Vital Theatre Company Acquires Rights To MYRA AND THE DRAWING DRAMA

The musical will debut in Vital Theatre Company's 2022-2023 Season.

By: Mar. 30, 2022
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

Vital Theatre Company has announced the acquisition of the rights to the new children's picture book "Myra and the Drawing Drama", written by Rosemary Rivera and illustrated by Mario Menjivar, for the creation a new family musical with Book and Lyrics by Jeremy Dobrish and Music and Lyrics by David Mallamud which will debut in Vital Theatre Company's 2022-2023 Season.

The book MYRA AND THE DRAWING DRAMA will debut October 1, 2022. It is published by Imagine and Wonder Publishing (Irvington NY) and distributed by Independent Publishers Group (Chicago). At 60 pages in length this book is appropriate for children ages 8 and up.

"MYRA AND THE DRAWING DRAMA" tells the story of Myra, a 7 year-old with a simple dream: to win the school art contest and the adoration of the world. When her artistic vision gets strong reactions from the grownups, Myra's dream looks like it's about to become reality. Or is it? A funny, almost true story about what happens when adults forget how to think like a kid.

This story features an average child as a hero armed with confidence and a positive attitude that keeps her focused on her dream goal, no matter what doubts swirl around her. When faced with challenges, Myra detours from rivalry, overcomes misunderstandings, and opens up new opportunities that bring her unexpected rewards.

"As a leading producer of quality children's theatre we are always on the lookout for terrific new books to turn into musicals," said Stephen Sunderlin, Producing Artistic Director of Vital Theatre Company. "When John Shableski, Editor-in-Chief at Imagine and Wonder, brought us "Myra and the Drawing Drama" we fell in love with the art and our creative team Jeremy Dobrish and David Mallamud thought the story would make an amazing musical. We met with Rosemary and Mario and discovered we would all be terrific partners in the creation of this new musical."

"We are tickled and awestruck by how Myra's story has found a literary, and now, theatrical home," said book author Rosemary Rivera. "Her story managed to create a parallel universe that mirrors her journey and leaves Mario and I amazed by the many talented people we've met along the way. To see how Stephen, Jeremy and David bring this book to life on stage is a creative joyride for us!"

Rosemary Rivera is a self-described Nuyorican nerd who grew up with her nose in a book while navigating the socioeconomic neglect happening in The Bronx. Her favorite pastimes were listening to music, dancing, and getting caught hiding funny books inside her textbooks during math class. She began writing as a kid, first for fun, then later to bring attention to the inequalities in education that affected her community. It paved the way for a creative life that began as a magazine writer and editor for an array of subjects, ranging from personal essays to Latinx entertainment. She went on to develop ideas for animated TV shows and films with her creative partner/husband, a former Disney animator. Rosemary also worked behind the scenes for TV networks Telemundo and NBC in an array of capacities, including finance. Her career as a writer took many turns, from developing scripted shows, to copywriting, and writing picture books. She also contributes to The Mighty, a wellness site that features her essays about life with a child on the autism spectrum. It's a subject that inspired her latest project, co-created with her husband and son.

Mario Menjivar's artistic journey began when his family moved to New York from the seaside town of Tela, Honduras when he was 7 years old. He went from swimming in the beach every weekend to spending long stretches indoors during the long Bronx winters. His favorite TV shows like "Lost In Space," "Star Trek," Hanna Barbera, and Bugs Bunny cartoons inspired his imagination and doodles. A teacher in elementary school was so taken with his drawing skills that she shared her own son's artwork and even took him to the Bronx Zoo to learn how to draw animals. Mario's love for drawing took him to art schools and a career in animation and illustration. His filmography includes Disney classics "The Lion King," "Pocahantas," "Hercules," "Tarzan," and the Warner Bros. film "Looney Toons: Back in Action." He's also been an art director for independent feature films and a merchandise designer for Disney. These days, when not teaching a new generation of animators at The School of Visual Arts, Mario co-creates and illustrates picture books and a comic strip.

Jeremy Dobrish (Musical Book Writer and Co-Lyricist) For young audiences, Jeremy is proud to have collaborated with Vital Theatre Company on "Awesome Allie" and "Uncle Pirate" as well as with Mills Entertainment on adaptations of "Clifford The Big Red Dog", and "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood". His adaptation of Curious George and his productions of "The Teacher from the Black Lagoon", "Virtually Me" and "Paul Revere" have toured the country with Theaterworks USA. Jeremy began his career as the founder and Artistic Director of Adobe Theatre Company which he ran for thirteen years. He is also a co-founding Artistic Director of Midtown Direct Rep. Jeremy has directed at Second Stage, MCC, Amas, Joe's Pub, The Old Globe, Barrington Stage, North Shore, The O'Neill, New York Stage and Film, Goodspeed, and The Village Theatre. He is a seven-time published playwright who has taught playwriting, directing and acting across the country and abroad, and he is currently a Senior Creative Director at Proscenium Events.

David Mallamud (Musical Composer and Co-Lyricist) credits include: "Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches: The Musical" with playwright Philip Dawkins (Children's Theatre Company, MN); "Penguin Goes to Flight School", with Joshua Cohen and Cara Lustik (Vital Theatre Company); "Kid Frankenstein", with Peter Charles Morris (Vital Theatre Company). His CD The "Wild & Whimsical Worlds of David Mallamud" won a Broadway World Album Award for best new compilation. He's collaborated on several projects with Mike Mills (of R.E.M. fame), arranging and composing additional music for his Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra (for violinist Robert McDuffie). On the work's second U.S. tour, Chuck Leavell, of The Rolling Stones, joined the band and McDuffie on the first half for A Night of Georgia Music - an evening of Georgia-themed songs with brand new arrangements by Mills and Mallamud which was filmed for PBS. He's currently working on an orchestra piece with Hip Hop artist Bob Lennon for the Macon/Mercer Symphony, and R.E.M. Explored, an orchestral re-imagining of R.E.M.'s music for The Atlanta Symphony. Visit for more.

Vital Theatre Company is dedicated to producing entertaining and educational theatre for young audiences. It commissions and produces three to five musicals for children each season. Since its founding in 1999, Vital Theatre Company has been honored with the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Musical, two Awards for Excellence by the Off-Off Broadway Review, and has received high acclaim from audiences and critics alike for being "a wonderful place for parents to introduce their kids to the glories of live theatre, done well and at modest prices" (Off-Off Broadway Review). Over 24 years Vital Theatre Company has presented over 100 original productions for hundreds of thousands of children and their families but here in New York and across the country on tour. In 2022 the company is also setting up an outpost in Lancaster, PA where it will continue to produce its award-winning production and hosting it educational camps and classes in both locations.


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor