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American Music Theatre Project Workshops New Musical

Presentations of new musical by writers Hunter Bell, Lee Overtree and Eli Bolin

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May 29, 2013 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University will present two invited readings of the new musical “Found” with book by Tony Award-nominated writer Hunter Bell and writer Lee Overtree, and music and original lyrics by Eli Bolin on Wednesday, May 29 and Friday, May 31, as part of the program’s “In The Works” initiative.

Bell (“SILENCE! The Musical”), Bolin (“Volleygirls,” “Roller Disco”) and Overtree (the Story Pirates) have been in residence on the University’s Evanston campus since May 18, working with a cast of 10 Northwestern undergraduate performers to workshop the piece.

“It’s been a thrill to have Hunter, Eli and Lee with us,” says AMTP producing director, Heather Schmucker. “We relish these opportunities to provide space for writers to develop their work and to engage our students in that process. It’s win-win, all around.”

“Found” is based on the Found Books and magazines created by Davy Rothbart. The magazine collects and prints found items -- love letters, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles -- anything that gives a glimpse into someone else’s life.  

Tony Award-nominated writer Bell along with Bolin and Overtree have adapted that material into a semi-autobiographical account of Davy’s life as he performs these “finds” around the country, creating stories about the lives behind them. When Davy meets and falls for schoolteacher Kate, he is forced to choose between his wild existence on the road and life with her. “Found” explores the people and objects we encounter along the way and reveals the stories hidden in plain sight.

“Found” received a workshop with the Berkshire Theatre Group and will be featured as an Inside Look Workshop with New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre season this summer.

Victoria Lang (“SILENCE! The Musical,” “Matt and Ben,” “SHOUT!”), Benjamin Salka (“Dazzle,” “The Goat”) and Eva Price (“Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Annie,” “ The Addams Family”) are the producers of “Found.”  

AMTP’s “In The Works” program provides short-term workshop development for new musicals by professional writers and creative teams in collaboration with Northwestern faculty and students. Previous “In The Works” projects include “Triangle” by Curtis Moore and Tom Mizer and “Fly By Night” by Kim Rosenstock, Michael Mitnick and Will Connolly, currently playing at Dallas Theatre Center and slated for the Playwrights Horizons 2013-14 season. “In The Works” is supported by an Arts Work grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information visit the AMTP Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AMTPNU.

American Music Theatre Project

The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University brings together the nation’s leading artists in music theatre to work in collaboration with Northwestern’s faculty and students. AMTP’s goal is to nourish and invigorate American music theatre by developing and producing new musicals by music theatre’s leading artists; increasing opportunities for education and training with Northwestern’s theatre, dance and opera programs; and creating new connections between the professional and academic communities. To learn more about AMTP, visit https://www.facebook.com/AMTPNU.