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12.14 Foundation's A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Cast Recording Now Available

Support a great cause with purchasing a new recording!

The cast recording for 12.14 Foundation's A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM presented by NewArts: Newtown Musicals is now available.

Of note, 100% of the profits from this album will be going to the 12.14 Foundation.

The official description of A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is as follows: "2 CD set with special edition photo booklet from the World Premiere production! The world premiere of A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream is a new musical version adapted by Michael Unger and Eric Svejcar with a score by Mr. Svejcar. Joining the Newtown children in this production are Broadway stars Marla Mindelle (Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Sister Act), Clarke Thorell (Hairspray, 2012 Annie revival) and Saum Eskandani (Disaster!, A Year With Frog and Toad). This is a 2 CD set and features both Newtown casts."

The official description of the 12.14 Foundation's A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM crowd-funding initiative for the new recording was as follows: "NewArts: Newtown Musicals, a division of the 1214 Foundation, utilizes the performing arts as a vehicle to promote healing, inspire confidence, encourage collaboration and create community with the youth in and around Newtown, CT. Our organization grew out of a response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy and our purpose is to spread joy. We present Broadway-scale productions, involving professional creative teams and, often, Broadway performers - on stage with the extremely talented youth of Newtown. Over the past two years, and currently preparing for a third, we have worked with around 450 children onstage, backstage and in the orchestra. While our activities have thus far focused on large-scale musicals, these children are learning tools for their futures - regardless of the professions they choose. We offer them unique opportunities at very high levels of achievement. This double album is a prime example of their talents as well as tangible proof that the performing arts can offer solace, inspiration and joy.

Crafting a new musical is one of the most rewarding and complex endeavors one can undertake in the arts; but the children of Newtown inspired us to take on this world premiere production. A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream was composed specifically for these young performers (and our three Broadway performers) by the phenomenally talented composer, Eric Svejcar.

We double-cast many of our shows, including this one, to give more young people an opportunity to get involved. Newtown, CT is home to enough talent to make not only one original cast recording, but two (as a two disc set) - proof of how vibrant the arts can and should be in our communities. It is also further testament to the magic of that flagpole-in-the-middle-of-the-street place, Newtown, CT.

I selected A Midsummer Night's Dream because in it, love (and the occasional botanical potion) creates order out of chaos for humans and spirits. This theme of love healing the world would resonate in any town in America and, in fact, any town in the world; but certainly in no place more than Newtown, CT. I know I speak for all of the guest artists who joined us during the creation of this production when I thank the people of Newtown for welcoming us into their generous, resilient and inspiring community.

We cherished every minute we spent there amongst the talented young performers in and around Newtown. They inspired us and made us far better practitioners at, and gave far greater meaning to, the work that we love to do.

There are not enough words to be assembled in any order, by a writer even as skilled as Shakespeare himself, to properly thank them. But I must make special mention of some very key people: Dr. Michael Baroody, M.D. who felt that the performing arts was a viable and positive response to the tragedy and who started the foundation, Eric Svejcar who adapted Shakespeare's brilliant words with me and wrote this awesome score, Jeffrey Saver, our superb music director, Kim Scharnberg who did these glorious orchestrations, Jennifer Paulson Lee who choreographed stunningly and the resourceful Van Dean whose Broadway Records label helped create this album. I must also thank Clarke Thorell, Marla Mindelle and Saum Eskandani (Oberon, Titania and Bottom, respectively) for being total pros in all senses of the word - inspiring (and being inspired by) these kids to also exceed expectations. We would never have been able to preserve this very special production in such a thrilling way without any of the above.

In the first scene of the play, Hermia says, "I know not by what power I am made bold..." I think this album is proof of how the arts have made us bold. And given us power. And it is my wish that those attributes stay with these young performers as they continue on their journeys.

Michael Unger
Artistic Director
NewArts: Newtown Musicals"

Purchase the new A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM recording at the official site here.

Check out a video about the production below.

Photo Credit: 12.14 Foundation


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