Abraham Lincoln – our greatest president — his greatest love
Terence L. Cranert’s stirring new musical,
THE LINCOLNS OF SPRINGFIELD
A musical for the entire family
Premiering in Springfield, Illinois, with sights set on New York.
Performances begin June 15
Hoogland Center for the Arts – Peggy Ryder Theater 420 South Sixth Street, Springfield, Illinois
Historically significant as the State Capitol AND the place Abraham Lincoln called home from 1837-1861- when he began his tenure in The White House as one of the most lauded presidents in history-will serve as host for a joyous and riveting new musical love story.
The Lincolns of Springfield tells the love story you won’t find in the history books. The audience is led down a delightfully romantic path leading to the marriage of the most unlikely of couples, Mary Todd and Abe Lincoln, a Southern Belle and a backwoods genius. The Lincolns of Springfield chronicles the incredible story of one of America’s greatest President and his much-loved wife, from their first meeting through the end of the Civil War.
They were America’s first power couple! Like of mind and heart, Mary Todd assisted her father’s house slaves with the Underground Railroad and President Lincoln wielded his governmental authority to abolish slavery once and for all.
The Lincolns of Springfield had its successful world premiere at the Center Stage Theatre in Santa Barbara in October 2022. Critics said hail to the chief with comments like: “A unique and amazing production, one of the boldest portrayals of Lincoln and his legacy.” (Michael Kenney, Nashville Universe) and “Spectacular, uplifting music in the grand style of a Rodgers & Hammerstein or Lerner & Lowe.” (Chris Daniels, The Show Report)
From the moment the curtain rises, audiences are drawn into two very different worlds… Mary’s tumultuous world of the antebellum South—with gentility and honor juxtaposed against the backdrop of the scourge of slavery—and Abe’s vibrant, fearless world of possibilities that is America’s new frontier.
Currently scheduled to perform throughout June, July and August at the Peggy Ryder Theater of the Hoogland Center for the Arts, the producers are currently in negotiation to bring the production to the New York stage.
TERENCE L. CRANERT — BOOK, MUSIC, and LYRICS
Terence worked as an actor in New York and Los Angeles and attended the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop under the tutelage of the Dean of the Broadway Musical, the late Lehman Engel. Terence was associate producer of the Broadway productions of A Night with Janis Joplin, On The Town and The 39 Steps. In addition to The Lincolns of Springfield, Terence has composed the musicals Joan of Arc, Pinocchio in Tinsel Town and When The Fat Lady Sings. He continues to perfect his craft as a member of the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop at Dreamworks under the direction of Stephen Schwartz.
REBECCA POWERS CRANERT — PRODUCER
Rebecca Powers Cranert brings a multifaceted background to our production team, having served in leadership positions in The Arts, Education and Business. Rebecca served as Director of Theater Programs for the Los Angeles County Arts Counsel supervising all professional theaters throughout Los Angeles County, including those at the Los Angeles Music Center. She also produced and directed professional theatrical productions throughout California. As a professional singer, Rebecca headlined at major venues throughout the West Coast with her ten-piece, Grammy-winning show band.
JONATHAN HOGUE — EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jonathan Hogue is a NYC-based playwright, director, performer, and producer, and has collaborated on a number of festival productions, developmental labs, and industry readings. His musical “Stranger Sings!: The Parody Musical”, for which he wrote book and score, played two sold-out concerts at 54 Below in 2019 and is now in development for an off-Broadway run in the 2021-2022 season. He is also producing a virtual production of his play “The Nations”, loosely based on his experiences serving as a short-term missionary/aid worker in 12 countries around the world, to air in late March 2021. Other written projects include “The Resurrection of Walt Disney’s Frozen Head from its Cryogenic Slumber in the Year 2066”, “The Substance of Matter”, and “Til Morning”. He is also developing the new children’s musical “Lykz”, as well as a musical audio drama about the life of William Penn alongside Broadway’s Christopher Smith. Jonathan is most interested in telling stories that tackle complex contemporary issues, unpack cultural idiosyncrasies (especially with satire), and provoke dialogue among people of all backgrounds. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.
KEN DAVENPORT — EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Ken Davenport is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer whose credits include A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, Once On This Island (Tony Award), Gettin’ the Band Back Together, The Play that Goes Wrong, Groundhog Day (Tony nomination), Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), It’s Only a Play, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Godspell, Kinky Boots (Broadway – Tony Award, National Tour, Toronto, Australia, and West End), The Visit (Tony nomination), Mothers and Sons (Tony nomination), The Bridges of Madison County (National Tour), Allegiance, Chinglish, Oleanna starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, Speed-the-Plow, Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America (Tony nomination), Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury (Broadway, West End and National Tour), and 13.
Ken’s productions have been produced internationally in over 25 countries around the world. In his mission to continually educate, entertain, and inspire the world through theatre, In 2019, Inc. 5000 named Ken’s production company, Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, one of America’s fastest-growing private companies.
He is the founder of TheaterMakers Studio, a one-of-a-kind “masterclass” community that provides training and inspiration from Broadway’s best to writers, directors, producers and more. Ken also serves as the Executive Producer for North America for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group.
Outside of theatre, he has produced the award-winning These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road with Red Wanting Blue, a documentary on one of the top unsigned rock bands in the country, and an award-winning TV pilot entitled The Bunny Hole which has appeared in the LA Indie Film Festival, the Orlando Film Festival, the LA Comedy Festival and more. Ken was featured on a national commercial for Apple’s iPhone, named one of Crain’s “Forty Under 40” and is one of the co-founders of TEDxBroadway. He created the best-selling Broadway board game Be A Broadway Star. His blog, The Producer’s Perspective, has been featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Gothamist and more. He has written articles for Forbes, Mashable, and many others. Ken’s unique production and marketing style has garnered him international attention, including two front page articles in The New York Times and features on MSNBC, Rock Center, Fox News, BBC, and his favorite, a mention in Jay Leno’s monologue on The Tonight Show.
Upcoming projects include The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation, Joy the Musical, Harmony: A New Musical written by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, The Ten, and a musical based on the life of Harry Belafonte.
MARIA DEL BAGNO – CHOREGRAPHER
Los Angeles Jazz Dance Foundation listed Del Bagno one of LA’s top choreographers. She worked with renowned Choreographer Alan Johnson where she co-wrote and produced a retrospective of his life’s work, Alan Johnson – Let Me Entertain You! She collaborated with actress Alicia Silverstone on a new project and her choreography for other musical theatre productions include Les Miserables, Fiddler On The Roof, Legally Blonde, Grease, Peter Pan, Shrek: The Musical, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Little Shop of Horrors.
STEVEN APPLEGATE – MUSICAL DIRECTOR
An award-winning musical director, he has worked in almost every theatre and concert hall in the LA area, as well as many prestigious concert halls throughout the United States and in Europe. He has had the honor of performing for Kings and Queens, and United States dignitaries, as well as private celebrity functions, presidential candidate fundraisers, and numerous benefits around the world. Some of his favorite memories include being the guest conductor for the Dallas Symphony and the Denver Symphony in concert with singer John Raitt. Others include working with Christina Aguilera, Sandy Duncan, Cybil Shephard, Maureen McGovern, Sally Struthers, Adrianne Barbeau, Jack Jones, Alexis Gershwin, Frank Gorshen, Lorna Luft, and Christine Ebersole.
DIANNE K. GRAEBNER — COSTUME DESIGNER
Dianne’s costume design and millinery work has been seen on Broadway, regional theatre, film and television both nationally and internationally. She is a long-time collaborator of the Circle X Theatre Co., Ensemble Theatre Company, Colony Theatre Company, and was on the design staff for Center Theatre Group for 14 years as their Milliner, Crafts supervisor, Associate and Assistant Costume designer on many critically acclaimed productions. She received her MFA in Costume and Set Design from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and received her BA in Technical Theatre, Costume Design from California State University Long Beach. Dianne has been nominated for many of her designs over the years, most recently from the NAACP, Ovation and LA Weekly awards. She is also a member of United Scenic Artists local 829