A.C.T. Youth Conservatory Presents SHOW CHOIR! THE MUSICAL, 5/26-6/9

By: May. 14, 2012
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American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Young Conservatory Director Craig Slaight has announced the West Coast premiere of Show Choir!

The Musical, described as a melodious musical about America's favorite teen pastime-with jazz hands! Featuring abook, music, and lyrics by Mark McDaniels and Donald Garverick, Show Choir! The Musical tells the story of what it takes to become the top show choir in the country, as told through the framework of a musical biography television show. Part mockumentary, part song-and-dance extravaganza, the show explores the hopes, dreams, and schemes of young singers determined to make it to the top.

Show Choir! The Musical plays May 26–June 9, 2012, at The Theater at Children's Creativity Museum (formerly Zeum Theater), located at 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco. Tickets are $20.50 and are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org.

Says Slaight: "McDaniels and Garverick have crafted a side-splitting, rocking musical that allows every showbiz nerd to feel they belong, while recognizing the passion and intensity that makes us keep performing. Their clever mockumentary reveals a teen equivalent to Christopher Guest's astonishing film Waiting for Guffman. The best part for us, as a training program for young actors and singers, is that this piece challenges every aspect of the performer to get to the heart of the comedy. When I met McDaniels and Garverick, I knew this show was for us!"

Featuring direction by Domenique Lozano, musical direction by Robert Rutt, and choreography by Christine Mattison, this wildly entertaining new musical features a talented young cast from across the Bay Area. The cast includes Caleb Alexander (Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts), Kemp Atkinson (The Urban School), Jacqueline Blaska (Lick-Wilmerding High School), Jessica Chase (homeschooling), Aiden Elsesser (Lick-Wilmerding High School), Leah Gallagher (Saint Ignatius College Preparatory School), Chris Garber (Crystal Springs Uplands School), Annaleise Heggli (Santa Rosa Junior College), Zach Hollander (Lick-Wilmerding High School), David Kurlander (Lick-Wilmerding High School), Emily Mellman (Burlingame High School), Caroline Pernick (Julia Morgan School), Emma Roos (Saint Ignatius College Preparatory School), Laura Sanders (homeschooling), Peter Scattini (Burlingame High School), China Shaeffer (Tamalpais High School), Madison Sidwell (Saint Ignatius College Preparatory School), Shelby Stewart (Head-Royce School),and Young Conservatory alumnus Jeffrey Taylor (San Francisco Conservatory of Music).

Since 1996, Donald Garverick (book, music, and lyrics)has performed in multiple summer stock, national tour, and Off-Broadway productions. Early in his performing career he began assisting director/choreographer Gary Slavin on numerous shows, including Off-Broadway's Area 51-The Musical and now choreographs and teaches on his own. He currently teaches "Broadway Theatre Dance for Actors" (American Dance Machine Technique) in New York City. Recent choreography credits include Before God Was Invented: A Prehistoric Pagan Parable and the Off-Broadway production of Siren's Heart. As a writer, Donald's work has been recognized at the York Theater N.E.O. Concert, which celebrates new, emerging, outstanding musical theater writers. His most recent collaboration with Mr. McDaniels is Casual Bob, which was recently seen at 4@15: Four New Fifteen-Minute Musicals.

A resident of New York City since 1994, Mark McDaniels (book, music, and lyrics) is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and The New School University with a B.F.A. in musical theater. He has been seen in numerous New York and regional stage productions including Footloose (Ren), Chicago, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,and Hot 'n Cole. A jack-of-many-trades, Mark has also been seen as a composer, singer, mosaic artist, voice-over actor, house manager, and producer.

Craig Slaight is a resident artist and the director of the Young Conservatory at American Conservatory Theater. Slaight assumed the leadership of the Young Conservatory in 1988. During his time at A.C.T., he has taught in all of the conservatory programs and served as a director on A.C.T. mainstage productions and as a member of the artistic team of the company. Slaight began the Young Conservatory's New Plays Program in 1989 with the mission to develop plays by outstanding professional playwrights that view the world through the eyes of the young. To date 37 new plays by leading American and British playwrights have been developed and produced. With A.C.T.'s Jack Sharrar, Slaight has edited numerous anthologies of scenes and monologues for actors and is the editor of five volumes of New Plays from A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. Before coming to A.C.T., Slaight was an award-winning professional director in Los Angeles. He has also directed in England at The National Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath.

Domenique Lozano has directed A Christmas Carol on the A.C.T. mainstage for the past five years. A resident artist at A.C.T., Lozano teaches in numerous programs and has directed many projects with the Young Conservatory and M.F.A. Program. Her Young Conservatory projects include the world premiere of the new musical Homefront; the American premiere of After Juliet; the world premieres of Sarah Daniel's Dust and Constance Congdon's Nightingales; a coproduction with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zürich of Paul Steinmann's Only Victory; and the West Coast premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher's Korczak's Children and Wendy MacLeod's School Girl Figure. Her directing work with the M.F.A. Program includes Caught with Her Pants Down, Richard III, and numerous graduating class showcases and Will on Wheels touring Shakespeare productions, as well as the M.F.A. Program/Young Conservatory coproduction of Amy Herzog's The Wendy Play. Other directing credits include The Countess with Center REPertory Company; Two for the Seesaw with Marin Theatre Company; Inspecting Carol and the West Coast premiere of Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business with San Jose Stage Company; and The Norman Conquests, Holiday, The Real Thing, and She Loves Me with Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, of which she was a founding member and associate artistic director. Acting credits include work with such theaters as California Shakespeare Theater, where she is an artistic associate, A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Lozano has also taught throughout the Bay Area at such institutions as Saint Mary's College, UC Davis, California Shakespeare Theater, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The A.C.T. Young Conservatory offers a broad range of theater training for young people aged 8 to 19. The ten sessions and four public productions offered throughout the year are designed to develop talent and creativity, as well as communication and cooperation skills, for young people with all levels of theater background. Working professional actors and directors lead students in a spectrum of classes, including acting, directing, voice and speech, musical theater, audition, and improvisation. Call 415.439.2444 or visit act-sf.org/conservatory for applications and information.

Show Choir! The Musical is made possible by a generous grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation and donors to A.C.T.'s season gala.


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