When a violent storm sinks their whaling ship off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, the four survivors face a reckoning: how far will they go to stay alive? And can they live with the consequences?

We just announced last week that Swept Away will star Tony Award® winner John Gallagher, Jr. (Spring Awakening), Tony Award® nominee Stark Sands (Kinky Boots), Adrian Blake Enscoe (Dickinson), and Wayne Duvall (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), who are reuniting from the 2022 Berkeley Repertory Theatre world premiere and making their Arena Stage debuts.

Written by Tony Award® winner John Logan (Red, Moulin Rouge! The Musical), directed by Tony Award® winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot), and with music and lyrics by The Avett Brothers, Swept Away is an electrifying, soul-stirring, new musical exploring how facing tragedy can open the door to forgiveness…if only we’ll let it.

The world premiere of Swept Away concluded its third extension at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in March 2022. Audiences traveled to see the show from every state in the nation, as well as from eight different countries around the world! Read more about the show’s journey to Arena in the Charlotte Observer.

The Avett Brothers perform the musical’s title song.

Swept Away’s music and lyrics are by “America’s biggest roots band” (Rolling Stone) and three-time Grammy Award nominees, The Avett Brothers. The group’s 2004 album Mignonette served as the musical’s inspiration and many tracks from their other records populate the score.

Berkeley Rep’s Artistic Director, Johanna Pfaelzer, said, “Swept Away is about the deeply human questions of what are you willing to sacrifice to protect those you love, what lengths will you go to in order to survive, and whether there is the possibility of redemption in our lives.”

Arena’s Artistic Director Emeritus, Molly Smith, agreed, adding, “It is ultimately about redemption but they’re not afraid to get into the sticky bits of what it means to be alive.”

Our very own Edgar Dobie–Arena’s Executive Producer–himself a great storyteller, noted that “one of our favorite things at Arena Stage is finding new artists and audiences for the stories we are blessed to help tell. Swept Away allows us to offer a welcoming embrace to The Avett Brothers and a whole new group of friends to share what we all know to be true: musical storytelling at its best.”

We’ll give the last word to Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers: “I am beyond thrilled that Johnny, Stark, Adrian, and Wayne are returning to Swept Away for our East Coast premiere at Arena Stage. Washington, D.C., audiences will have the opportunity to experience their profound performances in this very special event.”

Swept Away docks at Arena Stage from November 25 through December 30, 2023. Subscribe to our 2023/24 Season to guarantee the best seats at the best price or buy tickets today.