John D. Haggerty

John D. Haggerty Joins Cast of PLAY LIKE A WINNER at NYMF, July 25-30

John D. Haggerty
John D. Haggerty

Play Like A Winner, the new musical by Erik Johnke & David Wolfson and winner of last year’s NYMF Developmental Reading Award, will have performances during the 2017 New York Musical Festival (NYMF) from Tuesday, July 25th – Sunday, July 30th. Inspired by the award-winning play It’s All About the Kids by Caytha Jentis, Play Like a Winner is a hilarious new satire about the fiercely competitive world of girls soccer that begs the question – just how far would you go for your child?

Lucile Lortel-nominee Jessica Tyler Wright (Allegro) leads the cast of Play Like A Winner. Wright will be joined by an ensemble cast featuring John D. Haggerty,  Zoe Wilson, Frank Viveros, Kristian Espiritu, Nicolas Dromard, Megan Kane, Casey Erin Clark and Karen Burthwright. The production will also feature direction by Kevin Connors (Mothers and Sons Off-Broadway), scenic design by Starlet Jacobs, lighting design by Michael Blagys, costume design by Molly Seidel, and general management by Simpson & Longthorne Theatricals.

Performances of Play Like a Winner will take place as part of the 2017 New York Musical Festival’s Next Link Project at New York’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 W. 42nd Street, between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). Schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, July 25 at 8:00pm
Thursday, July 27 at 10:30am
Saturday, July 29 at 1:00pm
Sunday, July 30 at 5:30pm
Sunday, July 30 at 9:00pm

Tickets for Play Like a Winner, as well as the rest of this year’s New York Musical Festival selections, can be purchased online at

Twitter: @sccrmommusical

JESSICA TYLER WRIGHT (Kathy) most recently starred as Pacquette in NYCO’s critically acclaimed production of Candide, directed by Hal Prince. Featured credits include – Broadway: Sweeney Todd, Company, Love Musik and War Horse. Off Broadway/NY: Allegro, (Lortel Nomination), Candide (NYCO ’08). Regional: Marian in Music Man and Lili in Kiss Me Kate (MTWichita), KT in Merrily We Roll Along (Cincinnati Playhouse), Grace in Annie (North Shore MT), Irene in Crazy For You (MTWichita and CA Music Circus), Mary Jane in Big River (Papermill), and Kost in Cabaret (CA Music Circus). Television: “Blue Bloods” and a national commercial for Nexium.

JOHN D. HAGGERTY (Announcer/Parent/Ensemble) Previous NYMF: Deployed. Broadway/National Tour: Les Miserables. New York theatre includes B-Side, The Directors Company, EST, Five Senses, Mirror Rep, MultiStages, NAAP, TACT, Target Margin, Theater Masters, Theatre 167, York, et al.; regional and stock: Barnstormers, Forestburgh Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Media Theatre, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Red House Arts, Tuacahn Arts, Wheelock; TV: Gotham. Web: Three Trembling Cities. Special thanks to Michael Cassara!

ZOE WILSON (Jenna) appears as White Effie in the upcoming season of “Orange is the New Black,” is a proud member of the award-winning Transport Group Theatre Company (Wendy in Peter Pan at The Signature, Helen Keller in Three Days to See at NYTW), plays ukulele, writes music and will release her single this year. Thank you Kevin Connors, Michael Cassara (for this incredible opportunity), Lauren Singer Talent, Innovative Artists, her parents, and the entire cast and crew! Her NYMF debut is dedicated to her beloved dog Archie.

FRANK VIVEROS (Gary) is thrilled to be part of this year’s NYMF with this hilarious piece. He can be seen this fall as an original cast member of the Off-Broadway revival of “Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly.” Favorites include: Ubaldo Piangi – The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary; Agwe – Once on This Island; Adolfo Pirelli – Sweeney Todd; Ken – Ain’t Misbehavin; Bloat – Finding Nemo, The Musical. Gracias to his family, friends and Matt!

KRISTIAN ESPIRITU (Allison). Recent credits include: Lysistrata at Two Headed Rep (Kinesias), Scorched at American Theater of Actors (Margaret), The Last Word at NYMF ’16 (Ensemble), and Here Lies Love at The Public Theater (Soloist/Ensemble). Kristian is also the head-banging front woman of Over The Pass – EP available now.

NICOLAS DROMARD (Nick) is thrilled to be part of Play Like a Winner after having just closed the production of Jersey Boys on Broadway as Tommy DeVito. Other favorite credits include: Bert in Mary Poppins, Fiyero in Wicked, Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, Phil Davis in White Christmas, Tulsa in Gypsy, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Oklahoma, West Side Story, The Boy from Oz. For more visit

MEGAN KANE (Tracy) Previous NYMF: God’s Country, the reading of The Calico Buffalo. Other recent NY credits include her sold out one-woman show Megan Kane: It’s About Time (Fienstein’s/54 Below). Regional: Hairspray (Arvada Center), A Christmas Carol (Alley Theatre), A Little Night Music (Houston Grand Opera), Gay Bride Of Frankenstein (Seacoast Repertory Theatre), Marvelous Wonderettes (Brickhouse Theatre). Film: “Welcome To New York.” Training: Webster Conservatory. Love to her family and soon-to-be husband, Ben!

CASEY ERIN CLARK (Melissa) is thrilled to be back on the soccer field! (Developing new musicals is her favorite thing.) Les Miserables tour (Factory Girl, u/s Fantine, 2013 Oscars performance), Frankenstein (Agatha) and Shout! the mod musical (Red Girl), both Off-Broadway, and four previous NYMF shows. Regional favorites: Sound of Music (Maria, STL Post Best Actress Award) and Little Women (Jo, Kevin Kline Award nomination). In addition to her acting career, Casey is a sought-after voice and public speaking coach.

KAREN BURTHWRIGHT (Janet / Parent / Ensemble) NYMF debut! Broadway/Off-Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar (2012 Revival), Disenchanted (Westside Theatre); Chicago: Sweet Charity (Writers’ Theatre), Ragtime, Hot Mikado, and Aida (Drury Lane Oakbrook). Regional/Canada/1st National Tours: Sousatzka (The Elgin Theatre), Cabaret (Cape Playhouse), Legally Blonde (Drayton Ent.), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (FST), Jesus Christ Superstar (La Jolla Playhouse/Stratford Festival), Dirty Dancing, Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, Rocky Horror (Canadian Stage/MTC). Love to mommy!

Erik Johnke (Book & Lyrics) is a playwright, lyricist, and poet. Plays and musicals include GOD’S COUNTRY (music by Elaine Chelton), produced at NYMF in 2013, CAT: ADVENTURES OF A CATERPILLAR (music by David Wolfson), a finalist in the National Children’s Theater Festival, THE BODY POLITIC produced at manhattantheatresource, PARTITION, a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award, REBOOT, a finalist for the National Ten-Minute Play Contest, and produced at The Heartland Theatre Company. MFA Goddard College. Member, BMI Librettist Workshop.

David Wolfson (Music) is enjoying an eclectic career, having composed opera, musical theatre, touring children’s musicals, and incidental music for plays; choral music, band music, orchestral music, chamber music, art songs, and music for solo piano; comedy songs, cabaret songs and one memorable score for an amusement park big-headed-costumed-character show. His CD Seventeen Windows is available from Albany Records, iTunes and For more information:

Caytha Jentis (Playwright) is an independent filmmaker. Her current project is a comedic series called THE OTHER F WORD. The cast includes Steve Guttenberg and Judy Gold. Jentis’ features include BAD PARENTS starring Janeane Garofalo and Cheri Oteri, based on her award-winning stage play, IT ‘S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS, and AND THEN CAME LOVE starring Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt. She has an MFA from UCLA in screenwriting and a BS in TV/Film from Syracuse University.

Kevin Connors (Director) – Off-Broadway – PRIME TIME PROPHET, JUKEBOX SATURDAY NIGHT, THE ABANDONED LOVES OF FREDERICK R., LIFE ANONYMOUS, LOVER, BABES OFF BROADWAY, and MOTHERS AND SONS. Composer/ Lyricist for numerous musicals, including A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A LIVE RADIO PLAY published by Co-Founder/Artistic Director of Music Theatre of Connecticut where he has directed more than 60 award-winning AEA MainStage productions including NEXT TO NORMAL, THE FANTASTICKS, EDGES, JOHN & JEN, DOUBT, EVITA, MASTER CLASS, and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

Pim Van Amerongen (Choreographer) is thrilled to be joining the ’team’ of Play Like A Winner at NYMF this summer! Previous works include 10 NIGHTS IN A BARROOM and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. As a performer, Pim has been seen in national tours, regional theaters, and cruise ships around the world. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory. @pimvanam

Starlet Jacobs (Scenic Designer) Previous credits include WHITE CHRISTMAS (Arts Center-Coastal Carolina), BELL, BOOK, & CANDLE (Naples Players), A SCYTHE OF TIME (NYMF), DISASTER! (Associate, Broadway), BRIGHT STAR (Associate, Old Globe), and SECONDHAND LION (Associate, 5th Avenue). Scarlet has art directed on “Saturday Night Live!,” “The Tonight Show,” “Huffington Post Live,” on several web series and commercials, and on comedy specials for Netflix and EPIX. She received an MFA in Scenic Design from UCLA, and a BA in Music and Art from the University of Washington.

Michael Blagys (Lighting Designer) Michael is a Connecticut-based Lighting Designer who has created designs for over 45 productions (straight plays to large-scale musicals) in 18 venues and 7 different states. Michael holds an MFA degree from UMASS Amherst and a B.A. in Theater Arts from Le Moyne College.

Molly Seidel (Costume Design) is a NYC based designer and artist. Recent credits include: Off- Broadway: The Dressmaker’s Secret (59E59), The Woodsman (New World Stages, 59E59, Theater Close-Up PBS/ BroadwayHD); Regional: Heathers: The Musical (White Plains Performing Arts Center, NY Regional Premiere), In The Heights (White Plains Performing Arts Center, BroadwayWorld Award for Best Costume Design); Other Credits: Buddhas are Screaming in China (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, Outstanding Use of Special Effects Award), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Place Players). The Juilliard School’s Professional Intern Program in Costume Design. BFA in Fine Art, Ithaca College.

Willie Porter (Stage Manager) is so excited to be a part of the Play Like A Winner team. Recent credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (The Muny), Ring Twice for Miranda (Off-Broadway), First Date (Blumenthal Performing Arts Center), Fiddler on the Roof, Young Frankenstein, 42nd Street, Beauty and the Beast, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, and Hairspray (The Muny).

Sean McCain (Assistant Stage Manager) is an Artistic Ensemble member of Resonance Ensemble and has worked with the following companies, among others: Axial Theatre Company, Abingdon Theatre Company, Rachel Reiner Productions, Miranda Theatre Company, York Theatre Company, Theatre 167, Hoi Polloi, Castillo Theatre, Summer Theatre of New Canaan, White Plains PAC, MultiStages, Theatreworks USA, Black Hills Playhouse, Capital Repertory Theatre, Second Stage, Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science, League of Professional Theatre Women, Penguin Random House, and Naked Angels.

The New York Musical Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater. Now in its fourteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 24 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work “creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form.”

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. 2017 NYMF is sponsored by The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, PRG, TheaterMania, Clear Channel Outdoor and the Village Voice, and is supported, in part, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The NYMF PASS is a great way to experience The New York Musical Festival. With a NYMF PASS, you can get into the theater before individual ticket holders. Passes also offer the exclusive ability to book tickets before they go on sale to the public. Individual tickets on sale now.

The 2017 New York Musical Festival will take place July 10 – August 6. For more information, please visit:

NAAP Broadway Community Chorus -An Evening of Jerry Herman with Special Guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty

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Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and

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