York Theatre Company In Association With Penn State Musical Theatre Present A Reading Of TYRANTS

York Theatre Company In Association With Penn State Musical Theatre Present A Reading Of TYRANTS

The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director), dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, in association with Penn State Musical Theatre present a reading of the new musical Tyrants, with Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen and Book by S.P. Monahan on October 22 for two performances only. Tyrants will be presented at the York Theatre Company at St. Peter's (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street just east of Lexington) at 11am and at Pearl Studios (519 8th Avenue, between 35th and 36th Streets) at 3pm.

John Simpkins (Bloodsong of Love, Legendale) directs. Emily Erickson is Music Director.

Tyrants simultaneously charts two periods in the life of Edwin Booth: his adolescence on the road with his abusive father, the legendary actor Junius Brutus Booth, and his struggles with depression and addiction later in life, when he's a famous actor in his own right. When his brother, John Wilkes, ultimately commits the most notorious crime of the nineteenth century, Edwin's anguish and rage threatens to consume him, until he receives a fateful visit from a young journalist and war veteran, Frank Wilkeson.

The October 22 reading features A.J. Shively (Bright Star) as Edwin Booth, RJ Vaillancourt (Saint Joan) as John Wilkes Booth, Sally Wilfert (Assassins) as Mary Ann Holmes, Lauren Marcus (Be More Chill) as Adelaide Booth, Jason Veasey (The Lion King) as Ira Aldridge, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (A Little Night Music) as Adam Badeau, Steve Snyder as Junius Brutus Booth, Jackie Sanders (Taming of the Shrew) as Laura Keene, Caleb Smith as Francis Wilkeson, Jack Bowman as Ned, and Spencer Davis Milford (The Winslow Boy) as Johnny.

The 11am reading is open to the public with a $10.00 advance reservation fee (Complimentary for York Theatre's Plus! Members; $5 for York Theatre Members). Reservations can also be made on the day of the reading (pending availability) for a suggested $5.00 donation in person at the box office. Reservations will be available online at www.yorktheatre.org.

The 3pm reading is for Industry guests only and free of charge. Reservations can be made by emailing UnstoppableTheater@gmail.com.

Alexander Sage Oyen (Music and Lyrics) is the recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation's Lucille and Jack Yellen award for lyricists and the Lotos Foundation Prize in Arts and Sciences for his lyrics. His musicals include Outlaws (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, book by James Presson, dir. Noah Himmelstein), Diva: Live From Hell (Theatre for the New City, 2017, book and characters by S.P. Monahan, directed by Daniel Goldstein), and Archie's Final Project (Book by James Presson and David Lee Miller), and he is the band leader and a primary writer for the theatrical rock band/theatrical troupe Discount Ghost Stories. One of Playbill's "Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know," you should know him.

S.P. Monahan (Book) is a genderqueer playwright/performer, best known for writing and starring in the solo comedy DIVA (winner of two 2013 USolo Awards), which was later expanded into the critically acclaimed Diva: Live From Hell (music & lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen). Other plays include Aunt Jack (Empire Stage), Rodham/Sade (Sanctuary Series @ HERE Arts Center), and Marchons Marchons (developed at the Huron Club and Drama League Center). S.P. is currently a member of Gingold Theatrical Group's Shaw-inspired new play lab, Speakers' Corner.

This reading of Tyrants is part of the York's NEO Reading Series, presenting the work of writers chosen for the company's NEO Program. NEO celebrates the work of New, Emerging, and Outstanding writers. Each cycle, several writers or writing teams are chosen; their songs are presented in a benefit concert evening, and over the course of the following months, each writer/team receives a fully-funded reading of a work in progress. The next reading in the series will be Better Than Dreaming by Alan Gordon and Joy Son on Friday, November 9th, with work by Mark Sonnenblick and Masi Asare to follow in the spring.

Penn State Musical Theatre is part of the School of Theatre at Penn State University. The Musical Theatre New Works Initiative commissions writers yearly to write and develop a new musical culminating in a concert in New York and a full reading on campus. Possibilities exist to continue into production at Penn State and professional co-production. Recent commissioned writers include Joe Iconis (Love in Hate Nation), Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger (The Last Day), Kirsten Childs (The Lucky Boy), and Sam Salmond (Untitled project). In addition to the commissioning arm of the Initiative, Penn State also engages with writers and projects that are already in development, most recently Alexander Sage Oyen and S.P. Monahan's Tyrants.

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