THE PICHER PROJECT Comes to Feinstein's/54 Below
FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club, presents The Picher Project, a new musical in a one-night concert engagement on October 23rd, 9:30pm.The Picher Project, a new musical, explores the rise, boom, destruction and fall of the abandoned mining town of Picher, Oklahoma. The town that once was the largest producer of lead and zinc in the world became the EPA's #1 Superfund site, deeming Picher the most toxic place in America. Town politics, involvement with the native Quapaw tribe, illness, natural disasters, and the earth literally falling apart under them, all led to Picher officially dissolving in 2013, making it a ghost town.
Comprised of interviews and stories from former Picher residents, the musical follows the lives of individuals from different points in the town's 100-year history. Picher, a town that meant the world to its citizens, was founded and destroyed by the mining industry, leaving its population with no way to return home.
Full casting to be announced in the coming weeks.
Quentin Madia (Conceiver/Director, Book, Lyrics) is a director, choreographer, and designer specializing in musical theatre and creating new work. Directing Credits: The Picher Project (World Premiere, Dixon Place), Two Star Motel (World Premiere, TDT), Employee of the Month (World Premiere), Bonnie and Clyde(TDT), Little Women (NJ Rep Theatre), Gathering Sparks (International, Thailand, World Premiere), and original music videos for singer/songwriter Lauren Pelaia. As a designer, Quentin's work has been seen in Tennessee Williams 1982 (Projections, Off-Broadway, Walker Space), EmbodiED (Projections, Girl Be Heard, HERE Arts Center), The Two Character Play (Sound, Dir. Austin Pendleton, The Duo), West Side Story (Set and Sound, Bay View Music Festival), and more.Currently: Drama League (Development Associate), Dixon Place (Production Manager), Dare Tactic (Founder/Executive Director). www.quentinmadia.com
Lauren Pelaia (Music, Lyrics) is a New York/New Jersey based singer, songwriter, composer and actress. In November of 2017, she released her first EP, March With Me, at The Bitter End. Following the EP, she released two singles, Try To Love You and While We Have Tonight, that were introduced as a two-part music video series. Branching into writing for musical theatre, Lauren then co-wrote Employee of the Year with Quentin Madia for the production of Employee of the Month at Dixon Place. Lauren orchestrated an entirely original score for the classic play, Our Town, at Villagers Theatre which has since been nominated for a Perry Award for best sound design in a play. Performance Credits: Halley, in The Dare Tactic's Two Star Motel (NYC Premiere); Crystal, in Algonquin Arts Theatre's Little Shop of Horrors; and Sandy in New Jersey Repertory Theatre's Grease. Most recently, Lauren was seen as the live singer/narrator of the debut ofBridesmaids: A Dance Narrative, choreographed by Steven Blandino, that premiered at Dixon Place.
Alex Knezevic (Music, Lyrics) is a Brooklyn based actor, musician, composer, audio engineer, and music producer. Aside from The Picher Project, he is also working on Murder Pass (Music and Lyrics), a second full length musical, with songs previously performed at Feinstein's/54 Below. Recently, he appeared onstage playing and acting in Dark of the Moon at The Schimmel Center (Music Director, Orchestrations). Some of Alex's favorite performance opportunities include NEWSIES (Regional, Buttons); Two Star Motel (NYC Premiere, Ryan); Blood Wedding (NYC, Leonardo). Pace BFA Acting 2019. alexknezevic.com
The Picher Project plays Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on October 23rd, 2019 at 9:30pm. There is a $25-$35 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.
MORE ABOUT THE PICHER PROJECT
The Picher Project, now in development for nearly two years, was originally conceived by Quentin Madia, upon viewing a photo set from a favorite photographer, entitled "Toxicity". He immediately called two composer colleagues, Lauren Pelaia and Alex Knezevic, and after learning the name of the town in the photos, The Picher Project was born. The team has conducted extensive research, done hours of dramaturgy, and it left them wanting one thing: to go to Picher. In March 2019, the writing team of three spent a week in Northeast Oklahoma, getting see the town, meet its people, and hear the true stories of Picher. A public reading of a draft was held in the area, and true Picher residents were able to see the work. It then became clear: not only did the story need to be told for environmental reasons, but also for the people of Picher. Since then, the team has kept in contact with former residents and those heavily tangled up in the history and events there. With the fresh authenticity of what the trip provided, the team presented a 30-minute staged cut of a draft at Dixon Place in April 2019.
With an upcoming writing residency in September, the team hopes to bring a finished draft back for an eventual fully staged production. For more information, you can follow the team and the project on social media, or reach out via email: