Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Directors Named for O'Neill's Music Theater Conference

Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference, today announced the Directors of the four new projects selected for development at the 2012 Conference.
The list of Directors includes: Tony Award nominee Sheryl Kaller; acclaimed independent director and Fulbright Fellow Mike Donahue; Off-and-On Broadway actor and Director Jerry Dixon; and Breaking Bread Theatre co-Artistic Director and 4-Time Helen Hayes Award winner Joe Calarco.
Music Directors include: Musician, actor, and director Matt Castle; Ray Fellman, acclaimed performer and Professor of Musical Theatre at Indiana University; Pianist, composer, conductor, and Fulbright Scholar William Foster McDaniel; and David Libby, Music Director for the 2011 Off-Broadway production Play it Cool, an Outer Critics Circle nominee for Outstanding New Musical.
Director: Sheryl Kaller
Music Director: Matt Castle
Book by Dan Collins; lyrics, music by Julianne Wick Davis;
in collaboration with Sally Wilfert & Michael Winther
Performances: 6/20 at 8PM; 6/22 at 7PM; 6/24 at 3PM
Director: Mike Donahue
Music Director: Ray Fellman
Book by Sarah Hammond; lyrics, music by Adam Gwon
Performances: 6/23 at 8PM; 6/24 at 7PM; 6/27 at 8PM; 6/29 at 7PM
Director: Jerry Dixon
Music Director: William Foster McDaniel
Book, lyrics by Philip S. Goodman; music by Ray Leslee
Performances: 6/30 at 8PM; 7/1 at 3PM; 7/3 at 8PM; 7/6 at 7PM
THE TOYMAKER Director: Joe Calarco
Music Director: David Libby
Book, lyrics, and music by Bryan Putnam
Performances: 7/7 at 8PM; 7/8 at 3PM; 7/11 at 8PM; 7/13 at 7PM
Schedules are subject to change. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 6. Please call the O’Neill Box Office at 860-443-1238 or visit for times, prices and reservations. Outdoor performances will be moved indoors in the event of rain.
Sheryl Kaller – Director, When We MetSheryl Kaller received a Tony Award Nomination for Best Director for the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts. She most recently directed Mr. Joy, written and starring Daniel Beaty. Sheryl has directed at many theaters including New York Stage and Film, Naked Angels, Primary Stages, the New Group, A.C.T., the Geffen Playhouse, Williamstown, Pasadena Playhouse, Philadelphia Theater Company, the York and American Music Theater Project, and has developed many new plays with writers including Christopher Durang, Peter Melnick, Regina Taylor, Dick Beebe, Daniel Beaty, Alan Menken, Nick Blaemire, and Geoffrey Nauffts. Greatest joys: Scott, Tobey, and Tess.

Matt Castle – Music Director, When We Met
Mr. Castle has helped create over 70 new works as musical director and/or actor. Favorite venues include York Theatre (LingoLand, Blue Roses, Falling to Earth, NEO Concerts 2006-2012), NYU (Only Children, I’ll Be Damned, Yellow Wood), Playwrights Horizons (Southern Comfort), Barrington (Pool Boy), Sundance and Weston Playhouse (Saint-Ex), Signature (Queens Boulevard), the Triad (Amazing Sex), NYMF (Austentatious, Gutenberg), CAP21 (The Giver), and Theatreworks/USA. Other credits as musical director include Romance in Hard Times (starring Lillias White), Enter Laughing, and many concerts, cabarets, and regional productions.
His work as an orchestrator has been heard on cast albums, demos, and concert stages around the country. With Frank Galgano he has orchestrated five shows (Duck for President, Skippyjon Jones, Austin the Unstoppable, Litter, and Snow White, Rose Red), and is working on two more (Martha Speaks, A Little Princess). As an actor, Mr. Castle has appeared in the original 2006 Broadway cast of Company, original off-Broadway casts of The Musical of Musicals and Enter Laughing, and several regional productions (Music Circus, Paper Mill, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, Sacramento Theatre Company).
Mike Donahue – Director, StringMike has directed for Playmakers Repertory Company (2011/12 Distinguished Guest Artist), Chicago Opera Theater, The ART Institute + Club Oberon, EST Youngblood, NYU Grad Acting, The New Jersey Shakespeare Festival (NSE), Old Vic New Voices (London), Terra Firma @ City Center (Stage II), The Studio NYC @ The Wild Project, The DUMBO Wave Rising Festival, Yale School of Drama and Yale Dramat (as guest director), UNC Grad Acting, and The Summer Cabaret in New Haven, where he was also the Artistic Director for two seasons. He has developed new work with Soho Rep (Writer/Director Lab), MCC, Williamstown, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Ars Nova, Working Theater, Dramatists Guild, and Studio 42. Mike is a recipient of a Fulbright to Berlin, the Opera America Director-Designer Showcase Award, the Theatertreffen International Forum Fellowship (Berlin), and a Drama League Fall Directing Fellowship.
Upcoming projects include: Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown Theater Festival to develop Becoming Sylvia, a new musical by Janine Nabers and Sharon Kenny; premiere of Ethan Lipton’s Red-Handed Otter with Playwrights Realm; and world premiere of Lauren Feldman’s Grace, or the Art of Climbing with the Denver Center.
Graduate, Harvard University and Yale School of Drama.
Ray Fellman – Music Director, StringRay Fellman resides in NYC and Bloomington, Indiana where he is Professor of Musical Theatre at Indiana University. Works developed at the O’Neill include Buddy’s Tavern, Blood Drive, and Iron Curtain. Other Music Directing credits include Stephen Schwartz’s Captain Louie (Little Schubert Theater); The Tutor (59 E 59); Reluctant Pilgrim (NYMTF); 22 Caliber Mouth, directed by Diane Paulis (Premieres, Ohio Theater). He has conducted numerous workshop readings with Lance Horne/Winter Miller, Howard Marren/Judy Sanger, Joel Derfner/Rachel Sheinkin, Ilene Reid/Michael Heitzman, and Kim Oler/Allison Hubbard in such venues as The York Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Dramatists Guild, The Zipper, The Hudson Guild.
Ray is a regular conductor at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) and Teatro Nacional Sucre (Quito, Ecuador), was music director for the 2007 MAC Awards at B.B. King’s, and received the Backstage Magazine Bistro Award for musical direction of The After Party, hosted weekly by Brandon Cutrell (Laurie Beechman Theatre). Concert and Cabaret experience includes Feinstein’s, The Algonquin, Jazz At Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Birdland, Metropolitan Room, Duplex Cabaret Theatre with Liz McCartney, Susie Mosher, Anne Runolfsson, Lauren Molina and Cole Escola. Voice coaching: Indie film Greetings from Tim Buckley (2012) starring Penn Badgley.
Upcoming projects include West Side Story at Teatro Nacional Sucre, A Little Night Music starring Sylvia McNair at Indiana Repertory, and Spring Awakening at Indiana University Theatre and Drama.
Entertainment's The Incredible Hulk. B.A. Bowdoin College, M.M. Rutgers University.

Jerry Dixon – Director, A Good ManMr. Dixon has guided several new works from page to stage, including productions of Barnstormer, and Take Me America. Regional and Off-Broadway credits include: The Full Monty, Show Boat, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Crowns, Bernarda Alba, and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Jerry has years of concert direction, including work at Carnegie Hall, Belgium National Symphony, National Black Theatre, as well as solo concerts for Broadway stars LaChanze, Kecia Evans, Norm Lewis, and recording artist Raul Midón. He has also written Special material for CBS, VH1, Comedy Central, and original songs for the Tony-nominated Broadway show and Showtime special, Laugh Whore, starring Mario Cantone, directed by Joe Mantello, His original musical Guess Who’s Coming for Chitlins? premiered at the Thalia Theatre, in Hamburg.
His performance credits include Original Broadway and Off-Broadway casts of Once on This Island, Five Guys Named Moe, Avenue X, Bright Lights, Big City, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin, newyorkers, Taking a Chance on Love, and tick, tick… BOOM! As a director, Mr. Dixon has several works in development, including “21” (Alki Steriopoulos), a musical inspired by baseball legend Roberto Clemente; “Amber Street” a romantic musical comedy (Bob Larimer & Hal Schaefer), and “Dig Lenny Bruce” (Walter Marks), which will receive a workshop at Bay Street Theatre this fall.
William Foster McDaniel– Music Director, A Good ManWilliam Foster McDaniel is a pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. He began his career in musical theatre as pianist-conductor of Off-Broadway’s long-running The Fantasticks. He then served as Assistant Musical Director of the Broadway Production and National Tour of Timbuktu! and Musical Director/Conductor of National Tours of Bubblin Brown Sugar and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Since his original involvement with the show, Mr. McDaniel has musical directed over 50 productions of Ain’t Misbehavin’ and is regarded as its premiere interpreter.
Other conducting credits include Sophisticated Ladies, House of Flowers (with Patti Labelle), Once on this Island, Big River, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Hello, Dolly! Dreamgirls, Damn Yankees!, Show Boat, Storyville, Dinah Was, The Will Rogers Follies, A Wonderful Life, Nunsense II, Call the Children Home, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Always… Patsy Cline, Cookin’ at the Cookery, Crazy for You, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. He was nominated for the Audelco Award for Call the Children Home at Primary Stages in New York, the Helen Hayes Award for Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, the Joseph Jefferson Award for Cookin at the Cookery at Northlight Theatre in Chicago, and the Dora Award for Ain’t Misbehavin’ at CanStage in Toronto.
With Edward C. Sullivan, Mr. McDaniel is a co-author of Adam, a new musical based on the life of Adam Clayton Powell. As a classical musician, Mr McDaniel appears frequently in solo recitals and chamber concerts featuring his own compositions as well as works from the standard concert repertoire. His compositions have received performances by the Philharmonia of Greensboro, the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, The United States Army Band Brass Quintet and the Antara Ensemble of New York.
Mr. McDaniel holds a Bachelor of Music from Capital University in Columbus Ohio and a Master Of Music from Boston University. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Paris.
Joe Calarco – Director, ToyMaker
Joe Calarco is the recipient of 4 Helen Hayes Awards, the Barrymore Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, and is an Executive Board member of SDC. He is currently co-artistic director of Breaking Bread Theatre, which will produce Picnic at Hanging Rock as its premiere production in NYC in October.
Previous directing engagements at the O’Neill include: Sarah, Plain and Tall, In Transit, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Shadow Sparrow. Several Off-Broadway projects have been featured at Playwrights Horizon, Primary Stages, Second Stage, Transport Group, and Dream Light Theater Company, including; The Burnt Part Boys, Floyd and Clea, Under the Western Sky; Boy, In Transit (Drama Desk nomination), in the absence of spring (playwright/director), The Audience (contributing book writer), Bury the Dead, Fugitive Songs, and Shakespeare’s R&J (adaptor/director).
His regional theater work includes engagements with Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, The Old Globe, Signature Theater, and Mosaic Theater, including The Light in the Piazza, The Last Five Years, Elegies, M. Butterfly, Lincolnesque, The Glass Menagerie, The Memory Show, The Burnt Part Boys, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (book writer/director),Walter Cronkite is Dead (playwright/director), God of Carnage, Assassins, Urinetown, Side Show, Nijinsky’s Last Dance, Nest, and A Measure of Cruelty (playwright). Pregnancy Pact will be performed at Weston Playhouse.
David Libby – Music Director, ToyMakerDavid was Music Director, and played the role of "Smokey", in the 2011 Off-Broadway production of Play it Cool, which recently received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Outstanding New Musical. Other musical director credits include Shadow Sparrow (O'Neill NMTC 2011); That Other Woman's Child (NYMF); The Fantasticks (Gallery Players), Little Shop of Horrors, My Way, Sisters of Swing (Infinity Theatre Company); Little Mary (Not For Broadway Festival) and Golden Prospects (Fringe Festival). David played keyboards on the tours of Kiss Me Kate (First National Broadway Tour) and Beauty and the Beast (Las Vegas), and also worked as pianist on the national tours of Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Oliver!, among others.
David is also a composer/arranger, and is currently arranging songs from the MGM catalog for Chasing Rainbows, a new musical about the early life of Judy Garland, in development with EMI Music Publishing, book by Thomas Meehan. He has composed musical scores for award winning short films and webisodes, including Greg Pak's Mister Green (Best Short Film, London Sci-Fi) and Marvel Comics characters in The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, and Spiderman.
David holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College , where he studied composition with avant garde icon Elliot Schwartz. He later received his M.M. in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University, where he studied with jazz piano legend Kenny Barron.

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