SILENCE! THE MUSICAL Heads to The Phoenix Theatre Tonight

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Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis welcomes the Regional Premiere of Silence! The Musical opening tonight, August 13, 2015 on the Frank and Katrina Basile Stage. This production runs through September 13, 2015, with Bryan Fonseca serving as director.

Rookie FBI agent, Clarice Starling, matches wits with the brilliant but insane cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, in order to catch the serial killer, Buffalo Bill. Clarice faces her own demons while racing the clock to unlock Lecter's clues before another innocent girl is killed and skinned by Buffalo Bill. This naughty satire of The Silence of the Lambs features a singing chorus of floppy-eared lambs narrating the action as Buffalo Bill gleefully dances a hoedown while kidnapping hapless Catherine Martin. Even Dr. Lecter, scary as ever, sings about the life he'd like to lead someday outside the prison walls.

This is Bryan Fonseca's 32nd season as the founding Producing Director of the Phoenix Theatre. He has played a leading role in presenting outstanding contemporary drama in Indianapolis since 1979. Prior to the Phoenix, Bryan served as the Artistic Director for the Broad Ripple Playhouse and developed a short-lived alternative stage at the Indianapolis Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre - Studio C. Bryan has received an Achievement and Service award from the Indiana Theatre Association, two Artist Fellowship awards from the Indiana State Arts Commission and two Creative Renewal Fellowships from the Arts Council of Indianapolis/Lilly Endowment. Over the years, he transferred six Phoenix shows to Chicago including his original concert production, Prine: A Tribute Concert, which was performed at the Viaduct Theatre. The Chicago Sun Times said of the show: "Failed jukebox musicals are many, but Fonseca gets it right! The show is highly recommended." Bryan was recently selected as one of six directors in the Kennedy Center's 10th Annual MFA Playwrights' Workshop in Washington D.C. The program is in cooperation with the National New Play Network, of which the Phoenix Theatre is a core member. Bryan directed Against the Hillside by Sylvia Khoury, who recently completed her MFA in Playwriting at the New School for Drama.

The cast includes Paul David Nicely as Dr. Lecter, Scot Greenwell as Buffalo Bill, Chelsey Stauffer as Clarice, Diane Tsao Boehm as Ardelia/Lamb, Emily McGee as Catherine/Senator Martin/Lamb, Brian Noffke as Dr. Chilton/Cop/Lamb, Nate Walden as Crawford/Papa Starling/Lamb, and Phillip Armstrong as Pembry/Lamb.

Scot Greenwell has appeared in more than 20 productions at the Phoenix over the last nine years, including Freud's Last Session, Norway, Next Fall, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Other credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream (Indiana Repertory Theatre); The Santaland Diaries, The Grapes of Wrath, and Little Shop of Horrors (Cardinal Stage Company). He is a member of Heartland Actors' Repertory Theatre and appeared in their summer production of The Tempest.

Brian Noffke is the Artistic Director of Acting Up Productions and is returning to the Phoenix for the first time since his appearance in Avenue Q. Paul Nicely has been in regional productions of Xanadu, A Christmas Carol, LES MISERABLES, It's a Wonderful Life, The Sound of Music, A Chorus Line, Cabaret, and Godspell. He makes his Phoenix debut with Silence! The Musical.

Diane Tsao Boehm returns to the Phoenix for the first time since her portrayal of Christmas Eve in the Phoenix favorite, Avenue Q. Chelsey Stauffer has been the Resident Stage Manager for the Phoenix for the last 3 seasons, and makes her Phoenix stage debut with SILENCE! The Musical. She holds a degree in Theatre from the University of Indianapolis. Emily Solt McGee has been the Resident Costume Designer and Props Master for the Phoenix since March of 2015, and SILENCE! The Musical marks her Phoenix stage debut. Emily holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Vocal Performance and Operatic Studies. Nate Walden is returning to the Phoenix stage for the third time after previously appearing in Octopus and Speech & Debate.

Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan are brothers who are composers, lyricists and writers. They created Silence! The Musical, as well as the YouTube channel Legolambs, which features musicalizations of various Arnold Schwarzenegger movies such as Conan the Barbarian, Predator and Commando. Jon and Al also co-wrote and scored the film Zombeavers (2014).

The brothers moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to study concert composition and film music at USC, graduating in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Jon and Al created Silence! The Musical as a labor of love in late 2002. What began as a set of nine songs eventually became a website with a cult following in 2003. In 2005, Jon and Al composed several new songs and expanded Silence! into a live musical.

In addition to Silence!, Jon and Al have composed completely unfunny music for the NBC reality show Starting Over; a John Ford silent film entitled Just Pals, which was included in the Ford at Fox DVD Box Set; and a series of Walt Disney web advertisements. The Kaplans also wrote two seasons worth of Super Nintendo-style underscore for G4's cartoon series Code Monkeys. In 2009, the brothers wrote comedy (not music) for the MTV Movie Awards, and arranged Andy Samberg's "Lonely Island Medley," which was performed by LeAnn Rimes, Chris Isaak and Forest Whitaker. Jon and Al next scored The Hills Have Thighs, the controversial erotic film that aired on HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and TMC, and the Syfy Channel original films Piranhaconda and Dinocroc Vs. Supergator.

Hunter Bell earned an OBIE Award, a Drama League nomination, and a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical for the Broadway musical [title of show]. Other credits include books for Silence! The Musical, Bellobration! (Ringling Bros. Circus), Villains Tonight! (Disney Cruise Lines), Found, Other World, and Julie Andrews' The Great American Mousical. He is a co-creator of the web series "the [title of show] show" and has developed television with ABC Studios. Hunter is a proud graduate and distinguished alumnus of Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild, and a MacDowell Fellow.

Fueled by a rabid cult following since the songs debuted online in 2002, Silence! The Musical was written by brothers Al and Jon Kaplan and adapted for the stage by Tony-nominee Hunter Bell; the show was mounted by director and Tony-winner Christopher Gattelli at the 2005 NYC Fringe festival, where it won the "Overall Excellence Award" for Outstanding Musical. In 2010,Silence! re-opened in London at the Above the Stag Theatre and had a successful run. The following summer, the show opened Off Broadway at Theatre 80 to rave reviews. The run was extended for three months, after which Silence! transferred to The 9th Space Theater at Performance Space 122, and subsequently to the Elektra Theatre. The show also played a three-and-a-half-month run at the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles in the fall of 2012, and went on to win a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Score.

Tickets for Silence! The Musical are on sale now. Tickets are $27.00 per person on Thursdays and Sundays, $33.00 per person on Fridays and Saturdays, and $20.00 for anyone 21 & under. During CheapSeats Weekend, August 13-16, all tickets are $20. Tickets for Silence! The Musical may be purchased by calling the box office at 317.635.7529 or visiting phoenixtheatre.org. Curtain times for the production are: Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm.

The Phoenix Theatre is Indiana's only professional contemporary theatre, and has presented productions to challenge and entertain the Indianapolis community for over 32 years. An Equity house, the Phoenix presents the Midwest and Indiana premieres of many popular Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, and has presented more than 91 world premieres. The Phoenix operates the 130-seat proscenium Livia and Steve Russell Theatre as well as the 75-seat cabaret-style black box Frank and Katrina Basile Stage. Both venues are housed along with administrative offices in a renovated 1907 church in downtown Indianapolis' historic Chatham Arch neighborhood, part of the Mass Ave Arts and Culture District. The Phoenix Theatre is a founding member of the National New Play Network and the League of Indianapolis Theatres, and is supported by the Indiana Arts Commission, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as local corporate and foundation funders and more than 400 individual donors.



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