Cast and Creative Announced for The Festival of New Musicals at Village Theatre

With one week left until The 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals, Village Theatre is excited to announce the casting for Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat, an electronic pop musical about one of the world's greatest inventors; Hart Island, a look at social justice and the people society has forgotten; Afterwords, a tale of art and love; Howl's Moving Castle, based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones; and ZM, a hilarious romp through a zombie-filled future by the Tony Award-winning authors of Urinetown. Taking place in Issaquah on August 11-13, 2017, The Festival of New Musicals provides an essential platform for writers to incorporate a key component of live theatre - the audience. Each new musical will be rehearsed during the week, then present to the audience in staged reading format, performed in full using scripts.

The five new musicals will feature some of the most talented directors, musicians, and actors in the country, including directors Brandon Ivie (Lizard Boy, Jasper in Deadland), Jaki Bradley (Good Men Wanted), and Valerie Curtis-Newton (Trouble in Mind at The Guthrie), music directors RJ Tancioco (Here Lies Love) and Kris Kukul (Joan of Arc, Songbird), as well as cast members L Steven Taylor (The Lion King), Janet Krupin (If/Then, Bring It On, Hands on a Hardbody), Jon-Michael Reese (The Book of Mormon), Matthew Kacergis (The Little Mermaid tour), Patrick Rooney (October Sky), Eliza Palasz (October Sky), Josh Carter (Once), Billie Wildrick (Scandalous), Greg Stone (Oklahoma!, Les Miserables, Urban Cowboy), Mari Nelson (Guys & Dolls, Six Degrees of Separation), Andi Alhadeff (Jasper in Deadland), Kirsten Delohr Helland (Lizard Boy), and Sara Porkalob (Dragon Lady).

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NIKOLA TESLA DROPS THE BEAT

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead

Directed by Brandon Ivie (Lizard Boy, Jasper in Deadland)

Music Directed by RJ Tancioco (Here Lies Love)

A misunderstood genius. A rivalry for the ages. A dream that would change the world forever. Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat is an Electronic Dance Musical that turns the volume up on one of the world's most influential yet overlooked inventors and his struggle to realize his vision of the future. In this anachronistic universe, Tesla is a genius DJ whose sounds push the limits of what his audience can handle. The innovative score translates his electric obsessions into electronic music: alternating current loop-pedal soundscapes, wireless dance-floor frequencies, and mad-scientist dubstep breakdowns. Come feel the beat drop.

Jordon Bolden.........................................................................Nikola Tesla

Sarah Rose Davis....................................................................Anna/White Pigeon

Danny Kam.............................................................................George Westinghouse

Jon Michael Reese (The Book of Mormon)...........................Thomas Edison

Matthew Kacergis (The Little Mermaid)..............................Rob Johnson

Lauren Du Pree.......................................................................Kat Johnson

Naomi Morgan........................................................................JP Morgan

Nick Watson............................................................................Marconi

Kody Bringman........................................................................Pupin

Jimmy Shields..........................................................................Ensemble

Charles Simmons.....................................................................Ensemble

Patrick Rooney (October Sky) ...............................................Ensemble

Cherisse Martinelli..................................................................Ensemble

Angelica Barksdale.................................................................Ensemble

Cassi Kohl.................................................................................Ensemble

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HART ISLAND

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Danny Larsent and Michelle Elliott

Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton (Trouble in Mind)

Music Directed by Jenny Shotwell

Hart Island is the story of two people on the fringe of society - Charles, an incarcerated man, and Marielena, an undocumented young woman. Their lives intersect on Hart Island, New York City's public burial ground. Although Charles and Marielena are marginalized by the rest of the world, they come to appreciate each other's humanity - a powerful action in a world that elevates division and isolation over compassion and respect.

L Steven Taylor (The Lion King)............................................Charles

Marina Pires.........................................................................Marielena

Marlette Buchanan..............................................................Woman 1

Joseph Tancioco....................................................................Man 1

Philip Bolton..........................................................................Man 2

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AFTERWORDS

Musical and Lyrics by Zoe Sarnak, Book by Emily Kaczmarek

Directed by Jaki Bradley (Good Men Wanted)

Music Directed by Kris Kukul (Joan of Arc, Songbird)

When an accomplished war reporter is killed on assignment, his diaries are left to

his protégé, Jo. But their pages provide her with more questions than comfort, chronicling his turbulent midlife love affair and pointing mysteriously toward Kali and Simone, artist sisters mourning the loss of their volatile mother. As entanglements deepen and past collides with present, Kali, Simone, and Jo relay three sides of one story through the show's music, set, and book. Afterwords is a new musical about three women bound by notes scribbled down on paper, and the art we make from the love that makes us.

Andi Alhadeff (Jasper in Deadland).....................................Kali

Janet Krupin (If/Then, Bring It On)......................................Simone

Kirsten Delohr Helland (Lizard Boy)...................................Jo

Mari Nelson (Guys & Dolls)..................................................Lydia

Greg Stone (Urban Cowboy)................................................Jimmy

Dimitri Woods......................................................................Franklin

Rory Eaden...........................................................................Kali's Voice

Dawn Darbie.......................................................................Kali's Voice

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HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE

Adapted and Directed by Myra Platt

Music and Lyrics by Justin Huertas

Based on an original novel by Diana Wynne Jones

Music Direction by Katherine Strohmaier

When Sophie unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, she finds herself transformed into an old woman. To break the enchantment, Sophie must strike a bargain with a fire demon and seek the help of the heartless wizard Howl before facing the Witch head-on. Based on the award-winning novel an animated feature, Howl's Moving Castle inspires each of us to find our voice.

Sara Porkalob (Dragon Lady)...............................................Sophie Hatter

Randall Scott Carpenter.......................................................Michael/Ensemble

Rachel Guyer-Mafune..........................................................Martha Hatter/Ensemble

Tyler Rogers...........................................................................Prince Justin/Ensemble

Adam Standley......................................................................Howl

Corinna Munter.....................................................................Mrs. Fanny Hatter/Ensemble

Katherine Jett........................................................................Lily Angorian/Ensemble

John Coons.............................................................................Wizard Suliman/Ensemble

Tyler Dobies............................................................................Calcifer/Ensemble

Sarah Russell..........................................................................Lettie Hatter/Ensemble

Iris Elton..................................................................................Witch of the Waste/Mrs. Fairfax

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ZM

Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann

Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis

Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson

Music Directed by John Callahan

ZM takes place in a remote American town where a fast-food franchise is test-marketing a new sandwich that, apparently, turns people into zombies. ZM follows Barnabas Young and Mercy Rider, two teenage lovers/fast-food workers, who are separated during the outbreak. Barnabas searches for the franchise president to warn him about the sandwich while Mercy stays behind to look after the president's wounded son. The lovers eventually reunite, but not before committing unspeakable acts that change them forever. In the end, the two learn the terrible truth about the source of the plague and the outcome it was designed to create.

Matt Seib...............................................................................Barnabus Young

Katie Griffith..........................................................................Mercy Rider

Allison Standley....................................................................Lydia Light

Eric Jensen.............................................................................William Hutt

Brandon Oke.........................................................................Billy, Jr.

Jeff Orton..............................................................................Hippy John

Kate Jaeger...........................................................................Henrietta Cooke

Daina Goldenberg................................................................Anna Cole

Andrew Eric Davison............................................................Solomon Dyer

Josh Carter (Once)................................................................Junius Hampton

Billie Wildrick (Scandalous)..................................................Julia Hempstead

Greg Allen............................................................................Abraham Hutt

Brian Lange............................................................................Jacob Hutt

Alexander Killian...................................................................Uriah Higgins

James Schilling.......................................................................Enoch Brown

Heather Gonio.......................................................................Ensemble

Jasmine Sims.........................................................................Ensemble

Karen Skrinde........................................................................Ensemble

Ann Cornelius.........................................................................Ensemble

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About Village Theatre's Village Originals Program

Village Theatre's mission stipulates a dedication to the development of new musicals that achieve national exposure. The Village Originals program of readings, workshops, and developmental productions represents one of the strongest commitments to new musicals in the nation, developing such musicals as Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal, Tony Award-winning Million Dollar Quartet, Drama Desk Award-winner Cupid & Psyche, Stephen Schwartz's Snapshots, and the Drama Desk Award-nominated It Shoulda Been You, After the Fair, and Making Tracks. Village Theatre is one of the few resident theatres to provide regular opportunities at every step of musical development, from first table reading to full-scale premiere production. Each season, new works are included as part of Village Theatre's Mainstage five-show lineup alongside the classics. Anchored by the Annual Festival of New Musicals and The Beta Series, the Village Originals program is dedicated to the continued growth and evolution of musical theatre, and a determination that the form will remain vibrant and relevant for generations to come.

About Village Theatre

Based in Issaquah, WA, with operations in Everett, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining, quality productions for the entire family since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region's best-attended Equity theatres, with over 20,000 Subscribers and 200,000 projected total attendance each season. Through its Village Originals program, Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, having launched over 150 new works to date. Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow's audiences through its youth education programs, Pied Piper and KIDSTAGE, serving over 60,000 young people, families, and schools annually.

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