The New York Musical Festival and Flying Elephant Productions Present TILL
The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) and Flying Elephant Productions present TILL, the emotional and moving true story of Emmett and Mamie Till, with music and lyrics by Leo Schwartz and book by Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro. NJ Agwuna directs a cast of six, including Taylor A. Blackman (Regional: Fun Home, Mamma Mia, Hello Dolly, Ragtime), Tyla Collier (Off-Broadway: Sistas the Musical), Dwelvan David (1st national tours: Finding Neverland; The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess), Judith Franklin (Broadway: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Denielle Marie Gray (National/Intl. Touring: background singer for Patti LaBelle & others) and Devin L. Roberts (Broadway: The Lion King, Cabin In The Sky). Five performances will be staged at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City from July 23-28, 2019.
A child's murder becomes a worldwide awakening. In 1955, a black teenager visiting relatives in Mississippi was murdered. His body was thrown in the Tallahatchie River where it was discovered three days later, mutilated and unrecognizable. His mother bravely insisted that he have an open casket funeral so that the world would see what they had done to her child. This crime and her impassioned response were catalysts for the subsequent civil rights protests of the era.
TILL is presented by the New York Musical Festival and Flying Elephant Productions in association with Benny Lumpkins Jr. Choreographer: Kenny Ingram; Music Director: Lena Gabrielle; Orchestrations: Mark Brymer; Scenic & Projection Designer: David Goldstein; Costume Designer: Pablo Borges; Lighting Designer: Eric Norbury; Sound Designer: Caroline Eng; Production Stage Manager: Emely Zepeda; Assistant Director: Graham KG Garlington; Casting Director: Eisenberg/Beans Casting (Daryl Eisenberg, CSA/Ally Beans, CSA); General Management: Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin/Tim Sulka); Graphic Designer: DC Cathro; Public Relations: Paul Siebold/Off Off PR.
Tickets are from $29.50. For tickets and more information, visit NYMF.org.
The runtime is 90 minutes with no intermission.
Five performances will be staged on the following schedule: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.; Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.; Friday, July 26, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.; and Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.
NJ Agwuna (director) is a freelance theater and film director from central Maryland; now a recent graduate from the directing MFA program at Columbia University. She has worked on a national and international scale exploring classic text, developing new plays, devising, and investigating new ways to reach audiences. Some of NJ's credits include site specific work with the Motor Company and Brooklyn Community Gardens, A Hyacinth in the Mountains by Claire Jamison, Harold Pinter's One for the Road as a part of the Segal Center's Re-Reading Oppression, Flickering a part of Brunch Theatre's Black Coffee showcase, The River Rouge by Andy Boyd in contribution to the Playwrights festival at Columbia University, Flip- Flap and his Master by Yosef Idris, Julius Caesar, Antigone, The Duel by Anton Chekhov adapted by Matthew Minnicino, Theatreworks USA's Freedom Train, The Tempest, associate directed Endangered: the Eco Musical, associate directed White Card at ART with Diane Paulus, Love and Information , Good Man by Melis Aker, Town Hall devised and created in collaboration with Ed Wasserman, Truth or Lie, What She Found, Then She Fell (ASM), Sleep No More (ASM), Amazing Spider-Man 2, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. More at: www.njagwuna.com
Leo Schwartz (book, music, & lyrics) is a multi-disciplined and award-winning composer of stage and screen. He is the producer and writer of the Off-Broadway musical, The Book of Merman which ran for 5 months. His musical, TILL , about Emmett and Mamie Till, won the Mainstreet Musical Theatre Festival in 2016. His musical Under A Rainbow Flag , won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work in 2013. His musical song cycle, We The People , written with Sean Chandler, was premiered by Flying Elephant Productions in January of 2018 in Chicago. His works have been performed in Europe, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, at the York Theatre, and across the United States. He is Executive Director of Flying Elephant Productions. Performances of his concert works have toured Europe and the United States. He constantly receives commissions and is the Composer-In-Residence for the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble. www.leoschwartz.com
DC Cathro (book) is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and director from the Washington DC metropolitan area. His musical TILL, written with award-winning composer Leo Schwartz, is one of three winners in the 2016 Main Street Musicals Festival, selected by Gregory Mosher. The Book of Merman, another musical written with Schwartz, enjoyed a five-month run Off-Broadway, and in 2014, he became the only playwright to have two shows in the Pride Films and Plays Festival in Chicago, IL; Pen, A Musical (also with Schwartz) and Family Holiday. DC's works have been performed and read at theatres and festivals across the U.S., including The William Inge Festival in Independence, Kansas, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Greenhouse Ensemble Theatre in New York City.
Mark Brymer (orchestrations) heads a full service music and live theatrical show production company, WOW! ENTERTAINMENT, INC. with offices in both Dallas, TX and New York City whose clients include Disney Film Studios (wrote title song Digga Digga Dog for 102 Dalmatians), Six Flags Theme Parks (over 150 Live Production Shows), Music Theater International (Two Licensed Musicals), Pirates Voyage Dinner/Arena Attractions, and Hal Leonard Print Publishers (selling over 750,000 copies of choral music annually). http://markbrymer.com
Kenny Ingram (choreographer) is last year's Winner for New York Musical Festival Outstanding Choreography for Emojiland with Visceral Entertainment. Mr. Ingram recently choreographed The Wizard of Oz at Chicago Shakes. He co-choreographed Sophisticated Ladies for the Fulton Theatre and Maine State Music Theatre co-produced production. Mr. Ingram will be choreographing Ain't Misbehavin for the Portland Stage and Maine State Music Theatre co-produced production later this summer.
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 sixteenth 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 100 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."
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The 2019 New York Musical Festival will take place July 8 through August 4. For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org.