Megan Hilty, Lin-manuel Miranda, and Beau Willimon Are Waterwell Summer Theater Lab Artists
Rick Miramontez / Michael Jorgensen
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
S U M M E R T H E A T E R L A B
MASTER CLASS ARTISTS
New York, NY (April 9, 2013) – Waterwell, one of the Village Voice’s Best Arguments for Devised Theater and creators of GOODBAR and #9, launches its Summer Theater Lab at the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) in Manhattan, under the leadership of Victor Maog, with world-class guest artists from the worlds of theater, television, and film. The program has two sessions: Monday-Friday, July 15-August 3, and August 5-24, 2013. For more information about classes and enrollment, visit www.waterwell.org/summer. The early bird deadline is April 19th.
Star of TV's Smash and Broadway's Wicked and 9 to 5: The Musical, actress Megan Hilty; Grammy and Tony Award-winning creator and star of In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda; and Oscar-nominated writer Beau Willimon, creator of “House of Cards” starring Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, and the film “The Ides of March”, directed by Oscar-winner George Clooney and starring Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling and Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, will serve as the Master Class Artists in the program's inaugural year. More names will be announced shortly.
The Waterwell Summer Theater Lab @ PPAS offers dedicated middle and high school students from across the country the opportunity to engage in a focused three-week training program with world-class practitioners in the heart of New York City's fabled Theater District. Over the course of an NYC summer, the artistic community at the Summer Theater Lab will showcase brave new works by some of the American theater's rising voices. They will premiere just steps from Times Square and, through publication, build upon the catalogue of quality age-appropriate material for theaters and schools world-wide.
Pulitzer-finalist Lin-Manuel Miranda states, “Waterwell Summer Theater Lab is about thinking like an artist. It's about innovation. It's about breaking barriers. These are skills from theater that transfer to life. And I'm thrilled to support that vision.”
“When you create a safe space for young people that incubates ideas, values leadership, and pioneers new work, the very best come out. I'm honored to share these successful and generous artists with my first crop of students,” said Victor Maog, who is leading this new Waterwell program.
Waterwell artistic director Tom Ridgely said in a statement, “Lin-Manuel, Megan and Beau are just the kind of hard-working, open-hearted, deeply-engaged theater folk we want these young people to hear from. We know that for many of them, these encounters will be transformative.”
The Professional Performing Arts School is located at 328 W 48th St in New York, NY.
MEGAN HILTY (Master Class Artist) stars in NBC's musical drama “Smash” as the seasoned triple-threat Ivy Lynn, an ensemble performer who has spent years pursuing stardom only to be bumped back into the chorus again and again. A native of Seattle, Hilty moved to New York City after graduating from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, and quickly made her Broadway debut as Glinda in Wicked. She went on to perform the role in both the national tour and in Los Angeles. After receiving rave reviews for her portrayal of Doralee Rhodes in Broadway's 9 to 5: The Musical, Hilty was honored with nominations for Lead Actress in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards, Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Awards and L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Awards. Hilty's voice has been featured on Disney's “The Secret Life of Magic Gourd,” “Phineas & Ferb,” “Glenn Martin DDS” and “American Dad,” as well as the singing as Snow White in the film Shrek the Third. Her voice also will be heard in Disney's upcoming television special “Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games.” Hilty is currently in production on Summertime Entertainment's animated film Dorothy of Oz with Kelsey Grammer, Hugh Dancy and Lea Michele. www.meganhiltyonline.com
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA (Master Class Artist) is the Tony-winning composer-lyricist of Broadway's In the Heights. In the Heights received four 2008 Tony Awards with Lin-Manuel receiving a Tony Award for Best Score, as well as a nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. In the Heights took home a 2009 Grammy Award for its Original Broadway Cast Album and was also recognized as a Finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. As an actor, Lin-Manuel received a 2007 Theater World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance. Lin-Manuel also received the ASCAP Foundation's Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and is a National Arts Club Medal of Honor recipient. Lin-Manuel is a co-founder and member of Freestyle Love Supreme, a popular hip-hop improv group that performs regularly in New York City. The group has also toured the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as the Aspen, Melbourne and Montreal Comedy Festivals. Recently, Lin-Manuel contributed new songs to the revival of Stephen Schwartz' Working and worked with Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim on Spanish translations for the 2009 Broadway Revival of West Side Story. He has performed for President Obama and the First Family at the White House for its first-ever Poetry Jam and was selected to be a Master Teacher for the 2009 Mercer Songwriter’s Project at Northwestern University. His TV and film credits include “The Electric Company”, “Sesame Street”, “The Sopranos”, “House”, “Modern Family”, The Sex and the City Movie and the upcoming The Odd Life of Timothy Green. He lives in New York. www.linmanuel.com
BEAU WILLIMON (Master Class Artist) is a playwright, screenwriter, and creator of Netflix's critically acclaimed “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Plays include: Spirit Control (Manhattan Theatre Club, 2010); Farragut North (Atlantic Theater Company, 2008). Lower Ninth (Flea Theater, 2008). Additionally his work has been seen at the Actors Theater of Chicago, Battersea Arts Center, Cherry Lane, Geffen Playhouse, HERE, New Dramatists, Phoenix Theater, Red Stitch, South Coast Rep and many others in the U.S. and overseas. He has written films for Warner Bros., Fox 2000 and Summit Entertainment. The film Ides of March, based on Beau’s play Farragut North, was directed by George Clooney, starring Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Clooney himself, earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Honors: Lila Acheson Wallace Juilliard Playwriting Fellowship, two-time winner of the Lincoln Center Le Comte du Nouy Award, 2008 Playwright-in-Residence at the Donmar Warehouse, two Outer-Critics Circle nominations for Farragut North. Current commissions: National Theatre of Great Britain, MTC and South Coast Rep. Beau is a proud member of both the Dramatists Guild and Writers Guild of America. A St. Louis native, Beau now resides in Brooklyn. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Columbia University's School of the Arts.
VICTOR MAOG (Director of Summer Theater Lab) is an award-winning stage director, educator and producer with national and international credits. He has collaborated at the NYSF/Public Theater, Second Stage, Hartford Stage, Williamstown, Cornerstone, Signature Theatre, Mabou Mines, New Dramatists, and directed/taught for NYU/Tisch, UPenn, Fordham and others. Victor is the former Director of Theatre for Perry-Mansfield, the oldest performing arts school in the nation. A. Rey Pamatmat's Out of Joint, a play he commissioned and produced at P-M, was just honored with the 2012 Princess Grace Special Project Award. He's the newly appointed Artistic Director of Second Generation Productions (2g). www.victormaog.com
WATERWELL (Arian Moayed & Tom Ridgely, Artistic Directors; Rebecca Schwartz, Director of Education) is a unique ensemble of theater artists dedicated to the creation of new work and the bold re-interpretation of classics. Founded in 2002 by Arian Moayed and Tom Ridgely, the company’s special blend of music, theater and social dialog has been nominated for three IT awards, a Drama Desk, a New York Magazine Culture Award and a Village Voice Best of NYC. The Voice calls them, “dynamic, resourceful and relentlessly entertaining.” And TheaterScene says, “There's no way a written description can do justice to their blazing energy and inventiveness.” The New York Times hails the work as, “brilliant, original and inspired. Alive enough to surprise even the performers themselves,” and Theatermania writes, “Waterwell has staked a claim on our collective conscience.” Since 2003, Waterwell has also offered structured classes in collaborative playmaking, or “devising”, the process by which the ensemble develops its material. By 2010 those educational activities had grown and coalesced into the Waterwell Drama Program , which now delivers – in partnership with the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) – top-quality, year-round, in-school theater training to over 300 NYC public school students. The program addresses the student-artist holistically and demands they develop both as an interpreter and as a creator. Voice and movement work connect with scene study and devising; classroom learning supports rehearsal and performance projects; and everything is designed to be in dialog with what's going on outside the classroom – in their homes, communities and the world at large.
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