Chuck Cooper, Theresa McCarthy, and Morgan James Launch THE COTERIE At Joe's Pub 9/21

September 9
2:54 PM 2009

The Coterie, a new downtown company devoted to developing contemporary music theater works, will launch with a concert at Joe's Pub on September 21st, 2009 at 9:30pm. Chuck Cooper (Tony Award winner for The Life), Theresa McCarthy (Floyd Collins, Titanic), Morgan James (Bernstein's Mass at Carnegie Hall, The Addams Family), David Adam Moore (Candide at La Scala, Soldier Songs), Amy Justman (Company), Cyrilla Baer (The Adding Machine), Andrew Nolen (The Wooster Group's La Didone), and Christopher Burchett (Jenufa at Glimmerglass) will interpret the music of composers-in-residence David T. Little (Soldier Songs), Jeff Myers (The Hunger Art), and Rachel Peters (Stretch [a fantasia]) and librettist Royce Vavrek. The evening will also feature songs by Vavrek with composers Cristian Amigo, Mark Baechle, Andrew Gerle (Meet John Doe), and Matt Marks (The Little Death).

The Coterie, founded by Royce Vavrek and Lauren Worsham, aims to nurture eclectic 21st century music theater by commissioning, developing, and offering full productions of contemporary work. The evening will highlight material from three operas-in-progress with libretti by Royce Vavrek: arias from David T. Little's Dog Days (described as "melodic and shapely" by The New York Times following its May 2009 presentation as part of Dawn Upshaw and Osvaldo Golijov's Young Artists Concert at Carnegie Hall), which investigates the psychology of a working class American family against the backdrop of a not-so-distant-future wartime; world premiere selections from Prairie Dogs, the second in a triptych of short operas by Rachel Peters featuring a child whose fantasies spiral out of control in her bungalow bedroom; and scenes from Maren of Vardø, an unlikely love story between a twelve year-old girl and Satan in the bitter cold of Norway's northernmost municipality, by Jeff Myers.

Steven Malone will serve as the event's musical director and pianist. He will be joined onstage by guitarist James Moore, violinist Yuki Numata, and cellist Kevin McFarland.

Royce Vavrek (Artistic Director/Librettist) is a multi-disciplinary narrative artist originally from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. Scenes from his opera Dog Days (with composer David T. Little) were presented at Carnegie Hall this past May as part of Osvaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw's Young Artists Concert; a new aria from the work was premiered at Galapagos Arts Space as part of American Opera Projects' "Opera Grows in Brooklyn". As a Resident Artist with American Lyric Theater, Vavrek wrote the libretti for Nora at the Altar-Rail and The Hunger Art, both presented by ALT at Peter Norton Symphony Space. Film credits include writing/directing "From Sky and Soil" (CORUS Young Filmmakers Initiative), "I Will Not Be Sad Anymore" (QCFI No Sweat competition winner) and "Pig and Bear" (Frigid Fest NY). Graduate of Concordia University's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Upcoming: Four Beauties (with Jay Anthony Gach), The Bear Dance (with Nick Martin).

Lauren Worsham (Executive Director) is an actor and singer. She is currently performing the role of Cinderella in the Moises Kaufman directed production of Into the Woods at Kansas City Repertory Theater. She has appeared in New York as Cunegonde in New York City Opera's Candide and in Jerry Springer: The Opera (Ensemble) at Carnegie Hall. She also performed the role of Olive in the first National tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Lauren has participated in workshops and readings of Picnic at Hanging Rock at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Mermaid in the Jar and The Chemist's Wife at Tisch, Le Fou at New Georges and Mirror, Mirror at Playwrights Horizons. Her regional theatre credits include Master Class (Sophie) at Paper Mill Playhouse, The Light in the Piazza (Clara) at Weston Playhouse, and The Fantasticks (Luisa) at Emelin Theatre. Lauren is the 2009 2nd place award winner of the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya competition. She graduated cum laude from Yale University, with a B.A. in Spanish Literature.

Hailed as a "grand-scale thinker" by the NJ Star Ledger, David T. Little (composer) writes music that "completely gripped" New Yorker critic Alex Ross: "every bad-ass new-music ensemble in the city will want to play him." Performed widely--Dresden, Edinburgh, Boston, LA, Montreal, and at the Tanglewood, Aspen, MATA and Cabrillo Festivals--Little's work fuses classical and popular idioms to dramatic effect. Upcoming projects include the opera Dog Days (in-progress) with librettist Royce Vavrek, new works for violist Nadia Sirota, pianist Kathleen Supové, cellist Brian Snow, Third Coast Percussion, and Newspeak, and performances by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. Currently completing a PhD at Princeton University, Little is the founder, artistic director, and drummer for the rock band/new music ensemble Newspeak.

The music of Jeff Myers (composer) has been performed internationally (L'Orchestre National de Lorraine, New York Youth Symphony, Denver Youth Artist Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony, Center City Opera, members of the New World Symphony, Transit, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, violinist Yuki Numata). His music has been heard at noted festivals (Tanglewood, Aspen, Gaudeamus and Acanthes), noted venues (Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Le Poisson Rouge, Joe's Pub, Centro Culturale Candiani) and numerous universities. Current projects include Maren of Vardø (librettist Royce Vavrek), a Poe-inspired opera (American Lyric Theater, librettist Quincy Long), a percussion trio (Timetable) and a violin solo (Piotr Szewczyk). Upcoming performances include two performances of his one-act opera The Hunger Art (SF Cabaret Opera, Bard College), a preview of his new Poe-inspired opera (ALT/Le Poisson Rouge), and performances by William Hite, Ancia Quartet, JACK Quartet, Forecast Music and others. Jeff holds degrees from the University of Michigan (DMA) and the Eastman School of Music (MA). He currently resides in New York City where he works as a freelance composer, orchestrator and copyist. Event listings, recordings and sound clips are available at

Rachel Peters's (Composer) work includes two collaborations with New Georges Artistic Director Susan Bernfield: the critically acclaimed Stretch (a fantasia) (Living Theatre, 2008) and Tiny Feats of Cowardice (New York Fringe Festival, Adirondack Theatre Festival, D-Lounge, Cornelia Street Cafe, Joe's Pub) Only Children with Michael R. Jackson (NYU Mainstage, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Dixon Place), Food of Love (Spitfire Theatre), Dark Fancies (Scary Little Girls Productions), 365 Days/365 Plays (Salt Theater). Unrequited (Public Theater Shakespeare Lab), The Bacchae (Asolo Rep Conservatory), The 52nd Annual Davenport Family Clan X-mas Spectacular (Ars Nova) and The Tale of the Good Whistleblower of Chaillot's Caucasian Mother and Her Other Children of a Lesser Marriage Chalk Circle (Antidepressant Festival/Theatre Askew) with Stan Richardson, Mermaid in the Jar (libretto by Royce Vavrek), f2m, and Public Domain. Double B.A. summa cum laude, Brandeis University; MFA, NYU Musical Theatre Writing. 2009 Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Award recipient. Upcoming: Prairie Dogs.


Online at, Phone 212-967-7555, In Person At the Public Theater Box Office (1 PM to 6 PM), or at the Joe's Pub Box Office from (6 PM to 10 PM) both located at 425 Lafayette Street, NYC

For table reservations please call 212-539-8778. Purchase of tickets does NOT guarantee a table reservation; you must call to reserve seats. Seating, as well as standing-room, is available only on a first-come, first-served basis for all shows without a dinner reservation. Two drink or $12 food minimum per person is standard.

Photo credit Mark Rupp

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