and Guthrie Nutter as First Man/Ensemble.  Many of the actors understudied various roles, with Catherine Brunell, David Aron Damane, and Kevin Massey also acting as understudies.

2004 Awards and Nominations:
Tony Award, Best Revival of a Musical (nominee)
Tony Award, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Michael McElroy (nominee)
Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre (winner)
Drama Desk, Outstanding Revival of a Musical (nominee)
Drama Desk, Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Tyrone Giordano (nominee)
Drama Desk, Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Michael McElroy (nominee)
Drama Desk, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Jeff Calhoun (nominee)
Big River is a musical based on Mark Twain's 1884 novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Roundabout's unusual revival of the show featured the Deaf West Theatre from Los Angeles; half of the cast was deaf or hearing impaired.  ASL (American Sign Language) was integral to and used throughout the production, with hearing actors learning the language in the course of rehearsals so they would be able to sign their performances alongside the deaf members of the cast; this was the first time anything like this had ever been attempted on Broadway, and the production was an acclaimed success.
Production Files span two Hollinger boxes encompassing 17 folders, a Playbill, many different versions of marketing flyers, and the cast/family photo.

Digital holdings on the Archive 1 server include the following folders:
Costume Design (Archive-scanned costume renderings and piece lists)
Education (Upstage study guide and transcripts of interviews with director Jeff Calhoun and designers Klausen and Gilliam)
Management Office Files (Contracts, budgets, and correspondence)
Media (Mp4 footage of a performance, mp3 files of interviews, sound files from the show and interviews, and B-roll footage)
Playbill (20 jpeg scans)
Press (Archive-scanned selects)
Production Documents (Script breakdowns, running sheets, forms, performance reports, etc)
Production Photographs (Captioned selects)
Show Art
Stage Manager Bible (Calendars, forms, budgets, rehearsal reports, etc.  Some files are copies of digital items in the Production Documents folder)

There is a related collection of marketing materials on the Marketing shelves.  Contracts and other confidential documents have been moved to the Contracts cabinets and access is restricted.  Additional copies of the cast/family photo are in the Photographs cabinet, and a hard copy of the poster for the production is on the Poster shelves.
Access Restrictions: Open and available to approved researchers by appointment only. See folder details for specific restrictions.
Preferred Citation: Big River 2003, Roundabout Theatre Company Archive
Related Staged Production

Big River