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Two New Musicals Receive American Music Theatre Project Readings

“AMTP: In The Works” to host two weekend workshops at Northwestern

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September 16, 2011 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “By invitation only” readings of two new musicals that have been workshopped through the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University -- one on Sept. 16 and 18 and the other Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 -- will take place at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater on the University’s Evanston campus.

The private readings are the culmination of workshops hosted by AMTP as part of its “AMTP: In The Works” series which brings together some of the nation’s leading artists in music theatre, for readings and workshops of new musicals in collaboration with Northwestern’s faculty and students. Another recent “In The Works” project, “Fly By Night,” a new indie-rock musical by Kimberly Rosenstock, Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick, premiered in July at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.

Readings of “Hero,” Sept 16 and 18, a musical by Michael Mahler and Aaron Thielen, in development at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, will receive its world premiere beginning June 20, 2012 as part of the theatre’s 2012 mainstage season. The original contemporary musical, written by Northwestern alumnus Mahler and Thielen, tells the story of an aspiring comic book artist who lives anything but a superhero life. The reading will be directed by Northwestern alumna Jess McLeod, with music direction by Ryan Nelson. “Hero” will feature Chicago actor Don Forston and a cast of Northwestern students. Thielen is the artistic director of the Marriott Theatre and author of their current hit musical, “For The Boys.” Mahler, an accomplished songwriter and performer, is developing a musical comedy series for television, executive produced by Thomas Schlamme and Sony Pictures/TV.

Readings of “Triangle,” Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, by Curtis Moore, Thomas Mizer and Joshua Scher, uses the backdrop of New York’s historic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory to tell the story of two couples from different eras. The reading will be directed by Northwestern alumna Meredith McDonough, director of New Works at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, with music direction by David Fiorello. Mizer and Moore received the 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant for excellence in music theatre writing. Mizer is an on-camera host for the Web series Passport TV and a freelance copywriter for Comedy Central. Moore is music director of The Bridge Project’s “Richard III” currently touring abroad. Mizer and Moore are Northwestern alumni.

AMTP recently supported the development of the new musical “Not Wanted on the Voyage” by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, directed by Amanda Dehnert. It also developed the new musical “Dangerous Beauty” by Amanda McBroom, Jeannine Dominy and Michele Brourman (directed by Sheryl Kaller) that received its world premiere at Pasadena Playhouse earlier this year. For more, visit amtp.northwestern.edu/.