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O’Neill Theater Center Announces 2010 National Music Theater Conference Selections


Buddy’s Tavern, Clear, and Eden
To Be Developed At The O’Neill This Summer

Waterford, Connecticut –The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center today announced that three musicals will be developed at its 2010 National Music Theater Conference under the leadership of artistic director Paulette Haupt.  The Conference runs from June 26 through July 16 on the O’Neill’s campus in Waterford, Connecticut.  Box Office and online ticket sales open Wednesday, June 9; advance ticket sales will be available to O’Neill Members beginning Monday, May 17.

The three musicals, which will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process, employing acclaimed professional actors, directors, and music directors in an intensive series of rehearsals, discussions, and public readings, are:  BUDDY’S TAVERN, Librettist – Raymond De Felitta, Lyricist – Alison Hubbard, Composer – Kim Oler; CLEAR, Librettist/Lyricist/Composer – Paul Oakley Stovall; EDEN, Librettist/Lyricist – Jonathan Levi, Composer – Mel Marvin.

Selections were chosen from among 129 musicals received through the O’Neill’s Open Submissions process, which allows any writer or composer with or without agent representation, to submit, and utilizes readers from across the country to evaluate and recommend promising projects in need of development.
Since its founding in 1978, the National Music Theater Conference has developed and presented more than 100 musical works, including early works of award-winning writers and composers such as Kirsten Childs, Tan Dun, Andrew Lippa, Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater and Jeannine Tesori. Joe Masteroff and Edward Thomas’ ‘Desire Under the Elms’ (2003 Grammy nominee) was the first work to be developed at the Conference in 1978, and Arthur Kopit, Mario Fratti and Maury Yeston’s Nine, developed at the O’Neill in 1979, won Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Score in 1982, and for Best Revival of a Musical in 2003; Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s Avenue Q, developed at the O’Neill in 2002, won three 2004 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In The Heights, a 2005 NMTC project, received the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Musical when it played off-Broadway in 2007, and four 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Countless other works went on from the Conference to worldwide productions and acclaim.

The O’Neill’s Executive Director, Preston Whiteway, remarked, “I’m delighted to welcome these three important new works to the O’Neill.  The National Music Theater Conference is a leader in launching new works and authors into the field, and I look forward to the successful futures of BUDDY’D TAVERN, CLEAR, and EDEN and the voices behind them”.

National Music Theater Conference Artistic Director Paulette Haupt said, “Each year we receive an overwhelming number of projects with great merit even though we are ultimately able to select only a chosen few. We pledge our support and encouragement to the talented group of creators who will be in residence this summer to explore their individual and collective visions.”


Composer – Kim Oler
Lyricist – Alison Hubbard
Librettist – Raymond De Felitta
Performances: Saturday, June 26 at 8:00 pm; Sunday, June 27 at 3:00 pm; Wednesday, June 30 at 8:00 pm; Friday, July 2 at 8:00 pm

Based upon the film Two Family House, set in the 1950’s, Buddy’s Tavern tells the story of an Italian-American factory worker on Staten Island, and his quest to run his own business – a bar where he can sing his heart out to his customers. Family pressures, race relations, unexpected love, and the struggle to achieve one’s dreams, come alive in this new romantic comedy.
Composers – Stew and Paul Oakley Stovall
Lyricist – Paul Oakley Stovall
Additional Music – Tom Kitt, Irv Johnson and Stephen Goers
Performances: Saturday, July 3 at 8:00 pm, Sunday, July 4 at 3:00 pm, Wednesday, July 7 at 8:00 pm, Friday, July 9 at 8:00 pm
sings a tale of destiny, luck, and the commonality of the human experience. From the slave castles of Ghana to a rooftop in Sweden; from the shores of Lake Michigan to the streets of Seoul, our storytellers continue to find that change is inevitable… and (r)evolutionary.  A spiritual quest in our decidedly computerized times, CLEAR fuses music, memory and pure love to remind us how best to live life.
Composer – Mel Marvin
Librettist/Lyricist – Jonathan Levi
Performances: Saturday, July 10 at 8:00 pm, Sunday, July 11 at 3:00 pm, Wednesday, July 14 at 8:00 pm, Friday, July 16 at 8:00 pm
is a musical of chaos in two acts, a story of natural and unnatural disaster. Ranging between the Scylla of Hurricane Katrina and the Charybdis of the War in Iraq, Eden follows the story of six characters in search of survival, who bump up against one another and come away with varying degrees of triumphs and bruises.  
Box Office (860-443-1238) and online ticket sales open Wednesday, June 9; advance ticket sales are available to O’Neill Members Saturday, May 15.  For further information, call the O’Neill at 860-443-5378 x 213, email theaterlives@theoneill.org or visit www.theoneill.org.  Schedules are subject to change.
The O’Neill, founded in 1964 in honor of Eugene O’Neill, four-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and America’s only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, is the country’s preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for the American theater.  The O’Neill has been home to more than 1,000 new works for the stage and 2,500 emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O’Neill have gone on to full production at theaters around the world, including Broadway, Off-Broadway and major regional theaters.

O’Neill programs include the National Playwrights Conference, National Music Theater Conference, National Critics Institute, National Puppetry Conference, Cabaret & Performance Conference, and National Theater Institute, which conducts semester-long, accredited intensive theater training programs and Theatermakers, a six-week accredited summer program.

In addition, the O’Neill owns and operates Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. Childhood summer home of Eugene O’Neill, the Cottage is a National Historic Landmark.

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has received a special Tony Award, the National Opera Award, the Jujamcyn Award for Theatre Excellence and the Arts and Business Council Encore Award.

Richard Rodgers Development Award, 2010; American Harmony Prize, 2010.  Produced by the Spirit of Broadway Theatre in Norwich, CT, 2009 (Spirit Awards).  LITTLE WOMEN: Richard Rodgers Development Award, 1998; Productions: Syracuse Stage, 2010; the Village Theatre in Issaquah and Everett, WA, 2008; the Spirit of Broadway in Norwich, CT, 2007 (Spirit Awards).  Licensed by Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW).  The Enchanted Cottage: Jerry Bock Award, 2003; Director’s Choice Award in the National Music Theatre Network Festival of New Musicals, 2004; NAMT Festival of New Musicals, 2002. Produced by the Spirit of Broadway Theatre, 2008 (Spirit Awards).  15 Christopher (Map Quest):  Produced by the Prospect Theatre Co. in NY, 2009.  Pets! A Musical Revue: Presented by Theater East and the Judith Anderson Theater in NY (licensed by Dramatic Publishing). Theatreworks/USA touring productions: The Secret Garden, Harriet the Spy, Tom Sawyer, Little Women (play with Music), Babes in Toyland, When the Cookie Crumbles (licensed by MTI), Class Clown (also produced by the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera). Alison and Kim are longtime members of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, where they received the Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in 2002.  They were Writers in Residence at the New Harmony Project in New Harmony, IN, in 2007.  Alison: Kleban Award for Lyrics, 2006.   The Cop and the Anthem:  Produced by the Lake George Opera Company and the NYU Opera Theatre. Choral music published by Boosey & Hawkes. Recordings: Parachute Express and Jamie DeRoy and Friends.  Kim:  TV:  All My Children:  Emmy Awards 2003 and 2005; Guiding Light, As the World Turns, Tracy Ullman Show.  Choral music publications:  Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, GIA and Hal Leonard.  Blue Green Hills of Earth from Paul Winter Consort’s Missa Gaia.  Founding member of the Helium Brothers Band.   
Raymond is an independent filmmaker whose work as a writer and director has been honored around the world, including the festivals in Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Deuville, Tribeca (New York), South By Southwest (Austin), and Milan. His AFI thesis short, Bronx Cheers, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1991 and his screenplay Begin the Beguine won a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting the following year.
 His debut feature, Café Society, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in Directors Fortnight, 1996. His second film Two Family House won the 2000 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for two independent Spirit Awards (including best screenplay) and was cited by the National Board of Review as an outstanding film of that year.
The Thing About My Folks, which stars Paul Reiser, Peter Falk, and Olympia Dukakis, was released by Picturehouse/HBO last year and won the Audience Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. His documentary, ‘Tis Autumn – The Search for Jackie Paris, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival to glowing reviews and has since played festivals in Baltimore, Milan, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Sarasota, Newport (Rhode Island), and Kansas City, where it won the Best Documentary Award. The film is currently available on Amazon and Netflix.
City Island, which De Felitta wrote and directed, stars Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, Steven Strait and Alan Arkin. It premiered in the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and won the coveted Audience Award. It will be released by Anchor Bay/Overture in March, 2010.
A lifelong jazz pianist, his songs appear on his CD Movies ‘Til Dawn (available at CD Baby.com). A CD of piano solos honoring jazz master Earl “Fatha” Hines, Fatha Land, is also available at CD BABY.com.
PAUL OAKLEY STOVALL (Librettist/Lyricist/Composer, CLEAR)
Paul is a writer, actor, singer, producer, and activist. At age 16, his first volume of poetry, another piece of hope, was published by Trail Press. His first play, Love Rules, (which he also directed) received its world premiere at the Theatre School, DePaul University. His second play, As Much As You Can has been produced to acclaim in Chicago at Dog and Pony Theatre Company, at New York’s International Fringe Festival, at Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles (Ruth and Steve Hendel, Producers –2009 GLAAD Media Award nomination), and at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego. The Hendels commissioned Paul to adapt it into a screenplay with writing partner Laura Eason, which is now in pre-production. His third play, APE, received its world premiere at Dog and Pony in the fall of 2007 to critical praise, and it received a staged reading in Los Angeles in February. Clear debuted in a developmental reading at Joe’s Pub in NYC in late 2009.  His work has been developed at About Face Theatre and San Francisco Playhouse. As an actor, Paul has appeared in Shortbus (dir, John Cameron Mitchell), the late Robert Altman’s The Company, Hustler WP (dir, Craig Cobb – editor, Sex and the City), and Lighthouse Lili (dir, Tonya Pinkins), among others, and on stage in regional theatres all over the country and internationally, including the O’Neill Music Theater Conference where Paul has appeared in .22 Caliber Mouth, Red Eye of Love, MYTH, Max Understood, and at the Cabaret & Performance Conference in American Duet and Better. Paul, a native Chicagoan, currently works for the Obama administration as a White House Advance Associate, doing site and media logistics.  Affiliations: Resident Artist at Dog and Pony Theatre Company and Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre, both in Chicago.
JONATHAN LEVI (Librettist/Lyricist, EDEN)
Jonathan is the author of the novel A Guide for the Perplexed, as well as of many short stories and articles for The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, Condé Nast Traveler and The Nation.  He has written libretti for four operas, including The Scrimshaw Violin with Bruce Saylor, Vashti with Deborah Drattell, Guest from the Future and Buwalsky: A Road Opera, with Mel Marvin.  A founding editor of the literary magazine Granta, Levi served as Minister for Arts and Culture under Chancellor Harold O. Levy for the New York City Public School System before becoming the first director of the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.  He recently returned from the Rustaveli National Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia where he directed his play Falling Bodies, about an imagined meeting between Galileo and Primo Levi (no relation).  Levi currently lives in Rome. www.jonathanlevi.com 

Mel was most recently represented on Broadway in 2007 with the scores for Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Lincoln Center Theater – both shows opening the same night.   Other Broadway credits include Tintypes (Tony nomination), Yentl, A History of the American Film, and Fascinating Rhythm.  He has had nine shows produced Off-Broadway.  He has served as composer or director of scores of productions in most of America’s major regional theatres, including Hartford Stage (where he wrote the music for many of Mark Lamos’s Shakespeare productions), Lincoln Center Theater, Arena Stage, The Guthrie Theater (where he most recently wrote a new incidental score for Hamlet), American Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Ford’s Theatre (the musical Elmer Gantry), and the Mark Taper Forum (where he was an associate artist and wrote the original music for the premiere production of Angels in America). His two operas, Guest from the Future and Buwalsky, a Road Opera, with libretti by Jonathan Levi, both premiered in 2004. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, as well as the recipient of many grants and awards.  He is an Associate Arts Professor and Head Faculty Composer of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


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