Real-life polymath extraordinaire James Franco — author, serious academic, thespian-auteur and Yale Ph.D candidate — will be holding auditions in the coming weeks for an elaborate, student-run musical theater production. Joy! (Maybe?)
Franco is said to be an executive producer on the project along with junior Ari Berkowitz, perhaps best known for her production of, “Twilight: A Britney Spears Musical” back in October ’09.
The project was first reported by the Yale Daily Newsin July, when Franco appeared on Good Morning America, giddy at the prospect of teaching his own seminar as a member of Yale’s English Ph.D program – only to the then realize that students in program don’t teach undergrads until their third year. Eager to give the eager beaver something to chew on, English department chair Michael Warner quickly announced that Franco would instead be developing an undergrad performance project. No word yet on the play’s subject.
Quoth Franco (by way of Berkowitz, by way of YDN):
“[This] will not be a regular student production that will run for four shows. We have a bunch of funding and aim to make this a large project.”
“Auditions will be in late January, but the week Yale gets back from break, James and I will be doing a Q&A.”
Still, trouble on the horizon.
According to Berkowitz’ press statement in July, both she and senior Matthew George were slated to head up the production with Franco. However, George is no longer attached to the project. Berkowtiz insisted that the split was amicable, and that George left to work on his senior project.
However, an anonymous tipster with ties to Yale theater reported that the split was not quite so clean – that George left amidst a tumult of disorganization and funding woes. Matt George declined to comment, while representatives from Yale’s English department deferred to Berkowitz.
While we don’t have hard confirmation that anything out of the ordinary is going on – except, you know, James Franco producing a play – we would certainly like to know more. If you know anything about the play’s topic or the backstage drama, hit us up! (firstname.lastname@example.org)