Pittsburgh CLO Launches Second New Musicals Weekend

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Pittsburgh CLO Launches Second New Musicals Weekend

Pittsburgh CLO will launch its second New Musicals Weekend, a project of the Next Generation Campaign's New Small Musicals Initiative. New Musicals Weekend, the mini version of the SPARK festival, takes the core goals of SPARK and puts them into action over just a few days. Similar to SPARK, New Musicals Weekend aims to develop new musicals for the CLO Cabaret by supporting writing teams with financial and creative resources and by building relationships with local and national artists.

The musicals selected for readings in New Musicals Weekend include two shows first developed through the 2018 SPARK festival (THESE GIRLS HAVE DEMONS: 2018 SPARK Reading; THE PERFECT MATE: 2018 SPARK Writing Residency) and two shows new to Pittsburgh CLO.


Meghan Brown (Book & Lyrics) and Sarah Taylor Ellis (Music)
Ellie Heyman (Director)
First featured in the 2018 SPARK festival, THESE GIRLS HAVE DEMONS returns with an all-new draft. Being a teenage girl is hard: every party, every grade and every kiss can feel like a life-or-death event. But being a teenage girl possessed by a demon, with the forces of the radical matriarchy and repressive patriarchy fighting for your very soul? It's a lot harder. A darkly funny rock musical with heart, humor... and demons.

Meghan Brown (Book & Lyrics) is an award-winning playwright based in Los Angeles. Musical projects include book and lyrics for EMMA (music: Sarah Taylor Ellis), the libretto for the improvised opera The Discord Altar (OperaWorks), and lyrics for the song cycle Untuned Ears Hear Nothing but Discord (Lincoln Center, music: Ben Toth). Current projects include wild west musical Cowboy Elektra with Rogue Artists Ensemble (music: Zach Lupetin), and political foodie suspense play The Tasters (developed at Portland Center Stage).

Sarah Taylor Ellis (Composer) writes music that empowers female voices and blurs the boundaries among musical theatre, art song, and opera. In addition to These Girls Have Demons, Sarah is the composer of a steampunk Regency adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma (book/lyrics by Meghan Brown) and an opera adaptation of The Trojan Women (libretto by Ellen McLaughlin). Sarah is Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre at the University of Chester, where she is establishing a new undergraduate musical theatre program.

Ellie Heyman (Director) is the Director in Residence at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in NYC. Recent credits include: A$AP Rocky's performance art piece, Lab Rat, at Sotheby's, Beardo (Drama Desk Award Nomination; Pipeline Theater), Boner Killer (Under the Radar/The Public Theater), THIS (Bessie Award Nomination for Outstanding Production; NYLA), and The Traveling Imaginary with Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel) rated "Top 5 shows of the year" by NPR, and music fiction podcast Dreamboy (Night Vale Presents). Graduate of Northwestern University, Boston University, and a Drama League and WP Theater Time Warner Directing Fellow Alumni.

David Rossmer & Dan Lipton (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Carolyn Cantor (Director)
Reading Commissioned by Pittsburgh CLO through the EQT Commissioning Fund
Joan Sweete has always been drawn to the old-fashioned idea of true love with one person, which puts her at odds with the anything-goes dating scene of the year 2163. When she wins a competition to test the PerfectMate, an emotionally savvy robot, she thinks she may have found her lifetime match - but it turns out perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be. First commissioned for and developed in the 2018 SPARK festival, THE PERFECT MATE is a musical comedy for romantics of all eras.

Dan Lipton & David Rossmer (Book, Music & Lyrics) are writing the score for MONOPOLY, the Broadway-bound musical produced by Hasbro and Araca Group, with a book by Tony nominee Rick Elice. They wrote "They Don't Let You in the Opera" for Kelli O'Hara, whose performance with the Orlando Philharmonic went viral, garnering 5.8 million views on Facebook. Their TV show RATED P, developed by Kelly Ripa's production company, sold to ABC Studios. The stage version of RATED P, which played Off-Broadway, is licensed by Broadway Licensing. Rossmer co-wrote THE OTHER Josh Cohen, which was nominated for 6 Drama Desk Awards. The show returned to Off-Broadway in November 2018 to rave reviews. Rossmer is in the inaugural class of Audible playwrights, commissioned by Amazon. Lipton was associate conductor of THE BAND'S VISIT and conducted Sting's run in his own musical THE LAST SHIP, both on Broadway. He scored the Molly Ringwald film ALL THESE SMALL MOMENTS, released by Orion Classics in January 2019. Representation: CAA

Carolyn Cantor (Director) is a New York based director who spends much of her time developing and directing new work for the stage. She has worked at most of the off-Broadway theaters in NYC and at many regional companies, collaborating with wonderful playwrights and composers. Carolyn is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Brian Quijada (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Reginald L. Douglas (Director)
Inspired by Reina Quijada's journey from El Salvador to the US and by L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, SOMEWHERE OVER THE BORDER embraces the factual and the fantastical in its depiction of one young girl's pursuit of the American dream. As Reina travels north to the Mexican border, she gathers friends, faces down dangers and holds tight to the memory of the little boy she left behind. Set in the 1970s and propelled by a guitar-driven score, this new musical is both fable and family history - and a testament to the determination born of love.

Brian Quijada (Book, Music & Lyrics) is an award-winning actor, playwright and composer who has gained national critical-acclaim for his multi Jeff award-winning, multi Drama Desk nominated solo show Where Did We Sit in the Bus? Quijada has spent most of his career acting in new plays Off-Broadway and Regionally. As a playwright/composer Brian has been commissioned by Seattle Repertory Theatre and The Kennedy Center. Select Acting Credits include Roundabout, The Public Theater, Sol Project, Actors Theatre of Louisville; TV: Blue Bloods (CBS) and Manhattan Love Story (ABC). Brian is a proud ensemble member of Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York.

Reginald L. Douglas (Director) is the Artistic Producer of City Theatre. City Theatre directing credits includes Jen Silverman's The Roommate, Dominique Morisseau's Pipeline, Cori Thomas' Citizens Market, and Colman Domingo's Wild with Happy. Additionally, Reginald has directed and developed new work throughout the country, including work at Eugene O'Neill Center, TheaterWorks Hartford, CATF, Weston Playhouse, Theatre Squared, Playwrights Center, Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh CLO, McCarter, Florida Rep, Luna Stage, Harlem Stage, Wild Project, Signature Center, Drama League, The Lark and many others.

Brian Adam Davis (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Tim Kashani & Pamela Winslow Kashani (Additional Story)
Michele Lynch & Tim Kashani (Directors)
Once every century in the kingdom of Avalon, the Magic Mirror chooses a quest to be carried out by a hero and fairy godmother. If the two succeed, their story becomes The Next Fairy Tale. This centennial, fairy godmother Hazel wishes to be chosen, but she's been sequestered by Minerva, Queen of the Fairy Godmothers, because of her history of havoc-wreaking spells. Minerva delights in greeting this century's hero, Prince Copernicus, until he exclaims that the true love he must save is another prince, not a princess. Minerva assigns Hazel to the quest, assured that she shall fail. Yet in this new musical, an underdog may find a power greater than any magic across the land.

Brian Adam Davis (Book, Music & Lyrics) is a playwright, composer, lyricist and performer. Writing credits include the musicals No Reservations and The Next Fairy Tale (book/music/lyrics); the play Dictionary Love, and songs in Ooogy Green and Other Fables; and A Christmas Carol (Celebration Theater) and William Finn's Ridiculously Talented series (Barrington Stage). The Next Fairy Tale participated in Apples and Oranges' first THEatre ACCELERATOR cycle and had recent workshops in Orange County, CA and the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando. B.A. Theater, UCLA.

Tim Kashani (Director/Additional Story) Espousing the start-up mentality, the Kashani family treats artists as entrepreneurs, empowering them with the resources to succeed. Tim and his team launched THEatre ACCELERATOR, seeking to apply the methods, processes, and the "fail early and often" mindset of the startup world to the performing arts. The program illuminates the real-world responsibilities and tribulations for aspiring performers, writers, composers, and directors. Broadway: Hair, Memphis and An American In Paris (Producer). Film: Emma / No one Called Ahead (Director).

Pamela Winslow Kashani (Additional Story/Music Associate) does musicals. Performer: Broadway: original Rapunzel Into the Woods (also Cinderella), Meet Me in St. Louis (Lucille), Beauty and the Beast (Babette). TV: Ensign McKnight on Star Trek: The Next Generation, host of Arts Coast to Coast. Streaming: Paul Gordon's Emma. COMPOSER: Higher Education. Producer: Broadway: Hair, Memphis (Tony Award), An American in Paris. Co-founder of Apples and Oranges, whose THEatre ACCELERATOR "Takes the Starving Out of Artist": nycoc.org. Proud to be part of TNFT's evolution.

Michele Lynch (Director) Michele choreographed the new musical, Everyday Rapture on Broadway as well as The Coast of Utopia. Other Broadway credits include Hairspray, The Full Monty and Urinetown as assistant choreographer. Off-Broadway she choreographed the original new musicals Little Miss Sunshine, We the People and Everyday Rapture. National/International tours include Dirty Dancing, Happy Days, and Little House on the Prairie. For film, Michele choreographed The Last Five Years, CAMP and Joyful Noise. In concert she staged Dolly Parton's World Tour.

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