Sutton Foster, André De Shields and More Join NAMT Casts

Sutton Foster, André De Shields and More Join NAMT Casts

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced today additional casting for the 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals on Thursday, October 11 and Friday, October 12 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).

Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster (star of ABC Family's Bunheads) will star in The Circus in Winter, Ben Clark and Beth Turcotte's musical based on the Cathy Day novel where legend and lore collide under the big top. Also joining the cast are Brian Sutherland (1776) and Steel Burkhardt (Hair). Kate Rockwell (Bring It On!) also stars. The ensemble includes Marie-France Arcilla (the revised Working), Emily Behny (Beauty and the Beast tour), Derrick Cobey (The Scottsboro Boys), Jonathan Jensen, Corey Mach (Godspell) and Jen Noble (Ghost). Victoria Bussert (Lizzie Borden and Factory Girls at NAMT) directs and Matt Webb will be the music director.

Tony nominee André De Shields (Play On!) will star as Guy Fawkes in Bonfire Night, Justin Levine's musical about the plot to blow up Parliament in 1605. Drama Desk nominee Jeremy Morse (Bloodsong of Love), Omar Lopez-Cepero (American Idiot) and Eddie Wardel also join the cast which includes Santino Fontana (Cinderella), Chris Hoch (Shrek) and Wade McCollum (Triassic Parq). Tony nominated Sam Buntrock (SUNDAY IN THE Park with George) will direct with Kimberly Grigsby (Spring Awakening) as music director.

Timothy Warmen (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Annie Golden (Xanadu/The Full Monty) and (reprising his previous role) Bryce Ryness (Hair/See Rock City….and Other Destinations) star in Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin and Valerie Vigoda's Sleeping Beauty Wakes, directed by Rebecca Taichman (Milk Like Sugar) with music direction by Brad Haak (MARY POPPINS).

Drew Aber (A Tale of Two Cities) joins Demond Green (Sister Act), Kenita Miller (Xanadu), Alysha Umphress (American Idiot) and Emily Walton (The Shaggs) in Kirsten Childs's Funked Up Fairy Tales, a collection of delightfully twisted urban fairy tales for sophisticated children and grownup kids. Jerry Dixon (who starred in Childs' The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin) directs, with Steve Marzullo (Disaster) music director.

Tony nominee Nancy Opel (Urinetown) and Damon Daunno (Brief Encounter) join two-time Tony nominee Robin DeJesus (In the Heights and La Cage aux Folles), Sarah Stiles (Public's Into the Woods) and William Ryall (Chaplin) in Bleeding Love, an original musical by Jason Schafer, Arthur LaFrentz Bacon and Harris Doran, a wickedly demented, post-apocalyptic fairy tale for grownups. Stephen Brackett directs. Jason Wetzel (Young Frankenstein) is music director.

Bryce Ryness (also appearing in Sleeping Beauty Wakes), Dana Steingold and Margot Siebert (both in Pregnancy Pact at Weston Playhouse) star in Triangle by Curtis Moore, Thomas Mizer and Joshua Sher, directed by Meredith McDonough with James Sampliner (Legally Blonde) as music director.

Adam Kantor (Rent), Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages), Nicole Lewis (Hair), Heath Calvert (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and NAMT's Bloodsong of Love) and Kelsey Kurz (The Merchant of Venice) are featured in Nobody Loves You, back in roles they created previously at The Old Globe Theatre. Joining them are Asmeret Ghebremichael (The Book of Mormon), Phoebe Strole (Spring Awakening) and Etai Ben Shlomo (Wicked). Mike Pettry joins the team as music director. Michelle Tattenbaum will direct Nobody Loves You, having directed the world premiere earlier this season at The Old Globe. Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter's musical is a behind-the-scenes look at a dating reality television show.

Emmy Award (TV's Smallville) and Academy Award nominee (Best Song for A Mighty Wind) Annette O'Toole, Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown), Natalie Joy Johnson (Legally Blonde), Robin Skye (Parade), Allison Briner (Mamma Mia!), Lizzie Hagstedt (Sweeney Todd national tour), and Joel Waggoner return for the NAMT Festival from the CAP21 cast. Randy Redd (War Horse) and Andy Taylor (Once) will join the cast. Tom Caruso returns as director of Southern Comfort after directing the award-winning workshop at CAP21 last fall. Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis's musical is based on the Sundance award-winning documentary about transgender friends living in rural Georgia. Emily Otto is returning as music director.

Additional staffing and casting will be announced shortly.

Held in New York City every fall over two days, the Festival presents 45-minute staged readings of eight new musicals before an industry-only audience with the experience and resources to move the work forward.

For the ninth consecutive year NAMT's Festival of New Musicals will be presented at the premiere Off-Broadway facility New World Stages, located west of the Theatre District at 340 West 50th Street. Registration for Industry members is free and now open at www.namt.org/festival. Open registration closes on September 30 and any registrations received after that date will be subject to a late registration fee. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public for free on a standby basis.

The 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals is overseen by NAMT's New Work Director and Festival Producing Director Branden Huldeen and General Manager Lisa Dozier. Alan Filderman is Casting Director for the Festival. Betsy King Militello is the Executive Director of NAMT.

In 1989 the Festival of New Musicals was created to provide a forum to celebrate the new musicals that were being produced and presented around the country. Since then, the Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 270 musicals and 490 writers from around the world. More than 75% of these shows have gone on to subsequent productions and tours, been printed in publishers' catalogues, and recorded on cast albums.

Past Festival productions include Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days, Don McKellar, Bob Martin, Greg Morrison and Lisa Lambert's The Drowsy Chaperone; Richard Morris, Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori's Thoroughly Modern Millie; Stephen Schwartz and John Caird's Children of Eden; Kirsten Childs' The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin; George Stiles and Anthony Drewes' Honk!; Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World; and Hunter Foster and David Kirshenbaum's Summer of '42.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Our mission is to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals. Our 150 members, located throughout 34 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world, and include theatres, presenting organizations, higher education programs and individual producers.

The FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is funded entirely by contributions to the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, a not-for-profit organization, and is supported in part by a generous award from the National Endowment for the Arts and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information about NAMT, please visit www.namt.org.

NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs: The Alhadeff Family Charitable Foundation, The Ann Palmer Foundation, A.R.T./New York, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, BMI Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, The Dramatists Guild Fund, Friars Foundation, Edward & Thea Lawton Foundation, Frederick Loewe Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation, Stacey Mindich Productions and The Shubert Foundation.

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