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Walking on Water Productions Presents Inaugural WOW'S NOW FESTIVAL

The inaugural festival of staged readings will feature the debut of three new musicals.

Walking on Water Productions will present their inaugural festival of staged readings, WoW's Now: Walking on Water's New Original Works, featuring three new musicals.

Extended Stay written by Jenny Stafford and Scotty Arnold, directed by Emily Jackson. Emma, newly sober and newly employed at an extended stay hotel in rural Indiana, hits it off with Owen: a charming tenant who never seems to leave his room--but when Owen's adventurous childhood friend Ethan shows up for a visit, it's clear that these three have the potential to help or harm each other. Other members of the creative team include Katherine Gould (music director), Em Ludek (collaborative pianist), and Cady Vitale (stage manager). The cast includes Jonah Hirst, Paul Morgan, Lucy Purnine, and Kristin Sad.

Something Blue written by Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald, directed by Sarah Plotkin. Casey and Joelle want a simple, easy wedding, but when Casey's ex-boyfriend Geoff shows up unannounced, all three must confront their expectations of love, marriage, and each other. Other members of the creative team include Jeremy Pletter (music director) and Quin Frederich (stage manager). The cast includes Hannah Avery, Seamus Buxton, and Paul Morgan.

Onward and Upward written by Will Wegner and Charlie Romano, directed by Karen Veaner. In 1982, Walter Griffin made headlines after tying a lawn chair to a cluster of weather balloons and flying 16,000 feet into the sky; nearly two decades later, his wife, Helen, and son, Mikey, have succeeded in keeping him tethered to the ground, but Walter will stop at nothing to see his dream of flight realized again. Other members of the creative team include Benjamin Stevens (music director), Barbara Soroka (collaborative pianist), and Alexandria Joaseus (stage manager). The cast includes Aidan Maloney, Grayson Rosenberg, Elizabeth Seldin, Benjamin Stevens, Grace Traore, and Daniel Trippett.

The mission of the WoW's NoW festival is to discover, explore, and celebrate new works of musical theatre with Tompkins County artists and audiences. These three pieces were chosen out of several submissions by a panel of Tompkins County theatre professionals. While all these shows have gone through multiple drafts and informal readings at various stages of development, this is the first time anyone will experience these pieces in their completed state. And, if you attend all three shows-either in-person or virtually-you will be able to vote for your favorite. The show that receives the most votes will have its world premiere as a part of WoW's seventh season in 2023.

"We can't wait to explore and celebrate these new works with audiences in the Ithaca area as well as in other regions around the world! What a thrill it will be to select WoW's next fully-mounted world premiere production together!" says founder and producing artistic director, Priscilla Hummel. If this inaugural season of the WoW's NoW festival goes well-along with a successful world premiere to follow next season-WoW plans to repeat this alternating cycle year after year.

The WoW's NoW Festival will run every weekend from November 4-20. Extended Stay has performances on November 4 at 7:00pm, November 13 at 2:00pm, and November 19 at 7:00pm. Something Blue has performances on November 6 at 2:00pm, November 12 at 7:00pm, and November 18 at 7:00pm. Onward and Upward has performances on November 5 at 7:00pm, November 11 at 7:00pm, and November 20 at 2:00pm.

These readings take place at The Cherry Artspace, located at 102 Cherry Street in Ithaca, NY, as well as virtually. Single tickets and "flex passes"-which admit you to all three shows-are available online and at the door. Online ticketing can be accessed at walkingonwaterproductions.org/tickets.

This project is made possible, in part, with funding from the NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program); the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County; and our production sponsors: CSP Management, Ferrer & Monaghan Vein and Aesthetic Center, the Gemm Shop, Hilton Garden Inn Ithaca, Mansour Jewelers, and the Mediation & Law Office of Iska Ziver. WoW is also grateful to the Ithaca Savage Club for the use of their performing arts center throughout the festival rehearsal process.

Walking on Water Productions is a nonprofit musical theatre company in its sixth season. Past productions include Godspell (2017), The Fantasticks (2018), Katrina, A New Musical (2019), A Virtual Cabaret (2020), Comfort Food (2021), A Year with Frog and Toad (2021), and Now. Here. This. (2022). WoW's mission is to empower local theatre artists by training, collaborating with, and showcasing them through production opportunities, internships, and educational workshops that provide individual development and community connection; together, we present both new and existing works that appeal to multi-generational audiences.



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