Prospect Theater Company is presenting the world premiere of Notes From Now, directed and choreographed by Billy Bustamante from March 2-20, 2022 at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street). This brand-new musical anthology, bringing together songwriters from Broadway and beyond, weaves together words and music to create a gallery of playful, provocative, and profound observations on the human journey.
The line-up features newly-commissioned original songs created by 21 of today’s brightest musical theater writers: Jay Adana; Troy Anthony; Masi Asare; Jeff Blumenkrantz; Georgie Castilla and Jaime Lozano; Gretchen Cryer; Tia DeShazor and Derrick Byars; Alexandra Elle and Stephen Schwartz; Adam Gwon; Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar; Peter Mills; Michelle Rodriguez; Ryan Scott Oliver; Angela Sclafani; Paulo K Tiról; and Amanda Yesnowitz and Deborah Abramson.
Notes From Now offers a dynamic musical reflection of our contemporary world, spanning a wide range of song styles. Sean Peter Forte serves as Music Director. Macy Schmidt, recently named to Forbes ’30 Under 30’ music list for 2022, is the Orchestrator.
Notes From Now will play March 2 – 20, 2022 on the following performance schedule: Tuesdays – Fridays at 7:00pm; Saturdays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; and Sundays at 2:00pm. There are Wednesday matinees at 2:00pm on March 9 and March 16.
Tickets, starting at $25 for “first look” performances, are now available and can be purchased by visiting www.59e59.org or by calling 646-892-7999. Student Rush tickets are also available.
All tickets on March 2nd & 3rd are just $25! And, if you are 30 years of age or younger, sign up for 59e59’s FREE “30 & Under” Membership program and save even more.
Promo code PTCEB saves over 35% on regular price tix March 11-20.
Additional information, including complete casting and creative team, will be announced shortly. For more information, please visit ProspectTheater.org.
BILLY BUSTAMANTE (Director/Choreographer) is a NYC-based Performer, Director/Choreographer, Performer and Photographer. His Directing/choreography credits include The Adding Machine, LaChiusa’s The Wild Party, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Prospect Theater Company, Arden Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Goodspeed, Lincoln Center & National Asian Artists Project. Broadway performing credits include Miss Saigon (Engineer alt.), The King And I (Lun Tha u/s). Off-Broadway/ Regional: Soft Power and Here Lies Love at the Public Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Arena Stage, Old Globe and Paper Mill Playhouse. Billy studied musical theatre at Philadelphia’s University Of The Arts and is a proud member of SDC, AEA and SAG/AFTRA. He is co-founder of Broadway Barkada, and is on faculty at Jen Waldman Studio and Circle In the Square Theatre School. Billy is passionately committed to the development of new artists and building a more equitable world.
SEAN PETER FORTE (Music Director) (he/him) is a Brooklyn-based musical director, conductor, pianist, arranger, and occasional actor-musician. Most recently he was the associate musical director of Daniel Fish’s Most Happy which was a part of Bard Summerscape 2021. He also served as the associate musical director for the national tour of Fiasco Theater’s Into the Woods and has worked regionally at Paper Mill Playhouse and Ogunquit Playhouse. He’s been a rehearsal pianist on several Broadway shows, including the 2019 Oklahoma! Revival, Tina, Mean Girls, and A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder. He is currently developing a few new theatrical pieces and works with Broadway actress Bianca Marroquin as her musical director.
MACY SCHMIDT (Orchestrator) is an Egyptian-American Orchestrator & Music Director based who was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Music list for her work as Founder & CEO of The Broadway Sinfonietta, an all female-identifying, majority women-of-color orchestra showcasing BIPOC women musicians on Broadway. Recent projects include: TINA (Broadway), Kimberly Akimbo (Off-Bway), Disney’s Aida (upcoming revival), and Beauty and the Beast (UK tour), the musical adaptation of Chelsea Clinton’s SHE PERSISTED (Music Supervisor), and the acclaimed Ratatouille musical, for which her orchestration work was praised by The New York Times for its likeness to a “classic Disney Act I finale in the brassy manner of Alan Menken.” She is represented by ICM Partners
DEBORAH ABRAMSON (Writer) has served as Music Director or Associate Music Director for several Broadway and Off-Broadway premieres, including Spring Awakening, James Joyce’s The Dead, Bernarda Alba, Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones, and Broadbend, Arkansas. First Children’s Music Director on Broadway, for Matilda the Musical. Music Director for world premiere of The Gardens Of Anuncia (Old Globe) and English-language premiere of Maybe Happy Ending (Alliance Theatre). As composer, she has written Old Older Oldest (with William Finn), Young Marco Polo (with Peter Mills, developed with Prospect), The History of War (with Amanda Yesnowitz and Chip Zien), and While I Wait (with Amanda Yesnowitz).
JAY ADANA (Writer) (she/her) is loud and shy. The Loophole (Public Theater Studio, music and lyrics), The Woodsman (New World Stages, lyrics), Fingerpaintings (Playwrights Horizons Downtown, music and lyrics), LeFay (Musical Theater Factory, book and lyrics), The Last Tiger in Haiti (Berkeley Rep/La Jolla Playhouse, contributed music and lyrics). 2020 Richard Rodgers Award for The Loophole with Zeniba Now, 2021 Vivace Award for Vera & The Battle For New Seoul with Zeniba Now, 2018 Jonathan Larson Award, 2019 Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow. Work featured by PBS, The American Theater Wing, Joe’s Pub, and The Dramatist Magazine.
TROY ANTHONY (Writer) is a Kentucky-born composer, director, and theater-maker based in NYC practicing Black queer joy. He is the founding artistic director of the Fire Ensemble where he focuses on the intersection between music theater, community practice, and social justice. He has presented work at The Shed, Joe’s Pub, Musical Theater Factory (MTF), Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, Prospect Theater Company, and JACK to name a few. Commissions include The 5th Avenue Theater, Public Theater, The Shed, and The Civilians. He has also been seen in the Public Theater’s Hercules, Twelfth Night and As You Like It. Troy recently received the Vivace Award from the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation and is currently an artist-in-residence at The Chelsea Factory.
MASI ASARE (Writer) is a composer, lyricist, and playwright. Shows: Paradise Square (Broadway/Nederlander Theatre Chicago); The Family Resemblance (Theatre Royal Stratford East commission, developed O’Neill Center); Monsoon Wedding (upcoming international tour planned); Sympathy Jones (NYMF/Playscripts); Mirror of Most Value (Marvel/Samuel French); and commissions from Barbara Whitman/Grove Entertainment and Victory Gardens Theatre. Honors: Dramatists Guild Fellowship; inaugural Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award for a woman composer of musicals; Holof Lyricist Award and Haupt Composition Prize from the O’Neill Center; Stacey Mindich “Go Write A Musical” Lilly Award. Masi holds degrees from Harvard and NYU Tisch and is on faculty at Northwestern University.
JEFF BLUMENKRANTZ (Writer) received a Best Score Tony Award nomination as one of the co-writers of Urban Cowboy. His musical Scaffolding was performed by Rebecca Luker for the 2018 Inner Voices. Jeff is the recipient of the 2011 Fred Ebb Award, as well as commissions from Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Guggenheim Works and Process. His songs have been recorded by Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Megan Mullally, Rebecca Luker, and Victoria Clark, among others. To listen: The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast (iTunes), I’ve Been Played: Alysha Umphress Swings Jeff Blumenkrantz.
DERRICK BYARS (Writer) is a professional writer, composer, director and theatre artist. He is currently a part of the Tony Award-winning BMI Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop. His work was featured most recently in Prospect’s 2021 REIGNITE concert. Derrick is also the Director of Music at Park Avenue UMC and the founder of Mosaix, an organization whose mission is to advance the world’s evolution towards diversity and accessibility in the arts. As a composer, lyricist and bookwriter, Derrick wants his work to be diverse and have a strong message that helps us move forward. Diversity is the key to moving forward.
GEORGIE CASTILLA (Writer) is a NJ/NYC-based lyricist, production designer, and costume designer for film and theater. Born and raised in Yucatán, Mexico, he has a BFA in Theater, and an Associate’s Degree in Historical Fashion. An active member in the Latinx community, his work in musical theater includes Mitos (Mexico), Songs By An Immigrant (Broadway Records), Late Bloomer (Lewis Center for the Arts), and Canciones Para Navidad (Lucille Lortel Theatre).
GRETCHEN CRYER (Writer) is most well-known for writing the book and lyrics and starring in I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road (with music by Nancy Ford) which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Musical, Best Actress, and a Grammy nomination for the album. Gretchen has written numerous other shows with Nancy Ford: Now is the Time for All Good Men (Lortel Theater), The Last Sweet Days of Isaac (Obie Award – Best Musical Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award), Shelter (Golden Theater), Hang On to the Good Times (Manhattan Theater Club), Eleanor (Williamstown), The American Girls Revue (American Girls Place – Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles), Circle of Friends (American Girl Place – Chicago and New York), Anne of Green Gables (Theaterworks USA), and Still Getting My Act Together (Laguna Playhouse). Gretchen is on the Dramatist Guild Council and is President Emeritus of the Dramatists Guild Foundation. Gretchen also teaches a workshop entitled “Creating Your Own Solo Performance” and has helped dozens of solo artists develop their pieces. She will be presenting five of her solo artists at the Cherry Lane Theater in May 2022 in a festival entitled “True Stories.”
TIA DESHAZOR (Writer) is an actor, lyricist and librettist. She is in the Advanced BMI Lehman-Engel Musical Theatre Workshop where she developed The Pact. Her short musicals The Rocket Thrower and The Slow Movement were featured in Prospect Musical Theatre Labs. She has also written for Girlhood, the Musical and is currently adapting the children’s book Hula Hoopin Queen for New York City Children’s Theatre. Tia produced a sold-out show of her own work – The New Black Leading Lady – featuring songs from musical comedies. She’s the co-Founder of BOLD.
ALEXANDRA ELLE (Writer) is an author, certified breathwork coach, and writing to heal facilitator living in Maryland with her husband and children. Writing came into her life by way of therapy and the exploration of healing through journaling. The intention behind Alex’s work is to build community & self-care practices through literature & language. Quarterly, Alex teaches workshops, online courses, and retreats centered around assisting others in finding their voices through storytelling rooted in truth without shame.
ADAM GWON (Writer). Off-Broadway: Scotland, PA (Roundabout – Drama Desk nomination, NYT Critics Pick), Ordinary Days (Roundabout, Keen Company revival – Drama League Award nomination); Regional: String (Village Theatre), Cake Off (Signature Theatre – Helen Hayes nomination), Cloudlands (South Coast Rep), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); West End: Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios). Honors: Kleban, Ebb, Loewe, Richard Rodgers Awards, 2ST Donna Perret Rosen Award, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, ASCAP Adamson Award, MAC Wallowitch Award. Recordings: Ordinary Days, Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home, Artists in Residence, The Essential Liz Callaway, Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album.
JAIME LOZANO (Writer). Considered by Lin-Manuel Miranda as the “next big thing” on Broadway. Joe’s Pub Working Group 2021-2022. The Civilians’ R&D Group 2020. JACK Resident Artists 2021. Selected: The Yellow Brick Road (Off-Broadway & National Tour), Carmen La Cubana (European Tour), Children of Salt (NYMF 2016), A Never-Ending Line (Off-Broadway), Savage, Present Perfect, Desaparecidas. Albums: R.Evolución Latina’s Dare to Go Beyond, A Never-Ending Line, Songs by an Immigrant, these last two released by Broadway Records. Film: “In The Heights” (orchestrator). MFA: NYU/Tisch, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, BMI and GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY voting member.
DOUGLAS LYONS (Writer) is an actor, writer, director, composer-lyricist and playwright. This season he made his Broadway playwriting debut with Chicken and Biscuits and TV debut as a writer & composer on Apple TV’s “Fraggle Rock.” Douglas’ music and lyrics have been featured on BET Plus, CBS’s “Sunday Morning” Show, Carnegie Hall’s Voices of Hope Festival, and Lincoln Center’s Broadway Songbook Series. As an actor his Broadway and touring credits include Beautiful (OBC), Book of Mormon, Dreamgirls, and Rent. He’s the founder of The Next Wave Initiative, a scholarship program dedicated to future Black artists. All the love.
PETER MILLS (Writer) is a composer/lyricist and bookwriter, whose most recent show The Hello Girls was nominated for 3 Drama Desk Awards and 4 Outer Critics Circle Awards. Other works: Illyria, Golden Boy Of The Blue Ridge, and The Honeymooners (lyrics). Awards include: the Kleban Prize, the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the Cole Porter Award, a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation grant, the Donna Perret Rosen Award, and two Drama Desk Award nominations for The Pursuit Of Persephone. ASCAP member, NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program alum, and a founding member of Prospect Theater Company.
RYAN SCOTT OLIVER (Writer) was called “the future of Broadway… a major new voice in musical theatre” (Entertainment Weekly). He wrote the music and lyrics for Jasper in Deadland (Prospect NYC Premiere); 35mm: A Musical Exhibition; We Foxes; Darling; Mrs. Sharp; and others. He’s currently at work on an adaption of Hugo (based on the 2011 Martin Scorsese film) with Christopher Wheeldon and Brian Selznick, Tethered with Adam Chanler-Berat, and Heart and Souls with Kirsten Guenther for Universal Theatricals.
ETHAN PAKCHAR (Writer) is a composer, guitarist and writer. He is half of the music/theater team “Lyons & Pakchar”: Five Points world premiere (MN Theatre Award for Exceptional New Work, Theatre Latte Da), Beau (Adirondack Theatre Festival). Commissions: ’64 (The 5th Ave), The Funeral (Prospect Theater Co), and The Hamlet Remix. Pakchar, along with Lyons and Relentless Award-winning playwright Harrison David Rivers, is currently developing Five Points with Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler. As a guitarist, Ethan has played for Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Porter, Cynthia Erivo, the Radio City Orchestra, the house band of the Apollo Theater, and the Broadway productions of Hamilton, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Lion King, and Dear Evan Hansen.
MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ (Writer) (she/her) performs and writes in the worlds of music and theater, exploring kids-of-immigrants stories, divine femininity, intuition, joy as resistance, healing and spaces in-between. Her music project MICHA became a finalist for NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest with her song “Nena Nena Nena,” with a “bilingual set spanning laid-back southern soul and Latin pop flare” (NPR). Rodriguez is a commissioned artist at Portland Center Stage and Black Cap Productions, a Van Lier Fellow at Ars Nova and a member of their Makers Lab. She is represented by WME.
STEPHEN SCHWARTZ (Writer) wrote music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit Wicked. Other shows to which he has contributed music and/or lyrics are Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker’s Wife, Working, Rags, and Children of Eden. For film, he wrote the songs for DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt and the lyrics for Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, both of which have been adapted for stage. Other films include lyrics for Disney’s Pocahontas and Enchanted. Awards include the Theatre Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and the Isabelle Stevenson special Tony Award.
ANGELA SCLAFANI (Writer) is an NYC-based composer and performer. Theatrical projects include her song cycle Passion Project and her original musical The Other Side of Paradise, which premiered in Ars Nova’s ANTFest. She has released three EPs of original music as well as a collection of reimagined Stevie Nicks songs. Angela is a 2019 Fred Ebb Award Winner and a 2018 Richie Jackson Artist Fellow. She is a two-time first-place winner in the Great American Songwriting Contest and a 2020 finalist in the Unsigned Only Music Competition. Prospect 2021 Musical Theater Lab, Rule of Three. She earned her BFA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
PAULO K TIRÓL (Writer) is a composer, lyricist, and bookwriter from Manila, Philippines. He received the inaugural Benjamin Indick Award in 2021, and was a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow from 2019 to 2020. Music, lyrics, book: On This Side of the World (NAMT Festival 2020, Prospect’s IGNITE concert series, Access Theatre, Musical Theatre West’s Festival of New Works in Long Beach, CA, all dir. Noam Shapiro) and Called (DGF Fellows showcase, dir. May Adrales). Orchestrations: Ma-Yi Theater Co.’s Felix Starro. Training: Ateneo de Manila University, Berklee, NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (full-tuition scholarship), BMI.
AMANDA YESNOWITZ (Writer). Winner of the Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award, Dottie Burman Award, Jamie deRoy Award, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Berklee Outstanding Alumni Award, and 8 MAC nominations, all for excellence in lyric writing. Musicals: Christmas in Connecticut (Broadway Licensing commission), Somewhere in Time (Portland Center Stage), Do No Harm (Davenport Theatrical), By The Numbers (Goodspeed Mercer Grove), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Hangar Theatre), The History of War (NYMF), May/December (Oldcastle Theatre). Featured lyricist: ASCAP Centennial at the Kennedy Center, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall, “Gotta Start Small” (Stephanie Block; PS Classics, PBS/Live from Lincoln Center). Amanda is also a published NY Times crossword constructor.
59E59 THEATERS was established by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation in 2004 to grant professional space and expertise to non-profit theater companies premiering their work in New York City. Under the leadership of Val Day, Artistic Director, and Brian Beirne, Managing Director, 59E59 Theaters presents a year-round curated program of Off Broadway plays and musicals that are nurtured and supported through highly-subsidized rental rates as well as production, ticketing, FOH, marketing, and press support.
PROSPECT THEATER COMPANY is dedicated to fostering and showcasing today’s new voices shaping tomorrow’s musicals. Over two decades, the company has premiered more than 35 musicals in New York City, in addition to new plays and numerous re-inventions of classic works. Reflecting its investment in the future of the field, Prospect leads a variety of developmental initiatives: including an annual Musical Theater Lab for emerging writers, and the IGNITE Series of new musical theater in concert. In 2020, Prospect launched the VISION Series of original music-theater works on film, created for online streaming. In recognition of its enterprising and risk-taking new musical theater, the company has received an OBIE Award grant, and its role as a community anchor for emerging artists that strengthens the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater was honored by the American Theatre Wing.
Lia Chang loves to tell stories – as an actor, a multi-media content producer, a performing arts photographer and an award-winning filmmaker. A co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, Lia makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She stars in and is the Executive Producer for the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet, was featured as Joy in Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago and has worked extensively Off-Broadway. Photo archives: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011, housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room; Lia Chang Photography Collection in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Awards: 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com