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THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL – Action-packed Summer Teen Musical at Live Arts

Live Arts Theater’s Summer Teen Musical is the electrifying and action-packed THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL, with book by Joe Tracz, and music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki, adapted from the book The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. THE LIGHTNING THIEF musical is directed by Daniel Kunkel, with music direction by Abby Smith. THE LIGHTNING THIEF  has 10 performances, July 12 through July 28, 2024, at Live Arts Theater, 123 East Water Street, in downtown Charlottesville. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for students and senior citizens and are available through the Box Office at, by phone at 434-977-4177 x123, or online at

Live Arts is hosting two special events for THE LIGHTNING THIEF: Opening night reception following the performance on July 12, 2024; and a post-show audience talk-back on Thursday, July 25, 2024 (7:30pm curtain). Audiences are welcome to enjoy concessions at intermission. 

“The things that make you different are the very things that make you strong.” –THE LIGHTNING THIEF

THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL is adapted from Rick Riordan’s best-selling young adult fantasy/adventure novel of the same name, the opening installment in the series Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Nominated for three 2017 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical, the musical boasts a fast-paced story, an infectious pop-rock score, and an innovative, endearing cast of characters.

Expelled from school (again) and sent off to the summer camp for half-bloods, troubled teen Percy—aka Perseus—Jackson discovers he’s a demigod, with a very powerful father. Before he can catch his breath and explore this newfound identity, he’s packed off to the attic, where a riddling oracle delivers a prophecy. And off Percy must go, on a quest with a few of his new half-blood friends, to retrieve Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt, prevent an all-out war among their godly parents, and hope to rescue his mom from the Underworld. 

“Worthy of the gods … a relatable coming-of-age tale about growing up and finding your place in the world—mythical or otherwise.” – TimeOut New York

Live Arts’ production of THE LIGHTNING THIEF is directed by Daniel Kunkel, with music direction by Abby Smith and choreography by Sophie Clayton. It showcases 13 multi-talented young performers: Korinne Brier, IIa Cooper, Morgan Geissman, Maddie Krause, Ben Lohr, Connor Michael, Julie Minor, Sylvia Moses, Veronica Schoenster, Audrey Scialla, Gian Serrano, Lucy Strandquist, and Jacob Walton.

The production also features a dynamic creative team: Mandy Shuker (producer); Alyssa Samuelson (production stage manager); Isabel Tusing (assistant stage manager); Alan Box Levine (scenic design); Rachel Pfundstein (lighting design); Daniel Angell (sound design/engineer); Kaylei Kipper (costume design); Maggie Rogers (properties design/set dressing); Eliza Banaszak (assistant director); and Ti Ames (intimacy choreographer).

Performance History

THE LIGHTNING THIEF first premiered in 2014 off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre as a one-hour musical. The show went on to a national tour, with an expanded version returning to New York in 2017, again to the Lucille Lortel Theatre. After another tour, THE LIGHTNING THIEF opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre in October 2019. 

About the Musical Book Author

Joe Tracz  is a writer whose work has been seen on Broadway in Be More Chill (with Joe Iconis) and The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (with Rob Rokicki; Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Book). Other credits include the musical Poster Boy (with Craig Carnelia, Williamstown Theatre Festival). TV credits include Netflix’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (Peabody Award recipient; Emmy, Humanitas Prize, and WGA Award nominee) and Dash & Lily, which premiered on Netflix in 2020. Joe is an alumnus of the Ars Nova Play Group and a former Playwrights Realm writing fellow. He earned his BA from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

About the Composer and Lyricist

Rob Rokicki is a composer and lyricist whose work has been recognized worldwide and nominated for Drama Desk, Lortel and Off-Broadway Alliance awards. Rokicki is best known for his music and lyrics in the critically acclaimed Broadway show The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical for Theatreworks USA.. Other credits include: Punk Rock Girl!, a musical he orchestrated and co-arranged with collaborator and friend Joe Iconis; the graphic novel musical Monstersongs; his immersive musical about escaping a cult, Experience Marianas; Uni the Unicorn, commissioned by Bay Area Children’s Theater; and many others.  Rokicki’s work, which “lives at the perfect intersection of musical theater and radio rock,” is regularly featured in cabarets and concerts throughout the world. He is a two-time Larson Award finalist, alum of the BMI writing workshop, and member of the Dramatists Guild. 

About the Director

Daniel Kunkel (he/him) wears too many hats as an educator, social worker, director, writer, stage combatant, and podcaster. He has taught theater in person and remotely across the country and he has been producing and developing plays, podcasts, and videos since 2016. 

About the Music Director

Abby Smith is currently the choir director at Henley Middle School and Western Albemarle High School. She also teaches private instrumental lessons at the Music Education Center. She’s been a part of Live Arts for the past five years, including counseling/instructing summer camps and playing in the pit orchestra for  CRYBABY, RENT, IN THE HEIGHTS, and HEATHERS, The Musical, Teen Edition, for Live Arts. Most recently, she music directed KINKY BOOTS in 2024..

About Live Arts 

Live Arts is a volunteer-powered, nonprofit community theater in Downtown Charlottesville. Founded in 1990, Live Arts is celebrating more than 33 years of forging theater and community. Our summer production is supported by C-VILLE Weekly, WTJU 91.1FM, Ting, PJ Networks Computer Services and philanthropic gifts by hundreds of theater lovers in the Charlottesville community. Live Arts is supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the City of Charlottesville; and Albemarle County.

For more information 

Please contact Marketing Coordinator Madison Patterson by email, mobile 540-447-4563; office 434-977-4177 x103, or

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