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September 2010

Breaking News: Another Emmy For The Tonys

Glenn Weiss and Neil Patrick Harris receive their Emmy Award for the 63rd Annual Tony AwardsThe June 2009 broadcast of the 63rd Annual Tony Awards was honored over the weekend with a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Program, besting both the Academy Awards and the Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony, among others. The award goes to Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Productions, Executive Producers of the broadcast, as well as to the Tonys' host, Neil Patrick Harris (who also won that evening for his guest starring role on Glee).

Additionally, the 63rd Annual Tony Awards are nominated in the categories of Outstanding Direction for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special, which will be announced next Sunday, August 29th. The Tony Awards broadcast has been a frequent Emmy winner in recent years, despite it being moved among various categories; its previous wins include 2005, 2007 and 2008. The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

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Mamma Mia! SpringboardNYC Felicity Claire Plays Leading Role

At 8pm on June 16th, the curtain went up at the Winter Garden Theatre for Mamma Mia! There, sitting center stage, alone, was SpringboardNYC alum Felicity Claire. She opened the show as Sophie Sheridan, singing, "I have a dream..."

Felicity Claire in Mamma Mia!Felicity has been working on her New York theatre career since her graduation from the Springboard program. After spending the better part of a year in the ensemble of Mamma Mia!, Felicity was finally given the opportunity to perform as Sophie, the lead ingénue.

Felicity had this to say about her experience:

"The first time I went on as Sophie was both thrilling and a little bit terrifying. Having worked for almost nine months on the role in understudy rehearsals and in my living room, I was very well prepared. But as an understudy, I had only done the part with other understudies and a piano. Now I had an audience of nearly 1,500 people, full cast, lighting, sound, and a band. It felt a little bit like being shot out of a cannon!"

She continued,

"Before the curtain went up I closed my eyes and reminded myself of how creatively fulfilling my journey leading up to this moment had been, and affirmed repeatedly that I not only had the skills, but the love and passion for the work to guide me in leading a Broadway show. I took a deep breath, the curtain went up, and for two and a half hours that night (and for 14 additional performances) I had the time of my life!"
"It has been a thrill to perform the role of Sophie Sheridan on Broadway for family, teachers, mentors, and friends. It's an unbelievably fulfilling reward for all of my hard work in class, in the audition room, and on the pavement. I'm happy to count SpringboardNYC and the American Theatre Wing as a very important part of my journey!"

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Larson Grant Recipient's Beowulf Conquers NYC, Then Hits Road

BeowulfDave Malloy, a 2009 recipient of the American Theatre Wing's Jonathan Larson Grant, is seeing his musical adaptation of Beowulf on stages in New York, Boston and Montreal over the next few weeks. Beowulf - A Thousand Years of Baggage is a collaboration between Malloy and writer Jason Craig, directed by Rod Hipskind & Mallory Catlett and is produced by the theatre collective Banana Bag and Bodice. A fun and raucous interpretation of the classic tale of the ancient hero and the modern academics who love him, the show features an eight piece band, stylized fight scenes, and the epic struggle of mortals and monsters in a mead hall.

Beowulf will be seen at two New York venues, Summerstage at the East River Bandshell now through August 27 and on August 28, September 2 and September 4 at Joe's Pub. Its out of town rampage then takes the show to Boston, where it will play at the American Repertory Theater's Club Oberon on September 5 and 6 before heading on to Montreal's Escales Improbables on September 9.

Dave's Obie-Winning musical, Three Pianos, will be reprised later this season for a full run at New York Theatre Workshop December 7, 2010 - January 9, 2011.

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SpringboardNYC 2010 Alumnus Debuts with East West Players

Scott Keiji TakedaScott Keiji Takeda, who was part of the 2010 class of ATW's SpringboardNYC, is now in rehearsal for East West Players' production of Mysterious Skin. East West Players in Los Angeles is one of the nation's premiere Asian American theatre companies, now in its 45th season. Mysterious Skin by playwright Prince Gomolvilas is adapted from the Scott Heim novel, which was previously adapted into a film. Scott graduated from Pepperdine University in May 2010, attended SpringboardNYC in June 2010 and the job marks Scott's professional theatre debut. The show will run from September 9th to October 10th.

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TIG Members Produce a "Killer New Play"

Baristas, A New Killer PlayAmidst the countless productions at this year's New York International Fringe Festival, one production stands out for us at ATW. Baristas, a Killer New Play, by Evan Twohy, showcases the work of Theatre Intern Group (TIG) participants, both past and present, in every capacity from producing to props.

TIG members working on Baristas include Zachary Baer, a Roundabout Theatre Company intern as Producer, Scott Weinstein from Atlantic Theatre Company as Director, Lucas McMahon of The Hartman Group handling press for the show, Julie Boor of SpotCo and Leah Harris of The Vineyard Theater managing the marketing, Ed Wasserman from The Araca Group doing props, and Sonya Roberts from Manhattan Theatre Club working as Production Associate.

The team behind Baristas is the youngest to produce at FringeNYC in 2010, but the new producers insist "age is just a number." In fact, producer Zachary Baer felt they had some great insight from their time at TIG, saying, "Weve been able to learn from the Theatre Intern Group and directly apply the lessons to our production process."

Baristas plays at the Kraine Theater through August 28. You can watch the show's online trailer or get more details on their Facebook page.

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SpringboardNYC Alum Recognized for Excellence

Kyle Haggerty with Vivian Leheny in The HypochondriacCongratulations to Kyle Haggerty (SpringboardNYC 2005) on his NY Innovative Theatre Award nomination! Kyle is nominated for "Outstanding Featured Actor" for The Cell Theatre Company's production of The Hypochondriac. Kyle has been making a name for himself as an actor who creates characters with abandon. Says Kyle, "The character of Thomas was a blessing; it was rewarding to become him every night, allowing me to be a true comic clown, creating a lovable dolt for the audience." Kyle credits the improvisational process in rehearsal for giving him permission to create "a completely new and hilarious version of the character" that was truly his own. The Sixth Annual IT awards ceremony takes place on September 20th.

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What They Said

Katie Finneran Katie Finneran, on ATW's Downstage Center, July 2010.

"If you're lucky you have a mentor in your life. I wish to emulate everything Uta Hagen stood for in terms of the theatre. She had such a reverence for it. Her book is called 'Respect For Acting' for a reason."

Linda Benanti Linda Benanti, In The Wings, Voice Teacher, August 2010.

"The voice is not like a piano that you get tuned four times a year and you're good. The voice changes."

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