Michael Stiggers to Headline Hip Hop Musical iLLA! at O'Neill Center; Cast Announced!
Producers have announced the full cast for iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical at the 2017 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Music Theater Conference (NMTC) this July.
Directed by J, Kyle Manzay with book, music and lyrics by Ronvé O'Daniel and music by Jevares C. Myrick, iLLA! performs at the O'Neill July 1st at 7PM, July 2nd at 3PM, July 5th at 8PM and July 7th at 7PM.
Michael Stiggers leads the cast in the title role of Prince. iLLA! also features Kingsley Leggs (The Color Purple, Sister Act) as Pop, Emily Koch (Wicked) as Stacey, Marva Hicks (Motown, The Lion King) as Mom and Andrew Bancroft, who performs with Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda in the rap group, "Freestyle Love Supreme," as Prince's archrival, Big Trey.
iLLA! is an award-winning love story set against the 2008 U.S. financial crisis that tells the story of Prince, a classically trained dancer, who dreams of becoming a hip hop star. Along the way, he falls hard for his competition's girlfriend and is forced to confront the shattered dreams of his community. iLLA! is a journey of Struggle, Swagger, and Search for Self.
Founded in 1978 in Waterford, Connecticut, the NMTC has launched the careers of Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda among many other award-winning writers and featured early developmental readings of the Tony-winning Best Musicals Nine, Avenue Q, and Miranda's In The Heights. The O'Neill is the recipient of two Tony Awards and received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama last fall, while, The National Music Theater Conference is helmed by Artistic Director Paulette Haupt. iLLA! was one of only three selections for the NMTC out of 211 applicants.
iLLA! premiered as a reading at NYMF in 2015, where it won the Award for Excellence at the NYMF Developmental Reading Series. In February 2016, iLLA! played to a sold out run at the Toledo School for the Arts and was profiled on NBC TV. In June 2016, iLLA! was presented in Atlanta at the Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts and profiled again on FOX TV. iLLA! won the "Best of Fest!" at NYMF in July 2016 and was profiled on PIX11's "Backstage on Broadway."
Tickets for iLLA! at the NMTC are now on sale at theoneill.secure.force.com/ticket and can also be purchased by calling (860) 443-1238. For more information about NMTC 2017, visit www.theoneill.org/summer-conferences/nmtc/2017. The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center is located at 305 Great Neck Road in Waterford, CT. For more information on iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical, visit www.illathemusical.com.
Michael Stiggers (Prince) is thrilled to be back with the iLLA! team after the 2016 ATL Workshop. Regional theatre credits include Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story (ALLIANCE THEATRE, Arena Stage); RENT (Actor's Express); Les Miserables (Aurora Theatre); Pippin (Legacy Theatre) and The Toxic Avenger (Horizon Theatre). Michael has also performed with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and been a national voiceover talent for Nickelodeon Network and Adidas Brand. He will soon be making his Broadway debut in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical! To God be the Glory! DDO Artist Agency. www.michaelstiggers.com
Emily Koch (Stacey) is so pumped to be apart of the O'Neill this season! Broadway: Wicked - Elphaba (Standby) National Tours: Wicked - Elphaba Regional: Little Women (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), ValueVille (NYMF) In The Bones (APAC, World Premiere, and New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play) Readings: Housewarming (NYMF), All The Walls (World Premiere). Carnegie Mellon Musical Theatre Class of 2013, youngARTS Finalist, and Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy Alumnus. Thanks to family, friends, teachers, Alan Filderman, the iLLA! team and BRS/Gage.
Marva Hicks (Mom) Broadway: Motown: The Musical, Caroline Or Change, The Lion King, Lena Horne: The Lady And Her Music. Off-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors (City Center Encores! Off-center), Cabin in the Sky (City Center Encores), Thunder Knocking On the Door (Minetta Lane) Caroline Or Change (The Public) The First Breeze Of Summer, (The Signature Theatre). Regional: (Crossroads Theatre) Sarah Sings A Love Story, (Arena Stage) In Thunder Knocking On The Door (Helen Hayes Award), Cuttin Up, The Women Of Brewster Place, Co-Produced with The ALLIANCE THEATRE (Suzi Award), Crowns, And Sophisticated Ladies. Bess (Austin Circle Of Theatres B. Lden Payne Award) In The Zach Scott Theatre's Jazz/Blues Production of Porgy And Bess. TV: Search Party, Daredevil, House of Cards, One Life To Live, Mad About You, Star Trek: Voyager. Film: Labor Day, Assunder, Virtuosity. Marva has recorded on Polygram Records. Tours: Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
Andrew Bancroft (Big Trey) is a writer, musician, and actor in New York. He performs with Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda in the rap group Freestyle Love Supreme (Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub). Bancroft wrote, directed, and starred in the musicals Orpheus and Eurydice Are F*cking in Love (Ars Nova) and KML Faces the Music (ODC). He teaches freestyle rap at Broadway Student Summit and leads the band for Employee of the Month (Joe's Pub). His band Moondrunk performed at Carnegie Hall and released their debut album in 2016. He played "Big Trey" in iLLA: A Hip Hop Musical (2016 Best of Festival NYMF). His rapper alter ego Jelly Donut has been featured on Mtv's TRL and in Rolling Stone.
Kingsley Leggs (Pop) Broadway: Sister Act, Miss Saigon, The Color Purple (original Mister). Touring: Miss Saigon (Canada, Asia, UK), Ragtime (LA, Vancouver), It ain't Nothing but the Blues (LA), Forbidden Hollywood (Japan). Regional credits include performances at Ford's Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, Prince Music Theatre, Northshore Music Theatre, North Carolina Theatre, New York Stage and Film, ALLIANCE THEATRE, Goodman Theatre, 5th Avenue, TheatreWorks, Seattle Rep, Geffen Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, The Muny, and St. Louis.
Ronvé O'Daniel (Book, Music and Lyrics) is a New York-based actor, songwriter, rapper, producer, and playwright. As a recording hip-hop artist, he's been featured in XXL Magazine and HipHopDX.com. He was also featured as a performer and writer for Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs' #BARS Workshop at The Public Theater. Most recently, Ronvé produced and starred in a concert version of iLLA at Joe's Pub. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre from Wright State University. His current album "Motivation Music" is available on iTunes and Ronvé.bandcamp.com.
Jevares C. Myrick (Music & Orchestrations) is a New York-based Producer, Composer, Singer, Actor, Dancer and choreographer. Raised in Marietta, GA he is an alumnus of the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts (Pebblebrook High School) and attended Wright State University on a full scholarship for Vocal Performance. BROADWAY CREDITS: The Book of Mormon (Swing, Understudy, and Dance Captain) NATIONAL TOUR CREDITS: The Book of Mormon Latter Day Tour (1st national) and the Jumamosi Tour (2nd national) as a swing, understudy, and dance Captain. REGIONAL THEATRE CREDITS: Smokey Joes Café, All Night Strut, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Ragtime, Sweet Charity, Aint Misbehavin', Sophisticated Ladies, and many more. TELEVISION/FILM CREDITS: The Originals (Choreographer, and appeared on 3 episodes). He is a five time Suzi Bass Award Nominee (2 wins). Jevares is also an Ovation Award recipient for Best Male Vocalist. He has written and produced many shows for Six Flags Amusement parks across the U.S. and has produced and performed in many industrials around the world. Jevares has also been featured in BroadwayWorld.com and Playbill.com.
J Kyle Manzay (Director, Co-Writer / Story Consultant) received his MFA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a BFA from Howard University. Directing credits include: The Actor's Rap starring Vanessa Simmons (BPAC), The Bootleg Blues starring Chadwick Boseman and Tracie Thoms (Studio Tisch), Hip-Hop Monologues starring Jim Jones (37 Arts), and Toledo/Atlanta workshop productions of iLLA: A Hip-Hop Musical. An Obie Award winner and 5 time AUDELCO Award nominee, J Kyle has been featured on Good Day New York, The Hot 97 Morning Show, The Wendy Williams Radio Show, and featured in the New Yorker Magazine, New York Times and XXL Magazine.
Will Stone (Music Consultant / Co-Vocal Arranger) also known as Will Pailen, has received his Masters of Music Production Technology and Innovation at Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain. He also has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Howard University, and is a 2006 graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School where he studied drama. He has been the musical director for iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical since September 2015; the musical director and vocal arranger of For Vixens Who've Considered Homicide When the Video's Too Much; the musical director of Ain't Misbehavin; and the vocal director and vocal arranger of the Off-Broadway hit revival The Great MacDaddy in association with the Negro Ensemble Company.
David Coffman (Producer): David conceived and produced the hit Latino musical 4 Guys Named José, which played in New York. He also conceived and produced Blackbirds of Broadway, which toured the U.S. and Europe. Currently, David is Managing Director for Sundance Productions Inc., the New York office of BB Promotion, the leading provider of high quality live entertainment in Europe. David is the New York representative for Nordiska ApS, Scandinavia's largest theatrical stage rights agency. He has negotiated international licenses for many Broadway musicals including, Flashdance, The Addams Family, Hairspray, Spring Awakening, The Full Monty, Avenue Q, Wicked (Helsinki), Next To Normal, and Cats (Mexico). David speaks regularly at the Commercial Theatre Institute on international licensing of Broadway musicals.