ENCORE THEATER COMPANY
Encore Theater Company in association with Sinclair Community College will present a developmental production of the new musical NEXT THING YOU KNOW written by Drama Desk Nominees JOSHUA SALZMAN & RYAN CUNNINGHAM August 12-14, 2010 at Sinclair’s Blair Hall Theatre. (Note…there is an opportunity for you to win tickets to this show. Details are found at the end of this post!)
Joshua Salzman (music) and Ryan Cunningham (book and lyrics) met at the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Their thesis musical, I Love You Because went on to be professionally produced Off-Broadway, earned a Drama Desk nomination for the team, spawned a cast album on PS Classics and garnered a licensing deal with Theatrical Rights Worldwide, resulting in productions both nationally and internationally including Encore Theater Company’s own regional production several seasons ago.
“The opportunity to see our show developed outside of NY, under a dedicated and enthusiastic team of actors and directors, is invaluable”, says composer Joshua Salzman, “The nurturing and safe environment ETC provides for musical theater writers to hone their craft is essential to the creative process of developing a new musical”.
Salzman & Cunningham spent several days in Dayton developing the show which the creators describe this way:
“Real life comes real fast. One day you wake up, and instead of a hangover, you have a job. Instead of a fling, you have a live-in girlfriend. And instead of naïve dreams, you have reality. For four artists in New York City, discovering yourself can take a lot longer than you think. The little joys and compromises that bring us into adulthood are brought to life in this all-new musical”.
The cast for the Dayton engagement of NEXT THING YOU KNOW includes: Amy Leigh (Waverly), Matthew D. Curry (Luke), BethAnn Wipprecht (Lisa) and JJ Parkey (Darren). Production staff include David Brush (Director), Shawn Storms (Assistant Director), Jackson Gallagher (Lighting Design), Nathan Dean (Sound Design), and Ally Wetz (Stage Manager).
The cast and staff of NEXT THING YOU KNOW shared some thoughts with me about working directly with the writing team, and what it means to originate a character in a brand new piece of musical theater. Excerpts are below, but you can read more of their thoughts on the production blog at NextThingYouKnowDayton.wordpress.com and listen to an interview with the cast and writing team at MusicalWorld.us .
As the weekend with the writer’s approached in July, what did you feel most anxious about?
Amy Leigh: “I was nervous that Josh and Ryan were seeing us do the entire show just after we’d blocked it, before we had time to settle into the scenes. I wanted to prove to them that, although we might stumble on lines, lyrics, or notes here and there, that we honor the original intent of their show. But they were anything but judgmental. They seemed to truly appreciate seeing the show on its feet, and having their input really completed the experience for me.”
JJ Parkey: “I was afraid that their presence in the room would be really intimidating, but as it turns out, Ryan and Josh are absolutely WONDERFUL to work with. They were so very supportive of what we were all doing, and the entire weekend was a very positive experience. Ryan and Josh brought about a sense of grounding to the project for me.
Describe the experience of working directly with the creators of a new piece of theater.
Matthew D. Curry: “Having Josh there to guide us through deeper meaning of our music, and Ryan giving us hints and clues to where our character’s thoughts lie, weather we thought we had it or not, gave me personally a truer look into Luke. And that’s an experience you never get with just a script and our own analysis of the writer’s words.”
What has it been like, leading a team of actors through the discovery of new characters that have never before been seen on stage?
Shawn Storms, assistant director: “I have found this process easier than the work I have done with new plays. I feel that it has much to do with the extremely talented cast of this show. They have been open and eager to try new things; go with the flow. I feel that without that beautiful collaborative spirit, this show would never have evolved in the many ways it has.
It has been a pleasure to witness each character’s evolution. To see the script change, new moments discovered, and songs soar. I hope that our audiences see what a gem this show is!”
Why did ETC choose a new musical, one that nobody in Dayton has even heard of before, as the finale for it’s summer theatrical season?
David Brush, director: “This kind of development is what new shows need – a long term commitment to walk a show from one step to the next and allow creators to make changes, additions and deletions along the way. This gets at the very heart of ETC’s mission and we are thrilled to kick off the program with two amazing young, fresh talents like Ryan and Josh.”
NEXT THING YOU KNOW is part of Encore Theater Company’s New Musicals In Development program which includes a focus on developing new work through podcasts, readings, and development productions.
For more Information & Tickets, visit:
NEXT THING YOU KNOW (August 12-14) Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 on the day of the performance. Please note: this show contains adult language and situations. Visit http://www.EncoreTheaterCompany.com for tickets.
WIN TICKETS TO Next Thing You Know!
Encore Theater Company & DaytonMostMetro.com are giving away a pair of tickets to NEXT THING YOU KNOW. It’s really easy to enter. The deadline to enter is Noon on Wednesday, August 11th.
1. In the comment section below, answer this question…WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE OMELET INGREDIENTS? (Yeah, we know…it doesn’t make sense, but if you come see NTYK it will!)
2. Share this DMM post on Facebook! At the bottom of this post there are buttons to like, tweet & share this…Please share it! For every 10 FACEBOOK SHARES of this post, we’ll add a pair of tickets (up to 6 pairs!). The more people who share this, the more chances there are to win!
Dayton Area Casting Calls:
Grey Gardens: The Musical
THE SEED THEATRE PROJECT Open Auditions
Continuing the 2010-2011 theatrical season with the SEED theatre project will be the area premier of Scott Frankel, Michael Korie & Doug Wright’s musical Grey Gardens. Grey Gardens: The Musical will be directed by Adam J. Leigh. In addition, Judy Mansky serves as music director while Shayne Thomas Petty serves as assistant director.
Fresh from Broadway where it was nominated for ten Tony Awards in 2007, this new musical was inspired by the 1975 Maysles brothers documentary of the same name. Grey Gardens tells the entertaining and poignant story of two unconquerable women, Edith Bouvier Beale and her adult daughter Edie, the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Once known as two of the brightest stars in the social register, these two women became East Hampton’s most infamous “reclusive inhabitants”, sharing their rundown 28-room mansion with 52 stray cats and rabid raccoons. From the glittering high society of 1940s New York to the tabloid headlines that rocked the Kennedy clan in 1970s, Grey Gardens hurls you into American royalty and poses the questions: When do private lives become public fascinations? How much is too much? And where does it stop?
Open Auditions for this show will be held on Tuesday, August 10th and Wednesday, August 11th. They will begin at 7pm each night. Auditions will be held at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center – 1000 N. Keowee Street – Dayton, OH 45420. Performers will only need to attend one night of auditions for consideration.
Performance dates are Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th, 2010.
For more information please contact Adam Leigh via phone at (937)219-7835 or via email at [email protected] or visit SEED’s website for casting requirements and additional audition details: www.SEEDtheatreproject.org
The Sugar Witch
THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD Open Auditions
The Dayton Theatre Guild announces open auditions for it’s upcoming production of THE SUGAR WITCH by Nathan Sanders.
Auditions will take place August 23rd & 24th, 2010 at 7 pm in The Dayton Theatre Guild’s Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape at 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, OH 45410. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script
The show, directed by Doug Lloyd and produced by Debra Kent is set in the Florida swamp country of the Watchalahoochee River unfolding an at times eerie, weird and often very funny story of what’s left of the Bean family, Moses and Sisser, along with Annabelle, the Sugar Witch. And yes, there may be flying cats, casting of spells, country music, not to mention a few possible surprises.
Performance Dates: October 22nd – November 7th, 2010
Sisser – Female – Late 20’s to late 30’s – Southern, Obese, and somewhat mad. A wheel chair bound lover of little Debbie Snack cakes. She is capable of anything – even murder.
Ruth Ann Meeks – Female – Late 20’s to Mid 30’s – Southern, Racist, and half insane. A “church-goer”, plain, not necessarily pretty, most likely the product of incest.
Annabelle – African-American Female – Mid 40’s to 50’s – Southern swamp mystic and conjure woman. She brews magical potions from sugar cane molasses. Annabelle is the last in a long line of powerful “Sugar-Witches”.
Moses Bean – Male – mid 20’s – Southern, Handsome and boyish. He is a mechanic at the local Texaco station. Innocent and virginal; a gender reversed “Sleeping Beauty”.
Hank Hartley – Male – 30’s – Southern, handsome and strong. He is the play’s “gentleman caller”. He has recently returned to Sugar Bean to take over his family funeral home business. Hank is madly “in-love” but yet hiding a dark secret.
Granddaddy Meeks – Male – 60’s to 70’s – Southern, redneck, racist, abusiveand mean. He is Ruth Ann’s Grandfather.
Additional information about The Dayton Theatre Guild can be found online at www.DaytonTheatreGuild.org
Shane Anderson & David Brush work with locally based Encore Theater Company. ETC recently moved into the new arts collective space in the Oregon District, along with Zoot Theatre Co. & Rhythm in Shoes. Anderson, Brush & ETC are currently in the midst of their summer season of new musicals in downtown Dayton, which featured Johnathan Larson’s RENT, [title of show] & the upcoming new musical in development Next Thing You Know.
Would you like to submit theater news for DaytonMostMetro.com’s onStageDayton features? Email Shane & Dave at [email protected]