Jessica Grove to Star in Choral Chameleon and NY Theatre Barn's TAMAR OF THE RIVER Oratorio World Premiere, 3/9-10
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by BWW News Desk
The award-winning New York Theatre Barn is partnering with Brooklyn-based choral ensemble Choral Chameleon to produce the world premiere production of Tamar of the River Oratorio for two nights only in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn on March 9-10, 2013 starring Broadway's Jessica Grové in the title role, and the 12 singers of Choral Chameleon embodying the River.
The Tamar of the River Oratorio is a site-specific, hour-long choral-theatrical event that fuses the best of the choral and theatrical worlds to create a new hybrid form of immersive, explosive, visually spectacular, and emotional live storytelling. It is based on the Jonathan Larson Award winning musical Tamar of the River, written by Marisa Michelson and Joshua H. Cohen. The creative team is led by NYTB's Artistic Director Joe Barros as the director-choreographer and Choral Chameleon's Artistic Director Vince Peterson as the music director.
This compelling new work, an adult fable, follows young Tamar on her quest for peace in times of war, as she journeys to the River's source to hear the voice of God. Young Tamar believes she has been chosen by the River God to bring peace. As she transforms into the Prophet, she makes decisions she later struggles to justify and accept - and when she goes head to head with Judah, commander of the opposition forces and father of two sons who fight to win Tamar's love, it is hard to know who is the cause of greater bloodshed. When everybody is certain only they know what God wants, who will have the final say?
Puppetry is designed by Elizabeth Ostler, with actor-manipulated lighting by Michael Megliola, and costumes by Rachel Guilfoyle. The stage manager is Mackenzie Meeks, with casting by Jason Najjoum.
Following this world premiere event, the New York Theatre Barn and Choral Chameleon will be looking to have the Oratorio licensed for choirs.
For tickets visit www.nytheatrebarn.tumblr.com/tamar, or call Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Purchase tickets early as this is a strictly limited engagement.
New York Theatre Barn is actively fundraising for this world premiere event. Go to www.rockethub.com/projects/15910-tamar-of-the-river-oratorio to support this production through a fully tax-deductible charitable donation. New York Theatre Barn is federally-approved 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in New York state.
JOSHUA H. COHEN (Co-Book/Lyrics) Honors include an American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grant and an NEA grant for Amas Music Theatre's upcoming production of Keep On Walkin'. His song "All New," with composer Marisa Michelson, was recorded by Tony winner Nikki M. James for the Broadway Lullaby Project. His plays and musicals include The Thirteenth Commandment (upcoming world premiere with Libra Theater Company, spring 2013), Fun and Games, Maggie the Pirate (Winner, Chameleon Theatre Circle New Play Competition), The Mole, Tamar of the River (workshop, Signature Theatre), Still Life With Toe Shoes (workshop, Old Deerfield Productions; production, Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College), The Entropy Songs (Abingdon Theatre; revival, Libra Theatre), and The Day the World Went QUEER! (NY Fringe). Member of the Dramatists Guild; 2008-10 Fellow, American Lyric Theatre's Composer-Librettist Development Program; participant in the August 2012 CAP 21 Writers Retreat. BA: Amherst College, MFA: NYU-GMTWP. www.JoshuaHCohen.com
Marisa Michelson (Co-Book/Music) received a 2011 Jonathan Larson Award and was the only woman to receive a 2009 "American Musical Voices: The Next Generation" Award from the Shen Family Foundation. Music-theatre pieces include book and music for Tamar of the River (Signature Theatre); The Grid (NAMT-awarded residency with Millikin University); Still Life with Toe Shoes (Old Deerfield Productions; Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College); Hotel Sarajevo (CAP 21; hotInk Festival; Smith College); The Lovers (Prospect Theater Company; Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard; Calliope Theatre Company.) Marisa was commissioned with playwright Jason Grote by Montclair University's New Works Institute to write Scheherazade - a musical adaptation of Grote's acclaimed play, 1001. Her songs have also been featured at the Kennedy Center, the York (under direction of Daniel Goldstein), New World Stages, The Duplex Theater and the Flea. Her lullaby, "All New" was recorded by Tony-Award winner Nikki M. James for the Broadway Lullaby Project 2012 CD and book. Residencies: New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, New Dramatists Playtime Residency, Theatreworks Palo Alto, and Earthdance's "eMerge" interdisciplinary artist's residency. Marisa sang with Meredith Monk in Songs of Ascension at BAM and was invited to perform her two-person experimental vocal piece, Voice Becoming at the Basillica in Hudson, NY and the Goetheanum in Switzerland. www.marisamichelson.com
NEW YORK THEATRE BARN (Joe Barros, Artistic Director; Jason Najjoum, Producing Director) is an award-winning non-profit theatre company founded in 2007 and dedicated to the investigation, development, and advancement of new works. The company primarily develops and produces new musicals that tell new stories about real people, often rooted in current events and history that reflect our diverse world and help us better experience our shared humanity. Past productions include the all-female musical I Married Wyatt Earp (59E59 Theatres/ Prospect Theater Co.) with Heather Mac Rae and Carolyn Mignini, Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis' Wood (New York Musical Theatre Festival/Emily Miller) with Cady Huffman, Cait Doyle's Hot Mess In Manhattan (Araca Project), Bridget Bailey's award-winning solo play Child of Hungry Times, and the company has been instrumental in the development of Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days. In Development: Speargrove Presents (Sammy Buck/Brandon James Gwinn), Costs of Living (Timothy Huang), The Boy Who Danced On Air (Tim Rosser/Charlie Sohne), Mackenzie and the Missing Boy (Joel B. New/Cara Winter), and Resident Alien (Katya Stanislavskaya). New York Theatre Barn is a proud member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). www.NYTheatreBarn.org
CHORAL CHAMELEON (Vince Peterson, Artistic Director; Jeffery Thyer, Managing Director) Hailed by Time Out New York as a "shape-shifting" and "poetic" ensemble, Choral Chameleon has, over the past four years, begun to carve its niche in the NYC concert scene. Founded by Vince Peterson in 2008, the group has become known for inspiring listeners with its truly amalgamated concert programming, which deals with real human themes that are easy to relate to. Its singers comprise the most varied musical backgrounds and influences, giving the group an ever-changing, idiomatically virtuous, and spontaneously transforming sound, never experienced before in the concert hall. Choral Chameleon places the understanding of each style it performs at the very center of the rehearsal process, never resting until the inherent nuances of each piece are fully honored and preserved. These concert programs equally welcome first-time listeners as well as seasoned concert-goers. The group has also strived to redefine the role of a choir in the performing arts and to put choral singing where it is least expected.