Prospect Theater to Present Reading of TAMAR OF THE RIVER, 2/18


Prospect Theater Company will present a developmental reading of TAMAR OF THE RIVER, a new music theater work with music and book by Marisa Michelson and book and lyrics by Joshua H. Cohen. The reading will be directed by Daniel Goldstein.

TAMAR OF THE RIVER will be presented on Monday, February 18th at 7pm at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew (263 West 86th St., NYC).

The announcement was made today by Cara Reichel and Melissa Huber, the Producing Artistic Director and Managing Director of Prospect Theater Company.

In a war-torn world where the East and West are divided by a River red with blood, one young woman is called to raise her voice. As Tamar sets out single-mindedly in pursuit of peace, she journeys to a foreign land, finding a new family and unexpected love. Each decision that brings her closer to her goal also becomes a choice she struggles to justify and accept. Inspired by the biblical story of Tamar, Cohen and Michelson bring to life an innovative and compelling new music theater work that illuminates the moral challenges inherent in the struggle for peace.

Previously developed at the American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation at Signature Theatre in Virginia, TAMAR OF THE RIVER has received commissioning and world premiere major support from The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund.

The cast of TAMAR OF THE RIVER will feature Margo Seibert as Tamar, with Theresa McCarthy (Floyd Collins, Myths and Hymns, Titanic) and Thom Sesma (Man of La Mancha, La Cage aux Folles, Nick & Nora). Rounding out the cast are Margot Bassett, Joshua Boone, Maggie Brothers, Troy Burton, Billy Hepfinger, Carleen Kirksey, Raphael Sacks, Hana Slevin, Marrick Smith, Hansel Tan and percussionist Shane Shanahan.

Mark Evans is the musical director. Liz Richards is the stage manager. Molly Cohen is the assistant stage manager. Kristin Dwyer is the associate producer.

Admission is free for industry professionals. For more information, email

Prospect Theater Company is one of America's leading producers of new musical theater. Since 2000, the company has fully produced 18 new musicals in New York City, in addition to mounting productions of new plays and classic works, and supporting numerous developmental opportunities for emerging musical theater writers. Prospect was founded in 1998 by five graduates of Princeton University in order to allow a diverse group of emerging theater professionals to work together in pursuit of artistic excellence and innovation. The company membership now includes a network of almost 1,000 affiliated artists. Notable productions include: Working - A Musical (2012), Iron Curtain (2006, 2011), Myths and Hymns (2012), Cole Porter's NYMPH ERRANT (2012), With Glee (2010), The Blue Flower (2008), Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (2009), The Hidden Sky (2010), Illyria (2002, 2008), and the Drama-Desk nominated The Pursuit of Persephone (2005).

JOSHUA H. COHEN (Lyricist / Co-Book) Josh's honors include an American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grant, an NEA grant for Amas Music Theatre's upcoming production of Keep On Walkin', and a MAC Award nomination. His play The Thirteenth Commandment, following past readings at Judson Church and Jewish Ensemble Theatre, will have its world premiere in New York with Libra Theater Company, spring 2013. Other plays include full-length Fun and Games(workshop, Little Hibiscus; readings, Studio 42, Oberon Theatre Ensemble); and one-act "Odysseus Swims For It" (production, Turtle Shell; publication, Smith & Kraus).His lyrics (and sometimes music or book) include Maggie the Pirate (Winner, Chameleon Theatre Circle New Play Competition; workshops WKU Before Broadway, Momentum Rep), The Mole (reading, Emerging Artists Theatre), Tamar and the River (workshop, Signature Theatre), Still Life With Toe Shoes (workshop, Old Deerfield Productions; production, Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College), The Entropy Songs (Abingdon Theatre; revival, Libra Theatre), and The Day the World Went QUEER!(NY Fringe). Member of the Dramatists Guild; 2008-10 Fellow, American Lyric Theatre's Composer-Librettist Development Program; participant in the August 2012 CAP21 Writers Retreat. BA: Amherst College, MFA: NYU-GMTWP.

Marisa Michelson (Composer / Co-Book) received a 2011 Jonathan Larson Award and was the only women to receive a 2009 "American Musical Voices: The Next Generation" Award from the Shen Family Foundation. Music-theatre pieces include book and music for Tamar and the River (Signature Theatre; upcoming co-production with New York Theatre Barn and Choral Chameleon); The Grid (NAMT-awarded residency with Millikin University); Still Life with Toe Shoes(Old Deerfield Productions; Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College); Hotel Sarajevo (CAP 21; hotInk Festival; Smith College); The Lovers (Prospect Theater Company; Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard; Calliope Theatre Company.) Marisa was commissioned with playwright Jason Grote by Montclair University's New Works Institute to write Scheherezade - a musical adaptation of Grote's acclaimed play, 1001. Her songs have also been featured at the Kennedy Center, the York (under direction of Daniel Goldstein), New World Stages, The Duplex Theater and the Flea. Her lullaby, "All New" was recorded by Tony-Award winner Nikki M. James for theBroadway Lullaby Project 2012 CD and book. Residencies: New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, New Dramatists Playtime Residency, Theatreworks Palo Alto, and Earthdance's "eMerge" interdisciplinary artists residency. Further honors include the 2006 St. Botolph Award for Composition and a Global Arts Village grant to study Indian Hindustani Singing for four months in India. Marisa sang with Meredith Monk in Songs of Ascension at BAM and was invited to perform her two-person experimental vocal piece, Voice Becoming at the Basillica in Hudson, NY and the Goetheanum in Switzerland. She teaches singing lessons (Szamosi) and vocal/movement improvisation workshops in NYC and upstate NY.

Pictured: Marisa Michelson

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