Phoenix Best and Ben Fankhauser to star in new AD 16 biblical pop musical

Olney Theater Center will present the world premiere of AD 16, a new musical from writers Cinco Paul (Schmigadoon!) and Bekah Brunstetter (It’s us). Directed by Stephen Brackett (A strange loop), performances will take place from February 4 to March 6.

AD 16 follows the story of a teenage Mary Magdalene as she falls in love with the carpenter’s son next door… who happens to be a child named Jesus. The show features an original score inspired by ’90s R&B, hip hop and pop. The production will feature Phoenix Best (Dear Evan Hansen like Marie-Madeleine and Ben Fankhauser (News) like Jesus.

Kelli Blackwell as Diana, Alan H. Green as Jacob, Jade Jones as Jessica, Jared Loftin as Nicholas, Calvin McCullough as Matthias, Adelina Mitchell as Ruth, Christian Montgomery as Bartimaeus, Da’Von Moody as Simeon, and Chani Wereley as Esther. To complete the set, Alex De Bard, Sylvern Groomes, RJ Pavel, John Sygar and Kanysha Williams, with Tiffany Lyn Royster and Chris Urquiaga as the swings.

The production includes orchestrations and musical supervision by Doug Besterman, musical direction by Christopher Youstra, choreography by Katie Spelman, stage design by Walt Spangler, costume design by Emilio Sosa, sound design by Matt Rowe, the lighting design by Colin K. Bills and wig design by Anne Nesmith. Karen Currie is the production manager.

AD 16 was developed, in part, at SPACE on Ryder Farm and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, and is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.