Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle

Article Pixel

Since George Washington took office in 1783, writing letters to the President has provided citizens of all ages, races, political parties, and backgrounds an outlet to express their most personal concerns, hopes, and dreams. Letters to the President reimagines this archival canon of letters as a multi-composer song cycle, with each song inspired by an individual letter in the archive. Featuring historical letters from the National Archives and spanning topics including, Western expansion, World Wars I and II, space exploration, and the Civil Right Movement, Letters to the President offers a powerful look at American dream, setting the White House's most memorable mail to song.

Letters to the President was presented in concert, on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 7pm in the historic Great Hall at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The evening featured the composers' songs performed by a Broadway cast alongside readings of the letters that inspired them.

Letters to the President features songs by Anna K. Jacobs, Ben Wexler, Dawn Avery, Elliah Heifetz, Emily Gardner Xu Hall, The Lobbyists, Madeline Myers, Mark Sonnenblick, Naomi Matlow & Teresa Lotz, Nick Blaemire, Preston Max Allen, Rona Siddiqui, Ronvé O'Daniel & Jevares Myrick, Simone Allen, Will Van Dyke & Jeff Talbot, Alexander Sage Oyen, and Zack Zadek.

The April 8th concert at the Great Hall at Cooper Union featured a cast of Zoe Jensen (We Are the Tigers), Whitney Bashor (Bridges of Madison County, Superhero), Oyoyo Joi (Book of Mormon), Matt Rodin (The Red Carpet Challenge, BROdway), Andrew Chappelle (Hamilton) and Orville Mendoza (Pacific Overtures, The Heart of Rock & Roll).

The evening's guest letter readers were MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, ACLU National Legal Director David Cole, a! ctress Piper Perabo, investigative journalist Suki Kim, The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian's Mandy Van Heuvelen, producer Rob Long, and renowned presidential historian David Eisenbach, Ph.D.

Letters to the President was conceived by director Michael Bello (We Are The Tigers, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) and dramaturg Jessica Kahkoska (Agent 355, Discount Ghost Stories), with the letters curated by Kahkoska. Music direction by Patrick Sulken (Pretty Woman: The Musical), co-produced by Sara DeViney and Tim Marback, with casting by Kate Lumpkin Casting. Stage Management by Helen Irene Muller. The evening also featured projections designed by Julie Boor.

Photo Credit: Marget Long

high res photos

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Andrew Chappelle, Orville Mendoza, and Oyoyo Joi

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Andrew Chappelle

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Jessica Kahkoska and Michael Bello

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Lawrence O'Donnell

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Oyoyo Joi

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Matt Rodin

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Patrick Sulken

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Orville Mendoza

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Matt Rodin and Whitney Bashor

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Piper Perabo

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Zoe Jensen

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Michael Stiggers and Ronve O'Daniel. Whitney Bashor, Oyoyo Joi, Andrew Chappelle, Zoe Jensen, Orville Mendoza, Matt Rodin

Photo Flash: Inside LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT, A New Multi-Composer Song Cycle
Whitney Bashor, Oyoyo Joi, Andrew Chappelle, Zoe Jensen, Orville Mendoza, Matt Rodin

 



Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

HAMILTON Will Hold A Fan Performance on October 31 With All Tickets Available For $10 Via Lottery
For the second year in a row, Hamilton will host a special fan performance on Thursday, October 31 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway, with al... (read more)

Breaking: Ethan Slater, Gavin Lee & More Will Reunite to Film SPONGEBOB for Nickelodeon
Following a critically lauded run on Broadway, members of the original award-winning Broadway company of The SpongeBob Musical: Live On Stage! will re... (read more)

BWW Photo Exclusive: Adam Pascal Stars In THE MUSIC MAN At 5-Star Theatricals
Tony nominee Adam Pascal stars as Professor Harold Hill in the first show of the 5-Star TheattricalsĀ 2019-2020 season, THE MUSIC MAN.... (read more)

MOULIN ROUGE To Head To The West End in 2021
The blockbuster Broadway hit, Moulin Rouge, will be heading to the West End in 2021!... (read more)

Tony Nominee Jenn Colella Will Depart COME FROM AWAY in November
BroadwayWorld has just learned that Jenn Colella, original cast member of Come From Away, will depart the musical next month. Colella was Tony-nominat... (read more)

Exclusive: Get A First Look At Teal Wicks, Bobby Conte Thornton, And More In LAST DAYS OF SUMMER
BroadwayWorld has a first look at the new musical LAST DAYS OF SUMMER, presented by George Street Playhouse and directed by Jeff Calhoun (NEWSIES, GRE... (read more)