NAAP & Prospect Theater to Present Jason Ma's GOLD MOUNTAIN in Concert

NAAP & Prospect Theater to Present Jason Ma's GOLD MOUNTAIN in Concert

Prospect Theater Company launches its 2017-18 IGNITE Series on Saturday, October 21st at 8pm, with a concert of GOLD MOUNTAIN, with book, music, and lyrics by Jason Ma. This original musical spins an epic love story, set against the backdrop of the 1860s construction of The Central Pacific Railroad.

The evening is presented in partnership with National Asian Artists Project (NAAP founders: Baayork Lee, Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam). The performance will be held in the heart of Manhattan's Theatre District, at The TimesCenter (242 West 41st Street, NYC).

The evening will feature Alan Ariano (Lincoln Center's, The King & I), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Badique, Eric Bondoc, Tyler Bunch, Marc Dela Cruz, Dan Edwards, Steven Eng (CSC's Pacific Overtures), Ali Ewoldt (Broadway's Phantom of the Opera), Alex Hsu, Brian Kim, Jonny Lee Jr., and Daniel May. Also featured are members of the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus: Ben Bartels, Eric Elizaga, David Eng, Alphonse Gonzales, Andrew Sakaguchi, and Viet Vo.

The evening will be directed by Alan Muraoka, with choreography by Billy Bustamante. Music direction is by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, who will lead an ensemble of three musicians: Todd Low, playing erhu and viola (Dear Evan Hansen), Steven Lyon on dizi, flute, and piccolo (Pacific Overtures revival at CSC), and Leigh Stuart on cello (Chamber Orchestra of New York). Orchestrations are by Jason Ma. The concert is line produced by Julie L. Miller.

It is 1866 and the Central Pacific Railroad is being built by the thousands of Chinese men who comprise the majority of laborers employed in the dangerous, backbreaking work. As blasting and tunneling begins at the granite base of the Sierra Nevada, new workers arrive: Guan Ming Chong and his son, Lit Ning. They find the work camp populated with an eclectic cross-section of their countrymen. To his father's dismay, Lit Ning is persuaded to accept the lucrative but extremely risky job of "fuse runner," the man who lights the fuses of explosives in the tunnels and then runs to safety. Lit meets and falls in love with a Chinese woman, Yook Mei, shunned because she works in a brothel patronized by "white demons." Amidst the railroad workers' strike, Lit tries to rescue the woman he loves from her degradation, but fate intervenes and the lovers must find their own way to salvation and peace.

Gold Mountain melds the sound and form of American musical theater with elements of Chinese opera, Far Eastern mythology, Confucian ideology and Chinese language idioms, as well as dramatizing the Chinese railroad workers' strike and a freezing, deadly winter living in the tunnels as the workers continued their labors in the Sierra Nevada.

The IGNITE Series is Prospect Theater Company's ongoing concert initiative at The TimesCenter. Reflecting Prospect's dedication to fostering and producing work by emerging artists, IGNITE Series programming includes songwriter showcase evenings; cutting-edge creations straight from Prospect's annual Musical Theater Lab; concert presentations of new musicals, and more.

Single tickets are $25, $35 and $45, and may be obtained through online purchase at www.NAAProject.org or www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling 212-352-3101. Prospect members save 40% on ticket prices. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, beginning at 7pm on the night of the concert. The TimesCenter (www.TheTimesCenter.com) is located at 242 West 41st Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, in the heart of NYC's Times Square District. The venue features a 378-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and video capability, and a Steinway Concert Grand Piano.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Jason Ma (book / music / lyrics) is the son of an immigrant family that has provided him with inspiration for both life and art. GOLD MOUNTAIN was presented at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, selected for development by Apples & Oranges Studios for their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, presented as a staged reading for San Francisco LaborFest 2016 at The Aurora Theatre, and most recently received a 2017 eStudio grant for a workshop at The Masie Center this past summer. During a two-year artists' residency at CAP 21 with librettist/co-lyricist Christine Toy Johnson, Jason wrote music and lyrics for the full-length musical Barcelona, which was subsequently selected for Village Theatre's 2015 Festival of New Musicals, directed on their mainstage by Cara Reichel. A shorter version of the piece was presented by National Asian Artists Project in their 2013 Discover Series. Visit www.goldmountainthemusical.com for more.

Alan Muraoka (director) New York: The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre - AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer & Awesomer!!! (Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below), Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21), Falsettoland (NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty (Joe's Pub), Karaoke Stories (IMUA Theater Company), & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: Once On This Island (Olney Theatre), The King and I, Xanadu, Disney's High School Musical and Disney's High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney's High School Musical (MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown (Trinity University), and Up In The Air (Kennedy Center - AD). Television: Sesame Street, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, ABC Talent Showcase (2017). As an actor, he has appeared in 7 Broadway shows, and has been a cast member of the Emmy-winning television series Sesame Street for the past 19 years. Go to www.alanmuraoka.tv or follow him on Instagram: #alanathoopers.

NAAP was founded in 2009 by Baayork Lee, Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam. Prominent theater artists in their own right, they joined together in an effort to address what they felt was a significant lack of opportunity for professional Asian-American theater artists to practice their craft and contribute on a broader level to the diversity of the American theater. NAAP seeks to showcase the work of professional theater artists of Asian descent through performance, education and outreach. NAAP is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders and professionals who recognize the need to bridge the work of artists of Asian descent to the many communities the work can serve, from under-served primary school students to seasoned arts patrons. For more information about NAAP, visit www.NAAProject.org.

In 2017, NAAP founder Baayork Lee was honored with the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. NAAP was proudly cited and showcased as a contributing factor in the award.

Prospect Theater Company (founded in 1998) is dedicated to fostering and showcasing today's new voices shaping tomorrow's musicals. Since 2000, the company has fully produced more than 30 premiere musicals in New York City, in addition to new plays and numerous re-inventions of classic works. Reflecting its investment in the future of the field, Prospect leads a variety of developmental initiatives, including an annual Musical Theater Lab for emerging writers, and the IGNITE Series of concerts at The TimesCenter. In recognition of its enterprising and risk-taking new musical theater, the company received a 2016 OBIE Award grant. Their work as a community anchor for emerging artists that strengthens the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater was also honored with a 2013 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing. Notable productions include: the Drama Desk Award-winning Working (2012), Death for Five Voices (2016), Long Story Short (2015), Jasper in Deadland (2014), the Drama-Desk nominated Tamar of the River (2013), Unlock'd (2013), Iron Curtain (2006, 2011), Myths and Hymns (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).



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