York Theatre Launches Educational Program BESPOKE MUSICALS Today

The York Theatre Company presents new addition to its educational arm: Bespoke Musicals, a program that pairs teams of emerging writers, chosen by The York Theatre Company, with companies of students from musical theatre college training programs. For its maiden voyage, The York will be collaborating with Marymount Manhattan College.

Four new short musicals have been chosen to launch the 2013 Beskpoke Musicals inaugural program, as follows:

The Counselor
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Barry Wyner

The End of the World
Book by Lori Fischer
Music & Lyrics by Don Chaffer, Lori Fischer, & Lori Chaffer

Serious Music
Book by Jenny Lyn Bader,
Music by Ben Morss,
Lyrics by Jenny Lyn Bader & Ben Morss

The Colonel Cluster Contest
Book, Music and Lyrics by Eli Bolin & Mike Pettry
Special Material by Doug Karsaros

The shows are all in one way or another inspired by the online phenomenon, Craigslist. Broadway's Patricia Birch directs with music direction by Brent Sawyer.

Performances are scheduled for today, January 26, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 27 at 2:30 p.m at The York Theatre Company in Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).

The writers are charged with creating custom-made musicals, fitted to the particular talents and strengths of the student performers in the program. Under the direction of a distinguished guest director and music director, the performers learn and perform roles specifically created for them over a three week creative process that leads to an additional two weeks of rehearsal and performance.

This year's program features a 15 member repertory company from Marymount Manhattan College's musical theatre program, under the direction of Patricia Hoag Simon, will include Paul Adzima, Sarah Biggs, Katelynn Brady, Justin Brown, Michael Brown, Erin Eichfeld, Brian Fender-Shirley, Melissa Hirsch, Gabrielle Howarth, Hayley Lampart, Eric Leiggi, Jonathan Melo, Laryssa Schoeck, Whitney Semin, and Connor Stribling.

Tickets are priced at $15 and are available online at www.yorktheatre.org, by calling (212) 935-5820, or in person at the box office at the York Theatre Company in Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), Monday through Friday (12-6 PM).

The York Theatre Company is the only theater in New York City-and one of very few in the world-dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past. For over four decades, York's intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and neglected classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused exclusively on new musicals in its Mainstage Series-most of them world, American, or New York premieres-by some of the field's most esteemed creators, and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. Over 35 cast recordings from The York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, and commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir, Jolson & Company, and its acclaimed revivals of Closer Than Ever, Sweeney Todd and Pacific Overtures have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs.

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