Every day is opening night.

Waterwell Announces a PPAS Middle School Production of “Much Ado About Nothing”

Rick Miramontez / Elizabeth Wagner
rick@oandmco.com / elizabeth@oandmco.com
(212) 695-7400


“M U C H A D O A B O U T N O T H I N G”




New York, NY Waterwell, one of the Village Voice’s Best Arguments for Devised Theater (2010) and creators of Goodbar and #9, announced today the premiere of a new version of Much Ado About Nothing starring 11-13 year old actors from the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) in Manhattan. Adapted and directed by Casey McClellan and featuring sound design by M.L. Dogg (The Pee-wee Herman Show, Sons of the Prophet), this Much Ado takes place inside a surreally comic American high school. Performances will be Wednesday, May 25th through Friday, May 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the Professional Performing Arts School (328 West 48th Street in NYC).

The Theatrical Arts Program at PPAS, in partnership with The Actors Institute and Waterwell, offers world-class instruction in acting, singing and dancing to exceptionally talented middle school students absolutely free of charge within a year-round public school curriculum. In addition to classes, students have the opportunity to work with professional directors and designers on full productions of both classical and contemporary plays, designed to address specific skills and expand their comfort zones.

The creative team for Much Ado also includes Jason Sherwood (Scenic Designer), Deanna R Frieman (Costume Designer) and Simon Cleveland (Lighting Designer). The cast of twelve is comprised entirely of middle school students at PPAS, including Gus Birney, Logan Riley Bruner, Mercy Carpenter, Vikki Eugenis, Alexandra Florides, Anastasia Krutchinsky, Clare Maceda, Meeb Ranghelli, Elysa Rivera, Siena Sherer, Emmet Solomon and Kyle Slater.

Performances at the PPAS Black Box are Wednesday May 25th through Friday, May 27th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 for PPAS students, $15 dollars for adults and can be purchased in advance at the PPAS Main Office (328 West 48th Street, 3rd floor). For more information, visit http://www.waterwell.org.

Casey McClellan (Director) has performed extensively in New York and around the country. Recent and favorite credits include Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Gross Indecency, The Baltimore Waltz, A Christmas Carol). New York: On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning, Cigarettes and Chocolate, The Altruists, as well as numerous cabarets produced by No Hope Productions. He will appear in Hello, My Name is Billy, as the title role, this summer in the New York International Fringe Festival. Education: MFA Acting – Ohio University, BA Theatre – University of Denver. www.caseymcclellan.com

Jason Sherwood (Scenic Designer) has designed extensively at New York University, where he will graduate in December, and has assisted Tony Award-winning designer Derek McLane both on Broadway and off. NYC: Assassins (CAP21; Dir: Kent Gash), XIX (by Jessica Almasy, NY Premiere), 'Da Kink In My Hair (Dir: Michele Shay, NY Premiere), gardenplays (NYTW 4th Street; NY Premiere), Rabbit Hole (Sugden Theatre).

Deanna R Frieman (Costume Designer) Recent NYCt: Home/Sick (The Assembly), Hamlet (Rebellious Subjects Theatre), The Land Whale Murders, Uncle Shelby’s Wunderpantry of Possibilities (nominated Best Costume Design for Planet Connections Theatre Festival), The Luck of the Ibis (Shelby Company). Regional: Sousepaw (Shelby Company). Deanna is a teaching artist for Roundabout Theatre Company and a merchandiser at Housing Works Thrift Shops. She holds an MFA in Costume Design from Carnegie Mellon. You can visit her website at www.deannarosedesigns.com.

Simon Cleveland (Lighting Designer) PPAS: Our Town directed by Greg Parente; Stop Kiss (Associate Lighting Designer) directed by Roger Manix. Other theatre: La Ronde, directed by Martha Clarke (NYU); Urinetown directed by Gwen Arment (ONU Freed Center); ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore directed by Jonathan Barsness (Toy Box Theatre Company); The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Sam Gold (NYU). Dance: premieres of original works by Jessica Lang, Camille Brown, Gerald Casel, Patricia Norwoll, and Carlos A. Cruze Velasquez. MFA: Tisch. www.simoncleveland.com

M.L. Dogg (Sound Designer) has designed for such companies as Out Of Balanz, Huntington Theatre Company, Theatre For a New Audience, The Pearl Theatre, Shelby Company, Scott Sanders Productions, Second Stage Theatre, Why Not Theatre, The Boise Contemporary Theater, The Living Room For Artists Inc., Stillpoint Productions, 13P, Two River Theater Co., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Working Theatre, Why Not Theatre, Ars Nova, NYU/Tisch School Of the Arts, Epic Theatre Ensemble, The Women’s Project, Theatre B, The Depot Theatre, The SITI Co., Classic Stage Company, Wash And Fold Productions, Shakespeare And Company, and The Actors Theatre Of Louisville. Awards: Outstanding Sound Design, FringeNYC Festival, Go-Go Kitty, GO!; Drama Desk nominee, Cressida Among the Greeks.

Waterwell (Arian Moayed & Tom Ridgely, Artistic Directors) is a New York based company of artists dedicated collaborative creation of new works for the theatre. It was founded in 2002 and has since created eleven original plays, four cabarets and two staged readings. Its continually evolving body of work encompasses original plays, adaptations of classic texts, solo shows and performance pieces. For each venture the actors, writers, directors, composers, musicians and designers work collectively to build the piece from the ground up. The Village Voice has called 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.” Using a combination of research, improvisation and source texts, the ensemble devises each drop over the course of an extended rehearsal period. The resulting mixture of drama and vaudeville uses music and comedy as access points to address larger issues of power, class and race. 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.”

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