Last chance to see new musical "Not Wanted on the Voyage"


Not Wanted on the Voyage

…an epic new musical.


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Not Wanted on the Voyage is a provocative new musical about an ordinary family faced with extraordinary circumstances.  Secrets lie just beneath the surface in this darkly funny, modern re-imagining of the Great Flood – the first time the world ended.  Broadway writers Neil Bartram and Brian Hill have teamed up with award-winning director Amanda Dehnert to create an epic production, complete with rain, fire, magic and a soaring, eclectic score.  Here’s just a taste:

Produced by the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University’s Ethel M. Barber Theatre, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston (map)



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The production needs to invent a fantastical, timeless world in which this modern story can take place,” says award-winning director, Amanda Dehnert.  “Illusion and spectacle create moments of surprise and connection for the audience, and they allow us to realize the more epic moments of the family’s voyage in thrilling, visually innovative ways. 

Illusion consultants Jim Steinmeyer and Jeff Grow advised on the design of magic elements performed by actor Andrew Howard who plays family patriarch and self-proclaimed amateur magician, Dr. Noyes.  Steinmeyer, the acclaimed illusion designer who developed the concept behind David Copperfield’s landmark illusion in which he made the Statue of Liberty disappear, has long-advised Dehnert on the use of magic in her theatrical productions.  New York-based magician Jeff Grow, traveled to Chicago to teach Howard how to perform an elaborate magic act within the show. 

Working with Jeff was thrilling,” says Howard, a recently graduated senior at Northwestern.  “The technical skill that goes into even the simplest tricks was surprising, exciting and incredibly challenging.  But now I can produce a light bulb out of thin air, and you can bet I’ll be using that at parties. 

The illusion design elements combine with a revolving platform stage amidst projections, soaring vocals, and stunning backdrops. The production makes use of onstage rain and fire, and Eugene Lee’s barn wood set sits in a moat of water.   

The production is epic” says AMTP producing director, Heather Schmucker.  “We make it rain in the theatre, we burn down a barn, and we have a magic show within the show. Not to mention the age-old theatre saying, ‘Never work with animals or children.’ We’ve got both.” 





Productions Personnel


Music & Lyrics: Neil Bartram
Book: Brian Hill
Based on the novel by Timothy Findley 
Director: Amanda Dehnert

The design team includes Chicago favorites Josh Horvath (sound), Melissa Torchia (costumes), Lee Fiskness (lights) and Mike Tutaj (projections).  They join creative team members who include Harlem-based movement artist, Maija Garcia (Broadway’s “Fela!); Broadway music director, David Holcenberg; and orchestrator Christopher Jahnke (“The Toxic Avenger” and Broadway’s Legally Blonde the Musical”) 

Writers Bartram and Hill will be in residence throughout the August 8 run of the show, continuing to work with Dehnert and the cast to make script changes to the piece.  AMTP’s development process affords writers the opportunity to continue to rehearse and develop the piece for the duration of its performance run. 

More info

MORE INFO: Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays (with the exception of a Saturday, Aug. 7 performance that will be held at 2 p.m.) and at 2 p.m. Sundays, from July 16 through Aug. 8, in the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus.   Tickets for performances now through August 8 are $30 for the general public; $27 for seniors 65 and older. Tickets may be purchased through the Box Office at 847-491-7282 or at

About the American Music Theatre Project 

The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) brings together the nation’s leading artists in music theatre to work in collaboration with Northwestern’s faculty and students. Since its inception, AMTP has been committed to the development and production of new musicals by leading professional artists. The program’s partnership with Northwestern University provides a rich, safe and multidisciplinary environment for new works to thrive. The program’s collaboration with professional artists affords unparalleled opportunities for Northwestern’s students and faculty to be intimately involved in the creation of new work. This commitment was part of the original vision of AMTP’s founders, Stuart Oken and Dominic Missimi, who conceived the program as both a haven for professional creative teams looking for space, time and resources to develop adventurous new work, and as a vibrant arena for education and academic engagement. 


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