André De Shields as Principal Soloist of HADESTOWN Wins 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album; Set to Perform Old Dawg; New Tricks in Appel Room on January 29

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony Award winner and Emmy Award winning Hadestown star André De Shields is now one award away from an EGOT.

Reeve Carney, Amber Gray, André De Shields, Eva Noblezada and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang

The original Broadway cast recording of HADESTOWN won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards for Principal Soloists- Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page; producers Mara Isaacs, David Lai, Todd Sickafoose and Anais Mitchell (composer & lyricist). Click here to read more at Grammy.com.

1st Row: Malcolm Armwood and Amber Gray. 2nd Row: Kimberly Marable, T. Oliver Reid, Khaila Wilcoxon, John Krause, Jessie Shelton, Rachel Chavkin, André De Shields. 3rd Row: Jewelle Blackman, Kay Trinidad, Anaïs Mitchell, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Eva Noblezada. 4th Row: Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, Malcolm Armwood, Mara Isaacs, Patrick Page, Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields was in rehearsal with his Old Dawg; New Tricks band at Carroll Studios in New York when he heard the news that he was now a Grammy winner.

André De Shields in rehearsal at Carroll Studios in New York on January 26, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

Below is his congratulatory message for his Hadestown family.

Old Dawg; New Tricks is his Lincoln Center American Songbook series debut concert which takes place on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 on the Appel Stage (10 Columbus Circle).

“The top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing,” advised André De Shields upon accepting the 2019 Tony Award for his portrayal as Hermes in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown. And keep climbing he does. At the age of 73, De Shields was the triple crown winner of the 2019 award season (also securing an Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award along with his Tony).

Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He r received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch”. www.andredeshields.com

André De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch”.

With profound wit, elegance, and charm, this silky veteran of the stage proves why his star is still on the rise.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields will be joined by

The American Songbook series celebrates the expansive scope and intricacy of the popular music canon and will include lauded singer-songwriters, groundbreaking composers, storytellers speaking truth to power, experimental vocalists, and multitalented performers whose artistic breadth reflects the far-reaching perspectives and experiences of the essential American Songbook.

Click here for tickets and more information on the series.

Hadestown is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 season. The new musical has received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

William F. Lee and Viet Thanh Nguyen to receive AALDEF 2020 Justice in Action Awards on February 6

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) will hold its Lunar New Year Gala and Justice in Action Awards Ceremony on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers in New York City. The recipients of the 2020 Justice in Action Awards are William F. Lee, partner at WilmerHale, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist.

The co-emcees for the evening are Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline”, and Sree Sreenivasan, Marshall R. Loeb Visiting Professor of Digital Innovation at Stony Brook University School of Journalism..

The AALDEF Justice in Action Awards recognize exceptional individuals for their outstanding achievements and efforts to advance social justice. Past award recipients include Congressman John Lewis, Yoko Ono, Preet Bharara, George Takei, David Henry Hwang, Neal Katyal, Aasif Mandvi, Mari Matsuda, Jessica Hagedorn, Mira Nair, BD Wong, and Fareed Zakaria, to name just a few.

Over 700 leaders of the civil rights, legal, business, and arts communities across the country are expected to attend AALDEF’s lunar new year gala. The evening begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by the Justice in Action Awards ceremony and a banquet dinner. Tables of ten, available at $25,000, $20,000, and $15,000, include a VIP reception. Individual tickets start at $1,500. To reserve tickets, please contact Shirley Ng at 212.966.5932 ext. 208 or sng@aaldef.org.

Since 1974, AALDEF has protected and promoted the civil rights of Asian Americans across the nation through litigation, advocacy, community education, and organizing. All proceeds from the gala support AALDEF’s programs in immigrant rights, economic justice, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and voting rights and democracy.

MOCATalks: Chinese Almanac – Year of the Rat with Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith on January 23

On Thursday, January 23, authors Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith return for their annual MOCATalks: Chinese Almanac to translate and decode the almanac’s predictions with daily listings for 2020, the Year of the Rat from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is located at 215 Centre St. in New York.

The Rat is the first of all 12 zodiac animals. Come learn about the myth that how the Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride and jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first as they arrived at the Jade Emperor’s party.

The traditional Chinese almanac, also known as the Tong Sing or Huang Li, is a centuries-old repository of cultural information from household tips to general medical remedies.

The program is moderated by Nancy Yao Maasbach, MOCA President.

Joanna C. Lee is a recovering pianist with a doctorate in musicology from Columbia University. An active translator and interpreter, she has served such luminaries as former US President Jimmy Carter, film directors Luc Besson and Peter Greenaway, and Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan.

Ken Smith writes about Asian arts and culture for the Financial Times and other publications. He is the author of Fate! Luck! Chance! …the Making of The Bonesetter’s Daughter Opera. He speaks Chinese fluently, in many different dialects.

PURCHASE TICKETS NOW

Tickets are $15 and include wine and Museum admission. Members receive complimentary tickets. Not a Member? Join today!

Founded in 1980, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage, culture and diverse experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States. The greatly expanded MOCA at 215 Centre Street will continue to be a national home for the precious narratives of diverse Chinese American communities, while striving to be a model among interactive museums.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Elizabeth Ward Land Performs STILL WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE: THE SONGS OF LINDA RONSTADT at The Green Room 42 tonight

Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway veteran Elizabeth Ward Land (AMAZING GRACE, MEMPHIS, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL) returned to The Green Room 42 with her acclaimed show STILL WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE: THE SONGS OF LINDA RONSTADT for three performances, January 16, January 17, and tonight at 7pm.

Elizabeth Ward Land, Joel Waggoner, Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang

Following her sold-out evenings at The Green Room 42 in July and September, Elizabeth Ward Land and Company have returned to the venue due to popular demand. Touching on genres ranging from rock, country, folk, light opera, big band and mariachi, Elizabeth Ward Land finds her perfect vocal match in this salute to the great Linda Ronstadt. Tracing her life to the songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers vast catalogue, including YOU’RE NO GOOD, BLUE BAYOU, FRENESI, and LONG, LONG TIME, the evening promises something for every music lover. Featuring special guests Catherine Porter (NEXT TO NORMAL) and Joel Waggoner (BE MORE CHILL), the show is directed by Alan Muraoka (SESAME STREET), with music supervision and arrangements by Andrew David Sotomayor (CURVY WIDOW) and vocal arrangements by Joel Waggoner.

Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land, Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang

The band includes Andrew David Sotomayor on the keys, Kevin Kuhn on Guitar, Jordan Jancz on Cello and Bass, Arei Sekiguchi on Drums and Joel Waggoner on Violin.

Arei Sekiguchi, Andrew David Sotomayor, Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land, Kevin Kuhn, Catherine Porter, Jordan Jancz, Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets are $20- $60. wwwTheGreenRoom42.com
www.StillWithinTheSoundOfMyVoice.com

Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang

Elizabeth Ward Land is known for her versatility across the entertainment industry. Her Broadway and tour credits include AMAZING GRACE, MEMPHIS, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, PASSION, CITY OF ANGELS, LES MISERABLES, THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Off-Broadway, she was seen in CURVY WIDOW, SOUTHERN COMFORT, THE GREEN HEART and HELLO AGAIN. She has starred at many of the nations finest regional theaters, including The Old
Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, The Alliance and GeVa. Film/TV: YOUNG ADULT, BOY MEETS GIRL, THE GATHERING; THE GOOD FIGHT, ELEMENTARY, THE BLACKLIST, BOARDWALK EMPIRE and MADAM SECRETARY. Her acclaimed debut CD, FIRST HARVEST, released by LMLMusic is available on ITunes. She is married to actor Ken Land; plays oboe, piano, guitar, and loves cats. http://www.ElizabethWardLand.com

Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang

“Elizabeth Ward Land possesses a miraculous voice and a musical sensitivity that makes every song she touches shine. Whether on stage or in the recording studio, she’s every composer’s dream. “ Alan Menken, Academy Award Winning Composer “The Green Room 42 is Broadway’s newest urban entertainment cabaret club, that since its opening on Valentines day has featured Broadway names like Alice Ripley, Telly Leung, Josh Groban, Eva Noblezada, Lilias White, James Snyder The Skivvies (Lauren Molina & Nick
Cearley), Matt Doyle, Constantine Maroulis, and many more. Located on the fourth floor of YOTEL NYC, The Green Room 42 boasts a funky new vibe, and no food or beverage minimum opening up the cabaret industry to an affordable, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for theatre people and theatre fans alike.”

Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land, Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Kevin Kuhn, Elizabeth Ward Land, Jordan Jancz, Joel Waggoner and Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrew David Sotomayor. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land, Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Kevin Kuhn and Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land, Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Land and Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Catherine Porter, Elizabeth Ward Land and Joel Waggoner. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Land, Catherine Porter, Elizabeth Ward Land and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Catherine Porter, Ken Land and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Inside AAPI Happy Hour Featuring The Cyclos; Signature Theatre Extends Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND through March 15

On January 15, Signature Theatre hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander happy hour in celebration of the highly anticipated New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band.

CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND playwright Lauren Yee, Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, director Chay Yew, Francis Jue, Moses Villarama, Music Supervisor Matt MacNelly, Courtney Reed and Abraham Kim. Photo by Lia Chang

Previews of Cambodian Rock Band, helmed by Chay Yew and featuring the songs of Dengue Fever, kick off on February 4, with opening night set for Monday, February 24 on the Irene Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues). Due to popular demand, the production has been extended through March 15, 2020. Click here for more information.

CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND playwright Lauren Yee and director Chay Yew. Photo by Lia Chang

Cambodian Rock Band is an intimate rock epic about family secrets set against a dark chapter of Cambodian history. It launches 2019 Steinberg Playwright Award recipient Lauren Yee’s Residency 5.

Playwright Lauren Yee hands out CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND pins. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren was on hand to share Cambodian Rock Band buttons while audience members noshed on Five-Spice Glazed Pork Belly, Ginger Barbecue Brisket, Roasted Chicken “Chimi”, Spicy Organic Tofu, and Roasted Cauliflower sandwiches from my favorite Cambodian sandwich shop, Num Pang.

Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

The Cyclos (the featured band in the play) performed several songs from the show.

The Cyclos perform at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour hosted by Signature Theatre in celebration of the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND on January 15, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast includes Francis Jue as Duch, Abraham Kim as Rom, Jane Lui as Pou, Joe Ngo as Chum, Courtney Reed as Neary/Sothea and Moses Villarama as Ted/Leng.

CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND cast members Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, Francis Jue, Abraham Kim, Moses Villarama and Courtney Reed. Photo by Lia Chang

Guitars tuned. Mic checked. Get ready to rock! This darkly funny, electric new play with music tells the story of a Khmer Rouge survivor returning to Cambodia for the first time in thirty years, as his daughter prepares to prosecute one of Cambodia’s most infamous war criminals. Backed by a live band playing contemporary Dengue Fever hits and classic Cambodian oldies, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time as father and daughter face the music of the past.

CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND playwright Lauren Yee, Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, director Chay Yew, Francis Jue, Moses Villarama, Music Supervisor Matt MacNelly, Courtney Reed and Abraham Kim. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for Cambodian Rock Band includes Takeshi Kata (Scenic Design), Linda Cho (Costume Design), David Weiner (Lighting Design), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Design), Luke Norby (Projection Design), Matt MacNelly (Music Supervision) and Unkle Dave’s Fight-House (Fight Director). The Production Stage Manager is Charles M. Turner III and casting is by Caparelliotis Casting.

The Cyclos: Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Courtney Reed, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui. Photo by Lia Chang

Additionally, Signature Theatre will host several special events at The Pershing Square Signature Center in conjunction with its run of Cambodian Rock Band. Signature Spotlight Series is sponsored by American Express.

Schedule of special events:
Tuesday, February 4 – Asian American night dedicated to audience members of Asian descent, featuring a pre-show chat with playwright Lauren Yee, as well as a post-show happy hour. Use code CRBAA at checkout.

The Cyclos: Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Courtney Reed, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui. Photo by Lia Chang

Sunday, February 9 – Asian American night dedicated to audience members of Asian descent, featuring a pre-show chat with playwright Lauren Yee, as well as a post-show happy hour. Sold-out

The Cyclos: Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Courtney Reed, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui. Photo by Lia Chang

Wednesday, February 12 – Pre-show spotlight discussion with Chay Yew and Lauren Yee on Wednesday, February 12 at 6:30 pm

The Cyclos: Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Courtney Reed, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui. Photo by Lia Chang

Thursday, February 13 – Talkbacks with members of the cast and creative team after the show

The Cyclos perform at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour hosted by Signature Theatre in celebration of the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND on January 15, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

Sunday, February 16 – Khmer Community Day on February 16 at 2:00 pm.

Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Courtney Reed, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui perform at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour hosted by Signature Theatre in celebration of the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND on January 15, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

Thursday, February 27 – Talkbacks with members of the cast and creative team after the show

Courtney Reed, Francis Jue, Moses Villarama perform at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour hosted by Signature Theatre in celebration of the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND on January 15, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

Thursday, March 5 – Talkbacks with members of the cast and creative team after the show

Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Courtney Reed, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui perform at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour hosted by Signature Theatre in celebration of the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND on January 15, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

Wednesday, March 11 – Asian American night dedicated to audience members of Asian descent, featuring a pre-show chat with playwright Lauren Yee, as well as a post-show happy hour. Use code CRBAA at checkout.

Courtney Reed, Francis Jue, Moses Villarama perform at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour hosted by Signature Theatre in celebration of the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND on January 15, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

To purchase tickets for all Signature Productions call Ticket Services at 212-244-7529 (Tues. – Sun., 11am – 6pm) or visit www.SignatureTheatre.org.

Courtney Reed, Francis Jue, Moses Villarama perform at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour hosted by Signature Theatre in celebration of the New York premiere of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND on January 15, 2020. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren Yee is a playwright born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in New York City. Her CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND, with music by Dengue Fever and others, premiered at South Coast Rep, with subsequent productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Victory Gardens, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Signature Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and Jungle Theatre. 

Moses Villarama. Photo by Lia Chang

Her play THE GREAT LEAP has been produced at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, Atlantic Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre, and Steppenwolf, with future productions at Long Wharf, Cygnet Theatre, and Asolo Rep/Miami New Drama.

Joe Ngo. Photo by Lia Chang

She is the winner of the Doris Duke Artists Award, the 2019 Steinberg Playwright Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/ATCA Award, Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, the Francesca Primus Prize and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton. She has been a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her plays were the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List.

The Cyclos: Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Courtney Reed, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren is a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists member (class of 2025), Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, former Princeton University Hodder fellow, and Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. Her TV work includes Pachinko(Apple) and Soundtrack(Netflix). She is currently under commission from Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Rep. She completed her BA at Yale and her MFA at UCSD. www.laurenyee.com

The groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, which recently celebrated its one-millionth ticket sold, is a program that guarantees affordable tickets to every Signature production through 2031. Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Margot Adams, The SHS Foundation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND playwright Lauren Yee, Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, director Chay Yew, Francis Jue, Moses Villarama, Music Supervisor Matt MacNelly, Courtney Reed and Abraham Kim. Photo by Lia Chang

Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour In Celebration of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at Signature Theatre on January 15 

Lauren Yee and Jackie Sibblies Drury Receive 2019 Steinberg Playwright Awards at the 12th Annual “Mimi” Awards

The Rise of Playwright Lauren Yee 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto To Develop CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET at 2020 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony At Goodspeed Musicals

Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto. Photo by Lia Chang

Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto are in the 2020 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony At Goodspeed Musicals of musical theatre writing teams who will be developing their new musical Corner of Bitter and Sweet during a four-week residency program which kicks off on January 21.

Last October, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins presented a 29 Hour industry reading of Corner of Bitter and Sweet featuring a book by Lainie Sakakura, music & lyrics by Paul Fujimoto at Theatre 71 in New York. The reading was helmed by Ms. Sakakura.

Full Company of CORNER AND BITTER AND SWEET. Photo by Lia Chang

Based on the New York Times bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Corner of Bitter and Sweet tells a stunning multigenerational story about a boy’s coming of age during WWII Seattle, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. The Seattle Times called it “A Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet, (that is) so revealing and so well rendered.”

Lainie Sakakura, Paul Fujimoto, Bill Berry and Jamie Ford. Photo by Lia Chang
Darius de Haas, Spencer Jones, Avelina Sanchez, Kenny Ingram. Photo by Lia Chang

The 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins Presented Industry Reading of Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto’s  CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET Musical 

In what has become an annual ritual, a total of 40 established and emerging composers, lyricists, and librettists will converge on the Goodspeed campus from mid-January through mid-February 2020 to participate in the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. The writing teams, representing 15 new musicals, will populate the campus, creating a truly exciting environment for discovery and inspiration.

The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed is an unparalleled, long-term residency program devoted exclusively to musical theatre writing. It provides a sanctuary for composers, lyricists, and librettists to embark on new musical theatre work or to devote a substantial amount of time to a work-in-progress in an environment rich with creative energy. For four weeks, starting January 21, the writing teams work in residence in Goodspeed’s Artists Village, each team in their own house, with whatever support is needed, from dramaturgical to Goodspeed’s fine music department. In the evenings writers get together in an informal, salon-style environment and share the day’s work. This gathering allows the artists an invaluable opportunity to gain insight from their colleagues. The Colony is the ultimate think tank of veteran Broadway and young working professionals in theater today.

Over the course of the four week program, composer/lyricist Jonathan Brielle will again serve as Producer/Writer in Residence. Mr. Brielle is a writer, composer and lyricist. His first Broadway credit was writing music and lyrics for Foxfire starring theater legends Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy (who won the Tony) and Keith Carradine. Subsequently, he became Composer in Residence of the prestigious Circle Repertory Company in New York, providing scores for some of New York’s top playwrights. His recent credits include Himself and Nora (book, music, lyrics), Minetta Lane Theater 2016; Nightmare Alley (book, music, lyrics), Geffen Playhouse; and 40 Naked Women, A Monkey and Me (book, music, lyrics), Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Conference. His Las Vegas shows include book, music and lyrics for Enter The Night (Stardust) and MADhattan (New York, New York). For television, he is the music director and composer for “Wonderama” on the Tribune network. He continues to serve as Executive Vice President of the Johnny Mercer Foundation and for this year’s Colony will be working with Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jake Bernstein on an untitled project and Todd Robbins on an adaptation of the W.C. Fields classic, “Poppy.”

Clifford Lee Johnson III will serve as Resident Dramaturge. As part of Wonder City Productions, he produces and develops new plays and musicals. Their current projects include moving a musical to Broadway and creating another about a beloved American figure. Between 1993 and 2009, he was the Director of Musical Development at Manhattan Theatre Club; prior to that he was the Assistant Literary Manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has been a critic for BACKSTAGE and published articles on the theater in various publications. He has also taught at the Kenyon Playwrights Conference and served as an adviser during the creation of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Mr. Johnson recently co-created the Theater Consultants Resource website www.theaterconsultants.org, a centralized location for consultants wishing to share information and clients seeking to locate consultants.

Goodspeed’s Producer Donna Lynn Hilton is guiding Goodspeed Musicals’ efforts on the JMF Writers Colony. Goodspeed Artistic Associate Anika Chapin will provide additional dramaturgical support.

The Writers Colony created a confluence of Goodspeed’s long-held mission of fostering new works and JMF’s dedication to nurturing the discipline of songwriting. With this unique collaboration, Goodspeed continues to be an incubator for the next generation of musical theatre artists and performers, as well as the home of the American Musical. This is best-illustrated by several projects that Goodspeed has moved from the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony forward to production including the 2017 productions of Deathless and Darling Grenadine, Indian Joe in 2015, Chasing Rainbows in 2016. In 2019 Goodspeed continued the development of two new musicals that emerged from the Colony: Hi, My Name Is Ben by Scott Gilmour and Claire MacKenzie and Passing Through by Brett Ryback and Eric Ulloa, both of which received developmental productions at The Terris Theatre.

The outstanding writers who have been invited to participate in the 2020 Colony have earned tremendous recognition in the industry with honors such as the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel Award, Jonathan Larson Award, Drama Critics Circle Award, Ovation Award, Barrymore Award, ASCAP Jamie deRoy Award for Excellence in Songwriting, Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Joseph Jefferson Award, Bistro Award, Clio Award, Jerry Harrington Award, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, Whiting Award, Helen Merrill Award for PlaywritingNew York Fringe Festival Overall Excellence Award in Playwriting, Channel 4 Playwriting Award, NAMT Writers Grant American Opera Initiative Fellowship, ASCAP Foundation’s Irving Burgie Scholarship, Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship, Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography, Ron Howard Fellowship as well as numerous Grammy and Drama Desk Award nominations.

Goodspeed is pleased to announce that the 2020 writing teams are (in alphabetical order) César Alvarez, Kevin Armento, Jake Bernstein, David Buskin, Nick Butcher, Carlton Byrd, Rowen Casey, Curt Columbus, Sara Cooper, Miranda Cooper, Eloise Eonnet, Joel Esher, Sara Farb, Paul Fujimoto, Alex Grubbs, Jake Holmes, Khiyon Hursey, Michael R. Jackson, Creighton Irons, Britta Johnson, Jonathan Karpinos, Henry Lin-David, Tom Ling, Montserrat Olmos Lozano, Douglas Lyons, John McGrew, Sammy Miller, Emily Orling, Jason Pebworth, Andre Pluess, Todd Robbins, Lainie Sakakura, Lynne Shankel, Jon Shave, Katya Stanislavskaya, Alex Tripp, Gregory Van Acker, Joseph Varca, Amy Warren, Douglas Waterbury-Tieman and Joe White.

ABOUT THE Johnny Mercer FOUNDATION:
The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.

JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate their goals including; the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate The Positive Programs (New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami), The Musical Theater Program at NJPAC, Georgia State University Fellowship Program, Florida International University Fellowship Program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University, For more information please visit www.johnnymercer.org.

ABOUT Goodspeed Musicals:
Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development, and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at the The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn. and additional musicals at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement, Goodspeed maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.

Who’s Who: 2020 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals Participants

CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET
Paul Fujimoto (Music & Lyrics) is a composer/lyricist, 4th-generation Japanese-American, born and raised in Seattle, now based in NYC. His songs have been recorded by Tony winners and nominees and have been showcased in many concert venues and student showcases around the world. His current project Corner of Bitter and Sweet, written with Lainie Sakakura, is being developed by the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Paul also dabbles in jazz composition and is an award-winning trumpet player. Training: University of Washington, AMTP Johnny Mercer Project, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. www.paulfujimoto.bandcamp.com

Lainie Sakakura (Book) is a New York-based, Japanese American (Nisei/Sansei) musical book writer, director, choreographer striving to have a voice for our Asian American community. Writing team Sakakura (book) and Fujimoto (music & lyrics) has been working together for five years including two-29 HR AEA New York readings of Corner of Bitter and Sweet (musical adaptation of Jamie Ford’s New York Times Best Seller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), most recently co-produced by 5th Avenue Theatre, Ann Ramsey-Jenkins, Abingdon Theatre Company and directed by Ms. Sakakura. Wrote and co-conceived BCEFA’s Red Bucket Follies Opening Number celebrating Asian Americans on Broadway and Flower Drum Song‘s 60th Anniversary at New Amsterdam Theater. Directed works at Cherry Lane Theatre, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Neighborhood Playhouse, Summer Stage, Theatre 71. Wrote and directed three cabarets for Alvin Ing at The Triad and Don’t Tell Mama. Conceived and produced over 25 multi-cultural performance events for NYC public schools. Recipient of the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography and 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography. Performed in the original Broadway companies of Chita Rivera The Dancer’s Life, Flower Drum Song (David Henry Hwang Revival), Fosse, The King And I (1996 & 2015 Revivals), The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public. Above all, mother of Avelina and Isabela Sanchez. www.lainiesakakura.com

AT THE RIVER I STAND
Carlton Byrd (Book) Whether in television, film, theater, producing, writing or voice over acting, Carlton continues to cement himself as one of the most dynamic talents of his generation. Known for breathing humanity and dignity into often misunderstood characters, his television credits include ABC’s “Castle,” TNT’s “Major Crimes,” CBS’s “Blue Bloods” and NBC’s “Law & Order”. His vast theater credits include Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride (Ensemble Theatre Company), August Wilson’s Two Trains Running (Seattle Repertory Company/Arena Stage) and Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby (TheaterWorks Hartford). His writing credits include Val-en-tina (Executive Producer, Co-Writer), Slow (Co-writer, Actor), Close (Co-Writer, Actor), Train (Co-Writer, Actor), and A Walk in the Park (Co-Writer, Actor). As co-founder of BGB Productions, Carlton has made it his mission to tell stories that represent the true breadth of global diversity from a unique and youthful perspective. He executive produced and directed Meat Puppet: The Filmed Experience, a streamed theatrical production aimed at raising money for the philanthropic group Unusual Suspects, which “mentors, educates, and enriches underserved youth through the creation of collaborative, original theatre”. In 2019, Byrd co-founded Open City Acting Studio in Los Angeles and serves as co-creative director. Open City is in service to the development of the actor in their journey to being competent industry professionals, fearless artists that are constantly in process, driven and curious in their pursuit of bringing the truth of the human condition to all their work. Byrd received his B.F.A. in Theatre from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he was awarded the coveted Ron Howard Fellowship.

ROWEN CASEY (Music & Lyrics) is a songwriter, composer, and professional musician. A multi-instrumentalist rigorously trained on the violin since the age of five, his wide resumé spans from performing in concert halls under Leonard Slatkin to fiddling on country hits at the House of Blues. As a songwriter, this wide array of experience has shaped a diverse palette of musical styles. His work has been heard on stage and screen, most notably Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre, the New York International Fringe Festival, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. After growing up in a small town, Rowen attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Berklee College of Music–leaving him with rural roots and a trunk full of city baggage. He is an Anna Sosenko Trust Award recipient and former finalist in National Public Radio’s From the Top.

BALLOONFEST
Henry Lin-David (Book & Lyrics) is a junior at Wesleyan University majoring in English and minoring in History. The Massachusetts native has maintained a cordial and platonic relationship with the theater. Highlights include playing violin and viola in various pit orchestras, directing a murder-mystery play during his senior year of high school, and taking on the role of Lumiere in his sixth grade production of Beauty and the Beast. Although Henry’s previous work consists mainly of prose, since then he has succumbed to the allure of musical theater, and looks forward to the journey to come.

Alex Tripp (Music) is a junior Music and Applied Data Analysis double major at Wesleyan University. Alex is from San Francisco (proper, mind you) which fostered his early love for gate bridges, golden or otherwise. His experience with musical theater consists of a brief and unheralded appearance in Cabaret in high school, as well as listening to much of the modern tenor repertoire as sung by his brother through their shared bedroom wall. He is very excited to meet real-life adults who do this for their job.

THE ELEMENTARY SPACETIME SHOW
CÉSAR ALVAREZ (Book, Music & Lyrics) is a New York-based composer, lyricist, playwright, and performance maker. César has written five full-length musicals: FUTURITY (Soho Rep/Ars Nova, A.R.T, Walker Art Center, Mass MoCA); The Elementary Spacetime Show (co-book with Emily Orling. New York Stage and Film, Polyphone, FringeArts/UArts, NYU/Playwrights Horizons Theater School) The Universe is a Small Hat, a multi-player participatory musical (Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, The Civilians R&D Group, Babycastles, Sarah Lawrence College. Upcoming: Princeton University); NOISE (a commission of The Public Theater and NYU/Playwrights Horizons Theater School); and The Potluck. César’s musical FUTURITY received the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical and four other Lortel Nominations. César also composed the music for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon (Soho Rep, TFANA. Drama Desk Nomination) and The Foundry Theater’s Good Person of Szechwan (LaMaMa, The Public Theater. Drama Desk Nomination). They are a 2018-20 Princeton Arts Fellow and a recipient of The Jonathan Larson Award. www.musicisfreenow.org

EMILY ORLING (Book) is a visual artist, designer, mother and poet with a background in painting, sculpture and installation. Emily received Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for her set design of FUTURITY at Soho Rep/Ars Nova. Emily has also worked as dramaturg and book writer on several musicals in collaboration with César Alvarez. Emily has worked extensively as a designer for the LA-Based dance company Contra-Tiempo. Emily’s designs for theater and contemporary dance have been seen at A.R.T, The Arsht Center, St. Marks Church, CounterPulse, Dance Place, Walker Art Center, MASS MoCA, Sarah Lawrence College, Wesleyan College, Playwrights Downtown, UCLA and many others. Solo Exhibitions: Lo River Arts Gallery, 473 Broadway Gallery, Dactyl Gallery. Group Exhibitions: Cal State Fullerton, Corridor Gallery.

HoT
Sara Cooper (Book & Lyrics) is a playwright-lyricist. Highlights of works: The Memory Show, Benefit Reading for the Alzheimer’s Association, The Mercury Theater Chicago (2019), United Kingdom Premiere, New Bard Productions in London (2016), Transport Group at The Duke on 42nd Street (2013), Asian Premiere, Water Gate Media in Seoul (2012-2013), Barrington Stage Company (2010), NAMT (2010); Elevator Heart, World Premiere, THML Theatre Company in association with Access Theater (2019), University of San Francisco Performing Arts and Social Justice Program (2018), Tisch New Musicals (2016); Fault Lines, World Premiere at The Kennedy Center (2018), workshop, Washington National Opera (2017); HoT, concert, Dixon Place (2019); Mechanical, reading, The Producers Club (2018), concert, Dixon Place (2017); Things I Left On Long Island, musical: concert, Dixon Place (2016), play: FringeNYC (2014), Time Out New York Critics’ Pick (2014); Loving Leo, Weston Playhouse (2013); Windows, American Opera Projects (2013). Awards and Honors: Queens Council on the Arts grant (2018); 92Y Musical Theatre Lab Collective (2017-2018); American Opera Initiative Fellowship, Washington National Opera (2017); Queens Council on the Arts grant (2016); New York State Council on the Arts Individual Theatre Artist Commission (2015); Jonathan Larson Grant, American Theatre Wing (2014); New York Fringe Festival Overall Excellence Award in Playwriting (2014); National Endowment for the Arts and National Alliance for Musical Theatre National Fund for The Memory Show (2013); Weston Playhouse New Musical Award for Loving Leo (2012); American Opera Projects Fellowship (2011-2012). As an educator, Sara’s favorite teaching credits include New York University, Purchase College, Montclair State University, CUNY Guttman Community College, and Lincoln Center. Sara is a volunteer editor for Maestra. MFA Musical Theatre Writing and BFA Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts. Dramatists Guild, ASCAP. http://saracooper.weebly.com

Lynne Shankel (Music) is best known as a music supervisor, arranger and orchestrator. She was music supervisor/arranger/orchestrator for Allegiance on Broadway and was the first woman to solely orchestrate a new musical on Broadway. She has written orchestrations and arrangements for everyone from Chita Rivera, the New York Pops and Raul Esparza to Tony Award winner/Bon Jovi member David Bryan and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. As a composer, Lynne collaborated with lyricist Jon Hartmere to provide new songs for bare: The Musical in 2012. Her composition has also been featured in the original musical MAYA (commissioned by Teach For India) and in The Old Globe’s 2016 production of Red Velvet. In 2017, Lynne released her critically acclaimed album Bare Naked on Yellow Sound Label. www.Lynneshankel.com

KELLY V. KELLY
Sara Farb (Book) Select performance credits: Currently in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; five years at the Stratford Festival of Canada (Romeo and Juliet, Anne Frank, A Little Night Music, King Lear, and many others); Canadian Premiere of The Humans (Brigid); Fun Home (Medium Alison — Dora Award nomination, outstanding performance). Select writing credits: R-E-B-E-C-C-A for Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, which she also performed; bookwriter for Bremen Rock City (co-written by JMF alumni Colleen Dauncey and Akiva Romer-Segal); bookwriter for He Is Coming, which she co-write with Britta Johnson, and which earned them a Dora Award nomination for outstanding new musical.

Britta Johnson (Music & Lyrics) is a writer, composer and lyricist based in Toronto. She made her American debut when her original musical, Life After, opened at The Old Globe in San Diego this past Spring following an extended, award-winning run at Canadian Stage in Toronto. Her other writing credits include: with her sister Anika Johnson: Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life, Brantwood, Jacob Two-Two, Trap Door; with Sara Farb: Kelly v. Kelly, Reframed; with Katherine Cullen: Stupidhead!. She was the librettist for choreographer Robert Binet’s adaptation of The Kreutzer Sonata with Ballet Moscow. She is the inaugural Crescendo Artist with The Musical Stage Company in Toronto, which includes a commitment to produce three of her shows in three years.

THE LAST Medicine Show
Kevin Armento (Book) Kevin’s plays include Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (Drama Desk nomination, Stage Edinburgh Award), Balls (Drama Desk nomination, Houston Theater Award), Good Men Wanted (New York Stage and Film), Devil with the Blue Dress (Bunker Theatre London, Stage Debut nomination), Companion Piece (Pleasance Theatre, London), and Playing Hot (Pipeline Theatre, Off-Broadway Alliance Award nomination). He’s an alum of Ars Nova’s Play Group and Makers Lab, Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, and artist in residence at the Drama League, and is currently working on commissions from Ars Nova and MTC. His work in television has been developed with CBS Studios and eOne, His short film sometimes i think about dying premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. His first feature is in development with XYZ Films.

SAMMY MILLER (Music & Lyrics) A native of Los Angeles, Grammy® nominated drummer Sammy has become known for his relentless focus on making music that feels good as a drummer, singer and composer. Upon completing his Master’s at The Juilliard School, Sammy formed his ensemble, The Congregation. As a band, they share the power of community through their music-joyful jazz. They have brought their “raucous” and at times “preposterous” sound all over the world including The Newport Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, and The White House. Sammy has been commissioned with Kevin Armento by Ars Nova to write The Last Medicine Show.

THE LITTLE BIG THINGS
Nick Butcher (Music & Lyrics) is a composer/lyricist and actor. After an extensive performing career in the West End, Nick is becoming one of the most exciting young contemporary theatre composers in the UK. Currently, Nick is under commission by two major UK producers to adapt a book and subsequent film for the stage as well as discussions to write for an upcoming series with Disney. Nick’s YouTube channel featuring his original songs propelled him into the industry and led to his signing with top creative agents Curtis Brown. Nick sold out his first solo show, Live at Zedel’s, in April 2019. Previously, Nick was a finalist in the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Competition two years running at the Garrick Theatre and Savoy Theatre; gained support from Cameron Mackintosh Foundation and Arts Council England; shadowed composer George Stiles on numerous projects; and successfully presented his first professional workshop presentation of Guy Fakwes at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Nick has worked as an actor on new musicals in the West End including Lend Me a Tenor, Half a Sixpence and School of Rock as well as major productions at Chichester Festival Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Opera North and Barbican Theatre with directors including Olivier Award winning Timothy Sheader, Laurence Connor, Daniel Evans, Rachel Kavanaugh and Jo Davies. Nick has worked on four new major productions with Sir Cameron Mackintosh.

TOM LING (Lyrics) is a writer and lyricist who trained at University of Birmingham and continued studying musical theatre at the Guildford School of Acting. Tom has co-written numerous songs with composer Nick Butcher which have featured in his successful YouTube channel, including their musical short film, Loved Before. His other work includes: Techies, a musical comedy which achieved a sold-out run with “audiences laughing loudly” (British Theatre Guide) at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe and remained in the Broadway Baby Top Ten New Musicals for the duration of the festival; The Cereal Cafe, a new musical about the 2015 Shoreditch gentrification riots – which was professionally workshopped at The Other Palace in 2018 and gained significant media coverage; Grandma Claus, sold out family musical, UK tour; Broken Lenses– a new song cycle and co-writing credits on Nick Butcher, Live at Zedels. Tom has also lectured on musical theatre writing to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s YCP.

Joe White (Book) is an award-winning writer from Birmingham, who has developed work with the Old Vic, Lyric Hammersmith, Bush, Hampstead, Birmingham REP and BBC Radio 3. In 2014, he was selected for the BBC Writersroom 10 and won the Channel 4 Playwriting Award (formerly Pearson Award). In 2015, he was the Writer in Residence of Pentabus Theatre Company, and in 2017, he was selected for the Orange Tree Writers Collective and the Old Vic 12. His debut play Mayfly premiered at the Orange Tree Theatre in Spring 2018, and led to nominations for Best New Writer at the Stage Debut Awards and Most Promising New Playwright at the OffWestEnd Awards, which he won. Mayfly is published by Nick Hern Books. In 2019, Joe was selected for the BBC TV Drama Writers Programme, through which he is developing a pilot with STV. He is currently under commission with Sheffield Crucible, Audible and Carnival Films. On a personal level, Joe loves his sport and is very much one of the lads. His collaborative nature and understanding of the musical form makes Joe an authentic and exciting playwright to adapt Henry’s story for the stage.

THE MOON AND THE SEA
Creighton Irons (Music & Lyrics) first started making songs with his brothers in the rambling woods north of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina as a Morehead Scholar, where he fell in love with writing musicals. Creighton went on to earn an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program (’08). His thesis from NYU, Factory Girls, written with collaborator Sean Mahoney, travelled to Goodspeed Musicals as a part of their Festival of New Musicals. Subsequently, the show was selected for the National Alliance for Musical Theater’s Festival of New Musicals and has been workshopped at PACE University, Boston Conservatory, the American Conservatory Theater, the Musical Theater Factory, and 11th Hour Company. His shows have enjoyed productions in North Carolina, Boston, California, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and New York. In addition, his songs have been performed in cabarets across the country (Barrington Stage, selected by William Finn; Goodspeed Musicals; Baldwin-Wallace and Emerson College), in New York City (54 Below, ArsNova, Birdland Jazz, Joe’s Pub, The Canal Room, Lincoln Center and others), and the UK (The Breakaway Project in Dublin, The Willow Globe in Wales). Creighton also works as a musical director (Dreamland, Working, Kudzu, The People v. Mona, Diamond Studs) and teaching artist (with the Roundabout Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater, Hunts Point Society for Children, the Shakespeare Society, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Playmakers Rep, and others). He has been an artist-in-residence at Lesley College, A.C.T., Boston Conservatory, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. In addition, he has led songwriting and other performing arts workshops with Bank Street, Emerson College, Hartford Stage, Metro Nashville City Schools, Playmakers Repertory Theater, Woods Summer Wonders, Manhattan Shakespeare Society, and others.

Douglas Lyons (Book) is an actor, writer, director, composer and playwright. Broadway: Beautiful (Original Cast) and The Book of Mormon. Tours: Rent, Dreamgirls and The Book of Mormon First National Tour. As a writer: Polkadots (Off-Broadway Alliance Winner Best Family Show, Atlantic Theater Company) and Five Points (MN Theatre Award Nominee for Exceptional New Work, Theatre Latte Da), Beau (Adirondack Theatre Festival), Pete(Her)Pan (Pace New Musicals). Commissions: ’64 (The 5th Ave). With composer Ethan Pakchar his lyrics have played NAMT, Joe’s Pub, Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center, Bucks County Playhouse, The Old Globe, Goodspeed Musicals, Seattle Rep, and others. He’s currently in residence at The Directors Company with Chicken & Biscuits. @DouglasSings

NO PLACE
JOEL ESHER (Music & Lyrics) Off-Broadway: PharmaBro (OBA nomination, Best Musical 2017-2018). Folk Wandering (Pipeline/ARTNY). NYC: Joey and Ron (Players Theater), Bagels from Benny (92Y), Sammy Spider (92Y), Superhots! (Soundbites). Joel is the Music Supervisor of the Story Pirates, where he has penned numerous songs for their globally-ranked Kids and Family podcast (1 million+ downloads/month). Graduate of the Musical Theater program at Northwestern University (Joseph L. Siegel scholarship recipient).

MONTSERRAT OLMOS LOZANO (Book) Indigenous Rights Activist, Totonac Medicine Woman, Traditional Birth Worker, and Mental Health Counselor at Mixteca Organization in Brooklyn, New York. Montse began her decolonizing work as a ceremonial dancer in the Nahua/Mexikah tradition of her birthplace, Mexico City. As a musician and visual artist, she’s presented work at New York Botanical Garden, University of Houston, El Museo del Barrio, Columbia University, and New York Hall of Science.

GREGORY VAN ACKER (Book & Lyrics) Sugar Skull: A Día de los Muertos Musical Adventure (Mexico Beyond Mariachi, licensed by Columbia Artists and currently on a 30-city cross country tour!), The Book of You (Durango Arts Center), Thurgood Grows Up (Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling). Material from Noplace was selected for Reclaiming Our Time: Songs from MTF’s POC Roundtable at Joe’s Pub, and Musical Theatre Factory’s 4×15: Round 31 performance series.

PARIS BY NIGHT
Curt Columbus (Book & Lyrics) became Trinity Repertory Company’s fifth artistic director in January 2006. He is also the artistic director of the Brown/Trinity MFA programs in Acting and Directing. His directing credits for Trinity include Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, Middletown, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Merchant of Venice, His Girl Friday, Camelot, Cabaret, Blithe Spirit, A Christmas Carol, The Cherry Orchard and the world premieres of The Completely Fictional, Utterly True, Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allen Poe and Social Creatures. Trinity has been home to the world premieres of three of his plays, Paris by Night, The Dreams of Antigone, and Sparrow Grass. Trinity has also produced his translations of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Ivanov, as well as Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear and Lope De Vega’s Like Sheep to Water (Fuente Ovejuna). Curt’s adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (with Marilyn Campbell) has won awards and accolades at theaters around the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. His translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, developed at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, is now published by Dramatists Play Service, as is his play Sparrow Grass, and his translations of Chekhov’s other major plays, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, and Ivanov. Curt lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his husband Nate Watson.

Andre Pluess (Music) Broadway: 33 Variations, I Am My Own Wife, Metamorphoses. Regional: Argonautika/Arabian Nights (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company); After the Quake (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse); Ghostwritten (Goodman Theatre); Cymbeline (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Endgame (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Marcus (American Conservatory Theater); Lady Windemere’s Fan (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Passion Play Trilogy, Legacy of Light (Arena Stage); The Clean House (Yale Repertory Theatre, Lincoln Center, with director Bill Rauch); A Moon for the Misbegotten (McCarter Theatre); Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing (California Shakespeare Festival). Other credits: Associate artist with Lookingglass Theatre Company and California Shakespeare Festival. Awards: Multiple Joseph Jefferson Awards and Citations, Ovation Award, Drama Critics Circle Award, Barrymore Award, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations for composition and sound design.

Amy Warren (Music) Lincoln Center Theater: Act One. Broadway: August: Osage County. Off- Broadway: Melancholy Play (13P), Schlemiel the First (TFANA), Adding Machine: A Musical (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lortel nominations./Minetta Lane), When the Messenger Is Hot (59E59), Miss B (NY Fringe). Regional: Steppenwolf, Goodman, Northlight Theatre, Piven Theatre, Theater Oobleck, Next Theatre, About Face Theatre, Curious Theatre Branch, Theatre for the Age of Gold, Touchstone Theatre, Second City, Cactus Theater. Film: Untitled Noah Baumbach, Gravity (Explorer Captain). TV: “The Good Wife,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Law & Order”.

POPPY
Todd Robbins (Book) is an award-winning performer and creative artist that has worked in many areas of popular entertainment and the performing arts during a career that has lasted more than thirty years. Todd was recently seen hosting his TV series “True Nightmares” for the Investigation Discovery Channel. Other recent appearances include The Discovery Channel’s “Oddities” and “Lost Magic” for the History Channel. Todd has also been a consultant on numerous TV shows and movies, including several episodes of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” Criss Angel’s “Mind Freak” on A & E and “Road Trick” on the Travel Channel. Classically trained as an actor at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, he has put his performing abilities to good use in the two Drama Desk nominated theater pieces that he created for off-Broadway, Carnival Knowledge and Play Dead, co-created by Teller (of Penn & Teller) Todd is an advisor to the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, CT, the FringeNYC Festival and the annual TEDxBroadway event in NYC. Todd’s podcast Abnormalcy recently debuted on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. This podcast features Todd telling true twisted stories of murder and mayhem. For more about this go to abnormalcypodcast.com. For more information about Todd, view the documentary on him, American Carny: Tales of the American Sideshow, and go to his website: www.toddrobbins.com.

THE PRANCING ELITES
Miranda Cooper (Music & Lyrics) is an English singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer and television presenter. Miranda Cooper has worked in the music industry since 1996 when she gained her first recording contract. In 1997, Cooper met Brian Higgins, the founder of the songwriting and production team Xenomania. Miranda signed a deal with London Records under the alias Moonbaby, releasing the single “Here We Go” to little success, although it was used as the theme tune to the cartoon series Totally Spies! with some lyrics adjusted. Cooper started songwriting with Higgins, eventually finding commercial success and critical acclaim with their productions for Girls Aloud and Sugababes. Cooper has written for successful artists such as Alesha Dixon, Gabriella Cilmi and Kylie Minogue. Cooper’s songs have spent more years on the English chart than any other female songwriter in history, and she has penned four number one hits – “Round Round” and “Hole in the Head” by the Sugababes and “Sound of the Underground” and “The Promise” by Girls Aloud. In 2018, Miranda wrote music and lyrics for the musical adaptation of Son of Rambow with previous writing partner Nick Coler and writer Richard Marsh. Cooper and Coler also wrote the music and lyrics for the musical adaptation of David Walliams’ book Billionaire Boy.

Michael R. Jackson (Book) Michael’s A Strange Loop (which had its 2019 world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in co-production with Page 73 Productions) was called “a full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins” and a “gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies” by Ben Brantley for The New York Times, and “exhilarating and wickedly funny” by Sara Holdren for New York. In The New Yorker, Vinsom Cunningham wrote, “To watch this show is to enter, by some urgent, bawdy magic, an ecstatic and infinitely more colorful version of the famous surreal lithograph by M. C. Escher: the hand that lifts from the page, becoming almost real, then draws another hand, which returns the favor.” As a songwriter, Jackson has seen his work performed everywhere from Joe’s Pub to NAMT. He wrote lyrics and co-wrote book for the musical adaptation of the 2007 horror film Teeth with composer and co-bookwriter Anna K. Jacobs. He wrote book, music, and lyrics for the musicals White Girl In Danger as well as for A Strange Loop. Awards and associations include: a New Professional Theatre Festival Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a Whiting Award, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting and a Dramatist Guild Fellowship. He has commissions from Grove Entertainment & Barbara Whitman Productions and LCT3. Jackson holds a BFA and MFA in playwriting and Musical Theatre Writing from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Jason Pebworth (Music & Lyrics) As part of the Grammy-nominated songwriting and production team The Invisible Men, Pebworth has co-penned a number of transatlantic hits for artists including Iggy Azalea, Jessie J and Britney Spears. Prior to forming the trio in 2008 with Jon Shave, he and George Astasio were members of the U.S. band Orson. Song credits include: “No Can Do”, “Do It Like The Dude”, “Who’s Laughing Now”, “LazerLight”, “Hot Right Now”, “The Power”, “The Feeling”, “Dibby Dibby Sound”, “Can’t Say No”, “Vegas Girl”, “Animal”, “Work”, and “Fancy,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks and by the end of 2014 had sold nearly 4 million digital downloads in the U.S., was the seventh top single of 2014 worldwide with 9.1 million global sales and was nominated Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

JON SHAVE (Music & Lyrics) As part of the Grammy-nominated songwriting and production team The Invisible Men, Shave has co-penned a number of transatlantic hits for artists including Iggy Azalea, Jessie J and Britney Spears. Prior to forming the trio in 2008 with Jason Pebworth and George Astasio, both former members of the U.S. band Orson, Shave had worked out of the hugely-successful U.K.-based songwriting/production house Xenomania where he wrote for the likes of chart-topping British female pop group Girls Aloud. Song credits include: “No Can Do”, “Do It Like The Dude”, “Who’s Laughing Now”, “LazerLight”, “Hot Right Now”, “The Power”, “The Feeling”, “Dibby Dibby Sound”, “Can’t Say No”, “Vegas Girl”, “Animal”, “Work”, and “Fancy,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks and by the end of 2014 had sold nearly 4 million digital downloads in the U.S., was the seventh top single of 2014 worldwide with 9.1 million global sales and was nominated Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

RESIDENT ALIEN
Katya Stanislavskaya (Book, Music & Lyrics) is a musical theatre composer, lyricist, librettist, musical director, and educator. Her original works include the full-length musicals Resident Alien (Weston New Musical Award, Astoria Performing Arts Center) and Going South (Dixon Place, Gallery Players, Musical Theatre Factory), theatrical song cycle Women On Love, and numerous short musicals and cabaret songs. Her works have been developed at the BMI Lehman-Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, New Dramatists, New Georges, Weston Playhouse, Astoria Performing Arts Center, New York Theatre Barn, and Western Carolina University. Her songs have been performed at Joe’s Pub, Symphony Space Feinstein’s/54 Below, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Ars Nova, Barrington Stage, Goodspeed Musicals, York Theatre, and Prospect Theatre by Broadway perfomers including Taylor Trensch, Alex Brightman, Lauren Marcus, Wes Taylor, Grace McLean, Karen Ziemba, Malcolm Gets, Alyse Alan Louis, Anika Larsen, Amy Justman, and Theresa McCarthy. Honors include the Jerry Harrington Award (BMI), MacDowell Colony Residency, and Nautilus/New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio. Katya is an active music director musical director, conductor, and/or pianist at New York and regional theaters. She has a Master of Music degree in Music from Temple University, an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU, and is Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at SUNY – New Paltz.

SEAN’S STORY PART TWO | THE RECKONING
KHIYON HURSEY (Book, Music & Lyrics) is a writer and composer based in Los Angeles and New York. A 2014 graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in Songwriting, he recently finished a stint as a staff writer for Netflix’s romantic musical drama Soundtrack. He is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Irving Burgie Scholarship, Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship, a 2016 NAMT Writers Grant, a 2016 – 2017 Dramatists Guild Musical Theater Fellow, 2017 Space on Ryder Farm Residency, 2018 Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project residency, 2019 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop with Stephen Schwartz, and the 2019 Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat.

VICTORY TRAIN
David Buskin (Book, Music & Lyrics) has been writing, recording and performing his music since 1970. He’s made about fifteen albums, most as half of the duo Buskin & Batteau or one-third of the notorious “geezer band” Modern Man. His songs and jingles have been recorded by many great artists; a sample: Judy Collins; Peter, Paul & Mary; Johnny Mathis; Astrud Gilberto; Tom Rush; Dixie Carter; Roberta Flack; Mel Tormé; Take 6; Phoebe Snow, Richie Havens and Arlo Guthrie. He is a New York Nightlife Award, Bistro Award and Clio Award winner. Earlier this year he was given the ASCAP Jamie deRoy Award for excellence in songwriting. He’s organized or participated in numerous concerts for organizations like The Hole In The Wall Camp, Stand For The Troops and WHY/Hunger. For the last seven years he was a principal contributor to the late Isaiah Sheffer’s Thalia Follies, a thrice-yearly political cabaret in NYC. He has written special material for, among others, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Whoopi Goldberg. He is particularly proud of his recent acting debut as The Narrator, The Peddler and The Donkey in the York Theater’s revival of Sheldon Harnick’s Dragons. “Sheldon was speechless at my performance,” he says proudly. “In fact, he hasn’t spoken to me since.”

Jake Holmes (Book, Music & Lyrics) is best known as a lyricist and songwriter. His music has been recorded and performed by such artists as Lena Horn, Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, The Four Seasons and Led Zeppelin. In the early eighties, Harry Belafonte sent Jake to Johannesburg to work with South African musicians on songs for Harry’s album “Paradise in Gazankulu.” It was there Jake fell in love with world music. It has been an obsession ever since. Jake has recorded five albums of his own and recently completed his sixth solo effort: “Dangerous Times.” He has played to concert audiences throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. His musical Sidewalking was produced at the Manhattan Theater Club and earned a Drama Desk Award nomination. Jake ‘s song “Monsters Under My Bed” and 10 minute musical Pigmailman can be found in the musical Story Time with Mr. Buttermen (Fables for Adults Living in a Modern World)” which premiered at La MaMa E.T.C. and has had runs at Center Stage, NY, and Fringe NYC. Jake is internationally recognized for his impact on the world of advertising. He is the only advertising writer to be inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame for his music for commercials. His credits include “Be All That You Can be” (US Army) “I’m A Pepper” (Dr. Pepper) “The UnCola” (7-Up), “Come See The Softer Side Of Sears” campaign, the Clio Award-winning “Little Old Ladies” for Lipton Tea and the “Less Is More” campaign for Charmin Tissues. Jake’s passion for the spoken word recently led him to the Nuyorican Poet’s Café where he has, on occasion, won the coveted ten dollar bill first prize.

VILLAGE OF VALE
JONATHAN KARPINOS (Book & Lyrics) is a playwright and teacher based in New York. In addition to the Village of Vale, his current projects include Lost Letters (co-written with Creighton Irons), scheduled to premiere at Bloomington Playwrights Project in December, 2019. Other work has appeared at Freeplay (NYU), Studio Tisch (NYU), the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the Queens College Play Development Lab, and Pew-ish. Jonathan holds a MFA from Queens College, where he also taught college writing and published an essay on the challenge of translating 2200-year-old Latin puns. He taught playwriting for several years at Acting Manitou, a summer theatre program for young actors. He is the co-author (with Benji Goldsmith and Meg Sturiano) of The Average Achievers, a musical for young actors, which received its New York premiere at Hunter College High School. He currently teaches Latin at The Masters School.

JOHN MCGREW (Music & Lyrics) is a composer, storyteller, singer, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and producer based in Los Angeles, CA. The New York Times called McGrew’s music for Jack Ferver’s dance performance piece Death Is Certain both “ominous” and “delicate.” In 2009, McGrew was invited to create and perform a piece for DanSpace Project’s Food For Thought, a night honoring the year’s most influential dance artists. In 2013, McGrew composed the theme music for the TED Talk conference, TED Talk: The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered. (with Graham Fisk, Oliver Jeffers, and Mac Premo). In 2014, McGrew was nominated as a Fellow in the Academy for Teachers for his work at schools in the New York Metro area. McGrew performs across the country with his rock group Apollo Run, whose “talent for quickly jelling melodies” was recognized by NPR’s Song of the Day, HuffingtonPost, Time Out NY, The LAist, Baeble Music, and Future Sounds. www.johnmcgrewmusic.com

Joseph Varca (Book & Lyrics) is an actor, writer, and filmmaker based in New York. As an actor, recent work in theater includes Broadway’s Network directed by Ivo van Hove and Off-Broadway’s Pentecost and Monster (PTP, Atlantic Stage 2); LoveSick or Things That Don’t Happen (Project Y, 59E59th); Macrune’s Guevara (St. Clements). Other: NY premieres of Cut by Crystal Skillman, Song For a Future Generation by Joe Tracz; Poor Jesse by Emily Feldman (Sam French OOB Festival); and Lucky Girl (McCarter Theater Center). Film/TV: “American Genius” (NatGeo) “Bastards of Young, Chilling Visions” (Chiller TV), Bristel Goodman (Palm Springs International Film Festival) and the feature film Lapsis, which he also produced. His work as a director in theater has premiered at the NYC Fringe Festival (Amerika – Best Ensemble Award and I Was Tom Cruise – Outstanding Play Award) and work in film at the TriBeCa Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival. He is a graduate of Middlebury College.

WEST SIDE COWBOYS
THE LOBBYISTS (Book, Music & Lyrics) Tommy Crawford, Eloise Eonnet, Alex Grubbs, Will Turner, Tony Aidan Vo and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman are a band and theater collective that creates plays and concerts that explore the American mythos driven by a rockin’ folk Americana beat. They formed in 2012, and take their name from the lobby of The Flea Theater, where the group first started playing and writing music together. Drawing on folk, roots, and a host of other influences, the band has been noted for their lush harmonies, “marvelous” songwriting (The New York Times), and “impressive musicianship” (Entertainment Weekly). The New Yorker calls their music “terrific,” and The Village Voice lauds them as “undeniably talented.” Their music for SeaWife, a haunted tale of the American whaling trade created with playwright Seth Moore and director Liz Carlson, was nominated for a 2016 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Musical alongside Steve Martin, Sara Bareilles, Michael John LaChiusa and Andrew Lloyd Webber. They have played some of New York’s favorite concert venues, including Joe’s Pub, Rockwood Music Hall, 54 Below, Pete’s Candy Store, Ars Nova, Mercury Lounge, and more. Their music has been workshopped and developed with NY Stage & Film, Cape Cod Theater Project, Ars Nova, and Rhinebeck Writers’ Retreat. SeaWife was originally produced Off-Broadway by Naked Angels in partnership with the South Street Seaport, and subsequently premiered regionally at Nantucket’s White Heron Theater. They have released one full length and three short albums of original music. Learn more about the band, their music, and projects at www.wearethelobbyists.com.

ELOÏSE EONNET is an actress and musician from France, now based in NYC. As an actor, credits include new plays by Sean Graney, Amy Freed, Thomas Bradshaw, and Willie Orbison and The Lobbyists/Seth Moore. She has worked with Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theater/Youngblood, The Flea Theater, Exit, Pursued by a Bear, Amios, Winkel&Balktic and Williamstown Theater Festival, among others. Feature film credits: Madeline, Passion of Mind, L’acqua..il Fuoco and According to Her. Eloïse sings, stomps, and creates with The Lobbyists (Drama Desk Award Nomination), and earned a BA in Psychology from Barnard College. For more information, visit www.eloiseeonnet.com

Alex Grubbs is a member of acclaimed New York folk band The Lobbyists who were nominated for a 2016 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music for SeaWife, produced by Naked Angels. Other credits include Spill and Kentucky (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Utility (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), SeaWife (Naked Angels), Mary Kate Olsen is in Love, These Seven Sicknesses (The Flea Theater). Regional: Miss Keller Has No Second Book (Gulfshore Playhouse), SeaWife (White Heron), The 39 Steps, Barefoot in the Park (Heritage Theater Festival), lifetime member of Ensemble Studio Theater, NYC. M.F.A in Acting UVa. www.alexgrubbs.com

Douglas Waterbury-Tieman is an actor, musician and writer from Lexington, KY. BM in Musical Theatre: Belmont University. Off Broadway: The Robber Bridegroom, Soot and Spit. Regional; SeaWife, Once. He recently played fiddle aboard The Disney Magic as well as for Clint Black’s Looking For Christmas at The Old Globe. Proud member of The Lobbyists and The Playbillies, he is also the creator of Johnny & the Devil’s Box, recently seen in cabaret at Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals.

Untitled Project
Jake Bernstein (Book) is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author. He was a senior reporter on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists team, which broke the Panama Papers story. In 2017, the project won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. Bernstein was an executive producer on the The Laundromat, a Netflix film based on his book, Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers, Illicit Money Networks, and the Global Elite (Henry Holt, 2017). He earned his first Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for National Reporting, for coverage of the financial crisis. Bernstein has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Guardian, ProPublica, and Vice, and has appeared on the BBC, NBC, CNN, PBS, and NPR. He was the editor of The Texas Observer and is the coauthor of Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency (Random House, 2006.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

TCG Has Announced the Co-Chairs of 2020 GALA: OUR STORIES Honoring David Henry Hwang and the National Black Theatre Festival at The Edison Ballroom on February 3

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, has shared the co-chair and host committee list of the 2020 TCG Gala: Our Stories, which will be held on Monday, February 3, 2020 at The Edison Ballroom, 240 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036. The Gala will honor the National Black Theatre Festival, David Henry Hwang, and TCG’s arts advocacy at the federal level.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The list of co-chairs and host committee members, most of whom will be in attendance, includes: Stephen C. Byrd, Chair; Oskar Eustis, Chair; Alia Jones-Harvey, Chair; Rick Miramontez, Chair; May Adrales; Jackie Alexander; Asian American Arts Alliance; André De Shields; Snehal Desai; Michael Dinwiddie and Vincent Parham; Kamilah Forbes; GFP Real Estate; Nambi E. Kelley; James Lapine; Sade Lythcott, Jonathan McCrory, Brian Stokes Mitchell; Dominique Morisseau; Lynn Nottage; Disney Theatrical Productions; Leigh Silverman; Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin; Julie Taymor; and Jeanine Tesori.

The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival Official Portrait. Photo by Lia Chang

A 6:00pm cocktail reception will be followed by a 7:00pm seated dinner, with entertainment beginning at 7:20pm. Additional speakers and programming will be announced soon. To learn more about the 2020 TCG Gala, and the programming it supports, visit TCG.org/Events/Gala or email Gala@tcg.org. Please email Corinna Schulenburg at cschulenburg@tcg.org for press reservations. To purchase tickets, go to www.TCGgala.org.

“We’re grateful that so many luminaries from the commercial and not-for-profit theatre have lent their support to TCG’s Gala” said Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG. “It’s a reminder that when we advocate at the federal level on critical issues such as protecting wireless technology and visas for International Artists, we impact not just not-for-profit theatres, but the sector as a whole.”

“I am so grateful to TCG for its commitment to instilling a passion for advocacy among its members, and specifically how it has nurtured that passion in me,” said Jonathan Moscone, chief producer, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. “As cultural workers, we have a responsibility to advocate not only for our field, but to use our creative power to advocate for a better world.”

TCG is the primary advocate for the not-for-profit professional theatre in the United States. TCG represents the theatre field both in Washington, D.C., and nationally, to provide timely information for theatres and theatre artists on federal legislation, regulations, and other significant government opportunities and issues. TCG focuses its advocacy in five major areas: 1) increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; 2) increased funding for arts education within the U.S. Department of Education; 3) favorable tax treatment of not-for-profit arts organizations and charitable contributions; 4) working toward improved cultural exchange by improving visa processing for artists from abroad and increasing funding and 5) White Space – protecting wireless microphones from interference.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL
The National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) is a program of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep). Presented every odd numbered year, the festival hosts upwards of 120 performances, attracts upwards of 65,000 visitors to Winston-Salem, and has contributed over $230 million dollars to the Winston-Salem economy since its inception in 1989. Founded in 1979 by Larry Leon Hamlin, NC Black Rep was the first professional Black theatre company in North Carolina. NC Black Rep’s mission is to engage, enrich, and entertain with innovative programming that resonates across the community and challenges social perceptions. The Company is universally recognized for its artistic and administrative achievements and its international outreach program, the NBTF.

ABOUT David Henry Hwang
David Henry Hwang’s stage work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the most-produced living American opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards. He co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop icon Prince, and worked for four seasons as a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” Hwang serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center, as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts, and as Chair of the American Theatre Wing. M. Butterfly recently returned to Broadway in a revival directed by Julie Taymor, which marked his eighth Broadway production. East West Players has named its mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theatre and recent honors include his 2018 induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Hwang was a Residency One playwright from 2012-14 at New York’s Signature Theatre. His newest work, Soft Power, a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori, premiered in May 2018 at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles where it won 6 Ovation Awards, including Best New Production, and enjoyed a successful run in Fall 2019 at The Public Theater.

ABOUT TCG’S “OUR STORIES” GALA
TCG’s annual Our Stories Gala supports vital programs and services for the theatre community. The 2019 Gala honored arts philanthropist and Chairman Emerita, Ingram Industries Inc. Martha R. Ingram; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner; and Broadway press agent and President of DKC/O&M Rick Miramontez. The evening’s programming, directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer, included special performances from Eva Maria Noblezada and Patrick Page (Hadestown), Ali Stroker (Oklahoma!), Beth Malone, and Nico Muhly. Past honorees at the TCG annual gala-now in its eighth year- include actor Brian Dennehy, director Kenny Leon, playwright Lynn Nottage, actress and playwright Danai Gurira, theatrical producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, set designer Ming Cho Lee, lighting designer Jules Fisher, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Vilcek Foundation, producers Ruth and Stephen Hendel, Judith O. Rubin, and the creators of War Paint (Scott Frankel, Michael Greif, Michael Korie, and Doug Wright).

Theatre Communications Group Will Honor David Henry Hwang and National Black Theatre Festival at 2020 Gala on February 3 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Soriya K. Chum Set as Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists (CAATA) Inaugural Executive Director

The Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists (CAATA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Soriya K. Chum as its first-ever executive director. Mr. Chum will oversee operations of the nationwide arts service organization. He assumes his new post in January 2020.

Soriya K. Chum. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. Chum has nine years of programs management, fundraising, and community engagement experience in the arts and culture sector. Currently, he manages public programs for the flagship branch of the New York Public Library in Bryant Park. At the Library, Soriya plans and develops a robust season of 100+ talks, readings, and symposiums a year. In the past, he has served as the Manager of Public Programs with the Asian American Arts Alliance; Manager of Humanities and Studio Programs with Theatre for a New Audience; and Curatorial Team Member with the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. Soriya is a graduate of Columbia University.

Outgoing board president Victor Malana Maog said, “This is a milestone for CAATA and our field. With Soriya K. Chum’s holistic and strategic approach and experience to community building, organizing and art making, he was the unanimous choice for this inaugural role. Under Soriya’s leadership in partnership with the Board of Directors, our family of artists, organizations and allies will be better poised to create a network of increased support and resources, radical inclusivity and innovation, social justice and a forever home.”

In a statement, Mr. Chum said, “This is an exciting moment. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to lead CAATA in its efforts to strengthen its infrastructure and carry out its vision. I look forward to working collaboratively with the board of directors and CAATA’s members to discover the best pathways to help amplify the voices of the Asian American theater community.”

CAATA works to advance the field of Asian American theater through a national network of organizations and artists. It collaborates to inspire learning and sharing of knowledge, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable artistic ecology. In 2003, six Asian American theater companies began discussions to hold the first National Asian American Theater Conference. As a result of these conversations, the first National Asian American Theater Festival took place June 2007 in New York City, and CAATA came into formation. Conferences and Festivals have since been hosted in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Ashland, and Chicago. The next combined Conference and Festival (ConFest) will be held in Hawai’i from August 7 -16, 2020. www.caata.net

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Nikita Burshteyn, Anna Kostakis, Carlos Lopez, Michael Marotta, Judy McLane, Michael Notardonato, Ari Raskin, Troy Valjean Rucker, Zach Schanne and Viet Vo Set for Amas Musical Theatre’s Off-Broadway Premiere of “Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn”

Amas Musical Theatre (Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer) in association with Eric Krebs is presenting the Off-Broadway premiere of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn, with book and lyrics by Mark Saltzman, music adapted from classic Italian melodies, and directed and choreographed by Justin Ross Cohen. Previews begin at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./New York Theatres 502 West 53rd Street (10th Avenue & 53rd Street) tonight at 7pm with an official opening on Thursday, January 23rd at 8pm. Performances will continue through February 16, 2020.

Romeo-yes, THAT Romeo-finds himself in 1960 Brooklyn, chasing a girl he believes is his beloved Juliet. But no, it’s Bernadette, the beautiful, foul-mouthed daughter of a crime family in this wild spoof of Shakespeare’s timeless tale.

The cast for Romeo & Bernadette is Nikita Burshteyn (Newsies), Anna Kostakis (NY debut), Carlos Lopez (Man of La Mancha), Michael Marotta (Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical), Judy McLane (Mamma Mia), Michael Notardonato ( NY debut), Ari Raskin (NY debut), Troy Valjean Rucker (August Rush – Upcoming B’wy), Zach Schanne (Pippin), and Viet Vo (Vietgone).

The creative team is Walt Spangler (Scenic Design), Fabio Toblini and Joseph Schrope (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), One Dream Sound (Sound Design), Aaron Gandy (Music Director), Steve Orich (Musical Supervision/Arrangements/Orchestrations), Kathryn Ann Wright (Associate Choreographer). Christine Viega is the Production Stage Manager. Casting is by Carol Hanzel Casting, CSA.

The performance schedule will be as follows: Tues. at 7pm, Wed.-Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 3pm and 8pm, Sun. at 3pm. Tickets are priced $49-$69.

BIOS

Mark Saltzman (Book/Lyrics) began his career in New York with the Muppets. His “Sesame Street” sketches and songs (including “Caribbean Amphibian”) earned him seven Emmy Awards, but behind Bert and Ernie’s back, Mark was writing shows for Soho Rep, 13th Street Theater, and the Village Gate, where he co-wrote the long-running revue “A, My Name is Alice.” Mark collaborated with Jerry Herman on the CBS holiday movie “Mrs. Santa Claus” starring Angela Lansbury. For the movies, he wrote The Adventures of Milo and Otis, Three Ninjas Kick Back and screenplays for SONY, Universal, and Disney. His TV movie, “The Red Sneakers” directed by and starring Gregory Hines was nominated for a Writers Guild Award. In 1997, Mark’s musical, The Tin Pan Alley Rag opened at The Pasadena Playhouse, received five Ovation Award nominations, including Best Musical, and went on to play at New York’s Roundabout Theater. Other stage works: Falling for Make Believe, Lorenz Hart’s life story (Colony Theater); Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood (Laguna Playhouse,) optioned for the movies by The Little Film Company. Mark is a graduate of Cornell. More information at www.marksaltzman.com

Justin Ross Cohen (Director/Choreographer) Film and theater director won an Audience Favorite nod for Waiting for Yvette, starring Wendie Malick, at both the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and on LOGO/TV. Off- Broadway: I Could Go On Lip-Synching!, starring Lypsinka (Provincetown Playhouse, NY/ Callboard Theater, L.A.), About Time by Paulette Attie (Jose Quintero). Los Angeles: Nocturne, by Adam Rapp (The Other Space), Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, by Bill Russell, starring John Rubinstein (Interact), Women Behind Bars, by Tom Eyen, starring Lainie Kazan, Jennifer Tilly, Niecy Nash, Lesley Ann Warren, Ellen Greene and Peter Facinelli (Pico Playhouse), Romeo and Bernadette by Mark Saltzman (Wyoming Theater Festival). Acting credits include Broadway: A Chorus Line, Pippin, The Magic Show, and the film A Chorus Line.

Prospect Presents Special IGNITE Series Concert of Paulo K Tiról’s ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD Featuring Albert Guerzon, Joanne Javien, Jaygee Macapugay, Diane Phelan, Michael Protacio and Kevin Schuering on February 3 and 4

Prospect Theater Company is presenting a special IGNITE Series Concert of Paulo K Tiról’s new song cycle, On This Side of the World, for two performances on Monday and Tuesday Feb. 3rd and 4th at 7:30pm at the Greenwich House Theater (27 Barrow Street).

Michael Protacio, Jaygee Macapugay, Diane Phelan, Kevin Schuering, Joanne Javien and Albert Guerzon. Photo by Lia Chang

For tickets ($35) and information, please visit www.ProspectTheater.org
or call 212-352-3101.

Michael Protacio, Jaygee Macapugay, Albert Guerzon, Kevin Schuering, Diane Phelan and Joanne Javien. Photo by Lia Chang

On this Side of the World is a collection of songs capturing voices from the Filipino immigrant experience in the United States. Stories of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies. Snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses, and first-generation Americans. Paulo K Tiról’s wistful, joyous song cycle is a vibrant mosaic of love and loss, humor and heartache, yearning and faith eight thousand miles from home.

Prospect’s IGNITE Series Concert will feature encore performances by the original cast from the May 2019 premiere, and feature three new songs.

The company includes Albert Guerzon (Escape to Margaritaville, Honeymoon in Vegas); Joanne Javien (Secret Garden at the Arden Theatre, Miss Saigon); Jaygee Macapugay (Soft Power, School of Rock, Prospect’s Honor); Diane Phelan (Felix Starro, LCT’s The King & I, Prospect’s Honor); Michael Protacio (Out of The Eclipse, Cry Love); and Kevin Schuering (LCT’s The King & I National Tour, Disney’s Aladdin at Chicago Shakes).

ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD’s Composer and Lyricist Paulo K Tiról with Director Noam Shapiro. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Noam Shapiro and music directed by Ian Miller, On this Side of the World was developed and originally presented by Three Hares, in Association with Access Theater. The concert is line produced by Rachel Nortz. The stage manager is Elizabeth Ann Goodman.

Albert Guerzon, Jaygee Macapugay, Joanne Javien, Paulo K Tiról, Diane Phelan, Kevin Schuering, Michael Protacio and Noam Shapiro. Photo by Lia Chang

This event is part of Prospect’s ongoing IGNITE Concert Series, which showcases compelling new musical theater works in concert settings.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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