Theatreworks USA Holds Private Reading of New Musical PETE THE CAT

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Theatreworks USA, the nation's premiere producer of theatre for family audiences, held an invitation-only work-in-progress presentation earlier today of their new musical, PETE THE CAT, based on the best-selling book series by Kimberly and James Dean. With music by Will Aronson (The Trouble With Doug) and book and lyrics by Sarah Hammond (String), PETE THE CAT is directed and choreographed by Dan Knechtges, the cast included: Jill Abramovitz, Sam Heldt, E. Kyle Sherman, Emily Walton, and Kevin Zak. Matt Castle served as music director.

Pete the Cat never loses his cool. Jimmy Biddle never strays from his routine. That is, until the groovy blue cat moves in with The Biddles for the summer. Can cat and boy ever be friends? When Jimmy draws a blank in art class, Pete's the perfect pal to lead the mission to help Jimmy find his inspiration. Join Jimmy and Pete on a new adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back again in a VW Bus.

Theatreworks USA has a distinguished history of not only providing young audiences with their first taste of the performing arts, but also giving young actors, writers, directors, and designers an early opportunity to work in this field. A list of Theatreworks USA alumni reads like a veritable "who's who" of theatre: four-time Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks, Robert Jess Roth (Beauty and the Beast), Michael Mayer (Thoroughly Modern Millie); writers Marta Kauffman and David Crane (TV's "Friends"), Lynn Ahrens and Steven Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on This Island), Jason Robert Brown (Parade), Larry O'Keefe (Bat Boy), Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Avenue Q); and Tony-winning actors John Lloyd Young, Roger Bart, Chuck Cooper, and John Glover. Esteemed performers F. Murray Abraham, Henry Winkler, and Judy Kuhn also got their start with Theatreworks, and other actors have gone on to originate lead roles in such Broadway shows as Avenue Q, Hairspray, Young Frankenstein, Rent, Wicked, Jersey Boys, and many others.

Theatreworks USA is America's largest and most prolific professional not-for-profit theatre for young and family audiences. Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has enlightened, entertained, and instructed over 90 million people in 49 states and Canada, now performing for about three million people annually. Every year, the company tours approximately 16 shows from its ever-growing repertoire of 133 plays and musicals. In addition, Theatreworks USA also has an extensive multi-cultural guest artist roster, including storytellers, puppeteers, poets, and magicians.

Under the direction of Barbara Pasternack (Artistic Director) and Ken Arthur (Managing Director), Theatreworks USA is also one of the most honored theatres of its kind. It is the only children's theatre to receive both a Drama Desk and a Lucille Lortel Award. In addition, Theatreworks USA was the recipient of a 2001 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, and in May 2000, The Actors Fund of American bestowed its Medal of Honor upon its founders, Jay Harnick and Charles Hull.

For more information, visit www.twusa.org.



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