Nathan Tysen's STILLWATER Set for The Living Room, 10/20

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Nathan Tysen's STILLWATER Set for The Living Room, 10/20

In a joint effort to produce and foster new work, The Living Room, in association with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, will present a concert reading of Nathan Tysen and the popular Midwest band Joe's Pet Project's new rock theatre piece Stillwater. This exciting new fusion of rock concert and musical theatre will be performed with actors from Kansas City, New York and Chicago, at 7 pm and 10 pm, Sunday, October 20, 2013 at The Living Room 1818 McGee Street in Kansas City, MO.

Brooklyn's Nathan Tysen, lyricist for the upcoming Broadway musicals Tuck Everlasting and Amelie, wrote the libretto for Stillwater, with music written in collaboration with Joe's Pet Project. The evening will be directed by the Rep's Artistic Director Eric Rosen (New York: Clay at Lincoln Center's LCT3, Venice at The Public Theater).

Stillwater is a rock theatre fusion revolving around a modern-day, drug-fueled trailer park in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Rock, pop, and alt-country combine to tell the story of six unbridled twenty-somethings: a drug dealer, his recovering addict ex-girlfriend, and the neighbor who loves her; plus an indie musician on the brink of stardom, his unfaithful girlfriend, and her desperate one-night stand. As the concert unfolds, the two love triangles cleverly and catastrophically intersect. Stillwater is an angst-filled love letter to a generation rebounding from the economic and cultural shocks of the last ten years.

Tysen's other work includes the off-Broadway musicals The Burnt Part Boys (2009 Lucille Lortel nomination for Best New Musical) and Fugitive Songs (2008 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Revue). His television work includes tunes for Sesame Street (2012 Daytime Emmy Award) and The Electric Company.

"I grew up in Salina, Kansas," Tysen said. "Many of my formative theatre experiences came from seeing the great theatre that Kansas City has to offer, but I've never had a chance to work there. The productions that are coming out of KC, in particular the Rep and The Living Room, are innovative and daring. It made perfect sense to develop and debut Stillwater with them."

"I've known Nathan for a decade, and his relationships with Kansas City artists like The Living Room's artistic director Rusty Sneary and the Rep's producing director Jerry Genochio go back to Missouri State University, so this feels like a reunion in many ways," said Eric Rosen. "Nathan is one of my favorite music theatre writers working today, so when he brought Stillwater to my attention, I jumped at the chance to collaborate with the artists of The Living Room to explore this brilliant musical journey from Kansas City to Stillwater, Oklahoma. This concert experience will be an exciting way to share Nathan and Joe's Pet Project's unique, powerful musical voice with our most adventurous audiences, and to witness the beginnings of what promises to be a unique and thrilling new theatrical experience."

Rocking the Midwest for almost a decade, Joe's Pet Project (JPP) is a free-wheelin' musical experiment known for presenting euphoric live shows of diverse originals and eclectic covers. Self-proclaimed "Musical Puddlejumpers," the five-piece band fearlessly and effortlessly genre-hop from Motown to funk to classic rock to rockabilly. JPP has recently worked as artists-in-residence creating the USD 305 Live concert series and has headlined the Friday night street dance at the Smoky Hill River Festival, both events in Salina.

JPP members are Nathan Tysen (Vocals and Guitar), Ryan McCall (Piano and Vocals), John Hobson (Guitar), Jason Hammond (Bass) and Lance Gilchrist (Drums and Vocals). The Kansas City concert will also feature Kansas City- and New York-based Claybourne Elder, as well as New York City-based Jessica Ryan, and Chicago's Trista Smith.

Stillwater will be performed at 7pm and 10pm, Sunday, October 20, at The Living Room, 1818 McGee Street in Kansas City, MO. Tickets are $10 at the door, 30 minutes before show time or in advance at https://Stillwaterkc.eventbrite.com. For more information, visit www.thelivingroomkc.com, email thelivingroomkc@gmail.com, or call 816-533-5857. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Warning: Stillwater contains adult themes and is recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Living Room was born on the stoop of a Brooklyn Brownstone in 2009. Co-founders Rusty Sneary (Artistic Director) and Shawnna Journagan (Executive Director) decided to return to their native Kansas City with an idea to start a company that alleviated a common fear of theatre, and make it accessible and enjoyable to a broad audience, especially the inexperienced audience member. Another key principle was to collaborate with as many people using as many different media possible to make a family of artists that includes actors, directors, musicians, studio artists and anything else interesting. An artistic family was quickly born and continues, in their fourth year, now as a nonprofit organization, to collaborate and create provocative and quality work with a rapidly growing fan base.

Another goal of TLR is to work together and support all other local theatres to help create a strong and young backbone to the artistic community as a whole. The idea is to satisfy a very supportive existing audience while also attracting a younger demographic by fostering provocative works that defy traditional expectations. TLR, while employing KC's most experienced, also works as a bridge to present many young artists with opportunities that will showcase their talents, position them to continue to get work in other more established and recognized theatres such as the Kansas City Rep, and be secure in calling Kansas City their home. The Living Room shares the belief with Kansas City Repertory Theatre that the Kansas City theatre community is expanding rapidly and as more theatres continue to work together to create local awareness, their national recognition will as well. TLR is excited to add another endeavor to this growing collaborative relationship.

Just shy of its 50th anniversary, Kansas City Repertory Theatre is one of the nation's oldest and most respected regional theaters. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and the Toronto Sun, the Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre, where it serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. Kansas City Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen, and Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras.

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