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Midwest New Musicals to Present NORTH SHORE B&B Mini-Musical Project, 7/21


Midwest New Musicals presents NORTH SHORE B & B (BOATS AND BEACHES), the 2013 Mini-Musicals Project on Sunday, July 21, 3:00 PM at Light Opera Works Second Stage at McGaw YMCA Children's Center Auditorium, 1420 Maple (at Lake) in Evanston. Tickets are $10 at the Light Opera Works box office: (847) 920-5360 or at the door.

The 2013 Mini-Musicals Project is the culminating performance for authors in the Midwest New Musicals Core Curriculum and Writers Ensemble. The performance will feature three short pieces: ON THE ROAD TO MANDERLAY by Francesca Peppiatt and Donald Flayton, THE BEACHED BOAT OF A BILLIONAIRE by John David Nelson and Christopher Dunn Rankin, and ON THE ROCKS by Mark Adamczyk and Donald Nolan.

Participating authors create short musicals for a pre-selected ensemble and production team. In addition to the theme of NORTH SHORE B & B (BOATS AND BEACHES), each piece will include a lyric image: "muddy puddles," a line of dialogue: "You better floss, or else!," and a musical motif: D, A-flat, B-flat, A.

The performance will also showcase a concert medley of songs from new musicals by members of the Midwest New Musicals Writers Ensemble.

The stage director is Joan Mazzonelli, music director is Jessica A. Hunt, choreographer is Angela Allyn and performers are Sarah Blevins, Amanda Compton, Zachary Elmassian, Nathan Mittleman, and Jasmine Ryan.

The Mini-Musicals Project is the culminating exercise of first-year workshop writers in the Midwest New Musicals program. Participating authors create short musicals for a pre-selected ensemble and production team.

The musical theater writers program began in Chicago under the tutelage of John Sparks in 1986. Since 2009, Midwest New Musicals has been a resident arm of Light Opera Works, Chicago's specialists in operetta and musical theater. With Midwest New Musicals, Light Opera Works is able to expand its programming and service to the field by providing an outlet for writers and for new works of musical theater.

Midwest New Musicals, a writers workshop and development program, is an ongoing forum where lyricists, composers and book writers create and discuss their work. Participants meet in intensive weekend sessions and/or evening tutorials, led by workshop director John Sparks, associate artist Larry Todd Johnson and Philip Seward, with producer Joan Mazzonelli. Sessions take place at the Light Opera Works rehearsal center, 516 4th Street in Wilmette.

New Core Curriculum sessions begin September 7, 2013, and continue through June 22, 2014. The study and writing process leads to two public presentation programs. TheMini-Musicals Project allows first-year participants to create short musicals for a pre-selected ensemble and production team. Words and Music is a concert reading series of new musicals in progress principally composed by workshop members of the Midwest New Musicals program and developed in the Core Curriculum and development process.

Application fee for Core Curriculum is $25. Once accepted, course fee is $1,200 paid at once, or two installments of $695 each. Students 30 and younger with valid ID receive a 20% discount.

New Craft Tutorials begin in September, 2013. These are classes in book writing (eight weeks, $375), lyric writing (eight weeks, $375) and composition (16 weeks, $750).Students 30 and younger with valid ID receive a 20% discount.

John Sparks (workshop director) is the Founding Artistic Director for the Academy for New Musical Theatre in Los Angeles where he has taught since 1981. In 1987 he founded the musical theater writers workshop at the former Theatre Building Chicago where he served as Artistic Director from 1999 to 2009. John is also currently a board member and guest instructor with Mercury Musical Developments in London. John has written many musicals that have been produced in Los Angeles, Chicago and on the east coast, including: Babes In Barns (music and lyrics), Hans Brinker (lyrics), Cashel Byron (book), The Arresting Dilemma of Mister K (book), and On The Brink(book and lyrics). He has received awards such as the After Dark Award for Best Score and several commissions from Theatre Building Chicago and the Frederick Loewe Trust, awarded by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. John studied with the late Lehman Engel, renowned musical director and founder of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and with Broadway and Hollywood director Michael Gordon.

Larry Todd Johnson (associate artist) is a book writer and lyricist originally from Southern California. With composer Cindy O'Connor, his musical 40 is the New 15 received Stagescene LA's award for Best New Musical 2010, received a 2010 GLAAD Media Award Nomination for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre and was chosen by Stephen Schwartz to be part of the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop. Larry and Cindy won the Kennedy Center National Playwright's Award as well as the ACTF Musical Theater Award for their work on the musical-drama All That He Was. Other projects include Beautiful(with Cindy O'Connor and Adrian Bewley) Now and Then a Hero (with composer Jake Anthony) and The Last Princess(with composer Allen Hong.) For television, Larry has written animated series teleplays for Yin Yang Yo!, The Care Bears, and Angela Anaconda, to name a few. He holds a BA in Theatre from UCLA and a Masters in Playwriting from CSUF.

Philip Seward has written musicals, operas and concert works. His opera, How To Date A Coloratura, was named a finalist in the National Opera Association Chamber Opera 2013 competition. His musical, Hans Brinker, received an After Dark award and several Jeff citations during its production at Theatre Building Chicago. The Richard Rodgers award finalist, Les Dames à trois... et pianoplayed New York, Chicago and Edinburgh, Scotland; the operatic farce High Fidelity played Merkin Hall in New York City and the Chicago Humanities Festival; his operas for young audiences, Stone Soup, A Noteworthy Tale andAfrican Stories, commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago, premiered in Chicago and were subsequently produced by companies in several states. His concert music has premiered on classical station WFMT with the Lira Ensemble of Chicago and has been performed in Chicago venues by CUBE, Mostly Music, Bella Voce, and other companies. His choral music is published through Edition Music Contact.

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