Portland-Based Performer Jenn Grinels Named Inaugural Writer In Residence for the Emerging Writers Residency at Circle in the Square Theatre

The concert features a full band and fourteen incredible singers, including rising star Ari Notartomaso.

By: Feb. 13, 2024
Portland-Based Performer Jenn Grinels Named Inaugural Writer In Residence for the Emerging Writers Residency at Circle in the Square Theatre
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Portland, OR-based performer Jenn Grinels has been chosen as the inaugural writer in residence for the Emerging Writers Residency at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City.

CITS is the only Broadway theater that runs an accredited conservatory under its roof. Famous alums include Kevin Bacon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Benicio Del Toro, Felicity Huffman, Idina Menzel and even Lady Gaga.

For two months during this residency, Grinels will workshop her new musical The Rosetta Project (additional Working Title: Wakeman) and present the piece to an invited audience on the Broadway stage at Circle in the Square.

Before departing for this opportunity, Grinels is presenting an evening of highlights from her folk/rock/Americana score (naming the event "STORIES & BONES") with a full band and fourteen incredible singers. The concert is Sunday, February 25 at The Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland. The Rosetta Project is inspired by the remarkable true story of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, who fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. Tickets to "STORIES & BONES" are available at AlbertaRoseTheatre.com.

The concert will feature rising television and film star Ari Notartomaso (Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Paramount+, Mean Girls), who has participated in developmental readings of the musical in NYC in the past year.

The cast of dynamite young singers will also include Randy Korn, Cam Jordan, Luke Stewart, Jason Nuesa, Isaac O'Farrell, Teague Shattuck, Graham Buyagawan, Terry Kitagawa, Austin Comfort, Danya Torp-Pereda, Marin Donohue, Elsa Dougherty, and Maxine Nuesa. The band features Ross Seligman, Will Amend, Aaron Jodoin, and René Ormae-Jarmer. Also performing and directing the evening will be Merideth Kaye Clark.

This moving, electrifying evening of music is appropriate for all ages and for fans of musical theater, Brandi Carlile, Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers, and Hadestown. Come laugh, cry, tap your toes, and be dazzled by the power that music has always had: to connect us all in our shared humanity, as we search for meaning in an ever polarizing world.

Tickets are available on the Alberta Rose Theatre website. ($25 Advance, $30 Day Of)
Minor ok when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Says Grinels of the show, "When I first read the letters that Sarah Rosetta Wakeman wrote home to family during the Civil War, I immediately heard the music I wanted to create to tell this story. I aimed to make music that could exist outside a musical theater context and appeal to a wide audience of music lovers in general. The experience of Wakeman is one that feels so relevant today. At first I connected to their experience of gender marginalization, but as I got deeper into the letters I realized this is a story many people can see themselves in. This is a story about a 19 year old finding themselves and finding their place in the world. I have been so thrilled with the response and accolades the piece has received from the New York and Broadway theater community this past year and I'm so excited to see what will come from my time there. The concert here in Portland has been the perfect preparation. And I have to say, seeing the young performers sing these songs has been SO INCREDIBLY MOVING, they are mind blowing! I can't wait for Portland audiences to experience their performances."

The Rosetta Project in concert was originally produced in conjunction with Bridgetown Conservatory, in Portland, OR, winning the 2021 Broadway World Regional Award for Best Musical. Since then, the musical has been a Top 20 Finalist for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre Festival (chosen from works submitted by more than 900 composers and librettists) and in 2024 Grinels is finalist for the prestigious Kleban Prize for Lyrics.

More about Jenn Grinels:

An award-winning singer/songwriter, Grinels has spent the past decade performing her original music on the road, touring with 10,000 Maniacs, Edwin McCain, Marc Broussard, and many more. As an independent artist, Grinels has built a large, grassroots following, headlining concerts from coast to coast and abroad, and has sold over 20,000 albums. Fans support Grinels' music on Patreon.com. Grinels dove headfirst into musical theater and was in rehearsals and shows as early as 5 years old. She studied Musical Theater at UC Irvine and performed in numerous professional musical theater productions around Southern California before turning her focus to writing music and touring. With The Rosetta Project, Grinels returns to her musical theater roots, drawing from her experience as both a singer/songwriter and musical theater performer.