Ain’t Far From Home
Music by Ben Krauss
Book and lyrics by Sukari Jones
1855-A slave drives a horse-drawn buggy taking her master back to their plantation where, unbeknownst to the Lady of the house, a bloody slave uprising is planned for the evening; 1905--a black teenage cook wants to run off to vaudeville and the aging white actress that has been like a mother to her, using a pimp who shows up one day as her ticket off of her servant duties on a showboat; 1955--a black girl and white girl meet to play and giggle, pretending to run away from home, befriending a strange fourteen year old boy who claims he is a ghost, and suddenly the need to escape rural Alabama and the white girl's father become anything but a game. A 3-actor, 100 minute new original musical triptych and an exploration of race, class and black vs. white feminism in America, AIN'T FAR FROM HOME takes us on a journey in which a black woman and a white woman are reincarnated over a period of 150 years as they try to connect across boundaries of race in the American south, with uncertain destination, that asks us as an American people, “Where are we headed?”
Ben Krauss is a composer, music director, and arranger living in New York City. He is a resident writer at Musical Theatre Factory as well as a member of their Rodgers and Hammerstein writers group. Ben is also a proud alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. As a music director/pianist, Ben has worked at regional theaters around the country, such as Westport Country Playhouse, North Shore Music Theater, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. His orchestrations have accompanied singers such as Kristin Chenoweth, Tituss Burgess, and Donna Mckechnie. He has also served on the music teams of two Broadway musicals, THE ADDAMS FAMILY,and THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. Additionally, Ben holds an M.A. from Queens College, and a B.A. from Vassar College (where he met his partner, Sukari).
Sukari Jones is a screenwriter, playwright and musical theater bookwriter/lyricist whose work explores the intersection of race and power in the United States, with a particular focus on the Black experience in America. Sukari’s plays and musical works explore identity through a magical, sci-fi and/or satirical lens, and she is passionate about creating challenging principal roles within her pieces that feature actors of color, particularly multi-dimensional roles for women. Sukari Jones earned her B.A. from Vassar College and M.F.A. from NYU Tisch. She is a current member of BMI’s Musical Theater Workshop-Advanced level and and alum of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. Her work has been produced at The Public Theater, The Cherry Lane Theater, Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, and Prospect Theater Company.