In doing so, Throckmorton Artistic Director Lucy Mercer and theatre and education directors Amy Marie Haven and Reba Gilbert have assembled a team of Bay Area stalwarts to lead the musical, which is set in the largely Hispanic neighborhood of New York City’s Washington Heights, exploring three days in the characters’ lives, with a dazzling score that features hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music.
San Rafael High alum Kevin Allen is making his directorial debut with In the Heights. He’s joined by choreographer Stacey Printz, whose dance company has performed in San Francisco, across the U.S. and internationally for the past 17 years, while she’s also taught locally for A.C.T.’s MFA program, at Alonzo King’s LINES Dance Center and at Roco Dance in Tam Valley. For the music, Allen and Printz will lean on bassist and composer Curtis Aikens, who directs for YES, a youth arts organization and plays with his band Suenos.
In a letter Allen sent to the cast on day one as a reference point for his creative process, “To loosely quote Mr. Lin-Manuel Miranda: ‘Who lives, who dies, who tells our stories?’ I believe each one of our actors and artists working on this show have a unique story that only they can tell on stage as a part of this production.”
“While this show has a good deal of well-known lead characters, I want to stress this is an ensemble focused and dance-heavy show,” Allen continues. “Everyone will be working together as a team to create the world of Washington Heights. This is an amazing show that I believe will link communities, cultures, generations, families and friends together. I cannot wait to embark on this journey together!”
“I am so excited that we had more 90 people audition for this show and we have a primarily Latino cast,” says. Amy Marie Haven “The cast we’ve assembled is incredibly diverse in background, age and experience level; our actors age range from 9-24 and 90 percent of our leads identify as people of color.”
Here’s the trailer from Lin-Manual Miranda’s In the Heights on Broadway in 2008: