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LETTERS TO DADDY JR. To Get Special Presentation at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center

Letters To Daddy, Jr., a contemporary musical to be presented in the New York Musical Theatre Festival that celebrates life through the eyes of a child will be presented for two performances only Sunday, October 4th at 1pm and 4pm at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.  

Letters To Daddy, Jr. was written and produced by Center Stages' Jill Jaysen with music and lyrics by MARK SHEPARD, and an original conception by 4e Productions. 

Letters To Daddy Jr., contains a potpourri of life's lessons and thought-provoking messages that speak to the hearts of children everywhere. The plot centers around 10 year-old, Caroline Turner, whose father is an English teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. On the very same day her dad assigns his students to write about something "unfair in their lives," Caroline gets into a fight with Billy the school bully and receives the ultimate "unfair" treatment; she's grounded! Stuck in her father's study with nothing to do, she can only come out after she's learned "something about life." But how can she possibly learn anything about life with no cell phone, no computer and no TV? 

Wallowing in self-pity and boredom, she unexpectedly discovers the folder of letters sitting on her father's desk. As she reads each letter, they come to life and we witness how Caroline and her peers gain insight into themselves and the world around them. The conflict that is the cornerstone of this whimsical musical is transformed by compassion, perspective and kindness. A day that starts out as awful becomes awesome when kids realize that things aren't always what they seem.

The cast is comprised of 19 children between eight and 11 years of age from towns throughout Fairfield County. "We feel honored to be the youngest group of performers ever to be a part of NYMF," says Jaysen. "The audience will be touched by the children's authenticity as their messages surface as a source of inspiration. We cover such topics as jealousy, competition, rumors and the fact that ‘people are much more than what we see.'"

The musical culminates when the children shed light on their important realization and sing, "Together We Can Change The World;" brilliantly composed and written by Mark Shepard." Jaysen goes on to say, "It is our hope that Letters To Daddy will encourage both the actors and audience members to work towards making our world a better place. We know that "Art Imitates Life," and strive to come full circle by having "Life Imitate Art." This "theatre for life" premise is the driving force behind Center Stage.

"Letters to Daddy works so well because the story is told from a child's perspective," explained William Rodman, the founder of 4e Productions, the organization that developed the concept for the book by Jill Jaysen. "All of the songs are crafted in a contemporary pop style that appeals to kids so the messages never become preachy. The show spotlights issues that are part of daily life for kids and offers insightful, inspirational and compassionate ways to deal with adversity at any age."

The presentations areSunday, October 4th at 1pm and 4pm at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, is located at 248 West 60th Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenue. All tickets are $20.00. For reservations and information call (212) 352-3101 or visit or

About Center Stage Theatre Company
Center Stage Theatre Company is an acting school and theatre company founded in Westport, Connecticut in 2004 by Jill Jaysen to empower students to discover and build on their strengths in a pure positive environment. Students who range in age from kindergarteners through senior citizens learn the Stanislavsky method of acting from Broadway actors, award-winning directors and accomplished industry professionals. They participate in the development of the original musicals developed by this unparalleled theater company and they acquire the confidence to take center stage and shine. Two past Center Stage Theatre Company productions presented as part of NYMF Chocolate Soup and Intervention: A Teen Musical have been licensed and published by Dramatic Publishing.

Center Stage is the recipient of the Moss Hart Memorial Award Silver Trophy (often referred to as the regional Tony Award) in 2008 naming Chocolate Soup the best musical in the six states of New England. Center Stage productions also won the Moss Hart Memorial Award in 2005, 2007 and 2008 and 2009. The New York Musical Theatre Festival has invited Center Stage to participate in this prestigious event in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. For more information about Center Stage, visit or call 203.341-9659.

About New York Musical Theatre Festival
NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2009 is presented in association with, Production Resource Group and, and is supported by Back Stage, Barnes & Noble Booksellers,,, Broadway.TV, Clear Channel Spectacolor, DFD-TV, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, King Displays, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, New World Stages, NASDAQ OMX, Next Magazine, PMD Promotions,, Reuters, Sweet Caroline's, Tekserve,, The Tank, and Times Square Squared. Major supporters include The ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Inc., The Broadway League, The BWF Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jamie Mayer, The Charlie & Jane Fink Charitable Fund, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. NYMF's programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
Festival memberships are on sale now and can be purchased online at or by calling (212) 352-3101; single tickets go on sale on September x. For more information, visit


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