The Night Falls is a new dance-driven blend of dance, opera, and musical theater choreographed and directed by Troy Schumacher (NYC Ballet), with book and lyrics by Karen Russell (Swamplandia!), music and lyrics by Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin), and set design by Jason Ardizzone-West (Jesus Christ Superstar NBC).
At times of great crisis, the Sirens emerge from the depths. They sing to the lonely, the desperate, the lost. Isolated people across America begin to hear a dangerously beautiful music in their sleep—a song that spirals toward oblivion. Its shattering pitch sends their souls into exile, dividing the part of them that wants to live from the part that longs to fall.
Our three haunted principals—George, Felisberto, and Angela—begin to suspect that the Sirens are summoning them to a Floridian tourist trap called "The Night Falls": a derelict campground and watery grotto, home of "the world's eeriest echoes." Once there, each discovers they are not alone—and that they have so much more than a nightmare in common.
Odysseus, in the original myth, withstood the Sirens' cries by lashing himself to his mast. In our story, these broken people tether themselves to one another. The Night Falls is an evening-length multi-genre piece that blends opera, dance, and theater together to tell a new myth for our fractured era. It asks if art and community can successfully combat nihilism and despair—and if humble humans can brace themselves against the song of the Sirens.
Staged for 9 dancers, 9 singers, and musical ensemble, The Night Falls will run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
The Night Falls was developed during a Project Springboard: Developing Dance Musicals 2018 residency.
A Short Film About The Night Falls
About The Creative Team
Karen Russell (book/lyrics) A native of Miami, Russell won the 2012 and the 2018 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia!, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. She is a graduate of the Columbia MFA program, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2012 Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and was a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2013. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, The New York Times, and the Best American Short Stories anthologies, and honored by the National Book Award's 5 under 35 program and the New Yorker's 20 under 40" issue. Russell is also the author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories, and Sleep Donation: A Novella, and the forthcoming story collection Orange World. She lives with her husband and son in Portland, Oregon.
Troy Schumacher (director/choreographer) is an American choreographer, dancer, and director living in New York, NY. His athletic aesthetic draws upon the artists he collaborates with to produce fresh, unexpected results. He is a soloist dancer with New York City Ballet and the founder of BalletCollective, an arts collective driven toward creating new ballet-based works that has been moving ballet forward since its inception in 2010. His work has been presented by New York City Ballet, Performa, Danspace Project, Guggenheim Works & Process, the Joyce Theater, the Savannah Music Festival, and NYU Skirball Center. He has collaborated with many artists including Jeff Koons, Thom Browne, Ken Liu, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, Maddie Ziegler, and David Salle. In addition to live performances, Schumacher has choreographed numerous art, fashion and commercial shoots, including works for Google, Sony PlayStation, Capezio, HP, Aritzia, CR Fashion Book, Tom Ford, and The New York Times.
JASON ARDIZZONE-WEST is an Emmy award winning New York based set designer. Recent projects include JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (NBC), LANA DEL REY (Arena Tour), UNCLE VANYA (Old Globe / Hunter Theater Project), THE ROYALE (Cleveland Playhouse), CIRCUS - WANDERING CITY, ETHEL STRING QUARTET (Asolo Theatre / tour), NEXT TO NORMAL & CAROLINE, OR CHANGE (Tantrum Theatre), ONE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND ONE DAY (Prospect Theatre), ILLYRIA & THE GABRIELS: ELECTION YEAR IN THE LIFE OF ONE FAMILY (The Public Theater, w/ Susan Hilferty), BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (National Tour, NETworks Presentations), ADELE LIVE IN NYC (Radio City Music Hall, with Es Devlin).
Ellis Ludwig-Leone (music/lyrics) is the songwriter and bandleader for San Fermin, which has released three albums on Downtown/Interscope Records and has toured extensively, with appearances on Last Call with Carson Daly, CBS This Morning, and Canal + Music. The band has received critical praise from the likes of NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and more. He has composed for a wide variety of ensembles and soloists, including ACME, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, The Crossing, Decoda, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Lavinia Meijer, Het Gelders Orkest, NOW Ensemble, and Simone Dinnerstein. He was named the 2015 Composer-In-Residence for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and is a recipient of residencies from The MacDowell Colony and Banff Centre for the Arts. His work with Troy Schumacher has been premiered by the New York City Ballet. Current projects include a new musical commissioned by the American Repertory Theatre, directed by Diane Paulus.