Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yale Institute for Music Theatre announces casting, creative teams, open reading dates‏

The Yale Institute for Music Theatre (Mark Brokaw, Artistic Director; Beth Morrison, Producer) announces the full creative teams and casting for the three original music theatre works receiving two-week workshops in New Haven, June 7-21.

The two-week workshops of the original book musicals Cancer? the musical and POP! and the opera Invisible Cities culminate with readings open to the public held at the Off-Broadway Theatre (41 Broadway, New Haven). A reception follows each reading. Seating is extremely limited. Email instituteformusictheatre@yale.edu for reservations.

Cancer? the musical
Music, Book, and Lyrics by Sam Wessels
Directed by Joe Calarco
Musical Direction by Robert Meffe
Reading: Saturday, June 20 at 4pm
Cast: Daniel Binstock (Sam), Danielle Frimer (Ensemble), Patty Goble (Mom), Douglas Hummel-Price(Ensemble), Miles Jacoby (Hand), Emily Jenda (Ensemble), Jason Reiff (Ensemble), and Christopher Shyer (Dad).

About to graduate from college, intrepid Sam had a lot in front of him. He had an acting career to start, musicals to produce, and the mysteries of adulthood waiting to uncover. Then for a graduation gift, he got leukemia. Cancer? the musical is an ingenious, funny, heartfelt, and unsentimental depiction of Sam's roller-coaster ride through the first dizzying nine months of his diagnosis and treatment—and how the cure ended up transforming his life long after the cancer itself was gone.

Sam Wessels is a 2008 graduate of the University of Utah Actor Training Program, where he received his BFA. He has written four musicals and is working on his fifth. His first musical, Notes on a Sunday, was produced by the University of Utah in 2008. Rectum! was given a staged reading this winter at the Salt Lake Acting Company. At the University of Utah, he appeared as Bobby Strong in Urinetown, Baby Face in Happy End; and acted in and composed music for The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Winter's Tale.

Invisible Cities

Score and Libretto by Christopher Cerrone
Directed by Robin Guarino
Musical Direction by Julian Wachner
Dramaturgy by Cori Ellison
Reading: Friday, June 19, 4 pm
Cast: Abigail Fischer (Woman 2), Amanda Hall (chorus, soprano), Joe Mikolaj (chorus, tenor), Elizabeth Picker (chorus, mezzo), Stephen Salters (Kublai Kahn), Vince Vincent (chorus, baritone), Amelia Watkins (Woman 1), and Tracy Wise (Marco Polo).

In Invisible Cities, Kublai Khan, sensing that the end of his empire is imminent, looks to young explorer Marco Polo to prevent the fall. Instead, Polo recounts stories of his many journeys—to far-reaching lands and through the landscape of his memory—illuminating why the fall of Kahn’s empire is inevitable.

Christopher Cerrone is currently pursuing his doctorate at Yale School of Music. Invisible Cities was performed in May at both New York City Opera’s VOX Festival and Virignia Arts Festival. His previous work has been performed by the Orchestra National de Lorraine, Flexible Music, the Yale Philharmonia, the Manhattan Composers' Orchestra, the New Music Collective, the New Music Institute at the Hochshule fur Musik, Berlin, saxophonist Eliot Gattegno, the Grenzelos Ensemble, the Zwo Concert series, as well as at the John F. Kennedy Center with Red Light New Music, the New York City-based ensemble and concert series that he co-directs. www.christophercerone.com.


Book and Lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman
Music by Anna K. Jacobs
Directed by Mark Brokaw
Music Direction by David Loud
Reading: Saturday, June 20, 12:30PM
Cast: Hannah Corrigan (Valarie), Luther Creek (Andy Warhol), Brynn O’Malley (Viva), Kristen Paige (Edie), Ken Robinson (Ondine), Brian Charles Rooney (Candy), and Paul Anthony Stewart (Gerard).

POP! re-imagines the events leading up to the shooting of Andy Warhol as a pop-art murder mystery show, with his New York Factory cohorts taking on the roles of stock detective film characters. With Candy Darling, the beautiful pre-op transsexual, acting as hostess, the artist is confronted by his relationships, his art, and perhaps his greatest creation: Andy Warhol.

Maggie-Kate Coleman received a BA from Ithaca College in Drama and Medieval Literature, an MFA from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program, and also trained at the National Theater Institute and the Theatre Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia through the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Anna K. Jacobs, originally from Sydney, Australia, is a graduate of the University of Sydney and NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program. POP! received a developmental reading at NYU in spring 2008 and was also presented as part of the New Musical Theatre Festival at Penn State. Other collaborations by Coleman and Jacobs include the theatrical song cycle Stepmommy Dearest, written for Tanglewood Music Festival.

Established by Yale School of Drama (James Bundy, Dean) and Yale School of Music (Robert Blocker, Dean), the Yale Institute for Music Theater seeks to identify distinctive and original music theatre works by emerging writers and composers, and to serve those writers by matching them with collaborators such as directors, music directors, and actors/singers who can help them further develop their work. By limiting production resources and values, the workshop will keep the focus on the creative process of the artistic team.

For more information visit www.drama.yale.edu/musictheatreinstitute.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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