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Main Street Musicals' Festival of New Musicals Set for Next Month

On Jan 10th and 11th, Mainstreet Musicals will launch its premiere festival season with the Philadelphia /Mainstreet Festival of New Musicals - presenting three new musicals in concert readings at Temple University's Randall Theatre, 1301 West Norris St. Philadelphia, PA 19122. Mainstreet Musicals is a New York-based organization whose mission is to encourage the development of new musicals by sharing some of the finest through annual regional festivals. Submissions are evaluated by a jury of professional theatre directors. Actor John Lithgow, serving as Mainstreet's 2014 Guest Artistic Director, made the final selection and commented, "I found the quality of these pieces to be extremely high, offering abundant evidence that wonderful work is out there waiting to be discovered."

The three featured shows for the premiere season are: Merton of the Movies (written by Doug Katsaros and Donald Brenner), Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (written by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs), and Under Fire (written by Barry Harman and Grant Sturiale). All three will be performed each day of the Festival.

Broadway actor Tim Jerome, founder of MAINSTREET MUSICALS and founding president of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, said that for the first time ever, "A collective of professional theatre artists has developed the ability to identify and introduce brand new, highly entertaining, commercially viable musicals to regional audiences - increasing jobs for artists and delighting theatre-goers - for years to come."
According to its vision statement Main Street Musicals - Philadelphia has a two-fold mission:
• "To provide a platform for new works to be seen and appreciated by local audiences."
• "To partner with the city's vibrant local Universities to create unique educational opportunities."

Musical theatre students-in-training will have the opportunity to play an active role working alongside local professionals in the development of new works. By doing this we hope to not only develop and promote these new works, but to continue to develop a new generation of theatre artists who will play a role in creating the next generation of new works."

The Philadelphia/Mainstreet Festival of New Musicals is being produced by Larson Award-Winning lyricist Jordan Mann, and entrepreneur, playwright and author Barbara Bellman in association with the departments of Theatre at Temple University and Drexel University.

Merton of the Movies will be directed by Temple Department Chair Douglas Wager, with musical direction by Gina Giachero.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice will be directed by Temple Musical Theatre Program Head Peter Reynolds, with musical direction by Bryan DeSilva.

Under Fire will be directed by Drexel University Department Head Nick Anselmo, with musical direction by Mark Yurkanin.

Please visit http://www.mainstreetfestivals.org/philadelphia.htm for details on the artists, times of the performances on Jan 10th & 11th, and ticket information.


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