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Marla Mindelle, Clark Thorell and More Join Newtown Kids for 12.14 Foundation's A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

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Marla Mindelle, Clark Thorell and More Join Newtown Kids for 12.14 Foundation's A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

The 12.14 Foundation will be producing two shows for its summer season incorporating 200 children from the Newtown-area as a continuation of its mission to promote personal development through high-level performing arts programs.

The first show A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream, a world premiere adaptation of one of Shakespeare's favorite plays will be performed tonight, August 1st at 7PM, August 2nd at 2PM and 7PM , August 3rd at 2PM, August 8th at 7PM, August 9th at 2PM and 7PM and August 10th at 5PM.

The second show will be the regional premiere of The 101 Dalmatians Musical with performances on August 6th at 7PM, August 7th at 7PM, August 8th at 11AM and August 10th at 12PM.

The venue for both productions is Newtown High School (12 Berkshire Road, Newtown, CT) and ticket prices range from $25.00 to $30.00.

The world premiere of A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream is a new musical version adapted by Michael Unger and Eric Svejcar with a score by Mr. Svejcar. Joining the Newtown children in this production are Broadway stars Marla Mindelle (Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Sister Act), Clarke Thorell (Hairspray, 2012 Annie revival) and Saum Eskandani (Disaster!, A Year With Frog and Toad).

The Foundation also plans to produce and release a CD of the production with Broadway Records (Matilda, Big Fish, 54 BELOW Concert Series). The 12.14 production team: Michael Unger will direct, Jeffrey Saver will music direct with Newtown's own, Brett Boles as his associate and Jennifer Paulson Lee will choreograph. Orchestrations are by Kim Scharnberg. Van Dean is co-producer and Michael Baroody, MD, founder of the 12.14 Foundation, is the executive producer.

As was the case with Seussical, there are approximately 20 Newtown students apprenticing backstage to learn from the team of Broadway professionals participating in the productions. The orchestra will also include Newtown-area parents and students.

The regional premiere of The 101 Dalmatians Musical is the famed story by Dodie Smith, with a book by BT McNicholl (Cabaret) and a score by Dennis DeYoung (the lead singer/songwriter from the rock group Styx). It has been adapted specifically for Newtown by Michael Unger and Dennis DeYoung. The production stars Kristine Zbornik (A Catered Affair on Broadway, Mamma Mia in Las Vegas) as Cruella and 100+ Newtown children (ages 4 to 13) as the Dalmatians. This production will be designed by Newtown High School students, under the supervision of Midsummer's team of professional designers.

"The young performers are undergoing a rigorous rehearsal process 6 days a week for 6 weeks in preparation for the shows. They are deciphering Shakespeare while simultaneously contributing to the process of developing an original musical. Our Dalmatians will amaze you with their incredible talent honed by our dedicated Broadway professionals," says Michael Baroody, MD, Founder of the 12.14 Foundation.

ADDITIONAL 12.14 FOUNDATION EVENT: CONNECTICUT'S GOT TALENT! This will be a talent contest open to all - young/old, parent/child, student/teacher. Krysta Rodriguez ("SMASH", First Date) will be one of the judges - August 5th at 7PM at Newtown High School

The 12.14 Foundation is a non-for-profit organization formed following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School to encourage personal development through high-level performing arts programs. The Foundation provides experiences that produce a long-lasting, positive affect on the way children see themselves and the world around them.

The director of The Leadership Development Program at the Yale School of Management has assembled a volunteer team of experts specialized in leadership, applied psychology and executive coaching. Their team has constructed an innovative character development strategy that integrates synergistically with our Arts initiatives to encourage each child to reach their personal potential. Children learn skills and values such as integrity, collaboration, commitment, communication, problem-solving, positive-thinking and confidence. They are guided through self-realization, feedback exercises, and coaching sessions that help each child maximize their individual strengths and overcome weaknesses. The 12.14 Foundation is also working toward building a performing arts center in Newtown as a living remembrance of those lost on December 14th, 2012.

For more information about the 12.14 Foundation, visit www.1214foundation.org. For more information on the summer season of shows, visit: www.1214foundation.org/summer2014.

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