Jessica Tyler Wright Leads the Soccer Mom Wolf-Pack In PLAY LIKE A WINNER at NYMF; Full Casting Announced!
Producers of Play Like A Winner, the new musical by Erik Johnke & David Wolfson and winner of last year's NYMF Developmental Reading Award, are thrilled to announce the complete casting for this July's limited run during the 2017 New York Musical Festival (NYMF). Inspired by the award-winning play It's All About the Kids by Caytha Jentis, Play Like a Winner is a hilarious new satire about the fiercely competitive world of girls soccer that begs the question - just how far would you go for your child?
Play Like A Winner will star Lucile Lortel-nominee Jessica Tyler Wright (Allegro) and will be joined by an ensemble cast featuring Zoe Wilson, Frank Viveros, Kristian Espiritu, Nicolas Dromard, Megan Kane, Casey Erin Clark and Karen Burthwright. The production will also feature direction by Kevin Connors (Mothers and Sons Off-Broadway), scenic design by Starlet Jacobs, lighting design by Michael Blagys, costume design by Molly Seidel, and general management by Simpson & Longthorne Theatricals.
Performances of Play Like a Winner will take place as part of the 2017 New York Musical Festival's Next Link Project at New York's Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 W. 42nd Street, between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). Schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, July 25 at 8:00pm
Thursday, July 27 at 10:30am
Saturday, July 29 at 1:00pm
Sunday, July 30 at 5:30pm
Sunday, July 30 at 9:00pm
Tickets for Play Like a Winner, as well as the rest of this year's New York Musical Festival selections, can be purchased online at www.nymf.org
Jessica Tyler Wright (Kathy) most recently starred as Pacquette in NYCO's critically acclaimed production of Candide, directed by Hal Prince. Featured credits include - Broadway: Sweeney Todd, Company, Love Musik and War Horse. Off Broadway/NY: Allegro, (Lortel Nomination), Candide (NYCO '08). Regional: Marian in Music Man and Lili in Kiss Me Kate (MTWichita), KT in Merrily We Roll Along (Cincinnati Playhouse), Grace in Annie (North Shore MT), Irene in Crazy For You (MTWichita and CA Music Circus), Mary Jane in Big River (Papermill), and Kost in Cabaret (CA Music Circus). Television: "Blue Bloods" and a national commercial for Nexium. www.jessicatylerwright.com
Zoe Wilson (Jenna) appears as White Effie in the upcoming season of "Orange is the New Black," is a proud member of the award-winning Transport Group Theatre Company (Wendy in Peter Pan at The Signature, Helen Keller in Three Days to See at NYTW), plays ukulele, writes music and will release her single this year. Thank you Kevin Connors, Michael Cassara (for this incredible opportunity), Lauren Singer Talent, Innovative Artists, her parents, and the entire cast and crew! Her NYMF debut is dedicated to her beloved dog Archie.
Frank Viveros (Gary) is thrilled to be part of this year's NYMF with this hilarious piece. He can be seen later this summer as Piragua Guy in the Olney Theatre's In the Heights and this holiday season as part of the Elf tour. Favorites include: Ubaldo Piangi - The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary; Agwe - Once on This Island; Adolfo Pirelli - Sweeney Todd; Ken - Ain't Misbehavin; Bloat - Finding Nemo, The Musical. Gracias to his family, friends and Matt!
Kristian Espiritu (Allison). Recent credits include: Lysistrata at Two Headed Rep (Kinesias), Scorched at American Theater of Actors (Margaret), The Last Word at NYMF '16 (Ensemble), and Here Lies Love at The Public Theater (Soloist/Ensemble). Kristian is also the head-banging front woman of Over The Pass - EP available now. www.kristianespiritu.com
Nicolas Dromard (Nick) is thrilled to be part of Play Like a Winner after having just closed the production of Jersey Boys on Broadway as Tommy DeVito. Other favorite credits include: Bert in Mary Poppins, Fiyero in Wicked, Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, Phil Davis in White Christmas, Tulsa in Gypsy, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Oklahoma, West Side Story, The Boy from Oz. For more visit www.nicolasdromard.com
Megan Kane (Tracy). Previous NYMF: God's Country, the reading of The Calico Buffalo. Other recent NY credits include her sold out one-woman show Megan Kane: It's About Time (Fienstein's/54 Below). Regional: Hairspray (Arvada Center), A Christmas Carol (Alley Theatre), A Little Night Music (Houston Grand Opera), Gay Bride Of Frankenstein (Seacoast Repertory Theatre), Marvelous Wonderettes (Brickhouse Theatre). Film: "Welcome To New York." Training: Webster Conservatory. Love to her family and soon-to-be husband, Ben!
Casey Erin Clark (Melissa) is thrilled to be back on the soccer field! (Developing new musicals is her favorite thing.) Les Miserables tour (Factory Girl, u/s Fantine, 2013 Oscars performance), Frankenstein (Agatha) and Shout! the mod musical (Red Girl), both Off-Broadway, and four previous NYMF shows. Regional favorites: Sound of Music (Maria, STL Post Best Actress Award) and Little Women (Jo, Kevin Kline Award nomination). In addition to her acting career, Casey is a sought-after voice and public speaking coach. www.caseyerinclark.com
Karen Burthwright (Janet/Parent/Ensemble). NYMF debut! Broadway/Off-Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar (2012 Revival), Disenchanted (Westside Theatre); Chicago: Sweet Charity (Writers' Theatre), Ragtime, Hot Mikado, and Aida (Drury Lane Oakbrook). Regional/Canada/1st National Tours: Sousatzka (The Elgin Theatre), Cabaret (Cape Playhouse), Legally Blonde (Drayton Ent.), Smokey Joe's Cafe (FST), Jesus Christ Superstar (La Jolla Playhouse/Stratford Festival), Dirty Dancing, Hairspray, Mamma Mia! Rocky Horror (Canadian Stage/MTC). Love to mommy! www.karenburthwright.com
THE CREATIVE TEAM
ERIK JOHNKE (Book & Lyrics) is a playwright, lyricist, and poet. Plays and musicals include God's Country (music by Elaine Chelton); produced at NYMF in 2013, Cat: Adventures of a Caterpillar (music by David Wolfson); a finalist in the National Children's Theater Festival; The Body Politic produced at manhattantheatresource; Partition, a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award; Reboot, a finalist for the National Ten-Minute Play Contest, and produced at The Heartland Theatre Company. MFA Goddard College. Member, BMI Librettist Workshop.
David Wolfson (Music) is having a busy year: April saw the world premiere of The Faith Operas by Hartford Opera Theatre, and July will bring not only the NYMF production of Play Like a Winner but the world premiere production of The Bet (with Tony Sportiello) on the Midtown International Theatre Festival. David was the composer of Story Salad, a series of stage revues for children, which was toured nationally for thirteen consecutive years by Maximillion Productions, and was seen by well over a million children, teachers and parents. His children's musical with Erik Johnke, Cat: Adventures of a Caterpillar, was premiered by the Strollers of Maplewood, NJ in 2009. His theatrical song cycle Dreamhouse, based on the poetry of Barbara DeCesare, premiered in 2005, also as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. David is also an active composer of concert music; recent highlights include a performance of Deep Woods: The Unicorn Sings To Memory for soprano and string quartet by the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, and several performances of Twinkle, Dammit! by superstar toy pianist Margaret Leng Tan on her "Cabinet of Curiosities" tour. Mr. Wolfson's music has been called "brilliant" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer; the New York Times referred to it as "musically inventive" and "theatrically forceful."
CAYTHA JENTIS (Playwright - It's All About the Kids) is an independent filmmaker. Her current project is a comedic series called The Other F Word. The cast includes Steve Guttenberg and Judy Gold. Jentis' features include "Bad Parents" starring Janeane Garofalo and Cheri Oteri, based on her award-winning stage play, It's All About the Kids, and "And Then Came Love" starring Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt. She has an MFA from UCLA in screenwriting and a BS in TV/Film from Syracuse University.
Kevin Connors (Director). Off-Broadway: Prime Time Prophet, Jukebox Saturday Night, The Abandoned Loves of Frederick R., Life Anonymous, Lover, Babes Off Broadway, and Mother and Sons. Composer/ Lyricist for numerous musicals, including A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play published by Playscripts.com. Co-Founder/Artistic Director of Music Theatre of Connecticut where he has directed more than 60 award-winning AEA MainStage productions including Next to Normal, The Fantasticks, Edges, John & Jen, Doubt, Evita, Master Class, and Little Shop of Horrors.
STARLET JACOBS (Scenic Design). Previous credits include White Christmas (Arts Center-Coastal Carolina), Bell, Book, & Candle (Naples Players), A SCYTHE oF TIME (NYMF), Disaster!(Associate, Broadway), Bright Star (Associate, Old Globe), and Secondhand Lion (Associate, 5th Avenue). Starlet has art directed on "Saturday Night Live!," "The Tonight Show," Huffington Post Live, on several web series and commercials, and on comedy specials for Netflix and EPIX. She received an MFA in Scenic Design from UCLA, and a BA in Music and Art from the University of Washington.
MICHAEL BLAGYS (Lighting Design) is truly excited to be joining Director, Kevin Connors, at the 2107 New York Musical Festival. Michael is a Connecticut-based Lighting Designer who has created designs for over 45 productions (straight plays to large-scale musicals) in 18 venues and 7 different states. Michael holds an MFA degree from UMASS Amherst and a B.A. in Theater Arts from Le Moyne College. www.michaelblagys.com
Molly Seidel (Costume Design) is a NYC based designer and artist. Recent credits include: Off- Broadway: The Dressmaker's Secret (59E59), The Woodsman (New World Stages, 59E59, Theater Close-Up PBS/ BroadwayHD); Regional: Heathers: The Musical (White Plains Performing Arts Center, NY Regional Premiere), In The Heights (White Plains Performing Arts Center, BroadwayWorld Award for Best Costume Design); Other Credits: Buddhas are Screaming in China (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, Outstanding Use of Special Effects Award), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (New Place Players). The Juilliard School's Professional Intern Program in Costume Design. BFA in Fine Art, Ithaca College. www.mollyrseidel.com
ABOUT NEW YORK MUSICAL FESTIVAL
The New York Musical Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater. Now in its fourteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 24 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form."
NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. 2017 NYMF is sponsored by The City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, PRG, TheaterMania, Clear Channel Outdoor and the Village Voice, and is supported, in part, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
The NYMF PASS is a great way to experience The New York Musical Festival. With a NYMF PASS, you can get into the theater before individual ticket holders. Passes also offer the exclusive ability to book tickets before they go on sale to the public. Individual tickets on sale now.
The 2017 New York Musical Festival will take place July 10 - August 6. For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org.