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American Music Theatre Project and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland premiere two new musicals at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Third annual partnership yields musical tales for a time of flux

Two new musical theater works devised by some of the most exciting creative voices in Scotland and the U.S. will premiere at the world’s largest arts festival when the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University team up for a third consecutive run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

“Limbo: City of Dreams,” (Aug. 1 - 23) is a modern myth with soaring pop-folk songs, while “Limbo: The Twelve,” (Aug. 2 - 24) is a timely tale of addiction and redemption. The one-hour shows will run in repertory at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, 3 Chambers Street in Edinburgh. Tickets and information for both productions are available on the American Music Theatre Project’s website.

Established in 2017, the transatlantic collaboration between Scotland’s national conservatoire and Northwestern’s School of Communication provides theater artists-in-training an exclusive opportunity to be at the center of one of the world’s most famous festivals.  

Jane Hensey, head of the Master’s in Musical Theater program at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “This special partnership between the Royal Conservatoire and the American Music Theatre Project brings brand new musical theatre to an international audience in Edinburgh.”

“‘Limbo: City of Dreams’ and ‘Limbo: The Twelve’ are exciting and thought-provoking ensemble works that showcase the exceptional talents of both sets of students,” Hensey said.

Brannon Bowers, producing director of the American Music Theatre Project, said: “The partnership is an exciting opportunity for the students to be a part of developing new work.”

“The collaboration between the students and the U.S. and U.K. writing teams is a rich and beneficial learning experience, and we’re looking forward to seeing what year three brings,” Bowers said.

About the shows:

Limbo: City of Dreams” is a modern myth for our times with a soaring pop-folk score. The gift of imagination has been extinct in the Great Stone City for a thousand years. When Imogen discovers a secret community keeping the gift alive, she takes it upon herself to restore imagination to her own people, but her actions come at a cost. ‘City of Dreams’ is devised by the Off-West End Theatre Award-nominated team of Finn Anderson and Tania Azevedo.

Finn Anderson, writer and composer of “City of Dreams,” said, “This piece is fantastical in its storytelling style but also rooted in modern day in terms of the language the characters use and the musical influences we’re exploring, including choral harmony and beatboxing.”

Limbo: The Twelve” tells the tale of Tess Butler, who after a lifetime of battling addiction, is dead. Well, almost. Her fate lies with a jury of 12 people from her past. During her life, Tess lied and broke her promises, but she also was courageous, compassionate and kind. The 12 fight, plead and argue with each other until only one question remains: How many chances do we get? “The Twelve” is devised by the critically acclaimed American writing team of Casey Kendall and Jonathan Bauerfeld.

“‘The Twelve’ focuses on the opioid crisis in America. The piece is funny and emotional, and while rooted in America, it has universal points to make about what it is to be human,” said Ryan Cunningham, associate artistic director of AMTP and director of “The Twelve.”

“Both productions are about living in a state of flux. It seems that as a global community, we are experiencing a state of in-between that is making everybody anxious on all sides of the political spectrum. The shows explore how you find your way out of something that seems difficult or unsettling,” Cunningham said.

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