"The Dream Engine," the controversial rock musical written by Jim Steinman '69 and directed by Barry Keating '69, as part of a joint Independent Study Project, will be presented in New York City this summer as part of The New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park at the Delacorte Theatre.
The production will be produced by Joseph Papp, the artistic and executive director of the Festival, head of the Public Theatre in New York, and the man who first brought the hit rock musical "Hair" to the American stage. At this stage, plans call for rehearsal for the last three weeks in August and then performances from September 1-5. Admission will be free, as it is for all the productions of the Shakespeare Festival, which has an incredibly huge, devoted following in New York. The other plays being presented this summer will be "Twelfth Night" and Ibsen's "Peer Gynt", which will mark the stage debut of singer Judy Collins.
Same Production As Here
The production of the "Dream Engine" will be pretty much the same one seen in Amherst and Holyoke the past two weekends. The Amherst cast will be kept for New York, Keating again will direct, and, hopefully, Sundance will perform the music. A few additions and replacements will be made for members of the "tribe" in the play, and tryouts for the New York production will be held shortly. However, the New York "Dream Engine" will be changed with rewriting, new music, and a great deal of work on changing and adding to the directing and production aspects of the show.
Possible College Tour
If the play is successful at Central Park, Papp hopes to continue the run, either at a major New York theatre during the year, or on a college tour.
For almost everyone in the cast, this will be the first major acting experience in an important professional center. Almost all of the "tribe" members had not acted previously to their experience with the play.
When "The Dream Engine" was presented at Amherst and Holyoke it caused a great deal of discussion. There was a threat of police action at Mt. Holyoke because of a complaint made about the nudity in the final scenes. Papp does not wish to censor any of the play, and therefore, quite a precedent will be set at the Delacorte Theatre. The Delacorte is a city-sponsored institution, located in a public park, which has previously only presented recognized classics.
If any police action occurs because of the language, inflammatory action, nudity, or sexual explicitness in the production, Papp is prepared to take it immediately from the park into another theatre to keep it going.
This is the first time any original work by an Amherst student has made this step to New York for a professional showcase so quickly. The complete production is being taken from Amherst, not just the script.
The play was an enormous box-office success in the four college area, selling out three performances at Kirby Theatre and two performances at Mt. Holyoke's 1000 seat Chapin Auditorium.Original publication scan