Maltz Jupiter Theatre's
Emerging Artist Series selection, Academy,
chosen for New York Musical Theatre Festival!
May 19, 2009 (Jupiter, FL) - As the initial selection of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre's inaugural Emerging Artist Series in Musical Theater Playwriting, Academy has been selected for the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF)'s Next Link Project, NYMF's primary writer service program.
Academy, seen at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in October 2008, was conceived and developed by Andrew Kato, Maltz Jupiter Theatre's Artistic Director, with book, music and lyrics by John Mercurio. The story takes place at St. Edward's Academy where two senior boys make a harmless bet on whether they can influence an unsuspecting freshman to break a few rules in order to succeed. However, when the deal goes recklessly out of control, the boys become entangled in a fight for their own academic and personal survival. Inspired by Goethe's Faust, Academy is a pop chamber musical about boys learning to become men and remaining true to themselves.
John Mercurio is the recipient of an award from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation and a Commendation Award from the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Foundation for his work in musical theatre. This past summer, Mercurio's new musical Myth was developed at the 2008 O'Neill Music Theater Conference, where he received The Georgia Holof Lyricist Award for his work. Mercurio received degrees from the Eastman School of Music and NYU and was a member of the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop.
"I think the fact that Academy was chosen to be a part of NYMF is a direct result of the work we were able to do on the piece at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre last fall," says Mercurio. "The opportunity for a creative team to nurture a new musical with talented actors and musicians in a safe, supportive environment is critical to its development. And the entire Maltz Jupiter Theatre family provided all that and more."
Andrew Kato also received this great news while in New York where he is producing the Tony Awards for his sixth year. "We are so honored that Academy, having its start as part of the Emerging Artist Series, will move on to be part of this very prestigious festival that has launched several Broadway musicals in recent years including Next To Normal which is currently up for 11 Tony Nominations," said Kato.
Since its inception in 2004, NYMF has premiered more than 175 new musicals, more than 40 of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters and in almost every state and in 12 countries worldwide. NYMF 2004 hit Altar Boyz has played well over 1,500 performances Off-Broadway and spawned two National Tours. Rooms recently ran Off-Broadway at New World Stages, where it was nominated for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical by the Outer Critics Circle. This year's Festival will run September 28th through October 18th.
The Next Link Project empowers emerging musical theatre writing teams as both artists and entrepreneurs by providing the training and relationships needed to help them move their musicals from mere readings to fully-realized productions and to advance their careers by maximizing the exposure they receive in the Festival. Any work that has not been produced professionally in New York City may be submitted by authors with or without industry representation.
All entries undergo double-blind evaluations by several members of NYMF's reading team, with finalists referred to a grand jury of celebrated industry professionals. This year's judges included lyricist Susan Birkenhead, composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown, producer Robyn Goodman, director Kathleen Marshall, writer Robert Lopez, choreographer Sergio Trujillo and director Francesca Zambello.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is an award-winning professional not-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and is located east of U.S. Highway 1 at 1001 East Indiantown Road and State Road A1A in Jupiter.