Carrying only a pair of magical glasses and a desire for vengeance, an ageless Traveler returns to the village that once betrayed her. As she embarks on her quest, she becomes caught up in the lives of an obsessed bookkeeper, a haunted widow, and the family of woodcutters that exiled her long ago. When her reckless desire threatens the lives of the villagers, she faces a pivotal choice: find a way to forgive, or risk everything to take her revenge.
The Village of Vale was first conceived by composer/musician John McGrew as a series of original dark fairy tales brought to life in an immersive world. In the fall of 2013, McGrew joined with writer Jonathan Karpinos and writer/director Joseph Varca to delve into the stories and bring the world of Vale to life.
Vale had its first workshop production at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn in 2015. It was further developed at New Victory LabWorks at the New Victory Theater during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, and as part of Summer Forum at Lincoln Center Education in 2017. In addition, the show has received support from MIDDSummer Play Lab at Middlebury College. The Village of Vale debuted at Lincoln Center for a limited engagement production in the fall of 2017. Vale has since received developmental support through a writing residency at Bethany Arts Community in 2018 and a reading in KCRep’s Monday Night Playwright Series (Directed by Lisa Rothe) in 2019. In 2020, John McGrew, Jonathan Karpinos and Joseph Varca were selected as participants for the 8th Annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals.
Jay Dunn, Lauren Elder, Tara Giordano, Katy Pfaffl, and Jody Shelton have contributed to the development of the show. Graham Fisk also contributed additional music. Other performers and musicians who have appeared in the show include MaYaa Boateng, Alon Bisk, Jeff Kerestes, Sarah Killough, Jonathan Levy, Scott McCreary, Emil McGloin, Maya Sharpe, Regina Strayhorn, and Brad Wentworth.