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Mad River Theater Works is an acclaimed touring ensemble that creates vibrant and evocative plays with music for families and young audiences based on American history and folklore. Founded in 1978, Mad River presents original productions that explore traditional stories and themes in a unique, innovative style. With over twenty-five years of touring experience, the company has earned an international reputation for authentic presentations that bring little-known characters and aspects of American culture to the stage. The artists of Mad River seek out subjects that reflect the rich diversity of our common heritage and make shows that combine the rhythms and folkways of everyday life with tales about extraordinary individuals. The resulting body of work is a vivid tapestry that weaves together live music, storytelling, and drama, exploring the grit and humanity of characters from the past.
Mad River has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, performing at theaters and museums such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the California Center for the Arts, and the Raymond Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Mad River has also presented multiple performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as appearing in major cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and at international events such as the Vancouver Children’s Festival.
The Mad River company members are a multi-talented group of writers, performers, and theater educators with experiences that span the worlds of theater and music, from regional theaters to the London fringe, from folk festivals to Nashville. Producing Director and Composer Bob Lucas is an accomplished songwriter and performer who has achieved major success for his recordings as well as theater work, and two of his songs were included on the Grammy-winning album by Alison Krauss, New Favorite. Working as an ensemble, Mad River has created a unique theatrical style that appeals to audiences of all ages.