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UT Department of Theatre & Dance Offers HELLDRIVERS OF DAYTONA Workshop Tonight

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The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance brings Broadway talent to Austin with the newly developed musical, Helldrivers of Daytona, for a free workshop performance tonight, June 20, 2015 at the B. Iden Payne Theatre.

From the award-winning creative minds of composer Berton Averre, writer Mark Saltzman and lyricist Rob Meurer, Helldrivers of Daytona puts the pedal-to-the-metal in this NASCAR musical where tensions race and drivers compete for the top slot in the 1965 Daytona Speedway Jackpot 500. Amidst a sea of tanned surfers, speedway groupies, motorheads and bikinis, Lucky Stubbs must find a way to win his dream girl, Pepper Johnson, from rival driver Count Porcini Portobello, a dangerously enticing European hotshot. The race for love and glory is on in this spoof of 1960s rock n' roll movies that's fast, furious and funny.

The creative team of Helldrivers of Daytona has been invited to develop their new musical in residence at the Department of Theatre and Dance as part of the Texas Musical Theatre Workshop. Mark Saltzman shares: "This is the opportunity to get our speedway musical not only standing on its feet, but kicking up its bootheels with dancing."

The Texas Musical Theatre Workshop, hosted at The University of Texas at Austin, is a pre-collegiate intensive for high school students interested in exploring a career in musical theatre. The program connects talented high school students with top musical theatre artists and teachers while offering outstanding training in acting, signing, dancing and audition techniques.

Composer Berton Averre is a multi-platinum recording artist best-known for his work as lead-guitarist with The Knack ("My Sharona"). Mark Saltzman, an Emmy-winning writer, has written for both stage and screen, including work with Showtime and the Disney Channel. He has earned nominations for a Writers Guild Award, five Los Angeles Ovation Awards and a New York Outer Critic's Choice Award. Grammy-winning lyricist, Rob Meurer, a Texas native, enjoyed great success as a band member with Christopher Cross before joining forces with Berton Averre at the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop where the pair have developed popular works Jungle Man! and Robin Hood: The Untold Story.

Helldrivers of Daytona was first staged by Sheridan College (Wyoming) at the WYO Theatre (2012), followed with a workshop by Chapman University (California, 2013). Following its run at The University of Texas at Austin, Helldrivers of Daytona will be staged at the Skokie Theatre (Illinois) later this year.

For more information on Helldrivers of Daytona, visit: www.utexas.edu/finearts/tad/.

For more information on the Texas Musical Theatre Workshop, visit: www.texasmusicaltheatreworkshop.com.

The B. Iden Payne Theatre (300 E. 23rd St., Austin, Texas 78712) is located in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building (WIN) at the intersection of 23rd Street and San Jacinto Blvd. on The University of Texas at Austin campus. For a map of the campus, visit: www.texasperformingarts.org/visit/maps_directions/


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