BRIClab Residencies /

Golden Motors (work-in-progress)

Music by Derek Bermel, lyrics by Wendy S. Walters, and directed by Johanna Mckeon.


THU-FRI, APR 18-19 | 7PM


$8 Adv / $12 Day of Show
General Admission: Seated


BRIC House Artist Studio
647 Fulton Street
(Enter on Rockwell Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States
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Derek Bermel (Photo Credit: Richard Bowditch) and Wendy S. Walters (Photo Credit: Dan Charnas)

Golden Motors is a music theater work in development, with story and lyrics by Wendy S. Walters and music by Derek Bermel, set in 1980s Detroit during the collapse of the American automobile industry. The story highlights the struggles of working-class people trying to safeguard their future against enormous economic odds. After a murder at an automobile plant sets off an unexpected chain of events, security guard Henry Loving is forced to confront the risks and rewards in his life, while his friends, co-workers, and daughter Charisse forge their own uncertain paths towards a more secure future.

Music by Derek Bermel, lyrics by Wendy S. Walters, and directed by Johanna Mckeon. Sponsor / Funder Credits: Copland House and Peermusic.

General Admission: Seated


Wendy S. Walters is the author of a book of prose, Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal (Sarabande Books, 2015), named a best book of the year by Buzzfeed, Flavorwire, Literary Hub, The Root, and Huffington Post. She is also the author of two books of poems, Troy, Michigan (Futurepoem, 2014) and Longer I Wait, More You Love Me. Walters has been awarded fellowships from Mass MoCA, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Ford Foundation, MacDowell, Yaddo, The Smithsonian Institution, and Bread Loaf. She is a founding director of Essay in Public | A Humanities Project, a Contributing Editor at The Iowa Review and serves on the board of the international writers’ conference NonfictioNOW, most recently held in Reykjavík. Her work has been published in The Normal School, Fourth Genre, Flavorwire, and Harper’s among many others.

GRAMMY Award-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel is Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra, Director of Copland House’s Cultivate, and curator of Gamper Festival at Bowdoin Music Festival. He has premiered and performed as clarinetist on four continents and has collaborated with a dizzyingly eclectic array of artists and received commissions globally from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, Tanglewood, eighth blackbird, ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble/Veenfabriek (Netherlands), the Guarneri, and JACK String Quartets, and violinist Midori. His many honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, Meet the Composer, and Cary Trust; and residencies at Yaddo, Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Bellagio, and Copland House. He will serve as the Seattle Symphony’s composer-in-residence during the 2018-19 season.

Johanna McKeon’s Broadway Associate Director credits include War Paint, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award for Best Musical Revival), American Idiot, and Grey Gardens. Broadway tours: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot, Rent. Directing credits include Tokio Confidential (Atlantic Stage Two); Anne Washburn’s I Have Loved Strangers (Williamstown Theatre Festival and Clubbed Thumb); Mona Mansour’s Unseen (Old Globe, St Louis Rep workshops); Comedy of Errors, Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline (Vineyard Playhouse); Semi Permanent (NY Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding Solo Show); Functional Drunk (Ontological-Hysteric Theater); and Hatful of Rain (ITS Festival Warsaw). Her first feature film Auld Lang Syne won the Audience Award for Narrative Feature at the Indie Street Film Festival in 2016. Guest Faculty: Bard College, Strasberg Institute. Fellowships: Drama League, Boris Sagal and Fulbright. MFA, UT Austin.

Venue Information:

The intimate, flexible studio space within BRIC House is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, with an audience capacity of 50-75 for rehearsals and performances in a workshop setting.

For ticketed events, the Box Office opens one hour prior to show time. Advanced tickets can be purchased online.