TAMAR OF THE RIVER Begins Tonight Off-Broadway
Jeremy Greenbaum (The Fantasticks) and Aaron Komo complete the cast of Prospect Theater Company's world premiere production of TAMAR OF THE RIVER, a new music theater work with music and book by Marisa Michelson, book and lyrics by Joshua H. Cohen and direction by Daniel Goldstein (Godspell). Previously announced cast members include Margo Seibert (set to make her Broadway debut as "Adrian" in ROCKY on Broadway in Spring 2014) as Tamar, with Ako (Throne of Blood), Erik Lochtefeld (February House), Mike Longo (Hair) and Vince B. Vincent (Geography of Loss), and Jen Anaya, Adam Bashian, Margot Bassett, Troy Burton, Tamrin Goldberg and Mary Kate Morrissey.
TAMAR OF THE RIVER takes place in a war-torn world where the East and West are divided by a river red with blood. In this mythic landscape, one young woman is called to raise her voice. As Tamar sets out single-mindedly in pursuit of peace, she journeys to a foreign land, finding a new family and unexpected love. Inspired by the biblical story of Tamar, Cohen and Michelson bring to life an original new music theater work that illuminates the moral challenges inherent in the struggle for peace.
TAMAR OF THE RIVER is set in a fictional world, but has deep ties to contemporary real-world struggles, and will hold its first preview performance on the United Nations' International Day of Peace.
Composer and Co-Bookwriter Marisa Michelson describes this connection: "Five years ago I was commissioned to conceive and write an original musical -- just a few months before traveling to Neve Shalom (oasis of peace), a village co-founded by Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinian Arabs to demonstrate that the two peoples could live and work together peacefully. Neve Shalom was physically beautiful, emotionally moving, and spiritually inspiring. Our story has its roots in the book of Genesis, but the realities of today's world serve as contextual soil out of which the aesthetic, tone, and urgency of our story has grown."
Lyricist and Co-Bookwriter Joshua H. Cohen adds: "While TAMAR OF THE RIVER is intended to be a universal tale, rather than an allegory for any specific national conflict, it draws its milieu from the landscape of violence that seems to stretch forever in all directions, past and future -- and its inspiration from the small acts of hope and bravery undertaken by people on both sides of conflict, every day."
Performances will begin tonight, September 21, 2013 and continue through October 20 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center located at 55 Lexington Avenue in New York City.
Scenic design is by Brett J. Banakis. Costume design is by Candida K. Nichols. Lighting design is by Brian Tovar. Sound design is by Jeremy J. Lee. Matt Aument is the musical director. Jason Najjoum is the casting director.
Previously developed at the American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation at Signature Theatre in Virginia, TAMAR OF THE RIVER has received commissioning and world premiere major support from The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund.
Additionally, in honor of the organization's 15th year of operations, Prospect is offering a new annual Membership Programoffering valuable discounts and flexible ticketing to meet the needs of core audiences who are passionate about the company's mission to bring to life the next generation of the American musical.
A $50 annual membership, running from September 1 through August 31, offers benefits which include savings of more than 60% on all Prospect regular and premium ticket prices. Members will be able to purchase $15 regular tickets to TAMAR OF THE RIVER and $25 premium seating locations. All online and phone ticketing fees are waived. Members also receive exclusive exchange privileges and invitations to behind-the-scenes events with artists throughout the season. Memberships are now on sale at www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling 212-352-3101.
Prospect Theater Company is one of America's leading producers of new musical theater, and has been honored to receive a 2013 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing. Since 2000, the company has fully produced more than 20 premiere musicals in New York City, in addition to new plays and numerous re-inventions of classic works. Year-round, Prospect supports developmental opportunities for emerging musical theater writers, especially through our annual musical theater lab. Prospect was founded in 1998 by five graduates of Princeton University in order to allow a diverse group of emerging theater professionals to work together in pursuit of artistic excellence and innovation. The company membership now includes a network of almost 1,000 affiliated artists. Notable productions include: the Drama Desk Award-winning Working - A Musical(2012), Unlock'd (2013), Iron Curtain (2006, 2011), Myths and Hymns (2012), Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANT (2012), With Glee (2010), The Blue Flower (2008), Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (2009), The Hidden Sky (2010), Illyria (2002, 2008), and the Drama-Desk nominated The Pursuit of Persephone (2005).
About Joshua H. Cohen: JOSHUA H. COHEN (Lyricist and Co-Bookwriter) Joshua H. Cohen's honors include a Jonathan Larson Grant (with Marisa Michelson), the Anna Zornio Children's Theatre Playwriting Award for his lyrics to Keep On Walkin', the Chameleon Theatre Circle New Play Award for the musical Ordinary Island (music and lyrics), and a MAC Award nomination for his cult cabaret hit "The Sacrifice of Love" (a.k.a. the waxing song). His play The Thirteenth Commandment (semifinalist, Princess Grace and Playwrights First Awards) had its world premiere with Libra Theater Company this year. Member, Dramatists Guild; 2008-10 Fellow, American Lyric Theatre's Composer-Librettist Development Program; August 2012 CAP21 Writers Residency. BA: Amherst College, MFA: NYU-GMTWP.
About Marisa Michelson: Marisa Michelson (Composer and Co-Bookwriter) A composer, singer and singing teacher, Marisa is in-love with, entranced by, and passionate about the human capacity to sing. She received a 2011 Jonathan Larson Award and 2009 "American Musical Voices: The Next Generation" Award from the Shen Family Foundation. Musicals include Tamar of the River (Signature Theatre; Prospect Theater Company); Scheherazade written with Jason Grote (York Theatre); The Grid (NAMT Residency with Millikin University); Still Life with Toe Shoes (Old Deerfield Productions; Emerson College); Hotel Sarajevo (CAP 21; hotInk Festival; Smith College); The Lovers (Prospect Theater Company; Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard; Calliope Theatre Company.) Residencies/commissions/awards: Theatreworks, Palo Alto, New Dramatists, Montclair University, Kennedy Center, St. Botolph Award.
About Daniel Goldstein: Daniel Goldstein (Director) is the director of the Broadway revival of Godspell (2011). His recent projects include Anna Christie (Old Globe), God Of Carnage (Huntington Theater Company), ...Samantha Brown (Goodspeed Musicals), Golden Boy (Juilliard), Annie (St. Louis Muny), Aritficial Fellow Travelerby Ethan Sandler (Williamstown Theater Festival, Black Dahlia Theater Open Door Theater), Clear (O'Neill National Music Theater Conference), True West(Williamstown Theater Festival), Miss Margarida's Way (Bay Street Theater, with Julie Halston), A New Brain at the Toho Theater in Tokyo, The Unauthorized Autobiography Of Samantha Brown (Broadway Across America developmental production), Mary's Wedding at the Two Rivers Theater, and many more. He is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Performance Studies.
About Chase Brock: Chase Brock (Choreographer) Broadway: Picnic; Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Off-Broadway: The Tempest (Public Works), The Cradle Will Rock (Encores! Off-Center), Venice (Public Lab), The Blue Flower(Second Stage, Lortel nomination for Outstanding Choreography), Lost in the Stars (Encores!). TV: "Late Show with David Letterman," "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade." Video games: Dance on Broadway (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Move). Opera:Roméo et Juliette (Salzburger Festspiele). Dance: 25 dances for the Brooklyn-based company The Chase Brock Experience.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride