York Theatre Company's NEO Reading Series, Featuring Three New Musicals, Begins Tonight

By: May. 08, 2014
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The York Theatre Company presents its NEO Reading Series with the new musicals:

Republic by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk; Feral with Book by Victor Lesniewski, Music by Jacob Yandura, and Lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik; and The Danger Year with Music & Lyrics by Georgia Stitt, and Book by Jamie Pachino. All readings are by INVITATION only and will be performed at The York Theatre Company in Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).

NEO (an acronym for "New, Emerging, Outstanding") is a yearly York benefit which celebrates songwriters primed to pen the next generation of musicals. (Since the first NEO concert 8 years ago -- recorded by England's JAY Records-- musical theatre fans and York supporters eagerly anticipate each incarnation.) The York Theatre Company has recently embarked on this new reading series, which focuses on full length works by that year's NEO writers; it also includes a yearlong mentoring program that brings together established writers and upcoming producing partners to help encourage the growth of new works.

For additional information on the Series, please visit the readings page at www.yorktheatre.org.

NEO Reading Series Schedule

Thursday, May 8
By Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk
Music Direction by Paul Staroba
Casting by Michael Cassara
Producing Mentors: Alan and Barbara Marks

The cast features Zach Altman, Colin Anderson, Eric Anderson, Michael Arden, , Kevin Earley, Brad Frenette, Greg Hildreth, Laura Michelle Kelly, Mark Jacoby, Andy Mientus, Bonnie Milligan, William Parry, CJ Pawlikowski, Dan Rosales ,Bill Youmans, and Michael Zegarski.

Republic is a sung-through musical based on Shakespeare's Henry IV set against the political backdrop of Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It begins on Bloody Sunday and chronicles the struggles of an idealistic local politician named Henry Patrick O'Byrne and the unlikely political rise of O'Byrne's rebellious son Hal, who is rumored to have ties to the IRA. As O'Byrne attempts to distance himself from the increasingly violent face-offs between the IRA and the British Army, Hal leverages it for his own gain. Republic tells a story of unlikely allegiances, political ambition and a deeply embedded love of country.

Friday, May 9
Book by Victor Lesniewski
Music by Jacob Yandura
Lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik
Directed by Mike Donahue
Music Direction by Matt Gallagher
Producing Mentor: Deborah Taylor

The cast features David Abeles, Danny Binstock, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Kate Hamilton, Matt Lutz, Betsy Morgan, Aaron Ramey, Jennifer Sanchez, and Michael Winther.

Charlie is a young marketing executive who thinks he has it all, but when he witnesses a double murder near his safe suburban home, he launches into a manic search for something more.

Friday, May 16
The Danger Year
Music and Lyrics by Georgia Stitt
Book by Jamie Pachino
Directed by Kent Nicholson
Producing Mentor: Janet Brenner

Featuring Kate Baldwin, Charlotte Maltby, Pearl Sun, Clark Thorell, and Nik Walker

In Japan, certain ages are believed to be "Danger Years"-twelve months of calamity, upheaval ... and rebirth. The ground shifts, lives are upended, and things that were clear suddenly become blurry. It's upon this precipice The Danger Year is set. This revue brings together five characters at this explosive and pivotal moment of their lives, as they confront the choices they've made, the relationships they've built (or destroyed), the worlds they yearn for, and the worlds they can no longer sustain.