PREMIERES' Inner Voices Series Opens Tonight Off-Broadway
PREMIERES, the New York based music theater organization whose mission is "to bring new music theater to light," has announced the complete cast and creative teams for this season's Inner Voices, the biannual series of solo works featuring new teams of playwrights and composers. Performances began October 3rd and continue through October 29 at The TBG Theatre (312 West 36th Street - between 8th & 9th Avenues). Opening Night is tonight, October 13th at 8:00pm.
In Just One "Q", Bertha and Julynne, bitter enemies, duke it out at the Broadbend Nursing Home in Arkansas over a game of scrabble. Benny (T. Oliver Reid), an orderly, narrates the history of their acrimonious relationship. Chaos, humor and closure abound in this amusing and tuneful musical. Words by Ellen Fitzhugh, music by Ted Shen with musical direction by Andrew Resnick. Directed by Brad Rouse.
In The Pen, an everyday morning becomes everything but when a seemingly innocuous obstacle shatters Laura's (Nancy Anderson) routine and threatens her prompt arrival to work. Ghosts of the past collide with present day demons as she struggles to rise above her compulsion and leave her apartment. Words by Dan Collins, music by Julianne Wick Davis with musical direction by Alexander Rovang. Directed by Margot Bordelon.
In The Booty Call, a young man (Michael Thurber) receives a booty call while creating a demo of his recent compositions. The call sends him off on an existential musing of his past experiences with love and intimacy, shedding an honest light on the seldom-observed reflections of a late 20's male living the single life in New York City. Words by Saheem Ali, music by Michael Thurber. Mr. Saheem directs.
The design team of Inner Voices is comprised of: Reid Thompson (sets) M. Meriwether Snipes (costumes), Oliver Watson (lighting), and Walter Trarbach (sound). Aaron Gonzalezis Production Stage Manager and John Michael Crotty is Assistant Stage Manager.
"PREMIERES is thrilled to add three more 'jewels' to the canon of INNER VOICES with our fifth production," says Artistic Director, Paulette Haupt. "Each work is uniquely different and the combination of the three offers humor, pathos, and wonderful melodies. This singular form continues to be a revealing reflection of the gamut of thoughts that whirl through us and in turn rule our hearts. The evening offers a blend of virtuosic creators and exceptional performers."
Inner Voices will play the following performance schedule: Monday through Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 3pm & 8pm. Tickets are $39 and are available online at www.PremieresNYC.org or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111. Tickets will also be available at The TBG Theatre box office one hour before performance time.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
T. Oliver Reid (Actor, Just One "Q") has been touring the country with his one-man show, Drop Me Off in Harlem, which won a Bistro Award for Outstanding Theme Show. Among his other honors, Tim received MAC Awards for Debut Artist-Male and Male Vocalist, and the Mabel Mercer Foundation's Julie Wilson Award. Broadway: Kiss Me Kate, and nine other musicals, including After Midnight, Sister Act and Mary Poppins. Film and Television: NBC's "Peter Pan Live!, Jack and Diane, "GIRLS," "Mercy," "Sex and the City." toliverreid.com.
Ellen Fitzhugh (Words, Just One "Q") Musicals: Los Otros with Michael John LaChiusa; Paradise Found with Richard Nelson, Johann Strauss II, Jonathan Tunick co-directed by Harold Prince, Susan Stroman; Grind, with Larry Grossman, Brad Rouse; Big Blonde, with Walter Edgar Kennon; Paper Moon, with Marty Casella, Larry Grossman; Muscle, with James Lapine, William Finn; Kiki Baby with Lonny Price, Grant Sturiale. Other: songs for The Brave Little Toaster; That's Dancing; The Great Mouse Detective. Emmy, Drama Desk and Tony nominated.
Ted Shen (Music, Just One "Q") wrote the book, music and lyrics for his debut original musical, A Second Chance, which was presented at Joe's Pub in 2010, given its world premiere at Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA, in 2011, and produced at The Public Theater in 2014. He is working on two new musical theater projects and is thrilled to have been commissioned by Premieres to team up with Ellen Fitzhugh as the composer for Just One "Q".
Brad Rouse (Director, Just One "Q") directed plays and musicals at The Public Theater, City Center Encores!, Ahmanson Theater, Hartford Stage, Juilliard, LaMama, Edinburgh Fringe, Pittsburgh's City Theater, and NYU. This fall, he was an author/director for Hit The Body Alarm at the Performing Garage (created by Winsome Brown). Credits include new work by Billy Porter (Drama League and GLAAD award nominee), Julia Jordan, Nell Benjamin, Laurence O'Keefe, Winsome Brown, Maggie-Kate Coleman, Anna K. Jacobs, and Cusi Cram.
Nancy Anderson (Actor, The Pen) is a 20-year veteran singer, actor and dancer of the Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional stages. She made her Broadway debut as "Mona" in A Class Act, played the roles of "Helen" and "Eileen" in the Broadway revival of Wonderful Town and starred as Lois/Bianca in the National Tour and West End premiere of Kathleen Marshall's Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate, for which she received Helen Hayes and Olivier Award nominations. Great Performances audiences are familiar with her London debut as Lois/Bianca, which was filmed for PBS in 2002 as well as her featured performance in the Carnegie Hall concert of South Pacific starring Reba McIntyre and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Nancy received a 2000 Drama Desk Nomination for best supporting actress for her 8 female roles in Jolson & Co., a 2006 Drama Desk Nomination for best leading actress in Fanny Hill and a 2011 Helen Hayes Award Nomination for her performance in Side By Side By Sondheim at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. Nancy's debut album, "Ten Cents A Dance" led to a concert career ranging from sharing the Carnegie Hall stage with Michael Feinstein in his Valentine's Day concert, "Hooray for Love Songs" to singing with the Atlanta Symphony as well as regular appearances at the legendary jazz club, Birdland. Nancy received the 2011 Noel Coward Cabaret Award as well as a Bistro Award for her debut cabaret appearance at Don't Tell Mama in 2004.
Dan Collins (Words, The Pen) wrote book and lyrics for the musical Southern Comfort, which received a reading at Playwrights Horizons, a workshop production at CAP 21 (both directed by Thomas Caruso), and was nominated for a 2011 GLAAD Media Award and selected as one of The Advocate Magazine's 10 best shows of 2011. Other works with Julianne Wick Davis include: Wood (NYMF, starring Tony Award Winner Cady Huffman); Our Lady of the Viaduct and Time To Kill (The York Theatre Company); and When We Met, co-conceived with performers Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther. Other recent projects include Book for Our Country with composer/lyricist Tony Asaro (produced at NYMF and Planet Connections Theater Festivity where it was honored with awards for "Best Book" and "Best Musical") and lyrics for Professor Von Awesome's Traveling Caravan of Cautionary Warnings and Johnny 15, both with composer Nick Sula and The Serious Theater Collective. Dan's work has been published in Plays and Playwrights 2010 (NYTE Small Press) and he was selected along with Julianne Wick Davis as a 2011/2012 Dramatist Guild Fellow. Dan holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theater Writing at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and a B.F.A. in Playwriting from The Theater School of DePaul University.
Julianne Wick Davis (Music, The Pen) received the 2012 Jonathan Larson Award for Southern Comfort (music) with Dan Collins (book & lyrics) based on the Sundance award-winning documentary by Kate Davis, The Public, 2016 (NY Times Critic's Pick, Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Outstanding Musical); Barrington Stage Company 2013; NAMT 2012 Festival of New Musicals; developmental reading at Playwrights Horizons 2010; developmental production at CAP21 in 2011 received a GLAAD Media Award and was a TimeOut NYC and NY Times Critic's Pick. Julianne wrote music and lyrics for When We Met with Dan Collins (book), 2012 O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference, York NEO Development Series reading in 2013, developmental production at CAP21 in 2014, and featured musical in Broadway Close Up at the Merkin. She's also writing music for the musical Trevor (Dan Collins, book & lyrics) for URock Productions based on the Oscar-winning film short. Julianne wrote music and lyrics for two songs in Shakina Nayfack's Manifest Pussy, and she's currently writing music and lyrics for a song cycle based on the Jon Cripsin photographs of the contents of the Willard Asylum suitcases. Julianne is a York Theatre's NEO 9 emerging writer, a 2011 Dramatist Guild Fellow, and a 2015 Sundance Fellow at UCross. Julianne has an MFA from NYU's Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, and is an ASCAP and Dramatist Guild member.
Margot Bordelon (Director, The Pen) is a Brooklyn based director who specializes in new work. Upcoming: Too Heavy for Your Pocket at The Alliance, peerless at Marin Theater Company, and T. at American Theater Company. Recent projects include peerless by Jiehae Park at Yale Rep, A Delicate Ship by Anna Ziegler for The Playwrights Realm (NYT's Critic's pick), and Okay, Bye by Joshua Conkel for Steppenwolf Theater. MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama. www.margotbordelon.com
Saheem Ali (Words/Director, The Booty Call) Directing credits include A Lesson From Aloes (Juilliard), Hair (Pace), The Erlkings (Theater Row), Farhad (Inner Voices), Vital Signs (Riant Theatre), Marisol (Barnard College). Associate Directing: The Tempest (Public Theater). Selected workshops and staged readings: Nollywood Dreams (NY Stage & Film) Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Acquittal (Pan Asian Rep), The Children (BRIC), Black Maria on Koinange Street (PEN World Voices), Facing Our Truths (Public Theater), Goddess (O'Neill). Assistant Directing on Broadway: A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center), The Normal Heart (The Golden). Schubert Fellow, NY Theatre Workshop Directing Fellow, SDCF Gielgud Directing Fellow. MFA Columbia.
Michael Thurber (Music/Actor, The Booty Call) is perhaps best known as the co-founder and music director of CDZA, a YouTube-based music collective that features over 100 young, conservatory-trained performers. Using popular culture as its base, CDZA translates and remixes the familiar into one-take music performance videos. In 2013, CDZA performed at TED@nyc and Google/YouTube took them on the road, performing at over a dozen live events. This culminated in a featured performance at the first ever YouTube Music Awards, headlining alongside Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Eminem, and MIA. T-Pain, Walk Of The Earth, and Tay Zonday all made cameos during CDZA's set. CDZA's performances led to Thurber stepping out on the other side of the stage to consult with YouTube's event teams as Music Director, creating live, multi-media performance experiences that feature mainstream stars and YouTube celebrities at venues including Madison Square Garden and The Kennedy Center. He made his international theater debut writing the music for Antony and Cleopatra, a co-production between The Royal Shakespeare Company (Strafford, UK) and The Public Theater (New York, New York). Michael's musical Goddess was accepted into The Eugene O'Neill Musical Theater Conference. He composed original music and lyrics for the show, working alongside his two collaborators, Saheem Ali (director) and Mkhululi Mabija (book writer/lyricist). In 2014, Michael decided to return to his classical roots by accepting a commission to write his first full orchestra piece. In March 2015, the piece received its world premiere with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra during a recording of NPR's From the Top. The piece is a four-instrument concerto based on the story of The Three Musketeers. The performance featured soloists Kris Bowers (piano), Charles Yang (violin), Mark Dover (clarinet), and Thurber himself on bass. As a bassist, Thurber has been featured on NPR's From the Top in a duo performance with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck. He also appeared on PBS's Emmy Award winning TV show "From The Top: Live from Carnegie Hall." He studied music at The Juilliard School, where he became the first undergraduate in the school's history to be accepted into both the Classical and Jazz Divisions.
PREMIERES (Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director) is a not-for-profit New York based music theater organization founded by Edward Trach and Paulette Haupt in 2001. The company's mission 'to bring new music theater to light' supports the development and promotion of works by exceptional playwrights, lyricists and composers whose creative visions move the art form forward and enrich the lexicon of the American musical theater. They present staged readings and workshops of works in progress as well as create new collaborations through commissions, development and full productions of its INNER VOICES initiative. INNER VOICES was inspired by Alan Bennett's 'Talking Heads' series on PBS. After seeing the PBS series and later the stage version off-Broadway, Paulette Haupt decided to explore the concept as a musical theater form. Teams of playwrights and composers who have not worked together before are commissioned by PREMIERES to create an original monologue and a tapestry of the sung and spoken word. Each character they create is fictional and the storytelling from a single point of view. The premiere of INNER VOICES in 2008 featured works by Ellen Fitzhugh and Michael John LaChiusa, Laura Harrington and Jenny Giering, and Michele Lowe and Scott Davenport Richards. Subsequent productions in 2010 and 2012 featured works by Cheri Steinkellner and Georgia Stitt, David Simpatico and Josh Schmidt, Martin Moran and Joseph Thalken, Victor Lodato and Polly Pen, and Nilo Cruz and Jim Bauer. The 2014 season featured collaborations by Charlayne Woodard and Kirsten Childs and Mark Campbell and Marisa Michelson.