Prospect Theatre Company to Premiere ARCHETYPE: July 27-31

By: Jul. 21, 2016
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Prospect Theater Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Cara Reichel and Managing Director Melissa Huber, presents ARCHETYPE, a collection of six new mini-musicals, the culminating production of Prospect's 2016 Musical Theater Lab (the company's 10th lab production). ARCHETYPE will play from July 27 - 31 at The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 East 14th Street @ 1st Ave., NYC).

Inspired by the twelve Jungian character archetypes, in these original musical shorts, The Innocent faces The Ruler, The Orphan encounters The Sage, and The Jester squares off against The Rebel. 15 writers have re-invented these tropes, including Broadway's Mindi Dickstein (Little Women) & Barbara Anselmi (It Shoulda Been You); Cheryl Davis & Jonathan Portera; Nichole Jackson, Liana Stillman & Yoonmi Lee; Sukari Jones & Troy Anthony; Sarah Mucek and Karl Hinze; and Christopher Staskel & Nikko Benson; with additional material written by Robert Lee & Leon Ko.

ARCHETYPE is directed by Dev Bondarin, and features a cast of twelve performers, each representing an archetype: Renee Albulario (Here Lies Love),Sherz Aletaha (Off-Broadway's Disaster), Latoya Edwards (Motown, The Musical), Heslens Estevez (APAC's ...Spelling Bee), Donell James Foreman(Broadway's The Book of Mormon, Prospect's Myths & Hymns), Lydia Gaston(Broadway's The King and I), Marcie Henderson (APAC's Human Comedy),Greg Horton (Prospect's With Glee), Austin Ku (Chinglish, International Broadway Tour), Billy Lowrimore (APAC's ...Spelling Bee), Chandler Reeves(Prospect's Unlock'd), and Hana Slevin (Gallery Players' Rent). Sophie L. Frankle is the stage manager, and Daniel Sefik is the music director.

Prospect's annual Musical Theater Lab (established in 2008) is a developmental program which offers emerging writers a platform to connect, create, and workshop new material on a compact timeline. Writing teams are selected through an open application process, and pen short new works in response to a curated assignment. The resulting pieces are rehearsed, staged and presented to public audiences as a cohesive evening performed by a versatile ensemble of performers.

Performance dates and times are Wednesday, July 27 at 7:30pm, Thursday, July 28 at 7:30pm, Friday July 29 at 8pm, Saturday July 30 at 3pm and 8pm,and Sunday, July 31 at 2pm.

Tickets are $18 ($9 for Prospect members) online at or 212-352-3101. Tickets will also be available at the door, if space is available. The box office opens one hour prior to curtain.

Prospect Theater Company (founded in 1998) is dedicated to fostering and showcasing today's new voices shaping tomorrow's musicals. Since 2000, the company has fully produced more than 30 premiere musicals in New York City, in addition to new plays and numerous re-inventions of classic works. Reflecting its investment in the future of the field, Prospect leads a variety of developmental initiatives, including an annual Musical Theater Lab for emerging writers, and a Summer Intensive training program for teenagers. In recognition of its enterprising and risk-taking new musical theater, the company received a 2016 OBIE Award grant. Their work as a community anchor for emerging artists that strengthens the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater was also honored with a 2013 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing. Notable productions include: the Drama Desk Award-winning Working (2012), Death for Five Voices (2016), Jasper in Deadland(2014), the Drama-Desk nominated Tamar of the River (2013), Unlock'd (2013), Iron Curtain(2006, 2011), Myths and Hymns (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).

Barbara Anselmi is the composer/conceiver of It Shoulda Been You(Broadway 2015).ISBYalso had productions at The George Street Playhouse in NJ and The Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington. Her composing career started after 9/11 with "All Join Together" (music and lyrics) which served as the title song of a CD that raised $40,000 for the New York Times 9/11 Fund. She was then commissioned by the ACLU to write the music forThe Orphan Train, book and lyrics by Susan and Sasha Nanus (Samuel French). She wrote the music for an adaptation ofA Christmas Carol for The Acting Company Salon Series, starring F. Murray Abraham and Lynn Redgrave. Before composing she was a music director/arranger/orchestrator. As an orchestrator she's been heard on television ("SYTYCD"), recordings and concerts. Barbara has served on the faculty at CAP21 Musical Theatre Conservatory, The New Studio at NYU, and Barnard College. She earned a bachelor of music from NYU and is an alumna of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.

Troy Anthony was born and raised in Louisville, KY, and is an actor, conductor, and teaching arst based in New York City. He has been seen in many Off-Broadway productions and developments including Dreamgirls, Prospect's Tamar of the River, and Song of Song of Songs. Regionally, some of his favorite credits include Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Wild Party,and Smokey Joe's Café. He is a member of the Marigold Ensemble founded by his friend and collaborator Marisa Michelson, which explores improvisatory vocal techniques. Troy is also the founding music director of the NY Community Choir, and currently furthering his People's Choir Initiative nationally. Through the People's Choir, he has worked with hundreds of adults and young people to compose and arrange inspirational music. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Troy spends most of his time focusing on the intersection between art and social justice as a program coordinator at the DreamYard Art Center. He is a graduate of Otterbein University.

Nikko Benson is a New York-based musical theater writer and performer. A recipient of a 2016 Jonathan Larson grant, his projects include Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat (w/ Benjamin Halstead), Hope, Who's Waldo, and song cycles Start Againand In Pursuit of Magic. He and his songs have been featured in concerts and cabarets around the city, among them Brian Stokes Mitchell's Plays With Music, William Finn's Ridiculously Talentedseries, and Shakina Nayfack's One Woman Show and Post Op. Nikola Tesla Drops The Beathas received development residencies with the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project and Goodspeed Writers Colony. Nikko is a founding member of the Musical Theater Factory, a teaching artist at The Performing Arts Project, and a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists' Guild.

Cheryl Davis received the Kleban Award for her work as a librettist, and her musicalBarnstormer, written with composer Douglas J. Cohen, received a Jonathan Larson Award through the Lark Play Development Center. Her play Maid's Door received great reviews and won seven Audelco Awards. The Color of Justice (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA), received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her new musical, Bridges, commissioned by the Berkeley Playhouse, received its world premiere in February 2016 and due to audience and critical acclaim, is expected to be remounted by that theater in its 2017-18 season. She received a Writers' Guild Award for her work on "As the World Turns," and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. She has received commissions from Disney Theatrical Group, ClearChannel Entertainment, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Red Mountain Theater Company, and Birmingham Children's Theatre. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center. She is a partner at the law firm of Menaker & Herrmann LLP.

Mindi Dickstein wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical Little Women(MTI, Ghostlight/Sh-k-Boom) and is currently writing lyrics for three new projects: Benny & Joon(Transport Group),Faerie Tale(Rhinebeck) and Snow in August(based on the Pete Hamill novel). Her songs have been performed widely, most notably as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook ("Hear and Now: Contemporary Lyricists") and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Book and lyrics: Trip(commissioned by Playwrights Horizons), Notes Across A Small Pond(Bridewell Theater, London) and several musicals for Theatreworks USA. Book: Toy Story - The Musical(Disney Creative Entertainment) and A Wind in the Willows Christmas (Two River Theater). Plays: Starving To Death in Midtown(Climate Change Theater Action 2015), The Existential Gourmet(Jane Chambers Award), Guadeloupe(Westbeth Theater Center). Honors: Larson Foundation Award, Massachusetts Artists and New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowships, Second Stage Klinsky Award, PEN International New Playwright. MFA and current faculty, NYU Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.

Karl Hinzeis a composer of theatre and concert music in NYC. He is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop, where he is working with lyricist Patrick Spencer and librettist Susan Murray on a new musical. He has penned songs for productions of Brecht's A Man's A Man, Euripides' Alcestis, and Lorca's Yerma, and his original musical210 Amlent Avenuewith playwright Becky Goldberg was an Official Selection of the Next Link Project at the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Other collaborations include Are They Edible?, an experimental puppet show by Jeanette Yew, and Shackled Spirits, a multi-media dance drama by Lynn Kremer last seen at the 2013 Bali Arts Festival. Karl is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at Stony Brook University.

Nichole Jackson holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Massachusetts Boston (magna cum laude), and an MFA from the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Her Musical Theatre Works include That Time We Found a Sasquatch in the Woods aka The Sasquatch Project (Lyrics by Brandon Michael Lowden, Music by Scotty Arnold),Calvin (Book by Nic Dris, Music by Willem Ooesthuysen), Paper Boats (Music by Charles Vincent Burwell), and Sweepstakes. Her other works includeEverybody Wins, Gus, and The Spirits. Her work has been performed at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, the Musical Theatre Factory, and at various cabarets.

Sukari Jones is a classically trained musical theater lyricist and bookwriter. She received her BA from Vassar College and MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program where she was twice awarded the Yip Harburg Outstanding Lyricist Award. Sukari completed the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop earning a place in the advanced workshop level. She is an alum of several writers groups including The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group, the Musical Theatre Factory Writer's Group and TerraNOVA Groundbreakers. Sukari is passionate about telling stories that explore the intersection of race and power in America. Sukari's work has been performed and developed at The Public Theater, Tofte Lake Center, Vineyard Arts Project, Lark Play Development Center, Barrington Stage Company, Laurie Beechman Theatre, NYU, Musical Theatre Factory, Joe's Pub and Goodspeed Opera House. Current projects: a triptych musical,Ain't Far From Home, in which we see a friendship that has developed between a black woman and white woman that has formed in rural Alabama based on the time period they life in, respectively in 1855, 1905 and 1955, and The Escapes, a musical adaptation of Othelloabout a 1960s soul singer who leads a dysfunctional 4-man band in his quest to achieve his greatest dream--"crossing over" from R&B "race music" into white mainstream pop, undaunted by all obstacles except falling in love with his Jewish manager's white daughter.

Yoonmi Lee is a composer, music director, and pianist and wrote the music to Missing Parents('12) at Frederick Loewe Theatre, one act musical, The Spindle, Pit-a-pat Korean('13 commissioned), Chefat Player's Theatre ('14), Holy Crab!('15). She has music directed shows at 777 Theatre, June Havoc Theatre, Player's Theatre, Symphony Space, NY Theatre Barn, Joe's Pub, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Dixon Place, Peculiar Works Project,and more. She has done writers' residences at Goodspeed, CAP21, and the Berkshire Playwright's Lab. Her music's been featured at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Symphony Space, Joe's Pub, Dixon Place, The Duplex, American Repertory Theatre, Nazarian Center (RI), Goodspeed, Berkshire Playwrights Theatre, and Berk Hall (Boston). MFA: Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU and member of BMI Musical Theatre

Robert Lee and Leon Ko are a bookwriter/lyricist and composer team whose musicals includeHeading East (Richard Rodgers Development Award), Chinese Hell, Takeaway and an adaptation of Jean Kerr's Please Don't Eat the Daisies. For his stage and film work in Hong Kong and China, Leon has received five Hong Kong Theatre Awards for Best Score, a Golden Horse Award in Taiwan and two Hong Kong Film Awards. He is a member of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Robert is an Artistic Associate at Theatre Royal Stratford East in London, where Takeaway debuted as the UK's first British East Asian musical. His play for young audiences Alice Chan (written with BD Wong) was produced recently by La Jolla Playhouse. Robert and Leon are graduates of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where Robert is on the faculty.

Sarah Mucek is a Brooklyn-based writer and performer. Her previous work includes Love Death Brains: A Zombie Musical (lyrics and libretto), which was performed at the 2012 NYC Fringe Festival, and the superhero parody web series Wanda & Pietro @ Home (writer and co-star). She is a member of the BMI Advanced Workshop and a graduate of Chicago's Second City Conservatory and ComedySportz training programs. She is an alumnus of Atlas Improv Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jonathan Portera NYU/TISCH Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. With bookwriter/lyricist Daniel F. Levin: To Paint the Earth (recipient of the 2007 Richard Rodgers award) Blue (developed as part of the Jonathan Larson Memorial Fellowship at the Dramatist Guild); with bookwriter lyricist Tara Bahna-James: Eleanora, Ophelia Sings (Part of Prospect's Lab series), and The Uses of Enchantment (Conceived and directed by Cara Reichel and produced by Prospect); with Dawn Adrienne: Lily in the Forest.Jonathan theater work also includes two song cycles: Tales of a Shut-Inand Angry Young Man Songs and is returning to work on unfinished piece entitled, Gerund: States of Being, which explores awareness, theories of consciousness, and how language affects the structure of identity. His other full-length in development Traffic, is much more universal and uses smaller words. Please feel to inquire further, comment, or share your own musings at

Christopher Staskel's show One Way(music and co-book by Ben Bonnema) recently received a reading at Playwrights Horizons directed by Kirsten Sanderson (First Daughter Suite). His show Shades of Wayne (music by Lisa Whitson Burns) is currently in development at the Musical Theatre Factory. Other work includes The Firebird Crash(music by Burns),Glamdromeda (music by Bonnema, book by Bryce Norbitz), and Slash(music by Bonnema). He was a 2015 Kleban Prize Finalist and his song "Monkey on a Leash" (music by Max Mamon) was a winner of NY City Center's 2014 Sondheim Remix contest, which granted him the surreal opportunity to rap for Stephen Sondheim. www.christopherstaskel.com

Liana Stillman holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from The ART/MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She served as co-writer and dramaturg for The Boston Abolitionists Project(American Repertory Theater), lyricist for Hansel and Gretel (American Repertory Theater), dramaturg and co-lyricist for The Snow Queen(American Repertory Theater), lyricist and bookwriter for Jars(NYU), and lyricist and bookwriter for The Spindle(NYU). She is a theater critic for The New England Theatre Journal.


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