At the 2017 Samuel French Awards, composer-lyricists Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen received The Next Step Award, and the two are ready to do just that.
After making their Broadway debuts with 2016’s Tuck Everlasting, the team is working on a new project, commissioned by Playwrights Horizons. Miller and Tysen developed material for the new musical, Eric Hermannson’s Soul, this past summer at the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.
“It’s based on a short story by an author named Willa Cather, who is famous for books like My Antonia and O Pioneers!; she lives in the last century,” Miller told Playbill. “It’s a story about a woman who goes to Nebraska and meets this group of people and, in particular, [one guy] who has given up his soul in a sense. She brings him back to the thing that sustained him and gave him life, [which is music],” Tysen added.
The duo have written about seven songs for the show, including “Out to the Wind,” which actor Krystina Alabado sang during the October 16 awards presentation at New York City’s Time Hotel.
In addition to Tuck Everlasting, Miller and Tysen wrote Off-Broadway’s The Burnt Part Boys, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons and the Vineyard Theatre in 2010. They also wrote Fugitive Songs and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, both of which premiered in 2008.