Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013

Photo-Flash-SHOWSEARCH-2013-20000101

The Los Angeles based Festival of New American Musicals was formed specifically to cultivate new American musicals and nurture America's musical youth. SHOWSEARCH, the Festival's nation-wide search for the best ten minute musical written by 16-to-25-year-olds crowned its winners March 23rd in Los Angeles at the Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, in cooperation with the LAUSD. Check out the photos below!

Of the evening's performances, SHOWSEARCH Judge Joel Grey said: "It was exciting. I have never seen better performers truly. It was so well done. They just did great great, great, great, great."

At this live, one night only event, SHOWSEARCH presented the Top Six Musicals, which were judged based on originality, musicality, lyric writing and storytelling. Judges included Oscar and Tony award-winning actor Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur (actress, Hairspray), Chris Herzberger (Executive of Live Theatricals at Universal Pictures), Dr. Steven McCarthy (Arts Coordinator, LAUSD), and Courtney Harper (Artistic Associate and Outreach & Education Manager, Pasadena Playhouse).

Creators of the Top Six were flown to Los Angeles, where the shows were performed and directed by top LA theater director Richard Israel, and cast professionally by top casting director Michael Donovan. The Staged Reading Event included the six ten-minute musicals being judged that evening on originality, musicality, lyric writing and storytelling.
The winners were selected by our jury of top professionals. Each of the Top Six teams also received a financial scholarship award-a $1,000 grant from the Maurer Family Foundation.
The SHOWSEARCH High School Winner is "Today's The Day" by Garrison Hall and Alexa Russo. Best friends, Sam, Molly, and her twin brother, Mike, are quickly approaching high school graduation when they realize there are some things they each need to confess to each other before their lives change forever. This story, filled with friendship and newfound vulnerability, explores the possibilities of deciding that "Today's The Day."

The SHOWSEARCH College Winner is "INEXPERIENCED LOVE" by Jacob Tischler, Benjamin Viertel.

Take this fast-paced plunge into the mystery of new love with Jameson and Ruthie. He has always considered himself unworthy romantic material, but she has obsessed over Jameson for fourteen wishful years. Now they must battle their deep-seeded insecurities as fate flings them together.

The Top Six:
TODAY'S THE DAY: (Garrison Hall and Alexa Russo )
Best friends, Sam, Molly, and her twin brother, Mike, are quickly approaching high school graduation when they realize there are some things they each need to confess to each other before their lives change forever. This story, filled with friendship and newfound vulnerability, explores the possibilities of deciding that "Today's The Day"

OCCUPY! THE MUSICAL: (Alex Karukas)
A farce on the modern social movement, Occupy! tells the story of a lone man who goes on a whirlwind adventure through New York City to find his place in the world. On the way, he meets a kooky cast of characters and learns all about the Occupy Wall Street movement...and himself!

NORA, I ADORE YA:(Bob Kelly and Kelly Pomeroy)
David, a shy high school freshman, and his struggle to work up the courage to ask Nora to dance at the upcoming winter formal. Nora, elated because the most popular boy in school has bumped into her, is completely oblivious of David's intentions.

Johnny the Paperboy: (Dayna Smith, Amanda Baschnagel, Alex Smith)
JOHNNY is a musical set in the near future where all communication is through computers and technology. When the Internet is stolen, a group of kids must connect in a way they never have before to get it back - through paper!

PRE-SCHOOL: (Oliver Houser and James Zebooker)
The sweet and nurturing preschool teacher Ms. White is challenged when the compassionless Teacher Turner is brought in to teach alongside her.

INEXPERIENCED LOVE: (Jacob Tischler, Benjamin Viertel)
Take this fast-paced plunge into the mystery of new love with Jameson and Ruthie. He has always considered himself unworthy romantic material, but she has obsessed over Jameson for fourteen wishful years. Now they must battle their deep-seeded insecurities as fate flings them together.

The event is being filmed and documented by award-winning documentary producer-director, Alex Rotaru.

The Top Six Finalists came from all across the country. Finalists for the 16-18 year-old category were: Garrison Hall and Alexa Russo of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (California) for their entry TODAY'S THE DAY; Alex Smith and Daniel Farenbach of Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (Nevada) and Danya Smith and Amanda Baschnagel previously of Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and currently at Boise State University (Idaho), for JOHNNY THE PAPERBOY; and Alex Karukas of Thousand Oaks High School (California) for OCCUPY! THE MUSICAL.

In the 19-25 age group the finalists are: Bob Kelly and Kelly Pomeroy of St. Olaf College (Minnesota) for their entry, NORA, I ADORE YA; Jacob Tischler and Benjamin Viertel of Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, PA) for INEXPERIENCED LOVE; and, finally, Oliver Houser of Hunter College (New York) and James Zebooker of the University of Massachusetts for PRE-SCHOOL.

Creators of the Top Six were flown to Los Angeles, where the shows were performed and directed by top LA theater director Richard Israel, and cast professionally by top casting director Michael Donovan. The Staged Reading Event included the six ten-minute musicals being judged that evening on originality, musicality, lyric writing and storytelling.
Who Wins?: The winners were selected that evening by our jury of top professionals. Each of the Top Six teams also received a financial scholarship award-a $1,000 grant from the Maurer Family Foundation.

Darren Criss of Glee and Broadway (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) fame said, "I'd like to congratulate all the SHOWSEARCH Winners. It's a really cool time for musical theater, especially with the advent of social media, and young people are creating a lot of musical theater content, as witnessed by the amazing submissions SHOWSEARCH received from all over the country. I congratulate all the finalists and winners.

Producer Hunter Bird noted, "Kids who want to perform in musical theater have all kinds of opportunities, from youth theater groups to high school and college musicals. But kids who want to create-who decide that instead of starting their rock band they're going to write their musical-those kids have nowhere to go. With SHOWSEARCH we're opening the door for them for the first time. Finally, someone is saying 'Show us what you can do!'"

Co-Executive Producers Bob Klein, Marcia Seligson & Linda Shusett added: "American musical theatre today is back in the mainstream of our popular culture. We're working to keep it there by creating opportunities to find and support the next generation of composers, lyricists and book writers, as well as audiences."

SHOWSEARCH Mentors include: Jeff Marx (Avenue Q), David Zippel (City of Angels), John Bucchino (Catered Affair), Michelle Brourman (Dangerous Beauty), David Shire (Starting Here, Starting Now), and Ryan Scott Oliver (Darling, Jasper in Deadland, Mrs. Sharp).

The SHOWSEARCH "New Faces" Participants will include Eric Millegan (www.ericmillegan.net) (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1090644/bio) who, in addition to his critically acclaimed starring and recurring role on the hit television series Bones has performed in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. Eric Millegan's New York theater credits include the Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, the Encores presentation of Hair at City Center (in which he sang the "Aquarius" solo), and the New York premiere of Dead Man Walking at Lincoln Center. Eric added, "This is such an important event. Broadway needs to cultivate kids like these to keep the smash hits coming well into the future." Michael Scott Allen (www.michaelscottallen.com) (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4011889/) will also be onboard. Michael Scott Allen attended the same theater conservatory as SHOWSEARCH supporter Jason Alexander, and appears in the upcoming features Dark Freed and The Wine of Summer. Michael Scott Allen said, "I am absolutely thrilled to be involved with this event. The Festival of New American Musicals has made it their goal to provide opportunities to young writers and composers across the nation to showcase their original work. As a graduate of a theater conservatory myself, I am thrilled to see these young artists taking their craft and the education into their own hands."

The Process: The FNAM staff of musical theater pros reviewed the new musical entries and narrowed them to the Top Six, three from each age division (16-18 and 18-25). The Judging Panel was on hand to review the Top Six and choose a winner.

These writers worked with top professional mentors to polish up their shows. Mentors included Avenue Q's Jeff Marx, City of Angels' David Zippel, It's Only Life's John Bucchino, Dangerous Beauty's Michele Brourman, Mrs. Sharp's . Ryan Scott Oliver, and Starting Here, Starting Now's David Shire.

Creators of the Top Six were flown to Los Angeles, where the shows were performed and directed by top LA theater director Richard Israel, and cast professionally by top casting director Michael Donovan. The Staged Reading Event included the six ten-minute musicals being judged that evening on originality, musicality, lyric writing and storytelling.

About the Festival of New American Musicals: Since 2008, the Festival of New American Musicals has curated an annual festival of new musicals throughout Southern California, performed by professionals, communities, and schools.

Honorary Co-Chairs: Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Jerry Herman, Angela Lansbury, and Jason Alexander. Board members: Bonnie Eskenazi, Partner at Greenberg Glusker, Legal Counsel; Margaret Bates, M.D; Noelle Hicks, Jewelry Designer and Arts Fund Raiser; Hunter Bird, Event Coordinator; Barry Blaustein, Writer/Director/Producer; Michael Donovan, Casting Director; and Marcia Seligson, Linda Shusett & Bob Klein, Co-Executive Producers

Photo Credit: Jason Mordoh/Hands On Public Relations & Marketing

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
SHOW SEARCH 2013

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
Bob Klein, Linda Shusett with 19 year-old NY resident Oliver Houser

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
Director Robert Israel with High School Category Winners Garrison Hall and Alexa Russo, Co-Executive Producer Robert Klein and Producer Hunter Bird Co-Executive Producer Robert Klein

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
Courtney Harper, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Chris Herzberger, Joel Grey, Dr. Steven McCarthy

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
Joel Grey

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
Eric Milligan, Showsearch Director Richard Israel & Michael Scott Allen

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
Christin Jones, Volunteer Student

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013
SHOWSEARCH Co-Excutive Producers & Director Israel speak with the media at the Ramon C. Cortines School In Los Angeles

Photo Flash: Joel Grey, Marissa Jaret Winokur and More in SHOWSEARCH 2013

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