Paul's Case
Composer: Gregory Spears
Composer Bio: Gregory Spears has written music for the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the NOW Ensemble, So Percussion and Eighth Blackbird. His music has won prizes from ASCAP and BMI as well as grants and honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fulbright Foundation and Yaddo. Recent commissions have come from the Present Music Ensemble, the Bard Summer Music Festival and choreographer Christopher Williams. In 2007 Spears worked with musicologist Simon Morrison to reconstruct the original score for Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet for premiere by the Mark Morris Dance Group. For the 2007-2008 season, Spears was a participant in American Opera Project's Composers and the Voice workshop series. In addition to composing, Gregory teaches a Writing Seminar at Princeton University called Music and Madness. He lives in Brooklyn. (
Librettist: Gregory Spears & Kathryn Walat
Librettist Bio: Kathryn Walat’s play Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen premiered Off-Broadway at the Women’s Project, and was published in New Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2007 (Smith & Kraus) and in Dramatics magazine. Her play Bleeding Kansas premiered at the Hangar Theatre (Ithaca), and was also produced at Moxie Theater (San Diego). Her work has been also been performed at Actors Theatre of Louisville, La Jolla Playhouse, Salvage Vanguard Theater (Austin), and Perishable Theatre (Providence); and developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, Sundance Institute Theatre Program, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Boston Theatre Works, Ars Nova, MCC, and New Georges. She received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from Yale Drama School, and is currently working on a commission for Yale Repertory Theatre entitled Creation, a play about music, obsession, and the creative process.
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: January 08, 2014
Producing Company: Prototype Festival
Description: Willa Cather's short story Paul's Case chronicles the dissolution of a high school dandy living in sooty turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh. Paul, fleeing a mundane life, escapes to New York City's Waldorf Astoria to experience a week of cosmopolitan luxury. Unable to maintain his credibility, he devises a final act of shocking audacity that has confounded critics and readers alike.

Equal parts angry teenager, anti-capitalist, decadent aesthete and cold realist, Paul is also an American symbol of passive dissent in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, and Salinger's Catcher in the Rye.

Paul's Case is being developed in part with generous grants from the BMI Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation and the "Composers & the Voice Circle of Friends".
Character List (Major): Paul(t)
History Teacher/Opera Soprano 1(light lyr s)
Drawing Teacher/Opera Soprano 2(lyr s)
History Teacher(lyr mz)
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: Not Available
Contact: Charles Jarden
E-mail Address:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Paul's Case (Spears)
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - Pittsburgh Opera
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