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Amas Musical Theatre Lab To Present Staged Readings Of PLAY IT BY HEART with Crystal Bowersox, Carmen Cusack, Linda Hart


Amas Musical Theatre Lab To Present Staged Readings Of PLAY IT BY HEART with Crystal Bowersox, Carmen Cusack, Linda Hart Amas Musical Theatre(Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer) and The Amas Musical Theatre Lab will present further staged readings of Play It by Heart, a new musical, with music by David Spangler, Jerry Taylor and Marty Dodson, lyrics by David Spangler, Jerry Taylor,R.T. Robinson, and Marty Dodson, and book byWilly Holtzman. Directed by Daniel Goldstein with music direction by Andrew Wilder, the readings (by invitation only) will be held on Thursday, May 17 at 1pm and 5pm at Opry City Stage (48th/49th& Broadway). For more information, please call 212-563-2565.

Play It by Heartis the story of the Jaspers, a singing family on the Christian circuit shepherded by the firm hand of the matriarch, Naomi Jasper. Her daughter Jeanine breaks out to become a huge country star and her youngest, Jamie Lynn, is sent to boarding schools to protect her from the limelight. When Jamie Lynn sings the heck out of her sister's signature hit in a Karaoke bar, a smart phone video goes viral, andsets the family on a crisis of identity asthey are forced to confront a long-held secret. Like the title song says, "if you don't know your part, just play it by heart."

The cast will include Jeff Applegate (Mama Mia), Crystal Bowersox ("American Idol" 2010 Season Finalist), Carmen Cusack (Bright Star), Keith Buterbaugh (Phantom of the Opera),Lila Coogan (Mary Poppins),Linda Hart(Hairspray), Javier Ignacio (Side Show),Tyler Keller(Evita), Michael X. Martin(Bright Star), JJ Tiemeyer (Spamalot) and Nickolas Vaughan(I'll Take It!). Production Stage Manager is Kelsy Durkin. The Associate Producer is Jim Russek.

In an earlier statement Amas Artistic Producer Donna Trinkoffsaid "this show takes a close look at the music industry and the music as it evolves through three generations of a family of female singers. Being a woman in a male dominated industry brings a lot of challenges and impacts much of their decision making. It's a great story and the score is filled with breakout songs." She adds "We are excited to be revisiting this show with an amazing cast and presenting the readings in the aptly titled venue! "

These presentations are part of the ongoing Amas Musical Theatre Lab, a development series for writers, lyricists and composers to mount public readings of their new musicals. TheLab is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the Actors' Equity Association Foundation, BMI Foundation, the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, the Frederick Loewe Foundation, the Friars Club, the Shubert Foundation, and through the generous support of many individuals.

David Spangler (Music & Lyrics)has worked professionally in theatre, film, and television as director, writer, composer, performer and arts educator. His Broadway credits include The Magic Show, Seesaw, andElizabeth I. He wrote and produced 35 songs for an Emmy Award winning TV series (9 CBS/Fox videos winning "Gold" status).In New York, he directed Brothersat the LaMama Theater, and Goodbye, Harryat the Ballroom. He has written and/or directed for regional theaters including the Paper Mill Playhouse, the Lenox Art Center, Barter Theatre, Village Theatre, Human Race Theatre, and is a recipient of the Carbonell Award for "Best New Work." Spangler is the founder and original artistic director of Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts. As a consultant on creative process, he has published articles, presented at national and international conferences, served in various board and consulting capacities with the Miami City Ballet, Walt Disney World Entertainment, Broward County School District and the Theatre League of South Florida. He is currently Director of Community Collaboration NSU University School. Graduating from Carnegie-Mellon University with a BFA, David received his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Process from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati.

Jerry Taylor (Music & Lyrics) was a remarkably talented song writer who had songs recorded by Tammy Wynette and George Jones and for singers as diverse as Willie Nelson and Elton John,Reba McIntyre, and Mickey Gilley. His most celebrated singles are Wynette's "Another Chance" and Johnny Cash's "The Baron." Jerry Taylor co-wrote the music and lyrics for the 17 songs in "Play It by Heart." He is proud of his country credentials. He is a veteran Nashville songwriter and record producer. Taylor went to the University of Texas, played football (quarterback), dropped out and ended up running the Field House, a sporting goods store in Dallas. Evenings he played guitar and sang his songs in local lounges and clubs. He moved to Nashville on the day that Elvis died in 1977. Jerry formed the singing group known as "Nightstreets" that opened the road touring shows for Tammy Wynette and George Jones in the 80s. They recorded songs written by Jerry for the Epic Records label in Nashville and had 4 top 100 Country Charting singles including "Love In The Meantime", "In A Different Light", "Fallin' Together", and "If I Had It My Way". "Love In The Meantime" won Nightstreets Billboard Magazine's "Best New Vocal Group" Award in 1981. In addition to touring with Wynette and Jones, they performed in concert with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Oak Ridge Boys. Jerry came east to work on a staged reading at Paper Mill Playhouse where he met David Spangler and R.T. Robinson, the creators of a musical called "A Country Show." "Those guys were Broadway types," he says. "They had no idea what country music was about." Joining the team, Taylor added certified Nashville chops to the "Country Show." In the process, the name changed to "Play It By Heart."

Marty Dodson (Music & Lyrics) was born in Apple Valley, California, and moved around for several years until his family settled in Nashville, TN. Growing up, he was intimidated by the sheer number of people coming to Nashville to become singers or songwriters. A book he read helped him realize that what he wanted to be was a songwriter. He had run into Gordon Payne, a member of The Crickets while working one of his odd jobs. Gordon helped him re-write one of his songs and demo it in a Nashville studio. Marty was hooked. He threw caution to the wind, quit the other jobs and began writing full-time. Six #1 songs and more than 100 cuts later, Marty has become one of the most accomplished writers in Nashville. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Joe Cocker, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, The Plain White T's, The Oak Ridge Boys, Don Williams, Johnny Reid, and Billy Ray Cyrus. Marty's self-professed "greatest achievement" in his songwriting career to date was knocking Psy out of #1 in South Korea and winning "Song of the Year" honors for South Korea and all of Asia with his song "Bounce."

Willy Holtzman (Book) His plays Honor Flight, Vedado,The, First Mrs. RochesterThe Morini Strad, Sabina, Something You Did, Bovver Boys, Hearts, The Real McGonagall, The Closer, Inside Out, San Antonio Sunset, have been seen at Primary Stages, Theatre for a New Audience, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, The Cell Theatre, The Working Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, ALLIANCE THEATRE, People's Light and Theatre, City Theatre, Colony Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Cleveland Play House, Berkshire Theatre Festival Geva Theatre, The Drake Theatre and Theatre J. His plays have been developed at New Dramatists, PlayPenn, the O'Neill, New Harmony, New York Theatre Workshop, and The Lark. Smart Blondepremiered at City Theatre and will be produced Off Broadway next season. Willy's screenplay for Edge of America(which he also executive produced) opened the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and received the Peabody Award, the Humanitas Prize, and the Writers Guild Award.

Daniel Goldstein (Director) was most recently represented on Broadway by the revival of Godspell. He has directed over 100 plays and musicals worldwide, including work at major theaters across America and Asia. His recent and upcoming projects include the Broadway: Godspell, Off Broadway: Walmartopia, Lower Ninthby Beau Willimon, Indoor/Outdoor; Regional: Venus in Fur, Falsettos, Les Liaisons Dangereuseand God of Carnage(Huntington), Hello, Dolly!!, and Damn Yankees(Goodspeed), Anna Christie(Old Globe), Artificial Fellow Travelerby Ethan Sandler (The Public New Work Now!, Ars Nova, Williamstown Theatre Festival, True West(Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Miss Margarida's Way (Bay Street Theatre, with Julie Halston). He is also developing and writing a solo show with Wayne Brady. As a writer Daniel is currently under commission by The Public Theater, for which he is writing a musical adaptation of Tori Murden McClure's memoir A Pearl in the Stormwith singer/songwriter Dawn Landes. He was the recipient of an inaugural Calderwood Commission from the Huntington Theatre Company, for which he wrote an original musical with Michael Friedman entitled Unknown Soldier, which was developed at the Manhattan Theater Club, O'Neill National Music Theater Conference and The McCarter Theater. With Michael, he is also the author of The Song of Songs, an adaptation of the Sholem Aleichem novella. He is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Performance Studies. He has extensive experience shadowing television directors such as James Burrows ("The Class"), James Widdoes ("Til Death," "Two and a Half Men)", Pamela Freyman ("How I Met Your Mother)", Andy Ackerman ("Rules of Engagement)", Roxann Dawson ("Crossing Jordan"), Allison Liddi-Brown ("Scandal)," and Rich Correll ("See Dad Run").

Andrew Wilder(Music Direction) Broadway credits include Jersey Boys, Little Women, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Off-Broadway include The Spitfire Grill, Zombies from Beyond, Annie Warbucks.

Amas Musical Theatre (Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer) now in its 49hyear of continuous operation isNew York City's award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968. Amas ("you love" in Latin) is devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals through the celebration of diversity and minority perspectives, the emergence of new artistic talent, and the training and encouragement of underserved young people in the New York area. In recent years, Amas has emerged as a leading not-for-profit laboratory for new musicals, the most recent being Broadway and the Bard, starring Len Cariou and Red Eye of Love, which was awarded the Joseph A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography. Its production of The Other Josh Cohenreceived six 2013 Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical, a 2013 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Musical, and a 2013 Off-Broadway Alliance nomination for Best New Musical. Other shows that Amas has developed include A Taste of Chocolate, Triassic Parq, The Countess of Storyville, Distant Thunder, Marry Harry, Me and Miss Monroe, Aesop & Company, Signs of Life, Wanda's World, Shout! The Mod Musical, Lone Star Love, From My Hometown, Zanna, Don't!, 4 Guys Named Jose and Stormy Weather: Reimagining Lena Horne. Amas education programs include the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, Lens on Live Theatre and in-school theatre arts residencies designed in partnership with elementary, middle, and high schools.

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