[ General ]

Yale Institute for Music Theatre Announces 2011 Selections, Creative Teams, and Casting

June 10, 2011

Public Readings: June 16, 17, 18

The Yale Institute for Music Theatre (Mark Brokaw, Artistic Director; Beth Morrison, Producer) announces the three original music theatre works selected for workshop in New Haven this June: Maren of Vardø, music by Jeff Myers, libretto by Royce Vavrek; The Pregnancy Pact, music by Julia Meinwald, book and lyrics by Gordon Leary; and The Profit of Creation, music by Tim Rosser, book and lyrics by Charlie Sohne.

The two-week workshops will culminate with readings of each open to the public held at the Off-Broadway Theatre (41 Broadway, New Haven) on June 16, 17, and 18, presented as part of the 2011 International Festival of Arts & Ideas.  A reception follows each reading.  Dates and times for each reading are included below.

Tickets for the readings and receptions are $15 each, and can be purchased online at www.artidea.org, by phone at (203) 562-5666, and in person at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas Box Office (Shubert Theater, 247 Chapel Street). Arts & Ideas members and Yale Repertory Theatre subscribers may purchase tickets for $10 each by phone or in person only.


Music by Jeff Myers

Libretto by Royce Vavrek

Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger

Music Directed by Robert Trevino

Cast: Christopher Burchett, Cherry Duke, Helen Gabrielsen, Stephanie Joiner, Solange Merdinian, Andrew Nolan, Lisa Williamson

Readings: Thursday, June 16 at 4PM; Friday, June 17, 7PM

Maren of Vardø is inspired by the true story of Maren Olsdatter, a twelve-year-old girl from Vardo, Norway, in 1663, who was accused of dalliances with the devil shortly after her own mother was burned at the stake. Told that she will continue to be tortured unless she confesses to witchery, Maren claims that she has visited hell and was given a tour by Satan himself.

Jeff Myers (Music) Jeff’s work has been performed by the New York City Opera, The New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, L’Orchestre National de Lorraine, and the JACK Quartet at many venues at home and abroad.  He has received awards and fellowships from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, Aspen Festival, Tanglewood, Festival Acanthes, Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, and The Fromm Foundation.  He is currently a composer-in-residence with the American Lyric Theater.

Royce Vavrek (Libretto) Libretti include Dog Days (Peak Performances at Montclair, 2012; New York City Opera VOX; Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall) and Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera (Bard Conservatory; NYCO VOX), both with composer David T. Little; The Hunger Art (American Lyric Theater, Center City Opera Theater, Burning Bayreuth) with Jeff Myers; and The Beach (NYCO VOX) with Andrew Gerle.  Upcoming projects include Song from the Uproar with Missy Mazzoli, 1882 with Mark Baechle, Angel’s Bone with Du Yun and The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Rachel Peters. Artistic Director of opera-theater company The Coterie, founded with soprano Lauren Worsham. B.F.A: Concordia University, Montreal; M.F.A: Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, NYU. [DA1]


Music by Julia Meinwald

Book and Lyrics by Gordon Leary

Directed by Mark Brokaw

Music Directed by Vadim Feichtner

Cast: Krystina Alabado, Bonnie Antosh, David Baghat, Andrew Durand, Eryn Murman, Libby Servais, Allie Trimm, Remy Zaken

Readings: Thursday, June 16, 7PM; Saturday, June 18, 1PM

15 year-old Brynn and her three best friends make a pact to become single mothers together and raise their children together in a shared dream of the perfect life. Their pact grows as other young girls equally disenchanted with their lives begin to find out and want in.  What starts as a utopian quest quickly turns complicated as these tender youths get closer and closer to parenthood. Pregnancy Pact is a hard-hitting pop-rock musical about the harsh realities of love, responsibility, and growing up in teenage America.

Julia Meinwald (Music) developed Pregnancy Pact with Gordon Leary as a 2009-2010 Dramatists Guild fellow, and the show was the 2011 recipient of the Weston Playhouse New Musical award. Julia’s one-act musical, Disappeared, also with Gordon Leary, was produced at Prospect Theatre Company and workshopped as part of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. Her musical Jack Perry Is Alive (and Dating!) with Harrison Rivers and Daniella Shoshan is a 2011 NYMF Next Link selection. A proud participant in the New Dramatists 2008 Composer Librettist Development Program, Julia was also a resident artist with American Lyric Theatre.  BA, Music, Yale University; MFA, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Gordon Leary (Book and Lyrics) His musicals include Pregnancy Pact (Weston Playhouse 2011 New Musical Award), Cheer Wars (2009 Richard Rodgers Award), Across the River (2009 Daegu International Musical Festival), Disappeared (2009 Lincoln Center Directors Lab), Sled Ride (Auckland Art Gallery) and One-Man Show (2010 DanceNOW [NYC]).  Gordon was a 2009-2010 Dramatists Guild Musical Theater Fellow.  He holds a BA from Vassar College and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.


Music by Tim Rosser

Book and Lyrics by Charlie Sohne

Directed by Evan Yionoulis

Music Directed by Chris Fenwick

Cast: Danny Binstock, Allison Fischer, Manu Narayan, Blake Segal, Christopher Shyer, Sally Wilfert

Readings: Friday, June 17, 4PM; Saturday, June 18, 4PM

A liberal scientist takes a bribe from a right-wing organization and head ups [DA2] the “Creation Museum” in Kentucky. His deal with the dark side is complicated when he falls in love, makes promises he can’t keep, and becomes deeply connected to a family with whom, at first glance, he has nothing in common. The Profit of Creation is a story about the collision of science and faith, and what happens when one man strikes a bargain between the two whose price is just too high to keep.

Tim Rosser (Music) Songs from The Profit of Creation have been featured in concerts at the Beechman, NYTB, and NEXT in New York City as well as a gala event honoring Stephen Schwartz at Northwestern University.  Tim’s short musical Oprah Winfrey Presents (book and lyrics by Jennifer Doerr) was featured at the Zipper Theater in a 2008 songwriter showcase.  Tim earned his Bachelor of Music degree in contemporary composition at Oberlin Conservatory, and is an alumnus of the advanced class of the BMI musical theater writing workshop as well as the 2010 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project.  He is also a freelance pianist and music director in NYC, currently a rehearsal pianist and keyboard sub for The Addams Family on Broadway.

Charlie Sohne (Book and Lyrics) has written lyrics (and sometimes book) for many other shows.  Tina Girlstar (book by Anton Dudley, music by Brian Feinstein) has received four readings, including one at N.Y. Stage and Film.  The show is currently under option with commercial production company Olympus Theatricals. The Shadow Sparrow (book by Anton Dudley, music by Keith Gordon) has received two readings in New York and will be workshopped at The O’Neill Music Theater Conference this summer. Kissing the Underworld (book by Anton Dudley, music by Michael McElroy) received a commission from the Cherry Lane Theater, and Touched (music by Matt Van Brink) was developed at the BMI workshop. He (along with Brian Feinstein) contributed songs to Speargrove Presents (commissioned by the New York Theater Barn) and has been selected for three Lark writers’ retreats. Charlie’s work has been seen as part of the NEXT Concert series, the BMI Smoker, and New York Theater Barn at the D-Lounge. Charlie is a member of the Advanced Class of the BMI Workshop, Dramatists Guild and ASCAP.


Established by Yale School of Drama (James Bundy, Dean) and Yale School of Music (Robert Blocker, Dean), the YALE INSTITUTE FOR MUSIC THEATRE seeks to identify distinctive and original music theatre works by emerging writers and composers, and to serve those writers by matching them with collaborators such as directors, music directors, and actors/singers who can help them further develop their work.  By limiting production resources and values, the workshop will keep the focus on the creative process of the artistic team.

» www.drama.yale.edu/YIMT