Theater for the New City presents Dream Up Festival
The Ironworkers' Hayride The Musical - part of Dream Up Festival 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014 through Saturday, September 06, 2014
Length: 1 hr 20 mins
Seating: General Admission
You choose your seats when you get to the theater.
The Ironworkers Hayride
A New Musical
An intimate romantic comedy set in 1911
Conceived for the stage by Michael Simon Hall. Directed by Eric Michael Gillett. Libretto by Robert Olen Butler based on his short story. Music and additional lyrics by Lanny Meyers. Musical Direction by Lanny Meyers. Performed by StacyLyn Bennett and Michael Simon Hall. Workshop production.
The play revolves around Milton, a shy bachelor accountant, who is coerced into going on a blind date with Millie, a "very progressive woman," who due to her cork leg is on the verge of being an old maid. The text is taken from the short story of the same name by Pulitzer Award winner Robert Olen Butler.
Robert Olen Butler (Libretto)
Robert Olen Butler has published sixteen novels and six volumes of short fiction, one of which, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has also published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream. He was the 2013 recipient of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. Among his many other accolades are the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, and two National Magazine Awards in Fiction. His work has been translated into twenty-one languages. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
StacyLyn Bennett (Minnie)
American soprano Stacylyn Bennett is thrilled to be taking on the role of Minnie in the Ironworker's Hayride! Ms. Bennett has been acting since her first role in the 2nd grade as The Turtle, and is most recently hailed for being equally at ease performing in both large and intimate theater settings delivering powerful dramatic sound as well as soft floating shimmering tones throughout the soprano range. Her roles span the full lyric and lirico-spinto repertoire, and her open personality brings an alluring charm and vulnerability to her on-stage characters. Ms. Bennett is currently engaged to perform this October with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera as Mimi in Puccini's LA BOHEME. Past roles have included the title roles in Puccini's operas, MADAMA BUTTERFLY and SOUR ANGELICA, as well as principal roles in the theater: Andreyevna in TCHAIKOVSKY, Juliet, ROMEO AND JULIET Lavinia A LITTLE PRINCESS, Susan, II CONSULENTE MATRIMONIALE, and Sharon in the 1st National Tour of MASTER CLASS. She has appeared both nationally and internationally at companies such as The New Jersey Verismo Opera, Garden State Opera, Italia Lyrica Festival, Mendocino Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Regina Opera, BMCC Performances, BAM Concert Series, The Bergen PAC, and The New York Lyric Opera Theater.
Michael Simon Hall (Milton)
Michael has appeared on stages ranging from LaMama to New York City Opera, in regional, Broadway, national and international tours, and in two one-man shows seen from coast to coast. Michael was Co-founder of Performers at Work Ensemble Theater Company, and a member of the Workshop at the Neighborhood Playhouse, contributing to the development of over 75 new stage works. As playwright and director his diverse plays and performance pieces include The Pieces of Paper Project; The Usual Space; Oh, Very Young; Mother in the Trenches, adapted from the short story by Robert Olen Butler, and I Want to be a Dancin' Man, a celebration of the Fred Astaire Songbook. Michael's collaborations include work with minimalist composer and Laureate of the International Tchaikovsky competition Anton Batagov, and trailblazing Cellist Matt Haimovitz, and his work has received support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Brooklyn Community Foundation. American Theatre Magazine has called his work "Uncommon," and " Inspiring a feeling of wonder." His recent TV roles include the upcoming season of Boardwalk Empire, The Leftovers for HBO, and Flesh and Bone, by the makers of Breaking Bad and House of Cards. Recent film include the new Steven Soderbergh and Martin Scorsese projects, and "It Had to be You" with Christi Milioti. Visit Michael at www.michaelsimonhall.com.
Lanny Meyers (Composer and Musical Director)
Lanny has six Emmy-Awards to his credit, and five CINE Golden Eagle Awards for his animated short film work. As Musical Director, Arranger/Orchestrator, Keyboard Artist, and Composer, Mr Meyers has appeared on well over 100 commercially released albums for companies such as Columbia, Ampex, Varese-Sarabande, Dancing Bareback, Fynsworth Alley, Kritzerland + others. As a graduate scholarship student of Lukas Foss at UCLA, his work soon took on a wide spectrum of musical projects, working with legendary composer/arrangers, such as Raymond Scott, Rupert Holmes, Peter Matz, Torrie Zito, Joe Sherman, plus music producer/directors who have granted him the freedom to creatively explore, resulting in long-time associations with Elliot Lawrence, Isaiah Sheffer, and currently Bruce Kimmel.He has performed as keyboardist and conductor in major concert venues around the world such as Carnegie Hall, on and off-Broadway, and spent much time as a first-call NY studio musician. His close associations with vocalists feature a sweeping range of styles from Chubby Checker, Linda Hopkins, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebells and Sarah Dash, to Laurie Beechman, Michelle Nicastro, Maude Maggart, thru jazz singers Anita O'Day, LaTanya Hall, Mercedes Hall, to opera singers, most notably Douglas Webster. He has collaborated with some great choreographers: Matt Mattox, Lee Becker Theodore, Alan Hineline, Sandra Devlin, and composed two full-length ballets among other works for dance. For the theater, he composed Yma Dream, a one-act solo Opera with libretto by Thomas Meehan. He also composed the electronic, quantum-theory inspired score for "Psychosomatic Wellness", by renowned neuro-biologist Candace Pert. Lanny won 1st prize at the Sun Dance Film Festival for his documentary work for "Beirut, the Last Home Movie", and recieved a Meet-the-Composer Grant from NY State Council on the Arts and was Artist-in-Residence, Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. Current projects include a series of albums and live performances with actress and singer Sandy Bainum, and a new album, The Dave Brubeck Songbook.
ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT BIO
In addition to conceiving and directing the 2010/11 edition of Big Apple Circus, Dance On, Eric Michael directed Broadway Musicals of 1957 and Broadway Musicals of 1943 at Town Hall, the premiere productions of Scott Siegel’s Broadway By The Year series. Mr. Gillett served as director of Eric Fallen’s short play series, Small Talk, which appeared at the Montreal Fringe Festival in 2011 and was presented in New York City in September later that same year. Other directing credits include The Monster (Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival), Perfect Weather (SoHo Shorts, Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, HB Studio Spring Writes), and A Little Night Music (Carnegie Mellon). He is the creator and host of both Showstoppers!, a benefit series for the Singers Forum/Actors Equity Scholarship Program). His recent series, The Amanda McBroom Project received the 2014 MAC Award for Special Production, and a theatrical version will be given a workshop in August. He is also currently developing Tom Simes’ new comedy, Figment.
Mr. Gillett is a recipient of 2008 and 2013 MAC Award for Outstanding Direction, the Dick Gallagher Award (from the Mabel Mercer Foundation) for his “outstanding contributions to the art of cabaret”, and the 2010 Spirit Award from Help Is On the Way Today for his work in support of children living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, he has been MAC nominated 7 years in a row for his directorial efforts on behalf of theater artists Tovah Feldshuh, Mandy Gonzalez, Jarrod Spector, and KT Sullivan, among many others. Of his directing work, the New York Times says, “Gillett has helped shape conceptual shows whose mixtures of song and talk fuse the personal and the historical into something more cohesive than a conventional set with patter; his shows, especially those for Ms. Akers, are turbulent emotional journeys of self-discovery.”
Visit Eric Michael Gillett at www.ericmichaelgillett.com