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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Mowbray

Sundown Town

Through the summer of 2018 I workshopped and directed Sundown Town as part of Goldsmith's MA Musical Theatre course. The production took place at the Tristan Bates Theatre 12th - 15th September 2018 as part of Mélange: The New Musical Theatre Festival. 

Sundown Town is an original musical, written by Adam Wachter and directed by Benjamin Mowbray.

The story is based on true events from 1951, SUNDOWN TOWN is the story of one of many towns in the United States where black workers were welcome during the day, but had better be out by sundown, lest they risk arrest, beatings, or worse. In the musical, Harvey Clark, a bus driver, and his wife Johnetta are living with their two small children in a one-room apartment in the black ghetto of Chicago. That summer, Johnetta starts work as a cleaning woman in an apartment building in the all-white suburb of Cicero. The landlord of the building is an eccentric middle-aged Italian-American woman named Camille De Rose. Camille soon ingratiates herself into Johnetta’s black Chicago life, eventually starting a forbidden affair with an African-American attorney. Her new environment and social circle inspire Camille to action, and she invites the Clarks to move in to a vacant apartment in her building, causing a week-long race riot that destroys her building and opens her narrow world-view. She finally realises just how much social action must be taken to offset the injustice running rampant in the country, but she wonders if she is willing to take on the responsibilities of that action.

Book, Music and Lyrics by Adam Wachter

Directed by Benjamin Mowbray

Musical Director - Jonathan Lee

Choreographer - Adriani Themistocleous

Designer - Rachel Elfassy-Bitoun

Assistant Director - Daniela Stirbulov

The cast included: Eboni Dixon, Candice Palladino, Rushand Chambers, Miguel Pina and Dominic Weatherill.

Musicians: Ben Jones and Valerio La Piana

Produced by Marsha Ventimiglia and Dimitra Glyky

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