ACADEMIA NUTS Kicks Off This Year's NYMF, 7/9-13

The hysterical new musical Academia Nuts has been selected to kick off the first week of the celebrated New York Musical Theatre Festival with performances from July 9-13, 2014 at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street). Academia Nuts has book and lyrics by Becca Anderson & Dan Marshall, and music by Julian Blackmore, with direction by Thomas Caruso, musical direction by Martyn Axe, and choreography by Ryan Kasprzak. It is produced by Charissa Bertels in association with CAP21 Theatre Company.

It's the National High School Quizbowl Championship! Dreamy-eyed brainiac Maggie McCutter hopes to win a scholarship so she can escape her controlling mother. Maggie's world is hilariously turned upside down when she falls for Tyler O'Neil, a football-loving opponent from rival team, the Walla Walla Walruses. As she's torn between the family she's got and the friendship she's found, will Maggie's trivial pursuits be in jeopardy? Academia Nuts is the uproarious nerd-rock musical everyone will be buzzing about!

Academia Nuts is the recipient of the coveted Kevin Spacey Foundation: America grant ( which supports emerging artists to develop creative projects in the performing arts or film.

The cast includes: Alyse Alan Louis (Broadway: Mamma Mia!; Encores: Bells Are Ringing), Alison Lea Bender (NYMF's Requiem for a Lost Girl), Todd Cerveris (Broadway: South Pacific; Twentieth Century), Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q: Tony/Drama Desk nominations, Theatre World Award, OCC Ensemble Award), Khris Davis (Tour: Motown: The Musical), Alexander Ferguson (NYMF's Swiss Family Robinson; National Tour: Teacher from the Black Lagoon), Melody Madarasz (Mr Chickees Funny Money, Atlantic Theater); Will Roland (The Black Suits); and Jennifer Simard (Drama Desk Nomination Disaster!. Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Shrek; Sister Act). Creative team includes: James J. Fenton (Scenic Design), Sam Gordon (Lighting Design), Patricia Doherty (Costume Design), Andrew Keister (Sound Design), and Bryan Prywes (Props Design).

Academia Nuts

Book and Lyrics by Becca Anderson & Dan Marshall; Music by Julian Blackmore; Directed by Thomas Caruso; Musical Direction by Martyn Axe; Choreography by Ryan Kasprzak.

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center is located at 480 West 42nd Street

Performance Schedule: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm; Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm;

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm; Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm; Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Running Time: 120 Minutes

Tickets, which are $25, are available now for NYMF Members and Patrons and will be on sale to the general public beginning June 16.

For more information on Academia Nuts, visit

Who's Who:

BECCA ANDERSON (Book/Lyrics) is the co-author of the musicals ACADEMIA NUTS, Hatter, and Period Piece and the author of the plays Baby Factory, Bedtime, and Over-Ripe. Her works have been finalists for the Ronald M. Ruble New Play Award, the Leah Ryan FEWW Prize, the NuVoices Playwriting Prize, and the Trustus Playwrights Festival. She holds both a BFA and MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She also writes comic books.

DAN MARSHALL (Book/Lyrics) The Suicide Club (GMTWP @ NYU); Christmas Carolyn (Development: The York Theatre); Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever (Development: Two River Theatre). Contributed to the book Yesterday Once More, a musical based on the songs of Richard and Karen Carpenter, produced by Jim Brickman. Songs featured at Barrington Stage, Merkin Concert Hall and "Broadway's Future at Lincoln Center." Bachelor of Musical Theatre: B-W Conservatory; MFA: Tisch GMTWP

JULIAN BLACKMORE (Music) is an Englishman in New York, where he is a regular performer on the Greenwich Village music scene. He is the composer for musicals Spandex, A Year With... Veronica Sexton, and The Suicide Club. His music is used around the globe in theatrical and television productions. Julian is a member of the Dramatists Guild and holds an MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His dog, Parsley, ghostwrites all of his music.

THOMAS CARUSO (Director) Southern Comfort (Barrington Stage & CAP21), Matilda (Associate Director), Ghost (National Tour), Barefoot In The Park (Surflight), Shipwrecked, Around The World In 80 Days (Penguin Rep), Wood, Therapy Rocks (NYMF), The Chalks, Earth To Bucky (Bay Street Theatre), Zombie (Off-Broadway), Mimi Le Duck (Off-Broadway), Bingo (Off-Broadway), The Butcherhouse Chronicles (SPF), Off Season (Gloucester Stage), Master Class (National Tour), Two Boys (Rattlestick). Broadway Associate Director credits include: Matilda, Ghost, Mamma Mia!, Bombay Dreams, and Follies.

RYAN KASPRZAK (Choreographer) NBC's Smash (Asst. Choreographer). Nat'l Tours: Billy Elliot (Associate Resident Choreographer / Dance Captain), Fosse (Dance Captain). TV: Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," commercials for Hershey's, "White House Black Market," "Sun Drop." Ryan creates new work with multi Drama Desk Award nominated Parallel Exit: Physical Comedy Theater. Their production of This Way, That Way prompted the NY Times to say Kasprzak, "can get laughs simply by breathing" and their comic tap musical Time Step has been seen at the New Victory Theater, Joyce SoHo, Lincoln Center Institute and Cos Festival in Spain. Their show Exit Stage Left was presented at the Queens Theater and is currently playing variety theaters throughout Germany. Ryan recently choreographed Volleygirls at NYMF (Best of Fest). Resident faculty at The Performing Arts Project. Guest artist and alumnus of Marymount Manhattan College. Love, gratitude to Family and MSA.

MARTYN AXE (Musical Director) has music directed, composed, and produced music all over the world for theater including the West End and Broadway. Credits include Cats, Dirty Dancing, Tarzan, Saturday Night Fever, Mamma Mia, Nine To Five, Frankenstein, Starlight Express, and Trip Of Love. He is very excited to be a part of ACADEMIA NUTS.

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects; nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community; and connecting one of America's greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience. Now in its eleventh year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in 48 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form." NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2014 is presented in association with Fuzzrocket, TheaterMania, and Production Resource Group. NYMF is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating and tickets to individual events, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or

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