29th Annual Festival of New Musicals
October 19 - 20
Presenting Sponsor: Broadway Licensing
This year’s Festival featured shows selected from over 240 submissions from around the world, representing the breadth, depth and excitement of musical theatre today.Festival Program
Melody Betts, Adam Chanler-Berat, Laura Dadap, Nikko Kimzin, Ben Mayne, Mike Nappi, Emily Walton and Kevin Zak
Ideal Cast Size: 11
Ideal Band Size: 8-10
Style: Romantic Seriocomedy
Darling Grenadine is a seriocomic musical about Harry, a fanciful jingle composer, and his precarious relationships with his girlfriend Louise, his brother Paul, and his Labrador Retriever (…also named Paul). Told with a rich contemporary score and a wink to the classic MGM musical, Darling Grenadine explores the friction between romance and reality, bitter and sweet, serving something magical, moving, and boldly new.
Jon-Viktor Corpuz, Trista Dollison, Alan H. Green, Janine LaManna, Lacretta, Alyse Alan Louis, Ken Marks, Will Roland and David Shih
Ideal Cast Size: 4 F, 5 M
Ideal Band Size: 5
Fall Springs is a semi-charming, cash-strapped town that sits directly on top of America’s largest reserve of cosmetic essential oils. It has big dreams, but at what cost? With new fracking techniques being recklessly implemented, the ground beneath Fall Springs is crumbling. Boulders, sheds, and the occasional bartender are being swallowed into the ground. And that’s only the beginning.
GIRL Shakes Loose
Felicia Boswell, Juwan Crawley, Danielle Lee Greaves, Esco Jouléy, Ciara Renee, Antoine L. Smith, Shelley Thomas and NaTasha Yvette Williams
Ideal Cast Size: 6F, 3M
Ideal Band Size: 6
GIRL Shakes Loose is a three-city coming of age journey. GIRL finds herself in New York, unemployed, suddenly single and must figure out where she’s going and why she keeps making the same mistakes. It’s up to GIRL to figure out where home is and how (and if) she’ll get there.
The Ballad Of Klook And Vinette (fka Klook's Last Stand)
Bre Jackson and Kevyn Morrow
Ideal Cast Size: 1F, 1M
Ideal Band Size: 1-3
Style: Drama/Love Story
Klook is a drifter who’s gotten too old to drift. Vinette is on the run but she doesn’t know what’s chasing her.
Together they make a tentative stab at happiness, before the past they are evading begins to catch up with them. Tough, tender, funny and poignant, Klook’s Last Stand will grab you from the inside out. Soulful music and a lyrical text make this a mesmerising theatre experience.
Farah Alvin, Cat Brindisi, Brian D. Coats, CJ Eldred, Daniel Marcus, John Rubinstein, Isabella Russo, Jennifer Sanchez and Ian Saraceni
Ideal Cast Size: 4F, 5M
Ideal Band Size: 5
Albert, a sixth grader, has a monster living in his basement. When it captures his father, he enlists his brave new friend, Cassie, and together they embark on an epic journey to save his Dad and his family. The Passage is a coming-of-age story about two imaginative children confronting a reality stranger than anything they could imagine.
Brennan James Caldwell, Emily Jenda, Andrew Kober, Eric William Morris, Samia Mounts, Larry Owens, Hannah Shankman, Jenna Ushkowitz, Akron Watson and Rachel de Benedet
Ideal Cast Size: 6M, 6F
Ideal Band Size: 3-4 (can be expanded to 8)
In Persephone, a myth is raised from the dead, the gods are celebrities hounded by the paparazzi, and their saga is set to a pop/rock score. Teenage Persephone longs for independence from her mother Demeter, but her wish gets distorted when she finds herself trapped in the Underworld by Greece’s perennial bad boy, Hades. What follows is an off-beat, emotionally-charged coming-of-age story for ancient and modern times.
Matt Cowart and Lonny Price
Cody Owen Stine
Major Attaway, English Bernhardt, Alphonse Gonzales, John Hillner, Taylor Iman Jones, Chilina Kennedy, Chris McCarrell, Iris Sharp, Ryan Vona and Max Wilcox
Ideal Cast Size: 18-27
Ideal Band Size: 8-14
Style: Coming-of-Age Comedy
Prom Queen is inspired by the incredible, true story of Marc Hall, the Canadian teenager who took the Catholic School Board to court when they refused to let him attend prom with his boyfriend. In this fun and uplifting musical, Marc has to learn to be his own hero and fight for the right to be himself.
Lincoln Clauss, Mallory Hawks and Laura Jordan
Ideal Cast Size: 1M, 2F
Ideal Band Size: 5
Style: Pop Concert Dramedy
This pop concert dramedy follows Sam, a teenager in 1998 with nonverbal special needs, on his path to find a way to communicate. Shifting between cruel reality and pop star fantasy, Sam’s Room powerfully reveals the universal struggle with communication by giving a voice to someone who’s never had one.
THE MOON AND THE SEA by Creighton Irons (Factory Girls, Fest ’09)
ONE GOOD DAY by Rona Siddiqui & Liz Suggs
THE RIVER IS ME by Sukari Jones & Troy Anthony
HERO by Michael Mahler (How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back?, Fest ’09) & Aaron Thielen (The Bowery Boys, Fest ’10)
Hosted by Caesar Samayoa
Directed by Laura Brandel
Writers & Artists
Book & Lyrics, GIRL Shakes Loose
Zakiyyah Alexander‘s plays include: GIRL Shakes Loose (Penumbra Theatre 2017), Sick? (Summer Play Festival), The Etymology of Bird (Central Park Summerstage; Hip Hop Theater Festival; Providence Black Repertory Theatre), Blurring Shine (Market Theatre, Johannesburg; NY International Fringe Festival), Sweet Maladies (Brava Arts Center; Rucker Theatre; Bay Area Playwrights Festival), something new (commissioned by Philadelphia Theatre Company), and (900). A former resident of New Dramatists, her work has been developed at The O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, The MacDowell Colony, The Lark, etc. Past commissions: Second Stage, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, and the Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama (MFA playwriting), Zakiyyah has taught television writing for Columbia’s MFA program, formerly an associate professor at Bard College. She is a co-founder of The Kilroys, and her work has been included on the 2015 Kilroys List. Currently, she is a story editor on the Fox show 24 Legacy.
Lyrics & Music, Sam's Room
Caitlin Marie Bell studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she received her BM in vocal performance. She then moved to NYC and reconnected with her Americana roots in the Greenwich Village singer-songwriter circuit. There, she found her musical soulmates, forming Bell the Band. This summer, Caitlin travelled the country supporting fellow NYC group MisterWives. The tour supported her debut EP. The five song set gained early support from Spotify, and was featured on the cover of the New Roots playlist, contributing to the 300,000+ plays and 35,000 monthly listeners. Caitlin also plays keyboards and sings back-up vocals on tour with pop band Handsome Ghost.
Lyrics & Music, Sam's Room
Marc Campbell is a member of indie rock band MisterWives, dubbed by MTV as “the golden children of pop.” They currently have over 250 million streams and counting on Spotify and their first single was certified gold. The band recently played a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden playing with Brendon Uri (Panic! at the Disco). Marc has made numerous television performances, including Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, Seth Meyers, MTV, Good Morning America and The Today Show. The band has also received prominent billing in major U.S. music festivals including Bonnaroo, Firefly, Lalapalooza, Outside Lands, Bottle Rock and more.
Book, Sam's Room
Trey Coates-Mitchell – Directing credits: Sam’s Room at The Cell (New York Theatre Barn’s New Works Series). Choreographer credits: The Pirates of Penzance and Hairspray at Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, Wonderful Town at The Gallery Players, Harold Pinter’s The Lover at Gamut Theatre, Goodnight Moon and Nine at Hollins University, and Product Test for Sideways Contemporary Dance Company. Associate Choreographer credits: A Little Night Music at The Gallery Players (NYIT Nominee for Outstanding Production of a Musical), Rent, Dreamgirls and Evita. As an Acting for Dancers guest artist: Joffrey Ballet School, Project HEAL, Broadway Boot Camp, Troy University, and NYCDA’s Summer Dance Intensive.
Book & Lyrics & Music, The Passage
David Darrow is a composer, lyricist, playwright, and actor. Music and Lyrics: The Great Work (7th House Theater at The Guthrie), Rip. (Dovetail Theater), with Blake Thomas – Jonah and the Whale (7th House Theater at The Guthrie, Stoneham Theatre). He is the recipient of a 2015 Artist Initiative Grant from The Minnesota State Arts Board. He is an alumnus of the Moscow Art Theater Semester with The National Theater Institute, a former Acting Apprentice at The Actors Theatre of Louisville, and a graduate of Albright College. He is a founding member of 7th House Theater.
Music, Prom Queen
Colleen Dauncey is a composer/singer-songwriter who has collaborated with lyricist Akiva Romer-Segal on several musicals, including Going Under, Bremen Rock City, Rumspringa Break!, and Prom Queen: The Musical (recipient of the 2016 Stage West Pechet Family Musical Award). Colleen & Akiva are alumni of Theatre 20’s Composium, Acting Up Stage’s Noteworthy program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern University, and the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College. Their standalone songs have also been performed internationally in Cutting Edge Composers (NYC), Blame Canada (NYC, London, Canada), and more. Colleen writes and performs in several music groups, more at colleendauncey.com.
Oran Eldor: Composer: Persephone, Damascus Square, Sex Today, Love Tomorrow, Sesame Street (Israel), Peg + Cat (PBS). Orchestrations/arrangements: Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway revival, Dance Arrangements), Anastasia (Cast Album, additional orchestrations), John Legend, Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Chenoweth, Hugh Jackman, Deborah Voigt, Disney Parks, New York Philharmonic, L.A Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, The New York Pops, …Duddy Kravitz, The Great American Mousical, My Life is a Musical, Alan Menken. Education: BMI Workshop, Berklee College of Music.
Lyrics & Music, The Ballad Of Klook And Vinette (fka Klook's Last Stand)
Anoushka Lucas is a singer/songwriter and actress based in London. Since graduating from Oxford, she has released two self-produced EPs of her own jazz compositions. In 2013 she won the Jazz FM Love Supreme Competition and opened the inaugural Love Supreme Festival. She is currently completing an album due for release in 2017, supported by Jamie Cullum at Radio 2 and produced by Martin Terefe at Kensaltown Studios. She has co-composed the music for two original musicals written by Ché Walker, Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre, 2014) and The Etienne Sisters (Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2015), as well as playing in the band of Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill’s Lightning Child at The Globe in 2013. In 2016 she played Mary Magdalene in the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Considered by many to be the father of British Neo-soul, Omar Lyefook is a singer and multi-instrumentalist graduate of Guildhall School of Music who has written and performed with Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, and Angie Stone to name but a few. To date Omar has recorded and released seven albums and continues to tour extensively around Europe and America. In 2006, Omar was the recipient of both the Best Neo Soul Act and Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Urban Music Awards. In 2012, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Birthday Honours for services to music.
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Book & Lyrics, Fall Springs
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb 6’6”, is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include boom, The Totalitarians, Hunter Gatherers, BOB, and A House Tour of the Infamous Porter Family Mansion with Tour Guide Weston Ludlow Londonderry. His work has been produced worldwide including at Ars Nova, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Woolly Mammoth, Seattle Rep and many others. His first collaboration with Niko was in 2010, on songs for Litter: The True Story of the Framingham Dodecutuplets, a commission for A.C.T.. He is a recent alumni of New Dramatists and is the Mellon Playwright-in-Residence at Z Space in San Francisco. He likes to promote himself online at http://www.peternachtrieb.com.
Lyrics, Prom Queen
Akiva Romer-Segal and collaborator Colleen Dauncey have written the scores to Prom Queen, Bremen Rock City, Going Under, Scenes from the Bathhouse, Offline, and Rumspringa Break! as well as songs for cabaret performers, recording artists, and Broadway stars. Akiva was selected to participate in William Finn’s masterclass, Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project, Theatre 20’s Composium, Acting Up Stage’s Noteworthy, The Cutting-Edge Composers series in NYC and the Johnny Mercer American Songwriters Project in Chicago. Akiva and his collaborators were recipients of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s New Musical Award for Prom Queen. Find out more at colleenandakiva.com.
Book & Lyrics & Music, Sam's Room
Dale Sampson is a Grand National Champion in public speaking. Dale is the creator and star of his first written work, Sam’s Room, the 2017 inaugural recipient of New York Theatre Barn’s IMPACT Award. National Tour: Seussical (Cat In the Hat), NYC productions: Rent (Mark), Evita (Che), Propaganda! The Musical (Rookie [lead]) at NYMF and workshop at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Kingdom Come (Freddy/Michael) winner: Best Musical at DUTF, Best Imitation at FestivALL, Emerging Artists, and Midtown International Theatre Festival, Regional: The View UpStairs regional premiere (Wes), The Last Five Years (Jamie), Cinderella with the American Pops Orchestra (Fairy Godmother/King/Step Sister).
Lyrics, GIRL Shakes Loose
Sonia Sanchez. Poet. Mother. Professor. National and international lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice. Sponsor of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Board Member of MADRE. Sonia Sanchez is the author of over 16 books including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I’ve Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Under a Soprano Sky, Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon Press, 1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon Press, 1997), Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon Press, 1998), Shake Loose My Skin (Beacon Press, 1999), and most recently, Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010). She is the subject of the 2016 PBS featured documentary BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez.
Book, Prom Queen
Kent Staines is a Toronto-based actor, playwright and screenwriter. Television writing credits include: Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story (Tapestry Pictures / CTV), MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives (CBC series co-created with Mary Young Leckie), Moose TV (Rezolution Pictures / Showcase), Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story (Screen Door / CTV) and the feature film Anxietyville (Xenophile Media). Kent was awarded a Playwright Residency Program at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto (2008) to develop Prom Queen: The Musical. Kent and his collaborators were recipients of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s New Musical Award for Prom Queen.
Book & Lyrics, Persephone
Marcus Stevens is a member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop, ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. He has written book and lyrics to Red (Richard Rodgers Award; composer, Brian Lowdermilk), Eastburn Avenue, Elliot and the Magic Bed, as well as Yo, Vikings! (Published by Samuel French, Inc.; composer, Sam Willmott). He recently contributed material to Dragons Love Tacos and Other Stories for Theaterworks USA. Marcus is also an actor who was seen Off-Broadway in two editions of Forbidden Broadway and as God in An Act of God at Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Lyrics & Music, Fall Springs
Niko Tsakalakos is an award-winning singer-songwriter and composer-lyricist whose debut solo album, The First Snow, embodies his unique, edgy blend of theatre and pop. His new musical, Into the Wild, based on the book by Jon Krakauer and co-written with Janet Allard, received a workshop production at Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter, Michigan in April 2017. Niko’s musical Pool Boy, also written with Janet Allard, enjoyed a sold-out world premiere run at Barrington Stage Company in the summer of 2010 and was produced by NYU Steinhardt at Provincetown Playhouse in 2012. Check out his website at http://www.nikosongs.com.
Lyrics & Music, GIRL Shakes Loose
Composer and vocalist Imani Uzuri was a 2015-2016 Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence. She has performed at a myriad of international venues and festivals and has collaborated with a cross section of noted artists traversing many artistic disciplines. Her most recent album, The Gypsy Diaries, draws on her rural North Carolina roots. The Village Voice says, “Imani Uzuri is a constant surprise…seamlessly combining jazz, classical, country and blues motifs into highly personalized compositions.” Uzuri is a 2015-2017 Map Fund Grantee as composer for her contemporary opera Hush Arbor. She is currently composing a new full length musical Girl Shakes Loose with playwright Zakiyyah Alexander featuring the poetry of Sonia Sanchez. Uzuri is currently a 2016-17 Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow. She recently made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut and appeared as a featured performer on Black Girls Rock. Recent theater credits, Public Theater: composer for Public Works Troy and Mobile Unit’s Hamlet.
Book & Lyrics, The Ballad Of Klook And Vinette (fka Klook's Last Stand)
Ché Walker’s writing includes Been So Long, Flesh Wound
(Royal Court, winner George Devine Award 2003), Crazy Love
(Paines Plough, winner Peter Brook Award 2007). In 2008, Ché
made theatrical history with The Frontline, the first
contemporary-set new play to be performed at Shakespeare’s
Globe in London. His musical adaptation of Been So Long
premiered at the Young Vic and has just been adapted into a
feature film. The Lightning Child (2013) made history as
the first musical at Shakespeare’s Globe. Klook’s Last Stand
premiered at Park Theatre 2014, and The Etienne Sisters
played Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2015.
Book & Lyrics & Music, Darling Grenadine
Daniel Zaitchik is a composer-playwright, singer-songwriter, actor, and pianist. His projects include Picnic at Hanging Rock (book/music/lyrics), Darling Grenadine (book/music/lyrics), Ula (book/music/lyrics) and Suprema (with playwright Jordan Harrison). Zaitchik’s musicals have been selected three times for development at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference. His work has also been developed at Lincoln Center Theater, Ars Nova, New Dramatists, The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, and Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals. Darling Grenadine premiered at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in August 2017. As a singer-songwriter, Zaitchik’s recording projects include Summer of the Soda Fountain Girls and Bad Dancer. As an actor, he has worked at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage, Long Wharf Theatre and others. Honors include the 2017 Kleban Prize for most promising musical theatre lyricist, the Ester B. Kahn Career Entry Award from Boston University, the Frederick Loewe Award from New Dramatists (for Suprema) and the Georgia Bogarduz Holof Lyricist Award (for Picnic at Hanging Rock).