The show follows a nameless Traveler who arrives in Vale with the inexplicable feeling of having been there before. As the Traveler explores the village, she becomes caught up in the stories of an obsessed bookkeeper, a cursed woodsman, and a haunted widow. Each villager is desperate to solve a mystery that the Traveler can unlock, and each is changed forever after meeting her.
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 and KSF’s Artist of Choice Award. The Village of Vale premiered at Lincoln Center Education in the fall of 2017.
The Village of Vale was developed through a collaboration between writers Jonathan Karpinos, John McGrew, and Joseph Varca; actors Jay Dunn and Tara Giordano; and musicians Katy Pfaffl and Jody Shelton. Graham Fisk also contributed additional music.
Performers and musicians who have worked on the show include MaYaa Boateng, Alon Bisk, Lauren Elder, Graham Fisk, Jeff Kerestes, Sarah Killough, Scott McCreary, Emil McGloin, Maya Sharpe, Regina Strayhorn, and Brad Wentworth.