An Evening with the Creators of Broadway’s “Invisible Thread” Matt Gould & Griffin Matthews

December 22 2015

PARK CITY, UTMatt Gould and Griffin Matthews, co-creators of Broadway’s award-winning new musical, “Invisible Thread” (formerly “Witness Uganda”) return to The Eccles Center on January 9. The powerful evening – part concert, part theater, part call to action – intertwines heart-thumping Afro-pop sounds and heart-wrenching stories. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 435-655-3114 or online at EcclesCenter.org. 

“Matt and Griffin have created a captivating blend of story and song. Rhythmic, richly melodic – and, often, joyful – music accompanies thought-provoking accounts of real people and real issues: education, homophobia, race, equality, HIV and AIDS,” says PCI executive director Teri Orr. “Spending an evening with these talented artist-humanitarians opens our eyes and our hearts.” 

The evening borrows from the smash musical, “Invisible Thread,” which documents the true story of Griffin Matthews, a black American who is battling to find his place in a world full of injustice and inhumanity. Combining Afro-pop music and heart-wrenching narratives, the musical – and the evening with its creators – tackles the question: Is changing the world even possible?

As the Boston Globe puts it, ‘Gould and Matthews don’t play up the pathos — they’re just telling a true story, honestly and artfully — it’s all the more overwhelming when it catches you unawares.”

The play is set in Uganda in 2005 when Matthews arrives from New York City to volunteer to build a school; he has embarked on this humanitarian mission as an escape in the wake of being kicked out of his church choir when his pastor discovered he was gay. The disillusionment continues as he finds out that the leader of the volunteer organization he’s working with in Uganda is corrupt. But then, he befriends a group of destitute, orphaned teenagers and sets off on a mission to change his and their lives. 

“That may sound like the classic story of an American do-gooder in Africa, but the show depicts a much more complicated reality,” explains a recent NPR piece.

Matthews' partner, Gould, found music in the narrative and suggested Matthews (an actor) write a musical as a way to fundraise for the teenagers, now linked to both New Yorkers via an invisible thread.  Under the direction of Tony award winner, Diane Paulus, “Invisible Thread” (formerly “Witness Uganda”) celebrated a sold-out run at American Repertory Theater, won the 2014 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater and started its Broadway run this past October.

Matthews is a writer, actor, director and philanthropist. Gould’s music has been performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Saban Theatre, Symphony Space, New World Stages, Huntington Theatre Company and TEDx Wall Street. Gould and Matthews recently performed sections of the musical for the TEDx conference in New York City. They are working on a commission for Center Theater Group in Los Angeles on a new musical, "The Family Project." The philanthropic side of the equation, Uganda Project, has helped young Ugandans rise above their circumstances and graduate from high school and college. The various versions of the show have raised more than $200,000 for this project.

Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould will participate in Park City Institute’s Student Outreach program.

TICKETS AND INFORMATION 

Park City Institute presents An Evening with the Creators of “Invisible Thread” on January 9, 2016 at The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts (1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City). Tickets range from $25-$75 (20-percent discount for seniors, ½ price tickets for children ages 16 and under; $5 seats are available in the Copper Section for Summit County students (K-12). Tickets and information are available at The Eccles Center box office, 435-655-3114 or EcclesCenter.org.

 

* PRESS: Please contact Jane Gendron for interview requests, review tickets and press information, jgendron@jgendron.com or 435-640-3315.

Upcoming Park City Institute Events:

 

DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion (Dec. 28 & 29, 2015)

The Ann Wilson Thing (Dec. 31, 2015)

PCI / SNS “Future In review” Speaker Series: Bibop Gresta (Jan. 8, 2016)

Backstage with the Creators of “Invisible Thread” (Jan. 9, 2016)

An Evening with Dr. BJ Miller (Jan. 16, 2016)

PCI / SNS “Future In review” Speaker Series: Christopher Clark (Feb. 5, 2016)

Reinventing Radio:  Ira Glass (Feb. 6, 2016)

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (Feb. 13, 2016)

Railroad Earth (Feb. 20, 2016)

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (Mar. 5, 2016)

Grupo Corpo (Mar. 19, 2016)

PCI / SNS “Future In review” Speaker Series: Leah Boyer (Mar. 25, 2016)

Spoken Word with Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye (Mar. 26, 2016)

Ruthie Foster (Apr. 2, 2016)

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Co. (Apr. 9, 2016)

Imagination Movers (Apr. 16, 2016)

 

ENTERTAINING, EDUCATING AND ILLUMINATING SINCE 1998

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Park City Institute is a non-profit organization, dedicated to bringing world-class performances and new ideas to the community. Since 1998, PCI has presented internationally renowned and cutting edge musicians, actors, authors, comedians, dancers, speakers and film at The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts (a joint-use facility with the Park City School District). The organization will embark on its 13th season of headliner concerts at Deer Valley Resort next summer. PCI is dedicated to introducing young people to the arts through free student outreach workshops, shows and demonstrations. They proudly launched the Mega-Genius Supply Store and IQ HQ - an after school literacy program and very thinky retail store - in January 2010 and recently opened a second Mega-Genius retail shop in New Park this past spring. And the organization continues to illuminate with TEDx events, Curiosities evenings and the Park City Institute / Strategic News Service Future in Review Speaker Series. 

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