“It was clear from my very first encounter with director Barrie Gelles: Gallery Players truly loves theater artists. I was honored to receive a reading in the inaugural year of Overtures, and I am thrilled to be back with Emma this fall. Gallery Players deftly handles all the logistics so the writers can focus on the work. A generosity of spirit abounds, from the directors to the cast, and I am immensely grateful for the time, talent, space, and support to develop this new musical; it is a rare gift.” – Sarah Taylor Ellis, composer – EMMA (2015)
“…having the Gallery Players and the type of support they are giving us allows us to focus entirely on the writing. Gallery Players has been fantastic about building a supportive infrastructure and for simply creating this opportunity. They’ve been so welcoming and fantastic working with all the new writers.” – Jonathon Lynch, composer – LUNACY (2014)
After an overwhelmingly successful inaugural season, Gallery is pleased to announce, OVERTURES: A New Musical Reading Series: Season 3. The Gallery Players has often successfully produced new musicals as part of their season, such as Yank (2007) and Like You Like It (2008). To further this idea, Gallery Players has created a new program in order to directly support the development of new musicals. OVERTURES will offer staged readings of six new musicals, thereby fostering the creation of new musical theatre and supporting the talented composers and writers as they refine their work. The series is helmed by theatre director and scholar, Barrie Gelles and will feature the talents of a roster of exceptional up-and-coming performers and directors.
Each musical will run for two consecutive nights. One may buy individual tickets for each show or purchase a season pass to the OVERTURES series.
Individual tickets are $10, or you can purchase an OVERTURES Pass to see all 6 for $50. Tickets may be purchased through OvationTix online or by calling 212-352-3101.
Program Director: OVERTURES – Barrie Gelles
OVERTURES: A New Musical Reading Series
Monday, September 26th at 7pm
Tuesday, September 27th at 7pm
Music by Jeffrey Lodin
Lyrics by William Squier
Book by William Squier and Dana Hilmer
Directed by Evan Pappas
Baby Bumps is an intimate musical comedy about the life-changing events that take place when first-time parents go from being a couple to a family. The musical follows Lisa and Jeff on a roller coaster ride through 9 months of pregnancy in Act One and the first 3 months of caring for their new baby in Act Two. Along the way the couple also has to fend off a barrage well-intentioned, unsolicited advice from other parents eager to share their experiences (especially the horror stories!) – allowing many of the 30+ essays from the collection on which the show is based (published by Three Rivers Press, compiled and edited by Dana Hilmer) to be woven into Jeff and Lisa’s tale to form a musical tapestry that’s funny, touching and surprisingly honest.
About the Artists:
Jeffrey Lodin and William Squier have been working together on new musicals since they met in the fabled BMI Workshop. In addition to Baby Bumps, highlights of their collaboration include the score for Disneyworld’s first 100% original musical, Disney’s Doug Live!; the winner of 7 Spirit Awards, 100 Years into the Heart (written with Pulitzer-nominee Richard Vetere); the NMTM Director’s Choice-winner, Top of the Heap (seen in production at the Gallery Players in 2009); A Merry Mulberry Street Musical, just about to kickoff a 5th sellout holiday run; and creating not one, but two Revolutionary War based shows: Benedict Arnold, a commissioned work for the Spirit of Broadway Theater, and Rebels 1775. Their songs have appeared on television: P.B.&J. Otter; film: Doug’s First Movie; and at the International Children’s Festival. Next up: Merrilee Mannerly: A Magnificent New Musical, a stage adaptation of the award-winning children’s book, is headed for a NYC engagement. And they are developing a new musical comedy, Love on Ice (book and co-lyrics by Bill Nabel). Both Jeff and Bill are members of the Dramatists Guild and BMI.
For more information on the writing team of Londin and Squier, please visit: www.lodinandsquier.com
Dana Hilmer (Book & Concept) is a family lifestyle expert and the creator of Blindsided by a Diaper: Over 30 Men and Women Reveal How Parenthood Changes a Relationship (Three Rivers Press). She is also a Principal for Mom Central Consulting, a viral and word of mouth marketing company specializing in the Mom market. You can visit her blog at www.coolfindsformoms.typepad.com and her Family Matters blog appears on the Huffington Post. In her “pre-kids” life, Dana was a marketing executive in magazine publishing, serving in senior management positions at Child, Smart Money and Inc. Magazine. Dana lives with her husband and three young boys in Connecticut. www.blindsidedbyadiaper.com
An American Hero
Monday, December 12th at 7pm
Tuesday, December 13th at 7pm
Music and Lyrics by Cody Cole
Book by Kenneth L. Stilson
Directed by Michael Macintosh
American Hero tells the embattled story of Thomas O’Brien, an optimistic Irish immigrant, who joins the United States Army, falls in love with and marries a spirited American woman before being sent to fight alongside his brother in the Second World War. He sacrifices and suffers terrible losses during the war, while on the home-front, his wife, Mary, forgoes her education to join the war effort and grieves the loss of their unborn child. Both Thomas and Mary endure the war, but their battles take heavy tolls. On the celebration of his return, Mary tells Thomas he is to be awarded the Medal of Honor, an accolade he rejects for simply surviving the worst day of his life. In the end, Thomas learns the depths of his love of family, the sacrifices of heroes, and the true meaning of becoming an American.
About the Artists:
Kenneth L. Stilson (Book) has worked in such theatres as the Lincoln Center (NYC), American Academy of Dramatic Art/Hudson Theatre (Hollywood, CA), Southern Repertory Theatre (New Orleans), Le Petite Theatre (New Orleans), Alabama Lyric Theatre, Stage West Theatre (Ft. Worth), Shakespeare in the Park (Ft. Worth), First Run Theatre (St. Louis), MU’s Summer Repertory Theatre. Kenn played an instrumental role in building the professional training programs in theatre and dance at The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University.
Cody Cole (Music and Lyrics) is a Senior Musical Theatre major at The Conservatory of Theatre at The Holland School at Southeast Missouri State University. Cody began composing at the age of six and with the support of his parents. He has been seen in The Addams Family, On the Town, and A Chorus Line.
Michael McIntosh has directed and acted throughout the world. Michael’s award-winning work has been seen Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Chicago, Missouri, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Beirut, Lebanon. Equally at home on-camera, Michael has worked on many commercials and industrial films. He is also a jingle singer and animation voice-over artist. He is Assistant Professor at the prestigious Conservatory of Theatre at Southeast Missouri State University.
We Are The Tigers
Monday, February 6 at 7pm
Tuesday, February 7 at 7pm
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Rebekah M. Allen
Directed by Michael Bello
Music Direction by Patrick Sulken
A new school year means a new beginning for the Tigers, the worst-ranked high school cheerleading team in the state. But when an innocent team-building sleepover becomes a mysterious murder scene, the Tigers will need more than just team spirit to survive the night – and each other. With an original pop/rock score, We Are The Tigers is a new comedy with a delightfully dark twist on the high school experience.
About the Artists:
Rebekah M. Allen (Writer) is a writer, composer, and lyricist living in New York City. Her original work has been featured at the NYMF, Musical Theatre Factory, The York, Boo Festival (Award Winner), Songwriters’ Salon, Second City Chicago, and showcased at 54 Below in We Are The Tigers: In Concert and The Rage: Carrie 2, An Unauthorized Parody Musical. Recently We Are The Tigers had its world premiere at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles and Remission was part of the New York Musical Festival’s developmental reading series. Rebekah is an alum of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and an entertainment contributor at Pride.com. rebekahmallen.com // @rebekahmallen
Michael Bello (Director) Previous Gallery: In The Heights (NYIT nom: Outstanding Director), Next to Normal (NYIT nom: Outstanding Musical) Directing: The Last Word (NYMF), What Do Critics Know? (NYMF), We Are The Tigers, Hello Again (IRNE noms for Best Musical & Director), Darling: A New Musical, multiple concerts at the Berkshire Theater Festival, and others. Assisting: Doctor Zhivago (Broadway Theater, dir. Des McAnuff), Fly By Night (Dallas Theater Center, dir. Bill Fennelly), A Little More Alive (Kansas City Rep, dir. Sheryl Kaller), Candide (Huntington, dir. Mary Zimmerman), among others. Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. B.F.A. Emerson College. www.MichaelBello.com
Patrick Sulken (Music Director) is a New York-based music director and arranger. Most recently, he has contributed to the music departments of Something Rotten!, Kinky Boots, and Gigi on Broadway, Southern Comfort (Public Theatre), Gigantic (Vineyard Theatre), Ever After (Paper Mill), Peter and the Starcatcher (1st National Tour), and Little Miss Sunshine (2econd Stage). Recent credits as music director include Peter and the Starcatcher (St. Louis Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse), We Are The Tigers (Hudson Theatre, Los Angeles), and Dani Girl (Exit, Pursued by a Bear). Proud Northwestern University graduate. www.patricksulken.com // @patricksulken
Monday, March 20 at 7pm
Tuesday, March 21 at 7pm
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Anna Jacobs
Three Echoes seek to become something more than a reflection in this three-woman chamber opera that weaves together a trilogy of tales, including a reimagining of the timeless Echo and Narcissus myth, retold from the perspective of Echo.
About the Artists:
Anna K. Jacobs is a Brooklyn-based Composer and Lyricist, who hails from Sydney, Australia. Her musicals include POP! (Yale Rep, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Studio Theatre, etc., w/ Maggie-Kate Coleman), Harmony, Kansas (Diversionary Theatre, w/ Bill Nelson), Stella and the Moon Man (STC/Theatre of Image, w/ Richard Tulloch & Adrian Kelly), and the short musicals include Cage Match and Magic 8 Ball (w/ Sam Salmond & Michael R. Jackson; both produced by Prospect Theatre Company). She is currently developing a musical adaptation of the 2007 Sundance Award-winning indie horror film, Teeth, and Echo, a 3-woman operatic reimagining the Echo and Narcissus myth. Anna’s work has received awards and nominations from the American Theatre Wing, San Diego Critics Circle, CT Critics Circle, Helen Hayes Awards, and Helpmann Awards. Evenings of her music and lyrics have been presented in concert at Lincoln Center, Ars Nova, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, NY Theatre Barn, and the Darlinghurst Theatre. She is a Musical Theatre Factory Artist in Residence, a former Ars Nova Uncharted Artist and Dramatists Guild Fellow, and holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU-Tisch. A passionate educator of music and theater, Anna is an Adjunct Professor at Mannes College and a Teaching Artist with the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Lincoln Center Theater. www.annakjacobs.com
AN OVERTURES SPECIAL EVENT
A fully-staged workshop production of the new musical
ON THE AIR
Thursday, May 18 at 8pm
Friday, May 19 at 8pm
Saturday, May 20 at 2pm
Saturday, May 20 at 8pm
Sunday, May 21 at 3pm
Music By Robert Farruggia
Lyrics by Robert Farruggia and Cristina Farruggia
Book by Robert Farruggia and Cristina Farruggia
Description of the Show:
An homage to the golden age of musical theatre, On the Air has gone through a number of prominent festivals/readings, most recently presented at The York Theatre’s Developmental Reading Series, where it was directed by Tony Nominee Hunter Foster. It is an original musical inspired by Jack and Loretta Clemens, a real life sibling Vaudeville duo that went on to star in Radio and Television. After their father’s death, Jack convinces his reluctant sister to break into show business. But when Loretta’s career surpasses Jack’s, their relationship is tested and each sibling must decide what they truly want. It’s a story that deals with major changes in society and entertainment throughout the early half of the 20th century, but at its core, On the Air focuses on the bond of family and how far one will go to achieve their dreams.
About the Artists:
Robert Farruggia (Music, Book and Lyrics): As a composer, Robert developed “Family Album,” a cabaret act with his sister, Cristina, for which he composed more than half the songs. His first musical, On the Air, was presented as part of The York Theatre’s Developmental Reading Series, where it was directed by Tony Nominee Hunter Foster. It was also a finalist for the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat as well as the Santa Fe Musical Theatre Festival. His second musical, The Store Under the Portico, takes place in WWII Italy. As an author, he has written two novels and holds an M.F.A. in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. As an actor, he performed in the closing night of Les Miserables on Broadway and was a finalist in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition. Recent credits: Man of La Mancha (Padre) at Bristol Riverside Theatre, Forever Plaid (Jinx) at the Bickford Theatre, Sweeney Todd (Tobias) at the Fulton Theatre, and Fame (Schlomo) at the Macau International Music Festival. www.farruggiaandfarruggia.com
Cristina Farruggia (Book and Lyrics): Cristina’s first musical, On the Air, was recently seen at The York Theatre as part of their developmental reading series, directed by Tony Nominee Hunter Foster. It was selected as one of ten musicals for The PiTCH series as part of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and was a finalist for the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat as well as the Santa Fe Musical Theatre Festival. Besides, On the Air, Cristina recently finished working with her brother on their second musical, The Store Under the Portico, which takes place in Italy during WWII. She attended Rider University on a full tuition acting scholarship and received her MA from King’s College London where she studied Shakespeare in conjunction with the Globe Theatre in London. She played Fantine in the closing performance finale of Les Miserables on Broadway and as a member of Actors Equity, Cristina’s recent credits include Shout! The Mod Musical (Green Girl) at The Depot Theatre, Grease (Rizzo) at Summer Theatre of New Canaan, and South Pacific (Dinah) at The Delaware Theatre Company. www.farruggiaandfarruggia.com
Crazytown interview with the composer of 2014’s Lunacy: A Lunatic Speaks