Photo Flash: NYMF's THE TOYMAKER

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THE NEW YORK NEW MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL and Bryan Putnam INK are pleased to announce the world premiere production of THE TOYMAKER, directed by Lawrence Edelson. THE TOYMAKER will play a limited engagement at Theatre at St. Clement's (423 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036.) Performances begin Monday, October 5 and continue through Sunday, October 18.

A tale of enduring passion and hope, The ToyMaker tells the story of Sarah, a young woman who is struggling in her marriage after two failed pregnancies. Rumors of a childless toy maker of the past set her on a desperate search for the last toy made by this man. Thus begins a journey that spans the globe and time itself. Sarah's quest to find the 'childless toy' and solve the mysteries of a village destroyed by war lead her to a destiny of fulfillment she once thought impossible.

"Putnam takes his audience on a journey that transcends time and place, wrestling issues of genocide and parental grief. The music is manipulated through the slightest of tweaks and the subtlest of sounds, demonstrating a thorough understanding of emotion through music...Putnam plucks a town, a culture, a moment from the historic archives and dresses it with bold characters and romantic twists, careful not to exploit the dark truths and the harsh realities beset in the period. " - Daniel Burke, Currents Magazine (The ToyMaker, Original Reading)

The ToyMaker was inspired by the true events of June 10, 1942, when the small mining and farming village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia was destroyed by German forces as a reprisal for the assassination of SS Leader Reinhard Heydrich. One of many 'pawn towns', this peaceful Christian village saw the murder of its men and boys, while the women and children were taken to nearby camps where most of them faced certain death. The town was burned, fields were planted, the river rerouted and the village was then removed from all German maps. Ordered to disappear "into the night and fog", a memorial now stands in remembrance of this once peaceful and joyful town and those who lost their lives. The ToyMaker weaves together this tragic slice of history and the humanity of those who perished, with a contemporary personal journey, creating a deeply moving portrait of love, family, and friendship.

The production stars Rosena M. Hill (Bdwy: The Color Purple, Spamalot, Imaginary Friends, Oklahoma, Riverdance on Broadway, Marie Christine and Ragtime.) as Sarah Meeks, Rob Richardson (Bdwy: A Tale of Two Cities) as Petr Klimes, Jessica Burrows (Zhivago The Musical at the La Jolla Playhouse directed by Des McAnuff, originating the role of Lara and Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme at the Ahmenson) as Anna Klimes, Greg Stone (Helen Hayes nominated for the Signature Theatre reimagining of Les Miserables. Bdwy: The Pirate Queen, Urban Cowboy, Oklahoma! and Les Miserables) as Jason Meeks, Bryan Welnicki as Doby, Darren Biggart as Capek, Dale Soules (Bdwy: Broadway; Grey Gardens, The Magic Show, The Crucible, Dude, Hair.) as Johanna, Joan Barber (Bdwy: Man of La Mancha (with Richard Kiley and Raul Julia), Follies, The Sound of Music, Big, Beauty and the Beast, King David, and A Christmas Carol) as Uta, Ira Denmark as The Old Man, Sarah Jayne Blackmore (Off-Bdwy: Growing Up 70's starring Barry William) as The Girl, company members include Shawna Hamic (winner of 2008 NYMF's Next Broadway Sensation), Kim Rachelle Harris, Frederic Heringes (The Phantom of the Opera), Gregory Maheu, Michael Scibilia (Nat'l tour: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Man of La Mancha), Stacey Scotte, Kristen Sharpley, Abby C. Smith (Nat'l tour: James and the Giant Peach), Christopher Brian Williams, and James Zannelli.

The production features set design by Anita J. La Scala, costume design by Katie Irish, lighting design by Al Crawford, and sound design by Christopher Cronin & Carl Casella. Matt Hagmeier is the assistant director, Bryan Wade is the assistant music director and Carlos Maisonet is the stage manager. Geoff Josselson is the casting director, Kampfire/Katie Rosin is the press agent and marketing consultant and Brierpatch Productions/Laura Janik Cronin & Scott Newsome is the general manager.

THE TOYMAKER plays the following schedule:

Monday, Oct. 5, 8PM
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 1PM
Monday, Oct. 12, 9PM
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 1PM
Saturday, Oct. 17, 9PM
Sunday, Oct. 18, 4PM

Tickets are $20.

Tickets to individual festival events will go on sale to NYMF Members on August 1 and to the general public on September 1. NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org.

Running Time: 130 minutes

For more information, visit www.thetoymakermusical.com and www.nymf.org/thetoymaker

JOSHUA S. CLAYTON (Orchestrations) As Music Associate at City Center Encores, Clayton is involved with Finian's Rainbow and its move to Broadway. Bdwy: Gypsy (Additional Orchestrations).

LAWRENCE EDELSON (Director/Choreographer) credits include directing and choreographing for New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Sarasota Opera, The New York New Music Ensemble, Opera Columbus, Des Moines Metro Opera, Ballet West, and Boston Ballet. Lawrence studied Voice and Musicology at The University of Ottawa, Canada, and received his Bachelors Degree in Stage Direction from the Gallatin School of NYU. He has served as a staff director for Glimmerglass Opera, where he taught for the Young American Artists Program, and where he was the Assistant Director on multiple productions. He has been a guest member on the directing staff of New York City Opera, where he has restaged Little Women twice; for the work's Lincoln Center premiere, and for NYCO's tour to Japan. Other career highlights include: directing the American Premiere of Telemann's Orpheus for Wolf Trap Opera; directing and Choreographing Carmen for Toledo Opera; directing IL Barbiere di Siviglia for Hawaii Opera Theater; and choreographing Patience for New York City Opera with Michael Ball. Lawrence is the Producing Artistic Director of American Lyric Theater in New York City. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing ALT's artistic programs, including the only full time mentorship program for emerging opera composers and librettists in the United States. Currently for ALT, Lawrence is overseeing the development of The Golden Ticket, a new opera based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as a trilogy of one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe. Upcoming directing engagements for Lawrence include the New York premiere of Fauré's Pénélope for Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Cosi fan tutte at Boston's Huntington Theatre for the BU Opera Institute, and Florencia en el Amazonas for Ft. Worth Opera.

Kenneth Gartman (Musical Director) An accomplished singer, pianist, vocal coach & music director based out of New York City, Kenneth began his career as a professional accompanist at the age of 12. He has since traveled the country playing keyboards for The Three Irish Tenors and has played piano in the country's finest concert halls for top choruses and Metropolitan Opera singers. His professional singing career began with the Ft. Worth Opera Company, singing with a number of professional ensembles and appearing regularly in leading roles with the TX Gilbert & Sullivan Company. He performed a live broadcast of Simply Sondheim for the BBC presented at the Opera Ireland Fringe Festival in Northern Ireland. Also in Ireland, A New York Songbook: Way Off Broadway with Music Theatre Ireland and Side By Side By Sondheim. Kenneth has worked in regional theatres and toured the USA in the National Tour of The Music Man. Music Director for the award-winning FringeNYC production of Trouble in Shameland starring Evita's Florence Lacey and subsequent Cast Recording. Music Director for two previous readings of The ToyMaker and demo recording featuring Christiane Noll (Ragtime) and Zachary James (The Addams Family). As a vocal coach, Kenneth Gartman's students have appeared on Broadway in Spring Awakening, Tale of Two Cities, 13, The Lion King, Annie Get Your Gun, The Boy From Oz, Gypsy, The Full Monty, La Boheme On Broadway, The Music Man, and Jane Eyre.

Bryan Putnam (Book, Music, Lyrics) as a Writer/ Composer/ Playwright, and proud member of ASCAP, Bryan's musical The ToyMaker is receiving its world premiere production in fall 2009 as an official selection of the New York Musical Theatre Festival's Next Link Project in Midtown Manhattan. Other recent accomplishments include an award-winning FringeNYC production of his musical Trouble in Shameland, starring Evita's Florence Lacey and a staged Reading of the aforementioned The ToyMaker at the York Theatre starring Christiane Noll, Zachary James, Justin Greer and Joan Barber and an amazingly talented cast. More recently Bryan teamed up with orchestrator Josh Clayton for a DEMO recording of the ToyMaker. As a result the demo includes 3 fully orchestrated songs that can be sampled at www.thetoymakermusical.com. Earlier works include several plays, short stories, screenplays and the musical Mannekin, produced in Wilmington, NC in 1998. Upcoming works: Lullaby Street, a musical / Ghost Train the musical and Dischord.

A member of AEA (Actor's Equity Association), he has performed all over the country in roles such as Leading Man Adam in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Jasper in Drood, Dr. Neville Craven and Albert Lennox in The Secret Garden, Kodaly in She Loves Me, Jigger in Carousel, Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac, Delmount in The Miss Firecracker Contest, Riff-Raff in The Rocky Horror Show, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Cinderella's Prince/ Wolf in Into The Woods, Bobby in Company and most recently Dr. Parker in Bat Boy, The Musical.

Bryan has been a Vocal coach for over 20 years and is opening a vocal studio in Queens on July 16! His Manhattan based teaching will continue at the awesome Ripley-Grier studios in Midtown. Bryan is also an avid flautist and puppet-maker who lives in Sunnyside Queens with his pup max and two frogs!

THE NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL since its inception in 2004, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has premiered more than 175 new musicals, many of which have gone on to award-winning productions on and off-Broadway, in nearly every state, and in over a dozen countries. NYMF alumni include the Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal, currently playing at the Booth Theater on Broadway; NYMF 2004 hit [title of show], which enjoyed a Tony Award-nominated run last season; and Altar Boyz, now in its fifth year off-Broadway at New World Stages.

Hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," the three-week annual festival works to revitalize one of America's greatest art forms by discovering, supporting and promoting new musical theater artists, producers, and projects, and by introducing a diverse audience to the vibrancy of contemporary musical theater. Widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery, NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

NYMF 2009 is presented in association with BroadwayWorld.com, Production Resource Group and TheaterMania.com, and is supported by Barnes & Noble Booksellers, BroadwayBox.com, BroadwayInsider.com, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, King Displays, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, Next Magazine, Panasonic Astrovision, Queerty.com, Tekserve, and TheMENEvent. Major supporters include The ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Inc., The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jamie Mayer, The Charlie & Jane Fink Charitable Fund, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and 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.

Photo Flash: NYMF's THE TOYMAKER
The Toymaker

Photo Flash: NYMF's THE TOYMAKER
Jessica Burrows and Darren Biggart

Photo Flash: NYMF's THE TOYMAKER
Ira Denmark

Photo Flash: NYMF's THE TOYMAKER
Jessica Burrows & Kim Rachelle Harris

Photo Flash: NYMF's THE TOYMAKER
Rob Richardson

Photo Flash: NYMF's THE TOYMAKER
Rosena M. Hill and Bryan Welnicki



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