The York Theatre Company Will Present The NEO Reading Series Presentation Of The New Musical BORDERS

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The York Theatre Company, as part of its acclaimed NEO Reading Series, will present a staged reading of the new musical Borders, with book, music, and lyrics by 2019 NEO writers Janine McGuire and Arri Lawton Simon, based on the film The Bubble by Eytan Fox and Gal Uchovsky, for ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY on Monday, February 24, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. at the York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue). Admission to the presentation is by invitation only.

Directed by Rose Ginsberg and with music direction by Andy Roninson, the cast will feature Sherz Aletaha (Disaster!, Off-Broadway) as Carmel and others, Gus Cuddy (The Corpse Washer at the Humana Festival) as Sharon, Jacob Heimer (Milk and Honey at the York) as Ofer and others, Abdu Hytrek (Animals Out of Paper at Theatre Wit) as Ashraf, Danny Harris Kornfeld (Renascence at Transport Group) as Noam, Sahar Milani (Seven Doors at BAM) as Rana, Samia Mounts (The Source at BAM) as Lulu, Hassan Nazari-Robati (Oklahoma! at TUTS) as Abu, Ivri, and others, Louis Sallan (Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan at Playwrights Horizons) as Kazim, Talia Thiesfield (Cleopatra at Theatre for the New City) as Maryam and others, Bryce Colby Vaewsorn (Legally Blonde at the Argyle Theatre) as Yali, and Samy Nour Younes (The Triumphant at Target Margin) as Yonatan and others. The Stage Manager is JessAnn Smith. Casting Director is Kate Lumpkin.

Borders tells the story of a disillusioned Israeli soldier and a closeted Palestinian man who fall in love after meeting at a border checkpoint. Adapted from the 2006 film The Bubble by Eytan Fox and Gal Uchovsky, this daring new musical examines the borders we construct within society and within ourselves. The show takes place during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, a time of intensified Israeli-Palestinian violence. Romantic and provocative, Borders pulses with energy, urgency, and hope for a more peaceful world.

Borders has been developed/incubated at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, The Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, Goodspeed Musicals, The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, New York Theatre Barn, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, and The York Theatre.

Janine McGuire and Arri Lawton Simon are a NYC-based musical theatre writing team, members of the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop, and 2017-18 recipients of the Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship. They were recently writers-in-residence at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, and last year presented concerts of their work at The Green Room 42 (NYC) and The Phoenix Theatre (Phoenix, AZ). In 2015 their immersive musical Express premiered at the New York Transit Museum (performed inside historic subway cars) and later received a workshop production at New York Film Academy where it was expanded into a full-length piece. McGuire and Simon wrote the songs for the TYA musical Kibby the Space Dog, commissioned by the Wichita Children's Theatre and Dance Center, which premiered in March 2018. Collectively they have written and produced concerts, stage musicals, plays, film scores, orchestral pieces, choral works, and custom songs in addition to teaching musical theatre and performing arts outreach in the community.

NEO (an acronym for "New, Emerging, Outstanding") celebrates songwriters primed to pen the next generation of musicals. Since the first NEO concert in 2003-recorded by England's JAY Records-musical theatre fans and York supporters eagerly anticipate each incarnation. Since 2012, each season's NEO program has focused on a smaller group of writers, presenting multiple songs by each in a kickoff concert, followed by a series of fully-funded readings of works in progress. In addition to McGuire and Simon, the 2019-2020 cohort of NEO writers includes Amanda D'Archangelis, Sami Horneff, Julian Hornik, and Madeline Meyers. Readings of Meyers' Masterpiece (with librettist Patricia Noonan and director Emily Maltby) and D'Archangelis and Horneff's Coming Attraction (with librettist Gray Horan) will take place later in the spring.

UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENT: The one-night-only concert performance of NEO14: A Concert Celebration of Emerging Musical Theatre Writers, will take place on June 15, 2020 at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue). Festivities will begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by a champagne/dessert reception.

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