How Ryan Scott Oliver Is Shaking Up Musical Theater With His Dark, ‘Twisted And Genius’ Work
Huffington Post’s Curtis Wong interviews RSO on his inspirations, shows, and plans for the future -calling him “musical theater’s answer to an auteur filmmaker or a gothic novelist.” Jay Armstong Johnson is quoted describing RSO’s work as “deep, rich, innovative and new.” Read the whole article here.
Check out Jay Armstrong Johnson’s “Stroke by Stroke” from Jasper in Deadland at 54 Below:
Go behind the scenes of the January 21st private reading of Darling starring Peter Pan Live!’s Jason Gotay!
Set in 1900s Boston, Darling, according to press notes, “follows sixteen year old Darling as she encounters a boy named Peter, who offers the opportunity to run away with him. She takes it and finds herself swept into a seedy underground of jazz, sex, lost rentboys, and a mysterious white powder called Dust.”
Darling was featured on the “Bound for Broadway” episode of NBC’s “The Apprentice” in 2010; in 2012, it was given a private workshop and developmental production as a collaboration between Retrop Production and RareWorks Theatre Company, in association with Sh-K-Boom Records, at Emerson College. In 2013, Darling received The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company New Musical Award. Darling was conceived by Brett Ryback.
Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster’s Jasper in Deadland, a new musical that follows 16-year-old Jasper as he journeys into the afterlife to save his best friend, will head to Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre following its acclaimed Off-Broadway run this past spring.
The 5th Avenue Theatre announced Dec. 23 that Jasper replaces the Broadway-bound Something Rotten! in its 2014-15 season. Performances will run April 30-May 24, 2015, with an official opening set for May 14.
“I could not be more pleased to have this dynamic new musical as the new addition to our season,” said 5th Avenue Theatre executive producer and artistic director David Armstrong in a statement. “Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster are two of the most exciting young talents working in the theatre today and The 5th has a very successful track record in providing emerging theatre artists like these with a large scale playing field in which they can thrill and amaze us. What Rent is to La Bohème, this show is to the Orpheus myths and legends.”
Prospect Theater Company presented the New York City premiere, which featured Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon) as Jasper, Allison Scagliotti (Off-Broadway debut, SyFy’s “Warehouse 13″) as Gretchen and Ben Crawford (Big Fish, Shrek The Musical) as Mr. Lethe. Performances ran through April 13 at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew.
Jasper in Deadland tells the story of 16-year-old Jasper, who journeys into the Afterlife to rescue his recently deceased best friend, Agnes.But in this version of the hereafter – known as “Deadland,”a hybrid of mythology, religion, and superstition – the dead forget Life…And so, too, will Jasper, if he can’t get past the seven circles of Deadland, fearsome Cerberus, heavenly Beatrix, mysterious Mr. Lethe, and ultimately himself.Can Jasper bring his best friend back from the dead, or will he join the dead forever?
The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre Association exists to develop, produce and present live musical theater for the cultural enrichment of the Northwest community, and to preserve, maintain, and operate the historic and irreplaceable 5th Avenue Theatre. The 5th Avenue Theatre has developed numerous shows that have gone to Broadway, including the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde, The Wedding Singer, Memphis, Catch Me If You Can, Scandalous, A Christmas Story, First Date and Aladdin.
The 5th Avenue Theatre is located at 1308 5th Avenue in Seattle, WA. Tickets (starting at $29) may be purchased starting Jan. 16, 2015, at 5thAvenue.org or by phone at (206) 625-1900.
Rider University presents Girl’s Night Out, a work of devised Theatre based on the compositions of Contemporary Musical Theatre composer, Ryan Scott Oliver.
On Friday and Saturday, December 5th and 6th at 7:30pm,Girls’ Night Out will be performed at Rider University’s Yvonne Theater in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Admission is free.
Girl’s Night Out is a work of devised Theatre based on the compositions of Contemporary Musical Theatre composer, Ryan Scott Oliver. Each young performer has been presented a musical piece composed by Mr.Oliver that informed their character. The relationships that grow between each character have developed out of their improvisational work within the rehearsal process. The audience will follow each young person’s journey, observing each character’s discoveries that effect not only themselves, but everyone around them as well.
Directed by Rider Musical Theater Faculty Mariann Cook, with musical direction by Wendy Feaver, and choreography by Colby Dezelick, Girls’ Night Out features Maria Garvey, Samantha Ricchuti, Sarah Catherine Carter, Patricia Curley, Sarah Davis, Kailee Graham, Madeline Chandler, Leanne Gallati, Chelsea Delgado, Jessica Phipps, Katherine Tennenbaum, and Amy Hine.
Rider University is comprised of 65 undergraduate programs and 26 graduate programs in business administration, education, liberal arts, sciences, fine and performing arts, counseling, and leadership, with over 4,400 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students. Rider Musical Theatre features BFA students in 8 productions per year, most recent a fully realized workshop of new work by the team that wrote Urinetown, a new musical titled ZM, or the Zombie Musical.
On Feb. 2, RSO will bring Alex Brightman, Katie Rose Clarke, Ben Fankhauser, Lindsay Mendez, Derek Klena, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Julia Mattison, Katie Thompson and many more to be announced to 54 Below.
Audiences can expect to hear songs from RSO’s latest tuner We Foxes, plus favorites from 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, Darling, Jasper in Deadland, and a few world premieres.
Most importantly, ticket buyers can get 50% off tickets purchased “Cyber Monday,” Monday, Dec. 1. (A code will be offered via Facebook, and also placed here on Dec. 1.)
Beth Williams and Grove Entertainment have commissioned RSO to pen the original musical Rope.
Unrelated to the Hitchcock film of the same title, the story of Rope is as follows:
New York, 1864.
They are an unlikely pair: Clay, a gang-thief determined to find life’s fortune alone; and Szajda (“Shy”), a ghostly Jew with an Irish accent, blind but possessing a remarkable power. Yet they become tied at the waist with a length of rope, stuck together on a desperate quest through a war-torn America. Clinging together with this charmed rope that allows the blind Shy to see through the eyes of Clay, the two young men must escape the vicious gangs of New York and push a path into the heart of the Civil War, where they find the greatest battle of all must be between themselves, brother and brother.
The show is wholly original and inspired by this photograph:
The show is meant to be the second in a trilogy of folk operas set in a time of war. It will be nearly sung-through and will feel similar in tone to the first of the trilogy, We Foxes. The shows will be thematically linked and may even share a “universe.” RSO will contribute book, music and lyrics.
Williams and Grove (which is currently producing the Broadway bound Tuck Everlasting, among others) previously commissioned We Foxes.