Prospect Theater Company's WORLD VIEWS Presents Art-Inspired Mini-Musicals in Concert Tonight
Prospect Theater Company, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cara Reichel and Managing Director Melissa Huber, will present WORLD VIEWS, a collection of new mini-musicals in concert, the culmination of Prospect's 2017 Musical Theater Lab. WORLD VIEWS, the company's 11th lab performance, will be presented tonight, July 8, 2017 at 8pm at The TimesCenter.
Through WORLD VIEWS, nine writing teams come together to create original short musicals inspired by works of visual art on display in NYC museums, each of which offer a window into a unique, imaginative world. Paintings by artists including Marc Chagall, Clementine Hunter, Henri Matisse, and Georgia O'Keefe evoke songs and stories crafted through the six-week lab process of writing and development.
This year's writing teams include Janet Allard & Niko Tsakalakos, EllaRose Chary & Brandon James Gwinn, Seth Christenfeld & James Ballard, Christiana Cole & Rona Siddiqui, Anton Dudley & Faye Chiao, Emily Kaczmarek & Zoe Sarnak, Brandon Michael Lowden & Alexander Sage Oyen, Sarah Rebell & Teresa Lotz, and Melvin Tunstall III, Douglas Lyons, & Ethan Pakchar. Their full biographies follow.
The lab is directed by Prospect's Associate Artistic Director Dev Bondarin and co-curated by Bondarin and Reichel.
"The lab is one of Prospect's most impactful annual programs, which engages a diverse array of artistic viewpoints and styles in dialogue with a shared theme," said Reichel. "The outcome is always compelling, and this year we are thrilled to showcase the talents of these 19 writers and their world premiere works in our IGNITE Series of concerts."
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.
Tickets ($15 - $35) are available by visiting www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling (212) 352-3101.
Launched in 2015, Prospect's IGNITE Series is an ongoing concert initiative at The TimesCenter, featuring today's new voices shaping tomorrow's musical theater.
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.
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), the By The Numbers concert (June 2015), Stage Fright (October 2015), and Archetype (2016).
Funding for WORLD VIEWS is provided by the ASCAP Foundation. Prospect's IGNITE Series is generously supported by the Ford Foundation's Good Neighbor Committee.
ABOUT THE WRITERS:
Janet Allard Musicals include: Into the Wild, Perseverance Theater (commission), Berkeley Rep Ground Floor (development), Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat (development), Goodspeed Opera House (development), Encore Musical Theatre (workshop production), Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre's 'New Songs Now'. Pool Boy at Barrington Stage, Provincetown Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Driving West at Ars Nova, The Unknown: Jonathan Larson Award with P73 Productions, NYMF, Joe's Pub. Her work has been seen at The Guthrie Lab, The Kennedy Center, Playwrights Horizons, The Yale Cabaret, The Women's Project, Birdland, 54 Below. She is a Fulbright Fellow, has an M.F.A in Playwriting from Yale School of Drama, and has studied at the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. www.janetallard.com
James Ballard is a composer, lyricist, and writer whose varied works include compositions for choir, concert band, orchestra, chamber/pop/rock/jazz ensembles, and musical theatre. He is the composer of the full-length musical The Oxford Epidemic and the one-act musical The Jerk Next Door, both co-written with lyricist and bookwriter Seth Christenfeld. His work has been performed at many venues across the country including The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles, and Joe's Pub, Feinstein's/54 Below, and the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City.
Faye Chiao is an award-winning composer of musical theater, opera and concert music. Chiao's work has been commissioned and presented by: Single Carrot Theater, The Lunar Ensemble, The Johns Hopkins University, and with Anton Dudley American Dream Theater, Playwright's Realm, and the Boston Chamber Symphony. As a mezzo-soprano and founding member of the Corvus Ensemble, Chiao appears regularly on stage and in recital performing innovative programs of art song and chamber music. Chiao holds degrees from The Peabody Institute.
EllaRose Chary is an award-winning writer focused on politically engaged projects. Prospect: The Daguerreotype, By The Numbers. Current projects: Cotton Candy and Cocaine (Ars Nova Uncharted), Queer. People. Time. (Dramatists Guild Fellowship), Patriettes (The Tank's TV Writing Program, the #Fword Finalist), Untitled Anarchist Play (The Civilians' R & D Group), The Lake and the Mill (Drama League Rough Draft Residency) and several commissions for young audiences. BA: Brown University; MFA: NYU Tisch www.ellarosechary.com
Seth Christenfeld is a lyricist, librettist, and dramaturg. With James Ballard, he has written the full-length musical The Oxford Epidemic and the one-act musical The Jerk Next Door, as well as various other things. Other musicals: Wait Forever (music by Sean Havrilla) and The Bad Ideas of Jack Andrews (music by Joseph Trefler; Finalist, 2014 Davenport Ten-Minute Play Festival). MFA in Musical Theatre Writing, NYU; BA in Drama Studies, SUNY Purchase. Raised in the lawless wilds of Westchester County, Seth now lives in Manhattan, where he spends his days as the Literary Coordinator at the York Theatre Company. www.sethdoesthings.com
The New York Times called Christiana Cole "top-notch." Lyricist for musicals for young audiences, including Peanut Butter and Cupcake (based on the best-selling book), to be produced at Interlakes Theatre this summer. Her new adaptation of The Frog Prince will be produced at Random Farms Children's Theatre in fall 2017, and is licensed to theatres in Japan, China, and Korea. Christiana is a champion storyteller, featured on NPR's The Moth GRANDSLAM. Currently writing a musical about the life of Bella Abzug with Rona Siddiqui and Beth Blatt. Member: BMI Advanced Workshop. Christiana is an accomplished performer, and teaches voice lessons. www.christianacole.com
Anton Dudley's plays and musicals have premiered Off-Broadway with Playwrights Realm, Second Stage, Cherry Lane Theater, and Theater Row, and, regionally, at Signature Theater (directed by Eric Shaeffer), LaJolla Playhouse (directed by Christopher Ashley), Walnut Street Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Adirondack Theater Festival, and EST, and are published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Applause, and Vintage. His play Letter to the End of the World was finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Drama. He is currently under commission from Musical Stage Company and collaborating with Faye Chiao on the OPERA America funded Island of the Moon.
Brandon James Gwinn is an award-winning composer, lyricist and musician. His musicals include Cotton Candy & Cocaine (Ars Nova Uncharted) Queer. People. Time. (Dramatist Guild Fellowship), Matchmaker Matchmaker, I'(M) Willing to Settle (ART Club Oberon, New York Musical Theatre Festival 2011), Small Town Story (Finalist Richard Rodgers Award, NAMT Writer's ResidenCy Grant, Village Originals Seattle, NYTB Commission). He recently produced the debut album of Trixie Mattel (RuPaul's Drag Race) which premiered at #2 on the iTunes charts. MFA: NYU Tisch.
Emily Kaczmarek is a playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and performer. Works include: Sam & Lizzie (semifinalist, Premiere Stages Play Festival), Afterwards (music & lyrics by Zoe Sarnak; Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals, upcoming; MTF-Playwrights Horizons Artist Residency; Eugene O'Neill Artist Residency; NYMF Developmental Reading Series), Alma Mater and Landed (music & lyrics by Zoe Sarnak, dir: Nathan Brewer; commissions, New York Film Academy), American Kids (BoxFest Detroit; This Is Water Co.; Women in Arts & Media Coalition), Paper & Glue (Future of Storytelling conference; NYU; various high schools), and Anything New (commission, NYU; Wombat Theatre Co). By day, Emily teaches with the college access program SEO Scholars.
Teresa Lotz's work includes Red Emma and the Mad Monk with Alexis Roblan (Ars Nova AntFest 2017, dir. Katie Lindsay) ThreeTimesFast with Naomi Matlow (Pallas Theater TableRead Winner 2017, The Script at Stage 74, dir. Michael Bello, NYFA, dir. Robert Longbottom, 2016),The Awakening with Sarah Rebell (Reading, MTF at Playwright's Horizons 2016 dir. Celine Rosenthal), She Calls Me Firefly (Workshop, Parity Productions/New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC), dir. Ludovica Villar-Hauser 2015, Reading, Cherry Lane Theatre TONGUES 2014). NPTC's Women's Work Lab, Dramatist's Guild, ASCAP, League of Professional Theatre Women. Musical Theater Writing, MFA NYU. teresalotz.com
Brandon Michael Lowden is a bookwriter, composer, and lyricist whose work deals with contemporary themes like self-loathing and love gone bad as well as more traditional musical theater subjects like women's sports and Artificial Intelligence. You may have seen his work at Joe's Pub, 54 Below, NY Theatre Barn, the Laurie Beechman, The Duplex, and Musical Theatre Factory, where he is a member of the writers group. He holds an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. www.bookmusiclyrics.com
Douglas Lyons is a composer-lyricist and actor who's originated roles on Broadway in The Book of Mormon and Beautiful. As a writer Douglas conceived Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical which has upcoming productions at the Atlantic Theater Company, Children's Theatre of Cincinnati and Orlando Rep. Upcoming world premieres: Five Points at Theater Latte Da and Peter, Darling at Casa Mañana Theatre. With composer Ethan Pakchar his lyrics have played Lincoln Center, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep and morE. Douglas is currently in residence at The Directors Company and under commission with Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. @DouglasSings
Alexander Sage Oyen is the recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation's Lucille and Jack Yellen award for lyricists and the Lotos Foundation Prize in Arts and Sciences for his lyrics. He was awarded the 2013-2014 Dramatist Guild Fellowship and their musical, Outlaws, was the recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Workshop. Additionally, he was a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist. 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, and venues in Thailand, London, The Netherlands and all across the world. Proud member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.
Ethan Pakchar has played guitar for the Broadway productions of Hamilton, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Lion King and more. He serves as orchestrator on Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical. Half of the songwriting team "Lyons & Pakchar" who have been heard at Lincoln Center's Broadway Songbook Series, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, Goodspeed's Johnny Mercer's Writing Colony, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep, The Musical Theatre Factory and more. Commissions: Seattle's 5th Ave Theatre ('64). He holds a B.M. from NYU.
Sarah Rebell's musicals include Off The Wall (music by Danny Abosch), The Awakening (music by Teresa Lotz), and Rose Petals (music by Lizzie Hagstedt). Workshops/Readings: Playwrights Horizons, Musical Theatre Factory, Stages Festival of New Musicals, Fingerlakes Musical Theatre Festival, NYMF, NYU, and Vassar College. Sarah's work has also been performed at 54 Below, the Berkshire Playwrights Musical Theatre Lab, the Catalina Jazz Club, the D-Lounge, The Duplex, the Laurie Beechman Theatre, and the Metropolitan Room. As a theatrical journalist, she has written for The Interval and Howlround. Sarah currently works for The Dramatists Guild of America and for The Lilly Awards. MFA: NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Zoe Sarnak's works include: Secret Soldiers (with Marsha Norman), Galileo (with Danny Strong, Michael Weiner, dir. Michael Mayer), Afterwords (with Emily Kaczmarek, Playwrights Horizons-MTF workshop), The Years Between (with Kirsten Guenther), Landed/Alma Mater (with Emily Kaczmarek, NYFA commissions), Transport Group Commission (with Michele Lowe), and Teddy & Max (with Brian Crawley). Awards include: Davenport Songwriting contest winner, NY Stage & Film's Founders Award finalist, Fred Ebb Award finalist, Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award Honoree, Women's Project Lab. Residencies include: The Public Theater, Goodspeed, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, O'Neill, and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Music featured: NY Times, Lilly Awards, and more.
Rona Siddiqui is a composer/lyricist in NYC. (Musicals) One Good Day- ASCAP/Dreamworks Musical Theatre Workshop, 2014 Festival of New American Musicals' Best New Musical. (Off-Broadway)The Tin,Treasure in NYC. (Regional Original Scores) Middletown, The Vagina Monologues, The Good Person of Szechuan, The Clean House, Love Song of J Robert Oppenheimer. (Web series) Amateur Dicks. (Awards) 2014 ASCAP Foundation Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, 2011 ASCAP Foundation/Max Dreyfus Scholarship. Collaborations include The Civilians, NYC Gay Men's Chorus, MuseMatch, 52nd St Project. Currently composing musical about Bella Abzug. Graduate of NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. www.ronasiddiqui.com
Niko Tsakalakos' new musical Into the Wild, written with Janet Allard and based on the book by Jon Krakauer, was recently given a developmental premiere at Encore Musical Theatre Company (Dexter, Michigan). Pool Boy, also written with Allard, enjoyed a sold-out run at Barrington Stage Company (2010) and was produced at NYU's Provincetown Playhouse (2012). A cabaret version has recently been commissioned by Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Fall Springs, written with playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, received a showcase at The York (2016) and has been workshopped at New Dramatists, Ars Nova, and TheatreWorks (Silicon Valley). More at: http://www.nikosongs.com
Melvin Tunstall, III, composer, lyricist, librettist, began his career as a performer and has appeared in the Broadway and international companies of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Rock of Ages, and Ain't Misbehavin'. A graduate of the Musical Theater Program at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Melvin wrote the book to the TYA phenomenon Polkadots: the Cool Kids Musical, which will be the first TYA musical filmed for Playbill.com's new HD streaming service. His musical Peter, Darling was commissioned by and will premiere at Casa Mañana Theater in Texas in the spring of 2018. Melvin resides in New York City where he is currently writing the book, music and lyrics for Higgins In Harlem: a new musical Pygmalion.
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).