Waterwell Announces Inaugural New Work Lab “Emma” at the Professional Performing Arts School
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
NEW WORKS LAB
A WORKSHOP PRODUCTION OF THE NEW MUSICAL BY
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11TH – SATURDAY, MAY 14th
AT THE PROFESSIONAL PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL
New York, NY – Waterwell, one of the Village Voice’s Best Arguments for Devised Theater (2010) and creators of Goodbar and #9, has announced the launch of an annual series of new play workshops at the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan. The inaugural production will be Emma, a contemporary musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, written and composed by Stephen Karam (Speech & Debate) and directed by Tamara Fisch (The Top Job). Performances will be Wednesday, May 11th through Saturday, May 14th at 7:00 p.m., with an additional Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m. at the Professional Performing Arts School (328 West 48th Street in NYC).
Designed to stimulate the creation of high-quality new plays for young actors, Waterwell’s New Works Lab @ PPAS offers emerging and established playwrights the chance to develop their work with the support of professional directors and designers and a cast of exceptionally talented high school artists. This annual workshop series presents stripped down, actor-centric productions that add to the canon of thematically rich, complex and original scripts and roles for student actors.
The creative team for Emma also includes Lauren Cregor Devine (Orchestrator), Brett Kristofferson (Music Director), Kyle Pleasant (Choreographer), James Fenton (Scenic Designer), Melissa Trn (Costume Designer) and Simon Cleveland (Lighting Designer). The cast of twelve is comprised entirely of high school students at the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS).
Performances at the PPAS Auditorium are Wednesday May 11th through Saturday, May 14th at 7:00 p.m., with an additional Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 for PPAS students, $15 dollars for adults and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, visit http://www.waterwell.org.
Stephen Karam (Playwright/Composer) is the author of Speech & Debate (Roundabout Theatre Company), Sons of the Prophet (premiering off-Broadway at Roundabout this fall), columbinus (New York Theatre Workshop), Girl on Girl (Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep). Current projects include the film version of Speech & Debate and Dark Sisters, an original chamber opera with composer Nico Muhly (a co-production of Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group and Opera Company of Philadelphia). A MacDowell Colony Fellow, Stephen grew up in Scranton, PA and received his B.A. from Brown University.
Tamara Fisch (Director) recently directed Theresa Rebeck’s The Scene at Portland Playhouse. She has developed/directed plays at Ars Nova, Williamstown Theatre Festival (Bill Foeller Directing Fellow, 2009), New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre (Director in Residence 2008-2009) and the Hangar Theatre, among others. Education: Yale, University of Washington. Drama League Directing Fellow. www.tamarafisch.com.
Lauren Cregor Devine (Orchestrator) PPAS: Our Town (composer). Off B'way (composer, lyricist, orchestrator, music director): The Wizard of Wall Street; #9; The|King|Operetta; Marco Millions (based on lies); The Persians… a comedy about war with five songs (IT Award Nom – Outstanding Original Music) — all with Waterwell. Film: (composer, orchestrator) Dead Weight; My New Life; The Year of the Donkey. Various commercials and webseries. Two original albums (iTunes). Member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop. Grant recipient of Meet The Composer. www.laurencregor.com
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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