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Table Reading Series Offers Scenes and Musical Highlights of a new Musical by WIlliam Linster, directed by Carol Ziske.

By: Feb. 18, 2024
Previews: QUENTIN: A ROOSEVELT MUSICAL at Palace  Image
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Composer William Linster will present scenes and musical highlights from Act One of his in-development show QUENTIN: A ROOSEVELT MUSICAL, with Book and Lyrics by Lawrence Alexander, directed by Carol Ziske as part of Gracewell Productions' Table Reading Series at the Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT on Saturday, April 13. This by-invite-only audience will be the first to get a peek as this musical takes shape. 

QUENTIN is a heartfelt and original exploration of ambition, sacrifice, and legacy against the backdrop of early 20th-century America and the First World War. The musical centers around Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of Theodore Roosevelt, who embarks on a forbidden romance with Flora Payne Whitney, a wealthy heiress from a different social sphere.

The Roosevelts, renowned for their political activism and their role in trust-busting, which significantly impacted the Whitney family's wealth, stand in stark contrast to the reserved Whitneys, who are determined to avoid scandal of any kind. The story follows Quentin as he navigates the pressures of familial expectations, personal ambition, and the looming shadow of war. Through a mix of historical events and artistic interpretation, the musical delves into themes of heroism, love, and the impact of war on individuals and their families. QUENTIN weaves together dramatic scenes, emotional soliloquies, and powerful musical numbers to create a moving portrait of a young man caught between personal desire and duty, love and loss, and the enduring question of how to make one's mark in the shadow of a powerful legacy. 

Seats at the Reading Series are free, but limited and by invite only. THIS READING IS SOLD OUT. If you would like to request a place on the waiting list, contact us at The reading is at 2 pm Saturday, April 13 and will be followed by a talk-back. 
QUENTIN replaces the previously announced IN PLAIN SIGHT which has been postponed until a later date.
William Linster (Composer) is a New York-based pianist, composer, music director, and arranger. Having been playing since the age of two and performing professionally since the age of seven, William has an extensive background in classical training, as well as in jazz and other contemporary styles. A graduate of the world-renowned New School For Jazz And Contemporary Music, William has studied and worked with some of the greatest musicians in the world, including Grammy® nominees Bobby Sanabria, Dave Douglas, Charles Tolliver, Cecil Bridgewater, and Andy Mckee, as well as Grammy® winners Bill Kirchner, Robert Sadin, and Hank Schocklee (Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee, Public Enemy). As an accompanist and session musician, he has worked with artists such as Katie Stevens (American Idol, The Bold Type), Coyle Girelli (Your Vegas, The Chevin), Ron McClure (Blood, Sweat & Tears), R&B hitmaker James "D-Train" Williams, and numerous other Broadway stars and opera singers. Upon first working with William, the late acclaimed librettist Roger O. Hirson (Tony Award®-nominee, Pippin) simply said, "He's a genius." He made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 16, and was featured on NBC Nightly News at 17 while at the Havana International Jazz Festival in Cuba. William is also a trained vocalist, in addition to having received training on violin, trumpet, clarinet, mallet percussion, concert percussion, drums and handbells. He recently served as the Music Director for the Off-Broadway production of Fringe Deaths (2019). William is currently in the process of developing four full-length musicals he wrote with late Hollywood screenwriter, Lawrence Alexander (Charlie’s Angels, CHiPs, Barnaby Jones). He was recently named a 2022 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist by American Theatre Wing.

Carol Ziske (Director) is an accomplished theatre director, choreographer, and actor with over five decades of professional experience in the industry. She directed  ONE TOUCH OF AVA by Julie Gilbert for Gracewell Productions in the StAged Intent Series, marking her return to the Ivoryton Playhouse where her first appearance was as Mary Magdalene in the 1976 production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR with Tony award nominated and Obie winner Craig Lucas. She has numerous Off-Broadway and regional directing credits. Carol’s credits as an actor include FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Broadway) and (1st National You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown Tour). Carol is an active member of the League of Professional Theatre Women Connecticut Chapter. Carol is a recipient of the Colgate Palmolive Achievement Award for “Kids On the Block” and the NJ Drama Critics Award for A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. She is directing a series of workshops for a new musical, HURRICANE JIMMY, also with William Linster. 

Previews: QUENTIN: A ROOSEVELT MUSICAL at Palace  Image   

Lauren Yarger of GRACEWELL PRODUCTIONS produces inspiring works in the arts. She is thrilled to be partnering with Sheree Marcucci and the amazing Palace Theater on this third Table Reading Series. A theater critic, she produces the Outer Critics Circle Awards in New York. She is Co-Founder of the CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Previews: QUENTIN: A ROOSEVELT MUSICAL at Palace  Image

SHEREE MARCUCCI is Director of Special Projects & Curated Programs at the Palace. She has launched a number of successful programs including “2nd Act” and “I Wrote That!”  The Palace Theater’s mission is to preserve and operate the historic Palace Theater as a performing arts center and community gathering place that provides a focal point of cultural activity and educational outreach for diverse audiences. The Table Reading Series is made possible by support from Rourke Insurance Agency, Timothy W. and Mary Ellen Rourke, Emily Kaufman.



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