Broadway legends Michael Park and Shannon Lewis are leading the creative team for Shenandoah Conservatory’s upcoming production of “Tuck Everlasting.” Park, who serves as the guest director, originated the role of Angus Tuck in “Tuck Everlasting” on Broadway; and Lewis, the guest choreographer, is a 25-year Broadway veteran who appeared in the original Broadway cast of “Fosse.” The conservatory’s production of “Tuck Everlasting” runs Thursday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 26 in Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre.
“The last two weeks (of directing) have probably been as fulfilling as it was opening ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ on Broadway,” stated Park, who has been working with the cast in rehearsals approximately 20 hours per week since Jan. 23.
Lewis had five intensive, eight-hour days in January to choreograph the dance numbers and she will return for the final week of rehearsals.
The guest artists were enlisted by Coordinator of Recruitment, Musical Theatre; Charles B. Levitin Chair in Musical Theatre Director; Director of Musical Theatre; and Associate Professor of Theatre Kevin Covert, B.F.A. “I first met both Michael Park and Shannon Lewis when the three of us worked together on the Broadway revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Covert said. It was clear during that show that they would become lifelong friends and colleagues.
“When the show closed, I embarked upon a career in education while Shannon went on to pursue her ambitions as a choreographer and Michael concentrated on stage and film,” continued Covert.
In 2021, Covert mentioned during a casual conversation with Park that he was thinking of producing “Tuck Everlasting” at Shenandoah. Park immediately responded that he would love to direct it.
“I thought – what a WIN for our students and community and I immediately took him up on the offer,” said Covert. “Michael suggested that if we could snag Shannon to choreograph it would be ideal, even though her dance card fills up rather quickly. I reached out to Shannon and she enthusiastically accepted.”
“Michael and Shannon are both Broadway veterans with a wealth of knowledge to share with our students. The fact that our musical theatre students get to make these valuable industry connections is priceless. It has been a great pleasure to welcome them both to our campus. I would have them back anytime!”
About Michael Park
Michael Park made his Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center production of “Carousel.” He then went on to the original cast of the hit Broadway musical “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” followed by “Little Me,” starring Martin Short. Park then spent more than 15 years playing Jack on CBS’s “As the World Turns,” winning two Daytime Emmy Awards, before returning to Broadway as Mr. Bratt in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Next up was “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” starring Scarlett Johansson. He then originated the role of Angus Tuck in “Tuck Everlasting,” a show that is very dear to him, before originating the role of Larry Murphy in “Dear Evan Hansen.” He also starred in “Next to Normal” at the Kennedy Center with his Tony Award-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” co-star Rachel Bay Jones. Park most recently returned from the Dominican Republic, where shooting the Hulu limited series “Saint X,” which premieres April 26.
About Shannon Lewis
Shannon Lewis is a creative force who is passionate about her unique vision of telling stories through the collaborative process of theatre, television and film. As a performer, she has a 25-year Broadway legacy. Her blazing performance of “I Gotcha” in the Tony Award-winning original Broadway cast of “Fosse” solidified her iconic status in the dance and theatre worlds. She is proud to have performed in 10 Broadway blockbusters – favorites include co-starring alongside Christina Applegate as Ursula in “Sweet Charity” and playing Miss Krumholtz to Daniel Radcliffe, Darrien Criss and Nick Jonas in the revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
Now creating as a director and choreographer, Lewis recently choreographed digital and live performances for “The Tonight Show” Jimmy Fallon and “Saturday Night Live” on NBC.
She is the choreographer of the groundbreaking, world-premiere new musical “The Secret Silk” by Stephen Schwartz, John Tartaglia and Jim Henson Creature Shop, now playing around the world. Other director/choreographer favorites include “An American in Paris,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Mamma Mia!,” “The Prompter,” DreamWorks’ “Shrek the Halls” and the award-winning “Claudio Quest.”
Through her new production company Firestart Creative, she recently released the original dance short film sensations, “My Discarded Men Suite,” “Don’t Go” and “Sway,” which she conceived, produced, directed and choreographed.
Concert dance premiere commissions include Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Dance Out Loud, BC Beat, Bay Street Theatre Gala and I Heart Dance in NYC. Lewis is a reconstructeur and master educator for the Verdon/Fosse Legacy, an adjunct professor in the commercial dance B.F.A. program at Pace University in New York City and guest faculty/choreographer for CLI Conservatory. She is on faculty at world renowned studios STEPS on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center in New York City, where she teaches popular sold out professional classes.
Born in Toronto, Lewis is now a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, and is based in New York City. Follow @realshanlew on Instagram and visit shannonlewis.net for more information.
Tickets & Information
Shenandoah Conservatory’s production of “Tuck Everlasting” runs Thursday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 26, in Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre on the main campus of Shenandoah University. Tickets are $28 for general admission; $25 for senior citizens, Shenandoah University alumni and civil servants/veterans and $5 for students and youth. Tickets and information are available at the Shenandoah Conservatory Box Office at (540) 665-4569, located in the lobby of Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre and online at conservatoryperforms.org.