MTF to Rock Out at Joe's Pub with Discount Ghost Stories' WELL WORN WORDS
Musical Theatre Factory, under the direction of Artistic Director, Shakina Nayfack, has announced that it will present Discount Ghost Stories' WELL WORN WORDS, a new rock musical with book, music and additional lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen and book, archival research, and adapted text by Jessica Kahkoska, direction by Austin Regan and musical direction by Luke McGinnis, January 23 at 7pm at the Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street.
Utilizing both original lyrics and repurposed texts from historical archives and the nineteenth-century folk canon, the band tells the (mostly true) story of Clifford Griffin, a melancholicminer who ended his life in 1885 in the mountains outside Silver Plume, Colorado. As the band summons Clifford's spirit, they sing his story of obsession, wilderness and loss in the final hours before his death.
The cast and band of WELL WORN WORDS features Alexander Sage Oyen, Jessica Kahkoska, Jeremy Morse, Lizzie Hagstedt, Evan Tyor, Luke McGinnis, Henry Anderson, Kevin Kuh, ElAnna White and Betsy Stewart. Styled by DW.
Discount Ghost Stories is an afterlife rock band of ghost musicians that explores the stories of souls forgotten by history. Incorporating text from historical archives and the American folk canon into lyrics, the band re-imagines the "tall tales around the campfire" tradition as multimedia rock concerts and albums.
Discount Ghost Stories was launched in September 2015 with the support of the Silver Plume Historical Society and the George Rowe Museum in Colorado and received a residency at the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University in June 2016.
For more about the show, visit www.discountghoststories.com, and for tickets, go to www.publictheater.org/reserve/index.aspx?performanceNumber=33389. Joe's Pub is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.
Alexander Sage Oyen is the recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation's Lucille and Jack Yellen award for lyricists. His musicals include OUTLAWS (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals- book by James Presson, dir. Noah Himmelstein), ARCHIE'S FINAL PROJECT (Book by James Presson and David Lee Miller), DIVA (book by Sean Patrick Monahan), A NIGHT LIKE THIS (book, music, lyrics, directed by Blayze Teicher, 54 Below) and MOMENT BY MOMENT (directed by Brandon Ivie, 54 Below. Production at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand). He and collaborator James Presson were awarded the 2013-2014 Dramatist Guild Fellowship and their musical, OUTLAWS, was the recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Workshop. He was named one of Playbill's "Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know," and he was selected for the 2014 Johnny Mercer Songwriter's Project. His music has been heard at Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Symphony Space, 54 Below, Joe's Pub, Playwrights Horizons, The Signature Theatre, New World Stages, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and venues in Thailand, London, The Netherlands and across the world. His theatrical rock band, Discount Ghost Stories! can be seen playing through every borough and the astral plains. The cast album for his song cycle, MOMENT BY MOMENT, is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon. Proud member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.
Jessica Kahkoska is a graduate of Northwestern University, now based in NYC. In New York, she has been seen in Carrie II: The Rage (54 Below), The White Rose (New York Theatre Barn), At Buffalo (NYMF, ART/NY), The Mapmaker's Opera (NYMF), We are the Tigers (54 Below), Till Death Do Us Part (Gallery Players Overture Series), Tell Tale (Thespis Theatre Festival), Miles and Me, Vestige (Musical Theatre Factory), Pyre Cantata (FGP Playgroup). Regional credits include Next to Normal, City of Angels, Godspell (Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center), The Museum of Broken Relationships (Theatre Aspen), In the Heights (American Stage Theatre Company), The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival), Ring of Fire, Broadway Then and Now (Lake Dillon Theatre Company), and Call My Name: Stories from the Quilt (Smithsonian Folk Life Festival). Jessica is a co-creator of rocktheatre band Discount Ghost Stories with Alexander Sage Oyen, which received a residency with the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University in 2016. She also serves as the Director of Marketing and Communications at Creede Repertory Theatre in Colorado, and is a senior mentor with Minds Matter New York City.
Austin Regan is a New York based director. Recent productions include the world premiere of Alexandra Silber's The Trojan Women (Hangar Theatre); Mad Libs Live!, a new interactive musical for young audiences Off-Broadway at New World Stages; Loose, Wet, Perforated (Guerilla Opera); YousaidShesaidHesaid by Christopher Oscar Peña and Molly Joyce (Pioneer Works/Ferus Festival); The Blind (The Flea Theater); Red Riding Hood (The Hangar Theatre); Peter Lerman's The Sacred Harp (Musical Theatre Factory); Spring Awakening (two productions, at the Boston Conservatory and at the Krannert Center/UIUC); #MormonInChief (Kraine Theater); Horse Play (Dixon Place); Floyd Collins; and The Who's Tommy. Austin has directed and developed new work at the Hangar Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, MTF 4x15, Julia Miles Theater, the Zipper Factory, #serials@theflea, the Metropolitan Room, the 92nd St. Y, the 52nd Street Project, New York University, the Boston Conservatory, and the United Nations. Austin is the director of Discount Ghost Stories, an interdisciplinary, trans-media indie rock theatre band. His assistant and associate directing, mostly with Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer, includes Broadway (American Idiot, Everyday Rapture, On A Clear Day...) and the Metropolitan Opera (Rigoletto). Austin is a Drama League Directors Project Fellow, a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a founding member of the Musical Theatre Factory, and a former Resident Director (2013-2015) at the Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning Flea Theater under artistic director Jim Simpson. He is the director of web series This Is Not A Comedy and Such Good Friends: A Tribute to Nichols and May.
Musical Theatre Factory was founded by Artistic Director Shakina Nayfack in January 2014 as a collective for early-careermusicaltheatre makers interested in changing the way new musicals are developed in New York City. The mission of the Factory is to develop and present new Musical Theatre Works in a collaborative environment free from the pressures of critical or commercial success. With a focus on peer-evaluation and process-driven volunteer support, MTF's assembly line of development programming directly addresses the needs of today's musical theatre artists and is intended to nurture new work from initial concepts to full drafts and, occasionally, first productions.
In its first two years MTF has assisted in the development of over 90 new musicals with more than 900 volunteers contributing over 16,000 combined hours of service. The organization has partnered with a number of other theatre companies throughout NYC, including Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre, The People's Improv Theatre, Poetic Theatre Productions, and Playwrights Horizons, where they will begin a three-year residency this coming fall. MTF members include some oftoday's most exciting composers, lyricists, book writers, directors, choreographers, music directors, dramaturgs, performers, and arts administrators. The organization is overseen by General Managers Frankie Dailey and Joey Monda, with Creative Producer Aaron Glick serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors.