The Ring Theatre at University of Miami Presents Developmental Reading of DEVOTION

The Theatre Arts Department of the University of Miami, Stephen DI Benedetto, Chairman, and Michael Bush, Artistic Director of the University's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, announce a developmental reading of the new musical Devotion, book, music and lyrics by Mark Sonnenblick, directed by Maggie Burrows, featuring students from the University's BFA musical theatre program. This reading has been made possible by a grant for the development of new musical works by the Johnny Mercer Foundation. The reading rehearsals start January 20, 2018 with a free public presentation on January 25, 2018.

The creative team describes Devotion as a story about addiction (not just to drugs) and belief (not just in religion). Devotion explores an American crisis of community.

This marks a renewed commitment to developing new work with a goal to regularly produce a new musical in the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. Other new musicals developed and produced by the Theatre Arts Department include Tommy Tune's Forever 54 and Moises Kaufman's Carmen. In March, the department, with the support of the Palley family, will also produce a staged workshop of the new musical Connections by Grace Millo, under the direction of Michael Bush.

For additional information, visit the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre.

Maggie Burrows is a theater and film director living in New York City. She has worked with Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, NYTW, Roundabout, Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, Lookingglass, Steppenwolf, and with the Finborough in London. Maggie received her BA from Yale University where she was a nominee for the Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Arts. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and a recipient of the World Performance Project Grant at Yale. Most recently, Maggie curated a female director-driven reading series called PUBLICREADS and completed her first short film titled CONDOLENCES. UPCOMING: Associate director on the upcoming Broadway revival of MY FAIR LADY.

Mark Sonnenblick is a composer, lyricist, and scriptwriter. Collaborations include Midnight at The Never Get (Bistro Award, MAC Award Nominee "Show of the Year"), Independents ("Best Production" FringeNYC, "Critics' Pick" New York Times), Dragons Love Tacos (TheatreworksUSA), Twenty Minutes Or Less (Washington National Opera), Ship Show (Yale Institute for Music Theatre), Stompcat in Lawndale (Ars Nova Ant Fest), Wheel of Misfortune (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), and Bunkerville (Yale DRAMAT, BSU Discovery Festival winner). He has developed work at The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony (Goodspeed Musicals), UCross Foundation, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, The John Duffy Institute (Virginia Arts Festival), Composers and the Voice (American Opera Projects), and The Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project.

The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny's legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.

JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate our goals including; the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate The Positive Programs (New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami), The Musical Theater Program at NJPAC, Georgia State University Fellowship Program, Florida International University Fellowship Program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University, In addition, JMF also supports various charitable causes including UCLA's Art of The Brain, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program), and the Braille Institute (Johnny Mercer Children and Adult Choirs).

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