Prospect Premieres 8 New Mini-Musicals This Weekend
This weekend, Prospect Theater Company, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cara Reichel and Managing Director Melissa Huber, presents Message In A Bottle, a collection of original mini-musicals in concert, the culmination of Prospect's annual musical theater lab process. Message In A Bottle, the company's 13th lab production, will be presented on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30pm and Sunday, June 2 at 2:00pm at The A.R.T. / New York Theatres (502 West 53rd St, NYC). The lab will feature performances by an ensemble of Prospect alumni artists, and newcomers: Joanna Carpenter, Christopher Cherry, Diego Diaz, Ellis Gage, Alyssa Gomez, Sevan Greene, Jiho Kang, Patty Nieman, Allison Posner, Alicia Thomas, and Jeff Williams.
This year, the lab brings together eight writing teams to create original short musicals inspired by crowd-sourced, life-changing messages randomly "sent" to each writing team. Via social media as well as in-person gatherings, people were asked to repond to the question: "What's the most important message you've ever received?" The final eight lab messages were curated from this large pool of submissions. The selected messages will spark songs and stories crafted through the six-week lab process of writing and development. This year's writing teams are Tara Bahna-James & Jonathan Portera, Eli Bolin & Mike Pettry, Naveen Bahar Choudhury & Trevor Bachman, Casey Kendall & Emily Gardner Xu Hall, Brooke Magalis & Emily Chiu, Mary Liz McNamara, Eric Sorrels & Cheeyang Ng, and Paulo K Tiról.
The lab is directed by Prospect's Associate Artistic Director Dev Bondarin. The process is co-curated by Bondarin and Reichel. The stage manager is Lindsey Hurley, and the production assistant is Matt Hehnly. The cast and additional creative team members will be announced shortly. Prospect's annual Musical Theater Lab (established in 2008) is a developmental program which offers emerging writers a platform to connect, create, and workshop new material on a compact timeline. Writing teams are selected through an open application process, and pen short new works in response to a curated assignment. The resulting pieces are rehearsed, staged and presented to public audiences as a cohesive evening performed by a versatile ensemble of performers.
Previous lab projects have included Museum Pieces (2008), Map Quest (2009), Snapshots (2010), Souvenir Stories (2011), Rites of Passage (2012), Portraits (2013), Street Seen (2014), By The Numbers (June 2015), Stage Fright (October 2015), Archetype (2016), World Views (2017), and Monument (2018). Key project funding for Message In A Bottle is provided by the ASCAP Foundation's Irving Caesar Fund.
Tickets are available at www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling 212-352-3101. General admission tickets are $25. Performances are Saturday, June 1 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, June 2 at 2:00pm. Performances will be held at the A.R.T./New York Theatres (502 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019) in the Mezzanine Theatre.