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‘How to Dance in Ohio’ musical sets Broadway premiere at Belasco Theatre

Reprising their roles from the musical’s world premiere at Syracuse Stage will be seven autistic actors — all making their Broadway debuts.

“How to Dance in Ohio” cast members Amelia Fei, Imani Russell and Liam Pearce (Credit: Courtesy of Vivacity Media Group)

“How to Dance in Ohio,” a new musical inspired by Alexandra Shiva’s Peabody Award-winning HBO documentary of the same name, is heading to Broadway. Previews will begin on Nov. 15 ahead of an opening of Dec. 10 at the Belasco Theatre. The show’s creative team will be led by director Sammi Cannold, choreographer Mayte Natalio and music director Lily Ling.

Featuring a book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik and music by Jacob Yandura, “How to Dance in Ohio” is set at a group counseling center in Columbus, Ohio, where seven autistic young adults are preparing for a spring formal dance — a challenge that breaks open their routines as they experience love, stress, excitement and independence.

Reprising their roles from the musical’s 2022 world premiere at Syracuse Stage will be seven autistic actors — all making their Broadway debuts — in the roles of the real-life autistic young adults featured in the documentary. They include Desmond Edwards as Remy, Amelia Fei as Caroline, Madison Kopec as Marideth, Liam Pearce as Drew, Imani Russell as Mel, Conor Tague as Tommy and Ashley Wool as Jessica.

Also featured in the cast will be Broadway alums Haven Burton as Terry and Darlesia Cearcy as Johanna, with Carlos L. Encinias, Nick Gaswirth, Melina Kalomas and Martín Solá. Further company members will be announced. Casting is by Benton Whitley and Micah Johnson-Levy.

In addition to Cannold, Natalio and Ling, the creative team will include two-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Bradley King, Tony-nominated scenic designer Robert Brill, Tony-nominated costume designer Sarafina Bush, sound designer Connor Wang and Tony-winning orchestrator Bruce Coughlin.

Rounding out the production team will be Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt as autistic creative consultant and Becky Leifman as director of community engagement. The accessibility team will also include associate producer Jeremy Wein and script consultant Nicole D’Angelo.

“How to Dance in Ohio” is being produced by P3 Productions (Ben Holtzman, Sammy Lopez and Fiona Howe Rudin) with Level Forward.

The Belasco Theatre is the current home to “Good Night, Oscar,” which is scheduled to conclude its limited run on Aug. 27.