Souls of the Sea

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Start Date: Aug 16 2007
Location: Gloucester High School



THE SOULS OF THE SEA

The World Premiere Musical Play by Frank Tedesco

A Story of Love, Loss, and Triumph

About The 10,000 Lost Gloucester Fishermen

Thursday _ Sunday, August 16-19, 7:30 p.m.

GHS Theatre, Gloucester, MA

Directed by Nan Webber, Music by Allen Estes and Frank Tedesco

Xavier Millennium Productions proudly announces the world premiere of The Souls of The Sea, the musical play about the ten thousand lost fishermen of Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest seaport. Written by Gloucester poet/songwriter Frank Tedesco, The Souls of the Sea performances run Thursday through Sunday, August 16 through 19 at 7:30 p.m. at GHS Theatre in Gloucester. Directed by Theatre In The Pines founder Nan Webber, The Souls of the Sea features nearly two dozen actors, designers and crafts-people who live and work in the Cape Ann region. Tickets go on sale July 10, are $20 and may be purchased on line [thesoulsofthesea.com] an d at many locations throughout Gloucester and Rockport.

The Souls of the Sea is the long-time work of writer Frank Tedesco, and tells the multi-faceted stories of the lives of Gloucester fishermen, the dangerous lifestyle of fishing, and the families they leave behind. This story is much about the women,” says Tedesco. “There is an unconquerable romance between the wives/girlfriends and their fisherman. The men are gone for months, and sometimes don’t come back. The women keep the families together, even in times of great fear and loss.” According to Tedesco, The Souls of the Sea is about America. “This is real American folklore. The fishermen are the true cowboys of our culture; The fishermen of Gloucester and their families have fought a war with the sea for over four hundred years. The many heroes of this saga, both men and women, ought to be household names.” Tedesco feels the story of generations of women holding families together, families helping each other, and unrelenting hope that their men will return safely has not been truly told. “These circumstances are very private. The women work hard to keep their families together. There is so much pain and hundreds upon hundreds of lost fishermen over the generations. In early days, there was no Welfare or public assistance. It was up to the families in the villages to take care of each other.” Tedesco also notes the inspiring manner in which the families have dealt with their hardship. “The people have preferred to keep a dignified silence about their personal sufferings. There is great risk and not always the great reward.” The songs invite the audience into different vignettes of Gloucester and fishing life. Some are ballads with love themes, ” I Remember” and “If Ever;” some are about the spirit and pride of fishing, “Not With Ya Hands” and “The Bella Figlia:” some are about the political aspects of government regulating the industry “Regulate.” Other songs depict unique Gloucester traditions like “Christmas in Gloucester,” and some poke fun at the relationships in the fishing community as in “Fishermen’s Wives” and “The Always Ready Team.”

Tedesco wrote these songs with noted musician Allen Estes. Over the years Tedesco and Estes have written and recorded four albums for their music group also called The Souls of the Sea. They are currently developing the songs that will embody their next album. According to Theatre in the Pines director Nan Webber (who was born and bred in Gloucester and now resides in Rockport), ‘I am enchanted with Frank’s work _ both the music and the dialogue. My roots in Gloucester run very deep, into the 17th century.’ Webber, who recently directed The Chimney in Rockport, cites her love for the people and topography of Gloucester, whom she refers to both as ‘gorgeous.’ Twenty five percent of the proceeds from The Souls of the Sea world premiere performances will benefit the GHS Theatre and Gloucester High School thespians. Newly renovated, the GHS Theatre is air conditioned and wheelchair accessible. GHS Theatre is located at 32 Leslie O Johnson Road (Gloucester, MA 01930). Parking is free of charge. The Souls of the Sea runs two hours, fifteen minutes with one intermission.

For more information, press kits, high resolution images and interviews, please contact Ami Bennitt at 978.744.7973 or ami.bennitt@gmail.com. For further information on The Souls of the Sea visit www.thesoulsoftheseamusical.com. For further information on the city of Gloucester, visit www.gloucesterma.com.