Can Paderewski be the Hero of a Musical?
How about Five Musicals?!
Ignacy Jan Paderewski – the sensational early 20th century virtuoso pianist and American celebrity, and independent Poland’s first Prime Minister – is the subject of a new commission by The Adam Mickiewicz Institute of Warsaw. A contest for a musical concept has entered its final stage. Five artists from the East Coast and four from the West Coast are going head to head in a Paderewski Cycle 15 minute long “live pitches” held in New York and Los Angeles. Performances are open to the public!
On 1st November 2017 at 9:30 PM, the New York edition of the Paderewski Cycle will be presented at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, featuring five finalists and their works:
- Lauren Dubowski and Emily Zemba, PADDYMANIA!
- Rachel Jendrzejewski, Paderewski Paderewski Paderewski!
- Matthew Hardy, Virtuoso
- James Fluhr, Ellie Heyman and Zoe Sarnak, Blacksmith
- Jeremy Kamps, 13th Point
Lauren Dubowski and Emily Zemba, PADDYMANIA!
Lauren Dubowski is an artist, producer, and scholar drawn to creative projects that cross cultures to bring people together. She has recently worked as a film and new media producer with Ado Ato Pictures of Amsterdam, as a creative producer and director with Brooklyn-based theatre company The Party Line, and as a collaborative creator and dramaturg with Vancouver theatre collective Guilty by Association. She has also researched puppetry in Indonesia and across Asia as a Luce Scholar, trained in theatre for social change at the Babawatoto Centre in Tanzania, and helped launch the Headlong Performance Institute in Philadelphia. Lauren served as an artistic associate and co-artistic director of the Yale Cabaret while an MFA student in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale School of Drama, where she is currently a DFA candidate. Her dissertation project, which has been supported by the Fulbright Program and Yale's MacMillan Center, is on the Young Poland playwright Stanisław Wyspiański, whose work she hopes to bring to a wider English-language audience. Born in New York City and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Lauren is an alumna of Bryn Mawr College and studied theatre at Swarthmore College.
Emily Zemba is a Brooklyn-based playwright and Mary Tyler Moore enthusiast whose work has been developed and seen with Exquisite Corpse Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival's Professional Training Company, The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Middle Voice, and The Party Line. Her play Deer and the Lovers received its world premiere with First Floor Theater in Chicago in November 2016. Come Back Richard Simmons, her most recent collaboration with Kelly Kerwin and The Party Line, was presented as part of ANT Fest 2017 at Ars Nova in New York City. Emily has taught Playwriting at Wesleyan University and with Tres Artis Studio in New York. BA: Sarah Lawrence College, MFA: Yale School of Drama.
Or Matias (composer) is a composer, pianist, music director, and producer. Since graduating from Juilliard, Or has worked with Josh Groban, The Trans Siberian Orchestra, Ingrid Michaelson, violin virtuoso Amadeus Leopold, songstress Rachael Yamagata, and tap dancer Andrew Nemr, alongside countless others. Most recently, Or was the music director and conductor for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway. In the summer of 2015, Or played the role of Sergei Rachmaninoff in Lincoln Center’s production of Preludes, for which he was nominated for the Lucille Lortel award for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Or is currently writing a new musical adaptation of The Wave -- the 1967 experiment which turned an entire high school into a proto-fascist movement in just five days. He began developing the piece at the Ucross Artists Residency, and was invited to Indiana University to continue the developmental process in the fall of 2017. He frequently composes for the radio show “Israel Story” alongside other collaborations in Israel. His musical Wall Between Us, about a relationship between two Israeli and Palestinian men was performed across the United States to wide acclaim. He is currently writing the score for Rising to the Tap featuring Andrew Nemr, and is thrilled to the be the composer for Paddymania!
Rachel Jendrzejewski (writer) is an experimental playwright who frequently collaborates with dancers, visual artists, musicians, fellow writers, and alleged non-artists to explore new performative vocabularies. Her projects have been developed and/or produced with SuperGroup, Red Eye Theater, Walker Art Center, Padua Playwrights, and Wild Project, among others. Rachel was a September 2017 writer in residence at MASS MoCA and is a 2017-18 McKnight Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center. In collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, she assisted with English translations of multiple Polish plays for (A)pollonia: Twenty-First Century Polish Drama and Texts for the Stage, published by Seagull Books/The University of Chicago Press. MFA Playwriting, Brown University.
Emily Mendelsohn (director) is a Brooklyn-based director interested in performance and contemplative practice. With an ensemble of artists from East Africa and the US, she directed Deborah Asiimwe's Cooking Oil and Erik Ehn's Maria Kizito. She has developed and directed work at Boom Arts, NYTW's Dartmouth Residency, Lewis and Clark, Houston's MECA, NACL, St. Louis Rep Ignite Festival, Playwrights' Center, New Dramatists, Lithuania's Arts Printing House, South Africa's National Arts Festival, and others. Mendelsohn's work has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and TCG's Global Connections. Affiliate artist New Georges. Core member Theater without Borders/ Climate Lens. MFA CalArts.
Crystal Myslajek (composer) is a multi-instrumentalist, performer, and composer, who blends looping, ethereal vocals, and effects with minimalist, post-classical, jazz, and pop forms. She is an avid collaborator across disciplines including experimental film, performance art, theater, and dance. Recent projects include Stasis & Motion, a collaborative sound-film piece commissioned by the Walker Art Center; Circadia, an album released on Water Wing Records (2016); and Reflectors, a collaborative music/film piece which she co-presented at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival and the Echo Park Film Center in 2016 and at the MONO NO AWARE international film exhibition in Brooklyn, NY in 2015. Myslajek was vocalist and bass guitarist in Brute Heart.
Chris Hepola (composer) As a pianist, percussionist and composer, Hepola has collaborated with many filmmakers, artists and writers to create modern music for films, documentaries and live theater. These projects have debuted at film festivals, theaters and venues of all kinds both nationally and internationally. In addition, he has written and performed live musical soundtracks for many classic silent films. As a musician for hire, he makes his home in Minneapolis MN, performing and recording with many artists in a variety of different genres.
Matthew Hardy, Virtuoso
Matthew Hardy is a Bookwriter & Lyricist whose musicals include The C Word (2017 Premiere, Hamilton Ground for Sculpture), Twinkle Tames a Dragon (Off Broadway 2016, National Tour 2017), Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas (Off Broadway 2014-16, National Tour 2015-16), Flambé Dreams (NYMF 2012 Excellence in Lyric Writing), Ever Happily After (NYMF 2013, Center Stage Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Bonnets & Bling (West Chester University 2016), and The Rubberers (Delaware New Works Festival 2008, West Chester University 2014).
Originally from Houston, Texas, Matthew is a graduate of Brigham Young University (BFA), University of Utah (MA) and the William Esper Studio. Matthew is is a New Music USA Grant Recipient (2016), an Anna Sosenko Trust Recipient (2012), and a Jerry Boch Award Finalist (2011). He is a member of Actor's Equity, The Dramatist Guild and an alum of The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. (www.matthewhardy.org)
James Fluhr, Ellie Heyman and Zoe Sarnak, Blacksmith
James Fluhr is a New York based writer, actor, and production designer. His design and associate design work has been featured in Vogue, Broadway and Off-Broadway. James' solo performance, OUR LADY, was acknowledged by Time Out New York, Backstage Magazine, MTV and The Boston Globe as “Extraordinary" and "Unstoppable." He currently works as a senior event creative for Shiraz Events NYC, creating immersive and interactive installations for clients such as Visa, Lancôme, Amazon, Andaz Hotels, and Moët Hennessy. James is a graduate of Boston University.
Zoe Sarnak’s works include: SECRET SOLDIERS (with Marsha Norman), AFTERWORDS (Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals, Eugene O’Neill Artist Residency & Playwrights Horizons-MTF lab), THE YEARS BETWEEN (with Kirsten Guenther, T-Fellowship, McCarter Theater workshop), Transport Group's 20th Century Commission (with Michele Lowe), GALILEO (with Danny Strong, Michael Weiner and dir. Michael Mayer), TEDDY & MAX (with Brian Crawley) and LANDED and ALMA MATER (with Emily Kaczmarek, New York Film Academy commissions). Awards include: Davenport Songwriting contest winner, NY Stage & Film’s Founders Award finalist, Fred Ebb Award finalist, Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award Honoree, Women’s Project Lab Artist, SWAN song contest award. Residencies include: The Public at Vineyards Arts, Goodspeed Writers Colony, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, McCarter Theater Residency, Prospect Theatre Company, Eugene O’Neill Artist Residency and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Music featured: NY Times Live, Lilly Awards, Women of Note, Cutting Edge Composers and more. Education: Harvard University.
Ellie Heyman is a freelance director and the Director in Residence at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. Recent credits include: Jason Craig & Dave Malloy’s Beardo (Pipeline Theater), Erin Markey’s Boner Killer (Under the Radar/The Public Theater), Becca Blackwell’s They, Themself and Schmerm (Under the Radar/The Public Theater), Adrienne Truscott’s THIS (NYLA) and The Traveling Imaginary, a theatrical rock show with Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel) rated "Top 5 shows of the year" by NPR. Her narrative podcast, The Orbiting Human Circus (0f the Air) was rated #1 on iTunes and downloaded over 2 million times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Boston University, a Drama League Alumni and a Time Warner Directing Fellow at the WP Theater. ellieheyman.com
Jeremy Kamps, 13th Point
Jeremy J. Kamps (writer) is a member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, Esperance Theater Company’s Playwright-in-Residence and writer for the Spectrum Theater Ensemble. His work has been produced/developed with The Fountain Theater (LA), Company Cypher at the National Black Theatre of Harlem, Ugly Rhino, Dixon Place, Hudson Valley Shakespeare, The Amoralists, TCG and New York Theatre Workshop. His plays have received recognition and awards including: The William Saroyan Human Rights Award Finalist 2016, Page 73 Semi-Finalist (2017), Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award winner, Goldberg Prize, Hudson Valley Writers Center and NYU Festival of New Works, TCG On the Road grant recipient. Published/Award winning fiction: The Madison Review, The Little Patuxent, John Reid/Tom Howard Award, H.E. Frances Award, Lamar York Prize. He has facilitated drama and writing workshops around the world and with all ages as a means of social justice and community building. MFA: NYU.
Christian Adam Jacobs "Chopper" (Composer, Musical Director & Guitar) is an actor, singer/songwriter, and MFA graduate of The New School for Drama. His fav acting credits include his three seasons with The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, Troilus & Cressida, Taming Of The Shrew, The Bommity Of Errors, Hamlet) as well as the HVSF Touring Company (Julius Caesar); The Adirondack Shakespeare Company (Measure For Measure, The Merchant Of Venice); and The Flea Theater (Looking At Christmas, #Serials). As a singer and songwriter, Christian is more commonly known as Westchester punk rock icon, Johnny Giovanni, who continues to bring his unique brand of charismatic "death-folk" to the New York underground. His songwriting work could most recently be seen on stage in Esperance Theater Company's production of Twelfth Night.
Danny Sharron (Director) is a NYC-based director with a focus on developing new work. He is founding Artistic Director of UglyRhino Productions, a Brooklyn-based company aiming to make theater a social event by integrating live music, cocktails, and dance parties into the theatrical experience. He is also committed to creating work about the LGBTQ experience, and providing a platform from which the voices of that community can be heard. Danny most recently directed the world premiere of Jason Kim's The Model American at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and an environmental production of Taylor Mac’s OKAY with UglyRhino at Bushwick’s new Central Arts. He has developed work with The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Ars Nova, Labyrinth Theater Company, Ma-Yi, and The Lark. Other directing credits: Ana Gasteyer: Swing With A Handsome Woman, jason&julia by Jenny Rachel Weiner (Williamstown); The Forest of Without by Bradley Cherna (Drama League); Student Body by Frank Winters (NYU/Strasberg); What It Means To Disappear Here by Jeremy J. Kamps, #nyc by Kyle Warren, Glamdromeda by Bryce Norbitz, and Ionesco's Rhinoceros (UglyRhino). Danny is an alumnus of the Ars Nova Director's Troupe, and is a recipient of New York Theatre Workshop's 2050 Fellowship, Williamstown's Bill Foeller Fellowship, and the Drama League Directing Fellowship.
Piano Transcription: Seth Johnson
Casting: Rebecca Feldman
Ignace Jan Paderewski: Jelani Alladin
Antonina: Danaya Esperanza
Woodrow Wilson: Dana Watkins
Piano: Jesse Elder
Bass: Nate Hopkins
Percussion: Lisette Santiago
Guitar: Christian “Chopper” Jacobs
This project is organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand within the international cultural programme accompanying Poland’s centenary of regaining independence – POLSKA 100.
Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the Multi-annual Programme “Niepodległa” 2017-2021.