The Gallery Players to Continue OVERTURES Series with EMMA

The Gallery Players to Continue OVERTURES Series with EMMA

"Hear it here first!" After an overwhelmingly successful inaugural season, The Gallery Players continues OVERTURES, their series of new musical theatre readings. Helmed by theatre director and scholar, Barrie Gelles, OVERTURES was created in order to foster the creation of new musical theatre and support the talented composers and writers as they develop their work. OVERTURES gives its audiences an opportunity to hear and experience a variety of exciting new musicals before they have their first full production.

Season 2 continues with Emma, music by Sarah Taylor Ellis with book and lyrics by Meghan Brown. In this musical retelling of Jane Austen's novel, Emma Woodhouse amuses herself by matchmaking her friends - until she discovers that the path to love is rarely simple. Blending witty dialogue with an impassioned, lush score, Brown and Ellis's "timeless contemporary" adaptation of Emma imbues these beloved characters with surprising depth. In a profound exploration of several love stories, this fresh new musical promises that love - however complicated - is an entirely worthwhile pursuit.

The cast of Emma will feature Ito Aghayere*, Ben Diskant*, Andrew Keltz*, Christopher Michaels, Adrian Rifat, Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld*, Briana Silvie, Grace Wall*, Dwayne Washington, and Sarah Ziegler.* Emma will be directed by Barrie Gelles.

*Denotes member of Actors' Equity Association.

Emma is the second project that Sarah Taylor Ellis has workshopped with OVERTURES. Ellis shares her experience of OVERTURES: "It was clear from my very first encounter with director Barrie Gelles: Gallery Players truly loves theater artists. I was honored to receive a reading in the inaugural year of Overtures, and I am thrilled to be back with Emma this fall. Gallery Players deftly handles all the logistics so the writers can focus on the work. A generosity of spirit abounds, from the directors to the cast, and I am immensely grateful for the time, talent, space, and support to develop this new musical; it is a rare gift."

Ben Diskant, who plays George Knightley in Emma, wrote 20/35, the musical that kicked off the 2015-16 season of OVERTURES. Diskant says: "Having the chance to workshop 20/35 through the Overtures series at the Gallery Players was an incredibly productive experience. Overtures provided an encouraging space to grow and shape the musical with the opportunity to showcase the piece at the end. I am so grateful to have been a part of the history of this series."

Each reading will run for two nights. Individual show tickets are $10.00, or you can see all six for $50.00. Individual tickets or passes may be purchased through Ovation by calling 212-352-3101. All shows begin at 7pm and take place at The Gallery Players.

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