Every day is opening night.

Sneak Preview of New Musical “Hamelin” at Waterwell Summer Theatre Lab, Aug 3 @ 5 Pm

Rick Miramontez / Michael Jorgensen
rick@oandmco.com / michael@oandmco.com
(212) 695-7400


“ H A M E L I N “


New York, NY (July 30, 2013) – Waterwell will provide a sneak preview of Otis Sallid and Aaron Jones‘ new musical, Hamelin, as the culmination of its inaugural Summer Theater Lab this Saturday, August 3 @ 5pm at The Ailey Studios, 405 W 55th Street. Tickets can be purchased at: waterwellstl.brownpapertickets.com; industry may make reservations with Allyson Morgan at mailto:allyson@waterwell.org.

Hamelin is a mechanical, musical steampunk world where the people work hard and play harder. Maya, a young girl, is a light that burns through the grit and the grime, the machinations and deceit, only to find that the trail she’s blazed ends in the belly of the beast – the Fatcats. Based on the classic fairy tale, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, it’s co-directed by STL Director Victor Maog, co-directed and choreographed by Otis Sallid, music directed by Jordon Cunningham, and associated directed by Casey McClellan. It features the Year One class of the Waterwell Summer Theater Lab.
The Waterwell Summer Theater Lab, in NYC’s fabled Theater District, offers the dedicated high school student the opportunity to engage in a three-week training program with world class practitioners whose credits include film & television, Broadway, Off-Broadway, London’s West End, International tours, major regional theatres and universities. Through ensemble-work, intense collaboration and individual guidance some of the nation’s most promising young artists explore the classic and ever-changing worlds of live theater.
Otis Sallid‘s accomplishments as a director and choreographer in theater, television and film are known throughout the entertainment industry including choreographing Swing Kids and several films for director Spike Lee. He recently completed shooting Fox Searchlight’s feature film, Black Nativity, starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige. Aaron Jones is a graduate of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program and performs with the band Luscious Jackson.
“Otis, Aaron, and the entire Year One company are – in three weeks – boldly defining and redefining how musical stories can be told. The transformations in the script are astonishing, but also inspiring are the young artists’ dedication to growing the show and their own potential,” said Victor Maog, Director of Summer Theater Lab.

Waterwell artistic director Tom Ridgely added, “The growth we’ve seen in just ten work days has been incredible, and we simply couldn’t be prouder of this inaugural class. Not only are they forging a tightknit and caring community, they are working courageously outside their comfort zones and taking their craft to places they never knew were possible. It’s been a thrilling collaboration.”

Waterwell, one of the Village Voice’s Best Arguments for Devised Theater and creators of GOODBAR and #9, launched its Summer Theater Lab in 2013 under the leadership of Victor Maog, with world-class faculty and guest artists including Beau Willimon, Julie Schubert, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Lin-Manuel Miranda. For more information about the program, visit http://www.waterwell.org/summer.


OTIS SALLID is an accomplished director and choreographer in theater, television and film. After training at Juilliard, he worked his way as an actor-dancer through numerous Broadway shows and dance companies. Otis worked on Spike Lee’s movies School Daze, Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X; choreographed the film Swing Kids (winning him the Bob Fosse L.A. Choreographers Dance Award); did the opening titles for the television shows “Living Single” and “Suddenly Susan”; and the end credits for the film Sister Act II. In his spare time he penned the title song for the late night hit musical television show “Showtime At The Apollo” and “Suddenly Susan.” In 1995 Sallid conceived the hit Broadway show Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and in 1996 he choreographed the “69th Annual Academy Awards.” For the rest of the decade Otis went on to work with such artists as Faith Hill, Bill Cosby, Brooke Shields, Marion Jones (Olympic Gold Medalist), Christina Ricci, Jennifer Hudson, Patti LaBelle, Tony Bennett, Julio Iglesia, Denzel Washington, Billy Crystal, Sam Jackson, Robert Sean Leonard, Gregory Hines, Spike Lee, Lawrence Fishbourne, Sarah Jessica Parker, Forest Whitaker, Helen Hunt, Prince, Vanessa Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Allen, Angela Bassett, James Ingram, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Don Cheadle, and Queen Latifah just to name a few. Most recently, Otis Sallid has produced and choreographed the Super Bowl segment with Stevie Wonder John Legend, Joss Stone and India Arie, as well as producing the live events for The Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi. In 2013 Otis completed shooting Fox Searchlight’s feature film, Black Nativity, starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige. In October 2013, the world famous Apollo Theatre in New York City will proudly present an original production created by Otis Sallid called James Brown: Get on the Good Foot—A Celebration in Dance.

AARON JONES is a composer based out of Brooklyn who performs with the band Luscious Jackson. Recently commissioned by Second Generation (2g), Jones is working with Sung Rno on a musical based on the life of Evariste Galois. He does experimental theatre art-rock performances with his band, PAUL, the most recent being a project called TRIPTYCH. He and his wife Anna recently released the debut album/book of their kids band “Banana Baron”. He collaborated on a new piece entitled The Moon with Otis Sallid and composer Ronobir Lahiri, for Perry-Mansfield School of the Performing Arts, and also created two musicals for the Perry-Mansfield Young Artists program. His experimental musical, of Honey Bees and the Brevity of Such Things, ran at 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts in Brooklyn, in February, 2011. He is the author of numerous operas, plays, and musicals, and creates music for dance, plays and film. He worked as the Artistic Director of the Papermill Theatre Children’s Theatre and collaborated on 16 original musical adaptations for young audiences. The Joneses have written four musicals together, including recently a Christmastide musical, Hail! Hail! Hail!, on commission by the Church of the Transfiguration in NYC. Aaron holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. www.aaronjonesmusic.com

VICTOR MAOG 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.