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Ethan Slater to Serve as NYMF Honorary Chair; Lesli Margherita, Josh Lamon, and More Among Initial Casting

Ethan Slater to Serve as NYMF Honorary Chair; Lesli Margherita, Josh Lamon, and More Among Initial Casting

The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) is proud to announce Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Ethan Slater (Spongebob Squarepants The Broadway Musical) as the 2018 NYMF Honorary Chair.

A Tony nominee for Best Lead Actor in a Musical this year, Slater is currently making his Broadway debut in SpongeBob Square Pants the Broadway Musical. For this performance he has also received a 2018 Outer Critics Circle Award, 2018 Theatre World Award, 2018 Drama Desk Award, Broadway.com Awards for Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical and Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Male), and a BroadwayWorld Chicago Best Actor Award. Other credits include Diner (DTC, dir. Kathleen Marshall); Off Broadway: Baghdaddy (St. Luke's), PEMDAS (59E59), Claudio-Quest (NYMF); film: Lightning Bugs in a Jar (Cannes 2015), EVOL; web series: "Redheads Anonymous," "New Mayor of New York." Slater is a Vassar graduate and member of OYL.

"NYMF is a crucial component of the New York Theater community. It's a platform for writers to present their new work to a public audience while it's still in development. It gives countless opportunities for actors to flex their creative muscles in originating roles (one of my favorite things in the world) and it gives audiences a chance to find their new favorite writers and composers. NYMF introduces the world to new artists, and new artists to the world," said Slater.

"We are thrilled to welcome the award-winning actor Ethan Slater back to NYMF this summer," said Rachel Sussman, NYMF's Producing Artistic Director. "Ethan starred inClaudio-Quest on our stage just three years ago, and now is bringing down the house 8 times a week as 'Spongebob Squarepants' on Broadway. He is a singular talent and we are grateful to have him joining us as Honorary Chair for this meaningful 15th anniversary season."

NYMF announced initial casting for the 2018 season.

PRODUCTIONS

'68: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL will feature Bob Gaynor (Catch Me If You Can, Sweet Charity) and Mary Callanan (Bandstand, Bridges of Madison County).

EMOJILAND will feature Tony Award nominee Josh Lamon (Groundhog's Day) and Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita (Zorro, Matilda).

IF SAND WERE STONE will feature Tracy McDowell (Rent, Motown) and Aaron Ramey (Bridges of Madison County, The Visit).

INTERSTATE will star Sushma Saha, found through a national search to play the part of "Henry," an Asian high school student from small-town Kentucky who comes out as transgender.

PEDRO PAN will feature Tony Award winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia (RENT) and Natalie Toro (In the Heights).

SONATA, 1962 will feature Becca Ayers (Dear Evan Hansen, The Addams Family).

READINGS

THE CIVILITY OF ALBERT CASHIER will feature Dani Shay (The Glee Project 2) with direction by Shakina Nayfack (Difficult People).

HEALING RETREAT will feature Tom Berklund (A Chorus Line, The Addams Family).

STORMING HEAVEN will feature Liana Hunt (Newsies, Mamma Mia!), James Brown III (Frozen), Larkin Bogan (Wicked), and Brandon Ellis (Bandstand).

VICTORY TRAIN will feature direction by Tony nominee and Drama Desk nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett (Swing!)

NYMF also announced the lineup for educational and NYMF-produced events.

EDUCATIONAL

AUDITIONING FOR MUSICAL THEATER

July 18, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Work out your musical theater audition material with guidance from a leading casting director! Michael Cassara will hear your best audition song and work with you from his unique vantage point "behind the table." Class will include a Q&A and a discussion of the "business of the business." Michael Cassara has cast more than 70 NYMF productions and has served as the Resident Casting Director for NYMF since 2007.

Learn More: http://www.nymf.org/audition-workshop

MUSICAL SONGWRITING WORKSHOP AND CONCERT PRESENTATION

Workshop: July 19-25, 2018

Concert Presentation: July 25th at 6:00 PM

This introductory workshop led by Anna K. Jacobs (POP!; Harmony, Kansas; Teeth; Echo) takes participants through an authentic musical theater songwriting process. Participants have explored the relationship between music and language, learned key songwriting tools, discovered the power of writer and performer collaborations, performed original work, and received guidance and feedback in a safe and open environment. This week-long experience culminates in an open presentation and Songwriting Master Class with Special Guest Artist Kirsten Childs (The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin; Bella: An American Tall Tale).

Open to individuals and teams of all backgrounds. 20 spaces available; applications have been extended through Monday, June 18th. A limited number of Emerging Composer Scholarships are available through The ASCAP Foundation.

Learn More and Apply: http://www.nymf.org/songwriting-workshop

DIE VAMPIRE, DIE! CREATIVITY WORKSHOP WITH Susan Blackwell

July 28, 2018 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Dig this: a creative life is a series of learnable skills that are practiced regularly. But as much as we might yearn to be more creative, sometimes inner (+ outer) voices can get in the way. We call those voices 'vampires', and we want them to shut the hell up so you can get back to making great stuff. Based on the song 'Die Vampire, Die!' from the hit Broadway musical [title of show] (which began at NYMF in 2004), a vampire is defined as 'any person, thought or feeling that stands between you + your self expression'. This Die Vampire, Die! Creativity Workshop, created and led by [title of show] star Susan Blackwell, invites participants to get their creative juices flowing and their ideas up on their feet.

Learn More: http://www.nymf.org/vampire

NYMF- PRODUCED

INTERSECTING CHORDS

July 23, 2018 at 6:30 pm & 9:30 pm

Join us for our concert series that celebrates female, queer, and trans artists who are changing the landscape of musical theater. Formerly known as Women of Note, these two separate concerts are now more inclusive than ever before. Featured artists include Preston Allen, Kirsten Childs, Heather Christian, The Bengsons, Amanda Green, Helen Park, Ty Defoe & Tidtaya Sinutoke, Shaina Taub, and many more. Concert line-up and performers to be announced soon.

Learn More: http://www.nymf.org/intersecting-chords

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN: AN EVENING OF NEW AMERICAN MICRO MUSICAL WORKS

July 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Back for the second year, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN is a new concert presentation of micro-musicals - 30 minutes or less - inspired by relevant textual and visual prompts. Commissioned by NYMF with support from The ASCAP Foundation, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, and Jan Brandt, the program was designed to create more space for arts-based civic engagement in our Festival. 2018 will also introduce a new space residency partnership with Theatre Row. Directed by Jonathan McCrory (National Black Theatre) and co-curated by Zhailon Levingston (Broadway Advocacy Coalition), participating artists include: Diana Oh (my lingerie play, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Aya Aziz (Eh Dah? Questions for My Father, NYMF 2016); Maggie-Kate Coleman & Erato Kremmyda (Larson Grant winners 2017).

A moderated conversation with artists discussing the process of developing their micro-musicals will follow the concert.

Learn More: http://www.nymf.org/htlgi

STUDENT LEADERSHIP PROGRAM: BREAKING GROUND

We are called millennials, generation Y, generation me, the internet generation, and much more. Whether we are ready or not, young people are carving the pathway for the future. Our song cycle, Breaking Ground, focuses on the unique issues facing our generation such as social media, hook up culture, college debt, job scarcity, and gun violence on campuses, to name a few. Through a wide variety of genres and styles, Breaking Ground explores how the millennial generation engages and tries to fit in this ever-changing, modern world.

Learn More: http://www.nymf.org/breaking-ground

Full casting and creative teams for all productions, concerts and events will be announced throughout the season.

Individual tickets for 2018 NYMF are on sale today; NYMF Passes are also on sale and offer discounted tickets, early ticket booking, and priority seating. Visit nymf.org/tickets for more information.

The previously announced lineup for 2018 NYMF includes AN AMERICAN HERO: A WWII MUSICAL; BAD ASS BEAUTY - A ROCK OPERA; BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY; BRAD KNOWS NOTHING; THE CIVILITY OF ALBERT CASHIER; DEFY YOUR EXPECTATIONS; FATTY FATTY NO FRIENDS; GIRL FROM NOWHERE; THE GUNFIGHTER MEETS HIS MATCH; EMOJILAND; HEALING RETREAT: A LIFE OF JOY; HELD: A MUSICAL FANTASY; IF SAND WERE STONE; ILLUMINATI LIZARDS FROM OUTER SPACE; INTERSTATE; LEGACY THE MUSICAL; LIVING HISTORY: AN INSIDE LOOK AT SHOW TIME! THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL; MYTHOS: THE CRIMSON CHORUS; PEDRO PAN; PETER, WHO?; SATURDAYS; SONATA 1962; STORMING HEAVEN: THE MUSICAL; VICTORY TRAIN; WONDER BOI; and WHAT'S YOUR WISH?

For a full list of productions, readings, events, and concerts, visit NYMF.org.

To keep up with NYMF, visit NYMF.org

New York Musical Festival (NYMF) nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.

Now in its fifteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. 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 theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 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 theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form."

New York Musical Festival is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski


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