Musings Backstage and Onstage Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George


For their first ever musical production, Austin Shakespeare is proud to present on a Central Texas stage for the very first time Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday In The Park With George.  

Sip cast picThis wonderfully staged concert performance will be brought to life by 14 singing actors and feature costumes, a full orchestra and animated visual projections by Austin designer Jeff Kurihara.  This amazing musical also features  the return of award-winning Light Designer Jason Amato and Production Stage Manager Shannon Richey!


In collaboration with the Armstrong Community Music School, and through the generosity of special funding, this professional production, will bring Stephen Sondheim’s beautiful music and witty lyrics to a wide range of local area students.


We asked the cast & crew to give us their thoughts on the production, here’s what they said:

Kara Bliss who plays George’s love, Dot: “I love the feeling of chaos melting into harmony, in the literal sense within the music, but also emotionally, physically, spiritually … It’s all in there!”

Linda Nenno who plays George’s Mother:  “Spending this time with Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George has given my heart new melodies to help me hold the questions of my soul.”

Micah Bond’s favorite lyrics as the Boatman: “Over privileged women complaining, silly little simpering shopgirls, condescending artists observing, perceiving…”  AND “I’d take my old dog for company any day!” That one’s pretty good too.

Music Director, Austin Haller: “Sondheim says he has cried at one moment of each of his shows. I’ve already exceeded that number while hearing this cast’s gorgeous singing.”

Sarah Becker, dramaturg: “Sondheim’s extensive body of work has defined contemporary musical theater. His prolific work includes Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Company, and Assassins. Sondheim’s music and lyrics are grounded with an emotional authenticity never before realized on stage. His characteristic style and constant element of surprise directly informs his characters’ emotional arcs throughout the course of a play. Just as George, mysteriously portrays the subjects of his painting in Sunday, Sondheim illuminates the inner lives of his characters through reflective musical and lyrical storytelling.”

Artistic Director, Ann Ciccolella “Seeing my first Sondheim show, A Little Night Music made me understand that a musical could be powerful theater, not just fluffy entertainment.  Austin Shakespeare’s mission is to “celebrate the best within us” and that is reflected in George’s passion for artistic expression.”

Bio: The painter Georges Seurat (1859-1891) is largely known as the father of the Neo-Impressionist movement. Seurat was fascinated with color, light, and their relationship to musical harmony. Over a two year period 1884-6, he often traveled by ferry to the island of La Grande Jatte, a park just outside of Paris that catered to the city’s middle class. It was there that was inspired to create his most celebrated work, A Sunday Afternoon of the Island of la Grande Jatte. In it Seurat used tiny dots or comma-like brush strokes in close proximity. Sunday still hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alex Alford, Austin Shakespeare/s Managing Director: “We are proud to bring back to the Rollins theater two of our long-time staff: Shannon Richey as production stage manager (Shannon is now teaching Stage Management full time at Texas State) and award winning Light Designer Jason Amato (who is now residing in Norfolk, Virginia).”

Sunday in the Park with George runs in the Rollins Studio Theatre September 24-27. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased hereFree Pre-show talks on Fri. 6:30 pm Sept. 25 and 1:30 pm Sept. 26 by Dr. Joshua Miller “A Walk Through the Park: a dramatic and musical look inside the show” for ticket holders.

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