WATER FOR ELEPHANTS to open at Broadway's Imperial Theatre

September 12, 2023

Water for Elephants Broadway Musical Show Tickets and Group Sales DiscountsANNOUNCING THE BROADWAY PREMIERE OF THE NEW MUSICAL






(New York, New York) — Producers Peter Schneider, Jennifer Costello, Grove Entertainment, Frank Marshall, Isaac Robert Hurwitz, and Seth A. Goldstein are proud to announce that the Broadway premiere of the new musical WATER FOR ELEPHANTS will begin previews on Saturday, February 24, 2024, and open Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). WATER FOR ELEPHANTS has a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher), a soaring score by the acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. (The Tale of Despereaux), is based on the critically acclaimed and New York Times Bestselling novel by Sara Gruen and is directed by Tony Award nominee Jessica Stone (Kimberly Akimbo). WATER FOR ELEPHANTS unites innovative stagecraft with the very best of Broadway talent in an authentic and deeply moving new musical that invites us all to give ourselves to the unknown. Broadway casting to be announced soon.

“What excites me most about WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is working with our enormous design and creative team, an incredible group of artists from different avenues of storytelling. From Broadway veterans to puppeteers to circus artists- we have an eclectic collection of internationally acclaimed and innovative creators,” said director Jessica Stone. “What’s amazing about the culture of the circus is that you’re dependent upon one another to do a trick safely, so as a team we really all must lean on one another. If we do our jobs well and connect with our audience we will, quite literally, get the story off the page and into the air.”

After losing what matters most, a young man jumps a moving train unsure of where the road will take him and finds a new home with the remarkable crew of a traveling circus, and a life—and love—beyond his wildest dreams. Seen through the eyes of his older self, his adventure becomes a poignant reminder that if you choose the ride, life can begin again at any age.

Tickets for WATER FOR ELEPHANTS go on sale Wednesday, September 13 at 9am at Telecharge.com (212.239.6200) and range from $59 - $199 (including $2 facility fee). The playing schedule for WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is as follows: Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Please Note: There will be no matinee performance Saturday, February 24, Wednesday, February 28, and Wednesday, March 6, and no evening performance Tuesday, February 27. Beginning Friday, March 22, the playing schedule will be as follows: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 8pm, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. For groups of 10 or more, visit Broadway Inbound (212.302.0995).

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS features circus design by Shana Carroll (The 7 Fingers), choreography by Jesse Robb (Miss Saigon) and Shana Carroll, scenic design by Drama Desk Award winner Takeshi Kata (Clyde’s), costume design by David Israel Reynoso (Sleep No More), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Bradley King (Hadestown), sound design by Tony Award nominee Walter Trarbach (Spongebob Squarepants), projections by David Bengali (The Thanksgiving Play), hair & makeup design by Campbell Young Associates (A Beautiful Noise), puppetry design by Camille Labarre (Into the Woods), music supervision and arrangements by Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Some Like It Hot) and Benedict Braxton-Smith (Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls), orchestrations by Tony Award winner Daryl Waters (New York, New York), production stage management by Timothy R. Semon (Company), and casting by Tara Rubin Casting.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS had its world premiere in Atlanta on The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre, running from June 7, 2023 through July 9, 2023. The critically acclaimed production had The Atlanta Journal-Constitution raving, “WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is a triumph! Truly dazzles.”


JESSICA STONE (Director). Most recently, Stone was nominated for a Tony Award for directing the original Broadway musical Kimberly Akimbo, which won 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Stone worked as an actress on and off- Broadway, in television and in film for decades before transitioning to directing. Broadway credits included Anything Goes, Butley, The Odd Couple, The Smell of the Kill, Design for Living, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Grease. Her directing career began in earnest with her all-male 2010 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She has since been directing all over the country at such theaters as The Old Globe, A.C.T, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Two River Theatre Company, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival among others. Productions include As You Like It, Kate Hamill’s Vanity Fair, Barefoot in the Park, Dancing at Lughnasa, Bad Dates, Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood! (World premiere), Ripcord, Bad Jews, Arms and the Man, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Charlotte’s Web, June Moon, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Absurd Person Singular, and Kimberly Akimbo (off-Broadway premiere at the Atlantic). She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.

RICK ELICE (Book) On Broadway: Jersey Boys (Best Musical, 2006 Tony Award, 2007 Grammy Award and 2009 Olivier Award); The Addams Family; Peter and the Starcatcher (winner of five 2012 Tony Awards); and The Cher Show (currently on tour in the UK). In the pipeline: The Princess Bride and Smash, co-written with Bob Martin; Silver Linings Playbook, a musical adaptation of the popular film; The Marvels, a musical adaptation of the popular novel. In London, Rick’s new play, Doubting Tom, and an original musical, Treasure, written with 2021 Ed Kleban Award-winner Benjamin Scheuer, are slated for 2024. From 1982-1999, as creative director at Serino Coyne Inc, Rick created and produced ad campaigns for more than 300 Broadway shows, from A Chorus Line to The Lion King. From 1999-2009, he served as creative consultant for The Walt Disney Studio. Charter member, American Repertory Theatre. Trustee, The Actors’ Fund. BA, Cornell University; MFA, Yale Drama School; Teaching Fellow, Harvard University. Rick’s book, Finding Roger, An Improbably Theatrical Love Story, a tribute to his extraordinary husband, the late Roger Rees, is published by Kingswell.

PIGPEN THEATRE CO (Music & Lyrics) began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since performed, produced, and licensed their original plays in New York City and all over the world — earning them critic’s picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, and many more, ranking them in the top ten theatrical events of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. They were the first group to win the NYC Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years in a row (2010/11) and have gone on to win IRNE (2012, 2015) and Jeff Awards (2014) for their theatrical productions. In 2016, Sir Trevor Nunn invited PigPen to be a part of his first American acting company for a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles. PigPen’s debut album, “Bremen,” was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy preview sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, “The Way I’m Running,” in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, “Whole Sun,” performed at Mumford & Sons’ return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep. In 2018, PigPen announced that they are creating two stage musicals based on beloved novels: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (in partnership with Universal Theatrical Group) and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (in collaboration with Rick Elice). The Tale of Despereaux world premiered at The Old Globe in the summer of 2019 and transferred to Berkeley Repertory Theatre to close out the year. 2021 saw PigPen premiere their interactive theatrical experience, The Phantom Folktales, aboard Richard Branson’s groundbreaking cruise line, Virgin Voyages. That summer also marked the beginning of their three-year residency as artists and curators at New York City’s newest and most unique public park: Little Island.

JESSE ROBB (Co-Choreographer) hails from Canada with a wide resume covering a variety of work across Cirque Du Soleil, Disney, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd., Mirvish Productions, Momix, Prime Video, Opera Philadelphia, RWS Entertainment Group, and Turner Classic Movies. On Broadway, Jesse was the associate choreographer to Bob Avian for the Tony nominated revival of Miss Saigon and staged the subsequent North American tour and Austrian companies. Jesse is also the Associate Musical Stager for the North American tour of Les Misérables and will stage the upcoming South Korean production. His work has been produced regionally at Theatre Calgary, Ogunquit Playhouse, The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Ordway, Cape Playhouse, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival among others. His production of Spamalot is currently running through November 2023 at The Stratford Festival of Canada. Jesse is thrilled to help bring Water for Elephants to life. Many thanks to his parents, Les and Roberta Robb, for their unwavering support.

SHANA CARROLL (Co-Choreographer/Circus Design) is Co-Founding Artistic Director of the Montreal based circus company The 7 Fingers. Since its founding in 2002, Carroll has written, directed and choreographed 12 of their touring and/or resident shows, 3 of which (Passengers, Duel Reality, Dear San Francisco) are currently running, and which also includes Sequence 8 at NY City Center and Traces off-Broadway run at Union Square Theatre. Carroll received a Drama Desk Nomination for Choreography and Best Theatrical Experience for their show Traces. Outside The 7 Fingers, Carroll directed Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever ice show Crystal, in addition to their performance at the Academy Awards in 2012. Also, for Cirque du Soleil, Carroll was circus choreographer and designer for their shows Iris (Los Angeles) and Paramour (Broadway). Other credits include: Queen of the Night (Drama Desk Recipient); Soul of the Ocean (Moment Factory); Cité Mémoire (Lemieux-Pilon); and the Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies (medieval segment). Prior to directing and choreography, Carroll was herself a trapeze artist, performing for over 20 years in the air with circuses and dance companies around the world, most notably as the original solo trapeze artist for Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco. She also appeared in Cirque du Soleil produced television and film. Now based in Montreal, where she relocated in 1991 to attend l’École Nationale de Cirque, Carroll is originally from Berkeley, California. In 2023, Carroll was inducted into the Ordre of Arts and Letters of Quebec, a distinction honoring those who have contributed to artistic and cultural development in the province of Quebec.

TAKESHI KATA (Scenic Design) is a theatrical set designer based in Los Angeles, CA. He has worked on over 200 productions of plays, musicals, opera, and dance across the country and abroad. Recent Projects include A Prayer for the French Republic  (MTC), Until  the  Flood (FIND  festival,  Shaubühne,  Berlin), Clyde’s (Helen  Hayes), Derren  Brown’s Secret (Cort), Bug (Steppenwolf), Angels in America (Berkeley Rep), and Cambodian Rock Band. Kata is the recipient of the 2022 Michael Merrit Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration, and has received Drama Desk, Obie, and Jeff Awards. He is an Associate Professor at University of Southern California, School of Dramatic Arts, where he currently serves as Chair of Design.

DAVID ISRAEL REYNOSO (Costume Design) he/him, is an internationally renowned, scenic / costume / exhibit designer and the founder of OPTIKA MODERNA. Mr. Reynoso is the Obie Award–winning costume designer of Punchdrunk's Sleep No More (Boston, NY and Shanghai) and The Burnt City (London); Some of his celebrated theatrical designs include: The Wanderers, starring Katie Holmes (Roundabout Theatre), Into the Woods (Signature Theatre - Helen Hayes nomination); Jekyll & Hyde (Finnish National Ballet); to the yellow house, Queens, Tiger Style! Healing Wars, The Darrell Hammond Project (La Jolla Playhouse); Hair, El Borracho, Red Velvet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Barefoot in the Park, Time and the Conways, Arms and the Man (The Old Globe), Ghosts, In the Heights (Seattle Repertory Theater), Sanctuary City (Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage). Other: Alliance Theatre, American Repertory Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Two River Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse and more. He is the creator/director of La Lucha, Teatro Piñata, Portaleza, Las Quinceañeras, and Waking La Llorona; Other work includes designs for Meow Wolf, Museum of Us, New Children's Museum, and globally recognized theme parks. www.davidreynoso.com

BRADLEY KING (Lighting Design) is a parent, proud union member, and lighting designer based in NYC. Broadway: Fat Ham (Tony nominee), Hadestown (Tony, Drama Desk winner), The Great Comet (Tony, Drama Desk winner), Flying Over Sunset (Tony nominee), Bernhardt/Hamlet. Recent Off Broadway: Endlings (NYTW), Evita (City Center Encores), Alice by Heart (MCC), Apologia, The Last Match (Roundabout), The Treasurer (Playwrights Horizons), shows for Atlantic Theater Company, LAByrinth, The Kitchen, Signature Theater, the Vineyard, CSC, and many others. Regional: The Alley, ART, The Guthrie, Long Wharf, The McCarter, The Old Globe, TUTS, Yale Rep, and many others. International: UK, Canada, China. Two-time Tony, Drama Desk, and OCC Award winner; three-time Lortel nominee. MFA, NYU. USA829 member. On the web at www.bradleykingld.com / @bradleykingld

WALTER TRARBACH (Sound Designer) Credits Include: SpongeBob SquarePants (Tony Nomination), The Farnsworth Invention, Cymbeline, Real Women Have Curves, The Harder They Come, Dave, Queen of the Mist, and Almost Maine. Co-Sound Designs credits include: Ain’t Too Proud, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and Doctor Zhivago. Regional Credits include: La Jolla Playhouse, American Repertory Theater, Huntington Theater Company, The Fifth Avenue, Williamstown Theater Festival, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company, George Street Playhouse, Bay Street Theater. Walter is married to photographer Kimberly Witham.

DAVID BENGALI (Projection Design) Broadway: The Thanksgiving Play, 1776. Off-Broadway including: Twilight: LA 1992 (Signature - Henry Hewes Award, Drama Desk Nom.); Monsoon Wedding (Saint Anns Warehouse); Anthony Rapp’s Without You (New World Stages); The Visitor (The Public Theater - Lortel Nom.); Circle Jerk (Fake Friends - Obie Award, Drama League Nom.); Einstein’s Dreams (Prospect/59E59 - Drama Desk Nom.); Van Gogh’s Ear (ERC - Drama Desk Nom.); The Great Leap (Atlantic); Here There Are Blueberries (NYTW / Tectonic Theater Project); Regional including: La Jolla Playhouse, A.R.T., Yale Rep, Dallas Theater Center, Alliance; National Tours of: Peter Pan; 1776; Rockin’ Road To Dublin.

CAMPBELL YOUNG ASSOCIATES (Hair & Makeup Design) Select Credits: Broadway: The Shark is Broken, Funny Girl, The Music Man, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, Bad Cinderella, Almost Famous, Les Misérables, Hello, Dolly!. Broadway/West End: Back to the Future, Leopoldstadt, To Kill a Mockingbird, Company, Girl from the North Country, A Christmas Carol, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (Drama Desk Design Award), The Ferryman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Groundhog Day, Matilda, Ghost, Billy Elliot. West End: Get Up Stand Up!, The Prince of Egypt. Film/TV: “Only Murders in the Building,” “The Gilded Age,” “The Politician,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “The Leftovers,” “Smash,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Downton Abbey,” “Doctor Who,” “Will and Grace,” and Dirty Dancing. www.cyassocs.com

CAMILLE LABARRE (Puppet Design) is Founder and Creative Director of LAB LAB, a puppet and prop shop in NYC. Broadway: The Skin of Our Teeth, Into the Woods (Assistant Puppet Designer / Builder). Selected Off-Broadway: Encores! At NYC Center - Into the Woods (Assistant Puppet Designer / Builder). Regional: Alliance Theater. Selected TV: Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock (Puppet / Prop Builder). Selected Ads: Amazon Prime Day, Honda Holiday, Dunkin’ x NHL, Hershey’s (Puppet / Prop Builder). Selected Live Events: Thom Browne SS 2022 - New York Fashion Week (Puppet Builder)

MARY-MITCHELL CAMPBELL (Co-Music Supervisor/Co-Arranger) Broadway: Some Like It Hot, Mean Girls, The Prom, Finding Neverland, Big Fish, Company, Sweeney Todd, Tuck Everlasting, The Addams Family. Drama Desk Award for Best Orchestrations for Company. Music director for City Center Encores! She is the founder of ArtsIgnite (artsignite.org) which helps young people develop agency through the arts and is passionate about arts education and equality in the arts. She is also a founding member of MUSE (museonline.org) and MAESTRA (maestramusic.org) and loves seeing more inclusivity in orchestras.

BENEDICT BRAXTON-SMITH (Co-Music Supervisor/Co-Arranger) is an Australian-made Music Director, Orchestrator, and Composer (among other things). Broadway/NYC: For The Girls, My Golden Age (Jessica Vosk at Carnegie Hall), Cyrano, Kristin Chenoweth’s Christmas At The MET. Touring: Mean Girls First National. TV/Streaming: “Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020” (HBOmax), “Stars on Stage: Gavin Creel” (PBS), “Take Me To The World: Sondheim’s 90th Birthday Celebration”. Albums: “Wake Me When We Get There” (Big Sky City Lights), “A Very Coco Christmas” (Jessica Vosk). Benedict is an NYU Tisch GMTWP Graduate, and a proud immigrant. Wouldn’t be here without Mum, UP&AG, Erin, and Austin. www.benedictbraxtonsmith.com.

DARYL WATERS (Orchestrations) received the Tony and Drama Desk Orchestration awards for Memphis. Other Broadway credits include New York, New York (Tony nomination for Best Orchestrations); Music Supervision/ Orchestrations/ Arrangements for The Cher Show (Drama Desk nomination for Best Orchestrations): Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (Tony nomination for Best Orchestrations); Holler If Ya Hear Me; Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; and Street Corner Symphony. He was the Music Supervisor and Conductor for After Midnight and Dance Music Arranger for The Color Purple and Jelly’s Last Jam. His composing credits include Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk (Tony nomination for Best Original Score) and Drowning Crow. Mr. Waters is a graduate of Livingstone College, a Historically Black College in Salisbury, NC, and a proud founding member of MUSE (Musicians United for Social Equity), an organization that promotes diversity in the music departments of theatrical productions.


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