NORMATIVITY Will Open 2016 New York Musical Festival, Featuring Aneesh Sheth

Producer Dylan Jarrett announced today that Aneesh Sheth will be featured in the New York premiere production of Normativity, a new musical by Jaime Jarrett and an official selection of the 2016 New York Musical Festival Next Link Project. Normativity opens this year's NYMF Season playing a limited five-performance engagement beginning on Monday, July 18 at The Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street). Tickets are now on sale at: nymf.org/normativity

Directed by Mia Walker, the complete cast includes Izzy Castaldi (Taylor), Christopher Livingston (Mike), Soph Menas (Dev), Geena Quintos (Kara), Aneesh Sheth (Anne/Danielle), Mitchell Winter (Charlie), Madeline Wolf (Emily) and Jesse James Keitel (understudy). Normativity aims to explore our ideas about sexuality, the world we live in, the people we're surrounded by, and the way these factors influence the lives of LGBTQ+ teens.

"Normativity came out of a place of deep personal frustration and sadness," says author Jaime Jarrett. "Asan eighteen-year-old LGBTQ+ person, I looked around and didn't see myself or my friends represented in the books we read or the shows, movies, or theatre we watched. When there was an LGBTQ+ character, they often fit outdated stereotypes, written with tragic endings. That wasn't what I wanted for myself. That wasn't what I wanted for my family and friends. I hope Normativity will prove to the world that everyone deserves a happy ending."

Normativity is about Taylor, a teenage lesbian, who's sick of seeing LGBTQ+ people killed off in media with tragic endings (the phenomenon known as "Bury Your Gays"). When Taylor meets Emily, a book character who's willed herself to life in order to confront Charlie, the author who wrote her story, they force him to rewrite Emily's story, giving her a happy ending and proving why positive LGBTQ+ story telling is so important.

"In light of the Orlando shooting, the queer community has been reminded that our fight for LGBTQ+ rights and equality is ongoing, and furthermore how important it is for us to stand together," added producer Dylan Jarrett. "Art like Normativity can have an invaluable impact - especially on LGBTQ+ youth who need to see positive representations of people like themselves in the media at moments like this. We hope that when LGBTQ+ audiences see Normativity, they see themselves on stage."

The Normativity creative team includes Adin Walker (choreography), Emily Marshall (music direction), Kristen Robinson (set design), Tristan Raines (costumes design), Zach Blane (lighting design), and Shannon Slaton (sound design) with music supervision by Adam Kaufman, casting by Rebecca Feldman, and general management by Dailey-Monda Management. Katie Kavett serves as the Production Stage Manager.

Normativity opens Monday, July 18 at 7:00PM and continues Thursday, July 21 at 5:00PM, Friday, July 22 at 9:00PM, Saturday, July 23 at 1:00PM and Sunday, July 24 at 5:00PM at the Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036).

Tickets are now available at: nymf.org/normativity
The New York Musical Festival 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 thirteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theatre 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 24 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 2015 is sponsored by The City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Fuzzrocket, PRG, TheaterMania, and Clear Channel Spectacolor, and 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.

The NYMF PASS is a great way to experience The New York Musical Festival. With a NYMF PASS, you can get into the theater before individual ticket holders. Passes also offer the exclusive ability to book tickets before they go on sale to the public. NYMF Passholder ticket booking begins June 6. Individual tickets go on sale June 20.

The 2016 New York Musical Festival will take place July 11 - August 7. For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org



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