One of America's most versatile singers, a Tony-winning performer and a Broadway leading man are among the talented performers gathered in Independence, Kansas, to appear in readings of new plays.
Nellie McKay, Cady Huffman, and Sean McDermott and additional guest artists contribute their talents to the public reading of a new play and musical at the William Inge Center for the Arts at Independence Community College. The readings are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat. Nov. 3 at the William Inge Theatre, Independence, Kansas.
The plays are a saucy and sexy musical comedy, "My Base and Scurvy Heart," by Inge House Playwright in Residence Adam Szymkowicz, with music by Dan Schreier and Matt Sherwin, lyrics. The second production is a drama, "The Benders," by Inge House resident Anne Phelan.
"The Benders" is directed by New York-based director Tamara Fisch. "My Dark and Scurvy Heart" is directed by Inge Center Artistic Director, Peter Ellenstein, and musical director is Max Mamon.
Admission is free to both readings. The public is invited to join the play development process, providing valuable feedback to the creators in post-show discussions with the creative teams and actors.
Cady Huffman returns to Independence, having performed in Sheldon Harnick's "A Doctor in Spite of Himself" at the 2011 WIlliam Inge Theater Festival. Her Broadway credits include: "The Producers" (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), "The Will Rogers Follies' (Tony nomination), the original production of "La Cage Aux Folles," "Steel Pier," "Dame Edna: The Royal Tour" and Bob Fosse's last original musical "Big Deal."
Her television credits include, The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, 10 seasons as a judge on Iron Chef America, Frasier, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Law & Order: SVU, Mad About You and One Life To Live. Her film work includes, The Company Men, The Nanny Diaries, Romance & Cigarettes, Hero and Dare.
Nellie McKay's music is tuneful and clever as the best of the Great American Songbook - part cabaret, part "sparkly pop." But beneath the charming melodic surface is a wit that cuts. Nellie's first album was produced by Geoff Emerick, the man who engineered The Beatles' albums from "Revolver" through "Abbey Road." McKay signed on as co-producer and together they recorded 18 songs, forming the double album "Get Away From Me."
As a composer, her music has been heard on "Weeds," "Grey's Anatomy," "NCIS," Privileged," "Nurse Jackie," and "Mad Men." On stage, she won she won a Theatre World Award for her Polly in the Broadway production of "The Threepenny Opera," also acting and singing in the film "PS I Love You" and writing and performing the song score for the Rob Reiner film "Rumor Has It." McKay has also appeared on numerous prime-time TV shows. Among her recordings is "Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day;" music for the Grammy-winning "Boardwalk Empire" soundtrack album, and contributed two songs to the Emmy-winning documentary "Gasland." She is a recipient of The Humane Society's Doris Day Music Award in recognition of her dedication to animal rights.
Sean McDermott was one of four Broadway singers handpicked by Barbra Streisand to replace "Il Divo" and sing alongside her on her nine week European tour. He has traveled the world performing with some of the most celebrated Symphony Orchestras and has shared the stage with Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, Mandy Patinkin, Elaine Stritch, Hal Holbrook and Robert Goulet.
He is recognized as one of Broadway's leading performers starring in such roles as Chris in "Miss Saigon," Billy Flynn in "Chicago," the title roles in "Jekyll and Hyde" (opposite Russ Crum), Jesus in "Jesus Christ Superstar," Whizzer in "Falsettos," Rusty in "Starlight Express," Danny Zuko in "Grease," Billy Bigelow in "Carousel," Gaylord Ravenal in "Showboat" and Tony in "West Side Story."
On television, Sean starred as Hart Jessup in the long running CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light." His other guest starring credits include "Desperate Housewives," "Medium," "Charmed," and "Freddie." He sang for the President of the United States at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on three separate occasions and for Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, at a command performance. Sean is also proud to have performed at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall in New York City. His recordings include "You're Not Alone," "New York Nights," "My Broadway" and "Piece of Sky."
Numerous more composers, writers, actors, and directors take part. They include:
Forrest Attaway is the current Resident Artist at The Living Room Theatre in Kansas City MO. He is also the Artistic Director (at large) for the NuRealm Theatre outside of Pittsburg and former Artistic Director for Stage Left Productions in the northwest. Recently seen in The Living Room's production of Bogosian's one man show Sex, Drugs Rock & Roll Attaway has played in over twenty five markets around the country. He has been a guest performer for such theatre luminaries as Edward Albee, John Guare, Terrance McNally, Arthur Kopit, Emily Mann and others.
Tamara Fisch has recent credits including: On the Tenth Floor by Thomas Bradshaw (Partial Comfort), Race by David Mamet (Artists Repertory Theatre), In Memory of Julie Simmons (Ensemble Studio Theater), The Architecture of Loss (Juilliard), Emma by Stephen Karam (PPAS), The Scene by Theresa Rebeck (Portland Playhouse); new plays by Annie Baker, Amy Herzog and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Missed Connections NYC - ArsNova); After the Revolution and Hungry by Amy Herzog and Gagarin Way by Gregory Burke, (Williamstown); Language of Angels, Cucumber Phil and Girls' School Gothic by Lucy Boyle, (Hangar). Education: Yale, University of Washington. Partial Comfort Productions Company Member, 2008-2009 director-in-residence at Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2009 Foeller Fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Drama League Directing Fellow. Upcoming: Sons of the Prophet at Theatre Squared.
Joseph Gomez is has participated at the William Inge Center in numerous readings over the years, one of which led him Off-Broadway where he originated the role of Rodney in "That Pretty Pretty, or the Rape Play." Regionally he has performed with the Arkansas Rep, St. Louis Rep and Ad-Libs of Dallas. He resides in Tulsa, where he works closely with the Nightingale Theater, as a writer and performer. His recent performances include Lieutenant Gregg in "Mae West's Sex," Shadow in "Back Bog Beast Bait," Bob in "Loose Knit," and his annual appearance as the emcee of the satirical "Ms. Center of the Universe Pageant." His own original plays include "Ferockta," "Just Some Good Ole' Boys," "Juicyland," and "Big Beef," and he is the creator of the long-running show Old Crow Confessions, where audience members take the stage and unburden themselves.
Hannah Joyce-Hoven is an actor, theatre arts consultant and yoga instructor. For nine years she worked for the William Inge Center for the Arts as Associate Director of Operations and Company Manager. Before that she worked in St. Louis with a number of theatre companies including the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. She is a trained teaching artist in the Aesthetic Education Method from the Lincoln Institute for the Arts in Education. She received her BA in Theatre from Wheaton College.
Max Mamon is a composer, pianist, and music director from Brooklyn, New York. His original musicals co-written with lyricist/bookwriter Jahn Sood include "With You Always" and "Vital Signs," which was recently produced off-broadway by the Riant Theater Company. As the co-founder and musical artistic director of Ensemble Dance, Max's work was featured in a showcase at Alvin Ailey Studios. His other work has been seen at the Sharon Playhouse, McConnell Theater at Simon's Rock, The Duplex Cabaret Theater, 13th Street Rep, CultureHub Studios, 3LD Art & Technology Center, McCarter Theater, and Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch (Graduate Musical Theater Writing), Princeton University (Music Composition, Piano Performance), and the Royal College of Music, London (Piano Performance).
Lisa Paige is an Independence based director and actor. She is artistic director and co-founder of Independence Children's Summer Theatre, of which she is thrilled to see continue to grow and serve more youth. Lisa has also directed and performed at numerous Neewollah-festival productions in Independence as well as events at the Inge Center. Paige was awarded the William Inge Center for the Art's Margaret Goheen Award for outstanding contribution to theater in Independence at the 2005 Inge Festival.
Dan Moses Schreier (Composer) Broadway/Composer: The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino, Julius Caesar starring Denzel Washington, The Tempest starring Patrick Stewart. Other recent scores for the theater include Dan Hurlin's Disfarmer at St. Ann's Warehouse and John Doyle's production of Three Sisters. Broadway/Sound Design: The Mountaintop, Sondheim on Sondheim, A Little Night Music, West Side Story, Gypsy, Radio Golf, John Doyle's production of Sweeney Todd, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Gem Of the Ocean, Pacific Overtures, Assassins, Into The Woods, Topdog/Underdog, Dirty Blonde, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Tempest, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. Off Broadway: Road Show, Stuff Happens, Homebody/Kabul, Floyd Collins, others. Awards: three Tony Awards nominations, three Drama Desk Awards, OBIE Award for sustained excellence
Matt Sherwin is a lyricist, composer and sound designer for theatre. He has released two albums, 'Cold Reader' and '12:30 Songs,' and his compositions have won multiple awards from Billboard and the Songwriters Resource Network. As a composer and sound designer for theatre, Matt's credits include the Obie Award-winning 'Born Bad' at Soho Rep, The New Group's Drama Desk-nominated 'The Accomplices,' as well as productions for Lincoln Center Institute, Rude Mechanicals, and Williamstown Theater Festival. Matt received his BA in English from Oberlin College and MFA from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Independence Community College students Jonathan Clothier and Angela Woodard also take part. For more information, visit www.ingecenter.org.
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