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Susan Stroman-helmed ‘Angel of Arkansas’ musical will have industry reading

Kerry Butler will lead the show that is based on true events.

Susan Stroman will direct and Kerry Butler will star in the industry presentation of “Angel of Arkansas” (Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; courtesy of Polk & Co.)

The new musical “Angel of Arkansas” will offer a private industry reading on Feb. 23. Directed by Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, the presentation will take place at the Perelman Performing Arts Center. Tony nominee Kerry Butler will lead the company in the role of Ruth. 

Set in rural Arkansas in 1986, “Angel of Arkansas” chronicles a single mother (to be played by Butler) who unexpectedly provides comfort, care and advocacy for numerous AIDS patients abandoned by their families. The musical is inspired by the real life experiences of Ruth Coker Burks.

“Angel of Arkansas” features a pop-country score with music by Richard Oberacker and lyrics by Oberacker and Robert Taylor, with a book co-written by the pair, who previously collaborated on the book and score of 2017’s “Bandstand.”

Rounding out the cast will be Andy Mientus, Mauricio Martinez, Josh Strickland, Dudney Elson Joseph, Jr., Nic Rouleau, James Harkness, Sam Simahk, Jacob Keith Watson, Shavey Brown, Joel Waggoner, Bud Weber, Nicholas Rodriguez and John Michaelangelo Kraus, all of whom will play multiple characters.

The creative team includes music director Annbritt duChateau, Tony-nominated vocal designer Ann Marie Milazzo, associate music director Robert Cookman and score supervisor Jacob Fjeldheim. John Shivers will serve as sound designer while Tara Young will serve as associate director. General management will be provided by Live Wire Theatrical.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the musical. This has been corrected.