An illustrated book by artist W. MI inspiring new music

Holland, Michigan (Wooden) – as a part of Hope Summer season Repertory TheaterHope Faculty will debut a brand new musical impressed partially by illustrations by Dutch artist Joel Schoon-Tanis.

The guide, titled “Lulu and the Lengthy Stroll,” was a collaborative effort between Schoon-Tanis and author Dan Haseltine.

“I’ve illustrated a bunch of books over my profession. That is one I used to be actually enthusiastic about,” mentioned Sean Tannis, including that Haseltine is a pal. “Some folks may know him because the lead singer for Jars of Clay, however he is additionally achieved quite a lot of work with a bunch it is referred to as Blood: the mission of waterto carry water to Africa.

Sean Tanis additionally spent a while in Africa, so when Haseltine approached him about writing the guide, he mentioned he’d take all of it in.

“The fundamental concept is severe, that quite a lot of kids around the globe would not have entry to wash water. And it’s usually women who need to get water, which additionally prevents them from going to highschool,” defined Sean Tanis.

(A June 2022 photograph reveals Dan Haselten’s guide, “Lulu and the Lengthy Stroll” by Dutch artist Joel Sean Tanis.)

Final winter, HSRT approached the couple about turning their guide right into a musical.

“We bought excited immediately, and Dan and I believed for a second ‘yeah, let’s write a musical,’ after which they instructed us about this excellent playwright, Aisu Larte who not solely has pedigree but additionally has some cultural background. He was greater than keen to take action,” mentioned Sean Tanis. So vividly that we have been like, “Yeah, you are able to do that as an alternative.”

Manufacturing is a part of HSRT’s New GENext Software program that may fee, workshop or produce one work every season by black, indigenous, and coloured artists.

“It is vital that you simply hear these tales and it is vital that you’re a part of one thing that features the human expertise,” mentioned Marcus Johnson, affiliate technical director of HSRT.

A New York Metropolis-based author and composer, Larte has labored arduous to create a present that does simply that.

“I’ve been requested to jot down a musical that lasts for 70 minutes, and it takes about seven minutes to learn the guide,” Lartee joked.

Use “Lulu and the Lengthy Stroll” as a mentor on quite a lot of points together with environmental, social and monetary.

“(The guide) may be very designed to say ‘Hey, I need to ask these questions after I’ve learn this guide. , why ought to Lulu carry the water? Why do the animals assist her? Why does she need to go away? Then discuss to your mother and father about it. My purpose is that you do not have to speak to your mother about something after watching this, defined Larty.

Though the story relies in Africa, Larte mentioned it’s about actual human experiences that individuals can relate to as they occur everywhere in the world, together with right here in america

“There are folks in each state who stay with out water, no schooling, no well being care,” Lartey mentioned.

He added that it was an unbelievable expertise watching this system come alive and witnessing the arduous work of all concerned.

“These individuals are loyal. They’re dedicated. We’re strolling one regular step into one imaginative and prescient,” Larty mentioned.

“Lulu and the Lengthy Stroll” will probably be proven as HSRT celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.

“It is a big deal for us and I feel that is additionally what makes Lulu so particular. I can not consider a greater theater challenge for a younger viewers on stage for the fifties than Lulu,” Johnson mentioned.

The present will run from June 23 by means of August 4 on the DeWitt Studio Theater in Hope. Might you Purchase tickets right here.