Round 2 of Boiler Room's Pressure Cooker Ramps Up 9/20-22

September 12
7:59 PM 2012


Franklin's Boiler Room Theatre continues its search for fresh and innovative musicals with its presentation of The Boiler Room Pressure Cooker Round 2, during which three original musicals will compete for a full-production slot in the company's Lucky 13 season.

Over the course of three nights-Thursday, September 20 through Saturday, September 22-Boiler Room presents three musicals that will be rated by the audience and a panel of media/industry professionals. Immediately following each presentation, a 10-minute talkback session will allow judges to offer ideas and suggestions and ask questions of the authors/composers. The musical which emerges from The Boiler Room Pressure Cooker Round 2 will emerge with the grand prize: a full production at the Boiler Room Theatre as part of its Lucky 13 Season. Show dates will be March 21-23, 2013.

The contest, which began earlier this year in March, showcased nine new musical concepts chosen from a group of entries. Each team had 30 minutes to present their work to an audience and panel. At the end of the evening, judges and audience voted via a secret ballot to determine the rating for each musical. At the end of the weekend, the ratings were tallied to determine that the top three finalists.

Vying for the coveted full-production slot in 2013 are City of Light by Michael McFaden, Happily Ever After...Not by Janet McMahan and Umbrella by Steve Leslie.

Judges for the festival (at press time) include highly local playwrights  Jim Reyland and Ted Swindley; ater critics Amy Prough Stumpfl (The Tennessean), Evans Donnell (ArtNash), Martin Brady (Nashville Scene) and Jeffrey Ellis ( Judges also include Maryanna Clarke, artistic director of Tennessee Women's Theatre Project; BRT managing director and senior show director Corbin Green, and BRT artistic director Jamey Green

"It astonishes me that we have already completed round one," says Jamey Green, who developed the Pressure Cooker concept with Reyland. "The musical theatre talent in Middle Tennessee is tremendous, and I believe we have only scratched the surface. In March we were blown and it will be a treat to see how these musicals have developed!"

Tickets are $15 and shows are at 8 p.m. each evening. For reservations, call (615) 794-7744 or go to

Show Schedule: City of Light (Michael McFaden) performing Thursday September 20 at 8 p.m.; Happily Ever After...Not (Janet McMahan) performing Friday September 21at 8 p.m.; Umbrella (Steve Leslie), performing Saturday September 22 at 8 p.m.

BRT is now accepting submissions for Pressure Cooker 2013. Please send author bio(s), plot synopsis and three representative songs (mp3 format) to:

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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