IF SAND WERE STONE Announces Cast of Off-Broadway Debut as Part of 2018 New York Musical Festival

Creators Carly Brooke Feinman and Cassie Willson are thrilled to announce the casting for their original musical If Sand Were Stone, making its Off-Broadway debut this July as part of the 2018 New York Musical Festival's (NYMF) Next Link Project. Featuring original music by Ms. Willson and original book & lyrics by Ms. Feinman, If Sand Were Stone will play a 5-performance run at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row beginning July 18, 2018.

When a remarkable poet at the peak of her career is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, she and her family are forced to grapple with the process of watching someone slowly slip away. As their world unravels and shifts, they must learn how to hold fast to love, against all odds. Loosely based upon a true story and inspired by extensive first-hand research with Alzheimer's patients and their families, If Sand Were Stone is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and, most importantly, fierce love.

If Sand Were Stone, featuring direction by Tyler Thomas (Assistant Director for Miss You Like Hell at The Public Theater) and original choreography by Nora Thompson, will star Jonathan Christopher, Alexis Floyd, Tabatha Gayle, Trisha Lindstrom, Tracy McDowell, Jhardon DiShon Milton, Jennifer Reed, and Mari Uchida.

Performances of If Sand Were Stone will take place at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (located at 410 W 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) according to the following schedule: Wednesday, July 18 at 8:00pm; Thursday, July 19 at 5:00pm; Friday, July 20 at 1:00pm; Saturday, July 21 at 5:00pm; and Sunday, July 22 at 9:00pm. Tickets for If Sand Were Stone and the rest of this year's New York Musical Festival selections can be purchased online at www.nymf.org

ABOUT THE CREATORS

CARLY BROOKE FEINMAN (Book & Lyrics) is a playwright living and working in New York City. She is mystified by the possibilities and limitations of language, and her works often interrogate the relationship between language and meaningful human connection. In addition to her work being produced at NYMF this summer, her play Reflux will also be making its Off-Broadway debut at the Broadway Bound Theatre Festival in August. Previously, Carly has assisted Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes on projects such as the screenplay adaptation of her musical In The Heights (written with Lin-Manuel Miranda).

CASSIE WILLSON (Music) is a composer, music director, and performer based in New York City. She has worked as a music director at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and on "The Birds and the BS with Jordan Roth," and as a copyist on Hamilton. Cassie is interested in making accessible music that challenges listeners. She is also super into 20th-century Bulgarian folk music and would love to talk about it with you.

NORA THOMPSON (Choreographer) lives and works in New York City as a dance-maker, visual artist, and arts administrator. Her work aims to pull theoretical ideas into the body, grounding them in physicality. Since arriving in New York City, she has started a seasonal outdoor improvisation class, performed a durational visual performance piece, Centipede, for multiple events, and has begun development on an evening-length solo work. Currently she serves as a grant writer for the Abrons Art Center and assists dance artist Eiko Otake with writing and outreach. In addition to choreographing for If Sand Were Stone, she will also serve as a Movement Consultant for Carly Feinman's Reflux, which will debut Off-Broadway in August 2018.

Jonathan Bauerfeld (Orchestrations) is a composer, orchestrator, music director, and copyist living in Manhattan. He is a proud member of the BMI Lehmen Engel Workshop. Composer: Legacy: The Book of Names (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, upcoming.) Orchestrator: Single Rider (Off B'way), 2017 Actors Fund Gala, Symphony Space (various concerts). Music Copyist (Anixter Rice): Broadway: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Escape To Margaritaville. Regional: Soft Power. Music/orchestration Assistant: Broadway: Escape To Margaritaville. Chicago: Hamilton, War Paint, The Spongebob Musical. Television: "A Christmas Story, Live!." Nat'l Tour: Hamilton.

TYLER THOMAS (Director) is a theater director and choreographer, currently based in New York City. Her work has most recently been shown at HERE Arts Center, Paradise Factory, The Performing Garage, and at various theaters across NYU. Recent assistant credits include Miss You Like Hell (The Public Theater), Is God Is (Soho Rep), Master (The Foundry Theatre), Big River(City Center Encores!), and Tragedy in Spades: A Crime Documentary (University Settlement). This fall, she will continue development on a multimedia site specific performance, If Hands Could Speak, as well as assistant direct at The Public Theater and Atlantic Theater Company. She holds a BFA in Drama and MA in Arts Politics from NYU.

CYNTHIA TONG (Producer) enjoys nothing more than to collaborate with artists and make their creative visions a reality. This summer, she is working on the Off-Broadway festival premieres of two of Carly Feinman's works: If Sand Were Stone and Reflux. Most recently, she co-produced an independent, full-length feature film, Noah Wise. She received a B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University and has a background in dance.

SIMPSON & LONGTHORNE THEATRICALS (General Manager) is a boutique theatrical firm founded by partners Benjamin Simpson and Joseph Longthorne. As General Managers: Blank! The Musical (Broadway Comedy Club), Stu For Silverton, The Apple Boys (Ars Nova); Select NYMF: Mother Jones and The Children's Crusade, The Calico Buffalo, Icon, Numbers Nerds, The Goree All-Girl String Band, Play Like A Winner, and Generation Me. As Co-Producers: Waitress, Oh Hello; On Broadway, The Glass Menagerie, A Doll's House Part 2, Hello Dolly (2017 Tony Award), The Band's Visit (2018 Tony Award), and Meteor Shower. In development: Cookies: A New Musical and Generation Me.

ABOUT THE CAST

JOHNATHAN CHRISTOPHER is thrilled to make his NYMF debut! New York: The Secret Garden (Dev. Lab), Carmen (New York Opera Exchange), Why Don't I Have A Girlfriend? (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity). Regional: Ragtime (Great Plains Theatre), The Marriage of Figaro (ConcertIA, Iowa). International: Rent (Aruba National Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe), Mozart and Salieri (TimeZone Theatre, London), Resident singer, Seabourn Encore World Cruise. Thanks to Wolf Talent Group and family. IG: @geezjawn

Alexis Floyd is Cleveland raised and New York City based. Off-Broadway: Single Rider (The Player's Theatre). Other recent credits include Honey Dipped Apocalypse Girls (Kraine Theatre) and Mitad Del Mundo (LaMama). Graduate of Carnegie Mellon's BFA Musical Theatre program. Her original music is available on Spotify and Apple Music. @alexisgfloyd

Tabatha Gayle is a performer and writer based out of Harlem, NY. Off Broadway: Misogynoir (Ars Nova). Select Regional: Our Country's Good (CRT), The Importance of Being Earnest(CRT), Shrek: The Musical (CRT). Film & TV: Redrum, Novana. Video Games: Beamer. Training: BFA, UConn. Thanks to Shirley at Carson Adler, much love to Sam Kebede and the family. TabathaGayle.com

Trish Lindstrom is an award-winning Canadian actor, recently planted in New York. She is best known for playing leads at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals with directors (selected): Peter Sellars, Des McAnuff, and Amanda Dehnert. Trish won Dora and Toronto Critics' Awards as "Girl" in Once (dir: John Tiffany). @lindstromtrish

Tracy McDowell is thrilled to be a part of this new Work! Broadway/NYC Credits: Motown, RENT, Tonya and Nancy the Rock Opera, Jawbreaker. Regional: Snapshots, Hair, Godspell. She is currently working on a new solo show. It's going to be so funny. Check out my band www.thebandmethod.com www.tracy-mcdowell.com

Jhardon DiShon Milton. Broadway: A Bronx Tale, Regional: Jack in the World Premiere Musical Trevor (Writers Theatre), Monty in Saturday Night Fever (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Tantrum Theatre) All thanks to God, Mom, my team at Gray Talent, and the Creative Team! Hebrews 11:6 IG: @jhardondishon

Jennifer Reed is a NY based, Australian actor who was raised in Laos. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the Australian Institute of Music. Her theatre credits include Assassins, Children of Eden, The Who's TOMMY, Nine and as Lady Gaga in the play Gaga V Assange. She is an accomplished singer/songwriter, with her debut EP Choose Soul seeing international success.

Mari Uchida is very excited to make her NYMF debut! New York credits include Romance of the Western Chamber (TADA! Theatre) and the Discover Series at National Asian Artists Project. Chicago credits include Side Show (Porchlight Music Theatre), Tonya and Nancy: A Rock Opera (Underscore Theatre Company). Graduate of Northwestern University. Immense gratitude to her agents at Meg Pantera the Agency, Melissa Foster, and her parents.

ABOUT NEW YORK MUSICAL FESTIVAL

The New York Musical Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.

Now in its fifteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 24 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award® and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form."

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. 2017 NYMF is sponsored by The City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, PRG, TheaterMania, Clear Channel Outdoor and Village Voice, and is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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