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'Once Upon a Wind' & 'So Happy I Could Scream' Readings 12/8

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is pleased to announce the winning selections of the 2008 TRU Voices New Musicals Series. In a series that is unique because it develops new producers as well as new musicals, two works were chosen from submissions by emerging or established producers, as well as writers. The works will be read on Mondays, December 8 and 15, 2008 at 7:30pm at The Players Theatre, located at 115 MacDougal Street, NYC.

The musicals chosen for the TRU Voices Series are: Once Upon a Wind, a musical about love, magic and lies by Tom Diggs and Jay D'Amico, produced by Sheila McDevitt; and So Happy I Could Scream!, a musical celebration of motherhood, with book by Judy Freed, music by Sari Miller, lyrics by Randi Wolfe and additional lyrics by Sari Miller, produced by Meredith Lucio/Wild Bird Productions.

Once Upon a Wind, with book and lyrics by Tom Diggs, music by Jay D'Amico, will be read on December 8, 2008 at 7:30pm, produced by Sheila McDevitt and directed by Jeremy Dobrish,

In war torn England, two teens attempt to make sense of their lives as they come of age through the lens of love, magic ... and lies. Based on the Cottingley Fairy Hoax, Once Upon a Wind is the story of the two teenagers who faked fairy photos during World War One and briefly fooled a grieving nation. As a straight play titled Yorkshire Tales, it won The Aurand Harris Prize, was a Princess Grace finalist, and was the ATHE Playworks selection for 2007 before it received an Off-Off Broadway workshop produced by On the Leesh Productions at The Michael Weller Theatre in October 2007.

Tom Diggs (book and lyrics) has had his work performed at major regional theatres, including East/West Players, Intiman Theatre, The Seattle Rep, and Moving Arts (L.A.). His play, Harper Lee's Husband, was a part of the 2005 Pittsburgh New Works Festival The Vital Theatre's Vital Signs, and was a finalist for a Samuel French Award. Nu Shu, was part of the Kennedy Center's New Works Festival in April 2006. The book for Once Upon a Wind won the Aurand Harris Award at NETC in 2006 and was developed at PlayWorks in July 2007. In the summer of 2007, The Kennedy Center and The National New Play Network commissioned Fair and Decent, which opened the 2007-2008 Luna Stage season in October. Mandala is currently being developed by The Lark and The Kennedy Center. Tom recently graduated from NYU's Tisch of the Arts with an MFA in Dramatic Writing. He was named a Dramatist Guild Fellow for 2007-2008 and is currently a member of the BMI Lyricists Workshop.

Jay D'Amico (music) made an impact on the jazz scene with his CD Ponte Novello in 2001. He recently returned to the inspirations of Italy with his CD Tuscan Prelude. D'Amico's unique style blends jazz and classical influences. Under the auspices of Art Podell of the New Christie Minstrels, D'Amico recorded a single which enjoyed near hit status. From 1984 through September 10, 2001, D'Amico performed as the Pianist-in-Residence at New York's Windows on the World. In 1990, he released the solo recording, From the Top. He released Ponte Novello in 2001, which featured D'Amico's original compositions along side his arrangements of arias by Puccini, Verdi and Bellini.

Jeremy Dobrish (director) - Recent Off Broadway: Inner Voices: Solo Songs (Zipper), Spain (MCC), Election Day (Second Stage). Regional: Barrington Stage, Goodspeed, Hangar, North Shore, NY Stage and Film, O'Neill, Village. Theatreworks USA: Curious George (writer/director), and Paul Revere. Festivals: Fringe, NYMF, SPF. Jeremy has served as an Artistic Associate at Second Stage, and was the Artistic Director of Adobe Theatre Company for 13 years, for which he has written and/or directed over twenty plays. He also directed Hell Hole Honeys in the 2007 TRU Voices New Musicals Series.

Sheila McDevitt (producer) is the founder and co-Artistic Director of id Theater, a development based company dedicated to the playwright and making better theater...one play at a time. To date, id's Seven Devils Playwrights Conference has produced over 70 staged and sit-down readings over 9 years. id's NYC Sit In! gives playwrights in NYC a chance to hear their works in an East Village venue once a month. Sheila also co-produced for Quirk Productions for many years, a company dedicated to re-telling and adapting the mythic Greek story cycles. Sheila also acts and directs.

So Happy I Could Scream! will be read on December 15, 2008 at 7:30pm. Book by Judy Freed, music by Sari Miller, lyrics by Randi Wolfe and additional lyrics by Sari Miller, produced by Meredith Lucio, Wild Bird Productions. The show was developed at Theatre Building Chicago.

So Happy I Could Scream! is a musical revue celebrating the challenges and rewards of motherhood. Touching, humorous, and thought-provoking, it transports the audience to a bewildering world of love, relationships, discipline, gender roles, career paths, sex, family planning, and facing the empty nest. Featuring an upbeat mix of contemporary song styles, monologues, and scenes, So Happy I Could Scream! will appeal to anyone who is a mother - or has one. So Happy I Could Scream! began at a kitchen table in the Chicago suburbs and was developed at Theatre Building Chicago, where it was seen in the Monday Night Musicals series and at Stages 2007, a festival of new musicals-in-progress. It recently received a concert reading at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Illinois.

Judy Freed (book) has seen her plays and musicals performed in the United Kingdom, New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington, and throughout the Midwest. Her writing has been recognized by the National Music Theater Conference and the American Alliance for Theatre & Education. Musicals include Sleepy Hollow (developed at the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop and produced throughout the Midwest); Emma & Company (named a "theatrical highlight of 2001" by Back Stage); Me and Al, or How I Died in the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre (showcased at the International Festival of Musical Theatre); and Somebody Else's Troubles (featuring the songs of Grammy-winning songwriter Steve Goodman). Judy is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc. and Theatre Building Chicago's musical theater writers workshop.

Sari Miller (music, additional lyrics) graduated from Barnard College, where she received the Program in the Arts Award in Music and the Lefrak Prize for Creative Writing in Music. Her song Chalom (the Dream), co-written with lyricist Sara Cohen, was a runner-up in the World Category of the 2001 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Sari has worked as a musical director and performer for various children's theater programs including New York Kids on Stage and Jewish Theater for Young Audiences. She is a member of Theatre Building Chicago's musical theater writers workshop.

Randi Wolfe (lyrics) has been a member of Theatre Building Chicago's musical theater writers workshop since 2004. A member of the Academy for New Musical Theatre in Los Angeles since 2006, she is currently serving on the ANMT Board of Directors. Equally important to her lyric-writing is her 30-year career working with children and parents. Having been a preschool teacher, day care center director, director of a family support center, and Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education, she relocated to Los Angeles in 2007 to work in workforce development in the early care and education industry. While her professional background lends insight to her lyrics, nothing has impacted her more profoundly than raising two children. Their love, patience, and inspiration have been at the center of her contribution to So Happy I Could Scream!

Meredith Lucio / Wild Bird Productions (producer) Producer of Best Musical in 2007 (Take Me America) and Best Musical (Commercial), Producer's Award for Excellence in 2008 (Opa!) at Midtown Theatre Festival. Writer of the Examiner.com Column about Producing Theatre in NYC.

The TRU Voices Series' track record is impressive. Among the shows that began in the series are The Great American Trailer Park Musical by Betsy Kelso and David Nehls, which went on to a popular off-Broadway two seasons ago and is currently touring; Nor'mal by Yvonne Adrian, Cheryl Stern and Tom Kochan, which went on to win a Larsen Award and played a limited in the East Village starring Barbara Walsh; and last year's Opa! by Mari Carras and Laurel Ollstein, which was a recent sell-out hit of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. For the 2001 Series, TRU President Bob Ost cast the perfect actress for the one-woman musical The Ambition Bird by Matthew Sheridan, Victoria Clark (who won a Tony for Light in the Piazza). The show went on to be a selection at the Cardiff Wales International Festival, as was About Face by David Arthur, which played this past summer in the New York Musical Festival (NYMF). And in the 2005 Series, TRU found a producer for Saint Heaven, a writer submission from Martin Casella and Keith Gordon; TRU put the show in the hands of Van Dean and Hillary Cutter of Van Hill Entertainment, and also matched Van and Hillary with mentor Broadway producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld (Legally Blonde, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, In the Continuum). As a result of this successful partnership, Saint Heaven moved from a reading in December ‘05 into a full production in June ‘06 at the Stamford Center for the Performing Arts starring Deborah Gibson and Tony winner Chuck Cooper and it is scheduled this fall at The Village Theatre in Issaqua, Washington.

TRU was founded in 1992 to promote a spirit of cooperation and support within the general theater community by providing information and a variety of entertainment-related services and resources that strengthen the business capabilities of producing organizations, individual producers, self-Producing Artists and other theater professionals. The company holds monthly seminars on a wide range of subjects important to theatrical producers conducted by panels of experts from both the commercial and not-for-profit worlds. TRU also publishes a print newsletter and a monthly email community newsletter. In addition, TRU served as the umbrella organization for a co-production by several of its member companies as a part of the first annual New York Fringe Festival. From that experience, the organization has expanded its production efforts by creating the TRU VOICES New Play Reading Series and the TRU VOICES New Musicals Reading Series. In 2001, TRU began giving annual scholarships to The Commercial Theater Institute, to encourage the development of aspiring producers, and most recently created a Producer Mentoring Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York theater.

This series is made possible in part through the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Friars National Association Foundation.

The 2008 TRU Voices Series will take place at The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street, NYC.

Schedule of readings:

Monday, December 8 at 7:30pm - Once Upon a Wind
Monday, December 15 at 7:30pm - So Happy I Could Scream!

Admission is FREE but reservations are required. Online ticketing is available at www.theplayerstheatre.com or phone 212-475-1449. For more information, visit www.truonline.org.

 


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