‘WE FOXES’ to be performed at Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals

This year, We Foxes by Ryan Scott Oliver will be among the five new musicals brought to life at the Village Theatre‘s Festival of New Musicals.  Through the creative collaboration of nearly 75 artists and writers, performed and directed by the region’s foremost theatre professionals and guest artists from across the country, it will be the first Festival of New Musicals led by newly appointed Associate Artistic Director Brandon Ivie.

The Festival of New Musicals provides an essential platform for writers to incorporate a key component of Live Theatre: the audience. Each new musical will be rehearsed throughout the week, then presented to the Festival’s audience in staged reading format, fully sung using scripts. Though readings are not open to the general public, audiences are partly comprised of Village Originals members who are asked to participate in moderated talkbacks and provide written feedback and constructive critiques of the work, thereby becoming an integral part of the developmental process.

Village Theatre will welcome to Issaquah the critically-acclaimed musical theatre writers at the helm of the new works, who will convene from across the country for the three-day event. “I’m so pleased with the five shows we will have in residence for the festival,” says Festival Producer and Associate Artistic Director Brandon Ivie. “While all are at different stages in their development and vastly varied in style, these writers are all incredibly sophisticated with exceedingly unique voices, and are an inspiring testament to the future of the American Musical.”

RSO’s WE FOXES takes place in the small town of Havoc, Missouri at the onset of World War II.  A tough, unmannered orphan girl is plucked up from her vagabond life and adopted into a world of style and social graces by the beloved wife of the local sheriff. But in her new, unfamiliar life, she begins to discover that there are sinister secrets beneath the shiny veneer of this small town. Her adopted mother is not who she seems to be, and people are lurking in the dark. This gothic musical thriller follows one girl’s struggle to summon courage and survive at all costs.

Other new musicals of the festival include COSTS OF LIVING (Book, Music, and Lyrics by Timothy Huang), HOW TO BREAK (Book and Lyrics by Aaron Gaffers), STRING (Book by Sarah Hammond, Music and Lyrics by Adam Gwon), WRITING Kevin Taylor (Music and Lyrics by Will Van Dyke, Book and Lyrics by Josh Halloway).


‘JASPER IN DEADLAND’ Album to be Released May 20

300_jasperRSO’s ‘Jasper in Deadland’ (with a book by Hunter Foster) will release a Cast Album on May 20, 2016.

The album is distributed by Sh-K-Boom Records, which also distributed his ’35mm: A Musical Exhibition.’

MATT DOYLE as the title character, with SYDNEY SHEPHERD, LOUIS HOBSON, ANDI ALHADEFF, BRANDI MASSEY, BONNIE MILLIGAN, F. MICHAEL HAYNIE, JOHN-MICHAEL LYLES and KYLE CARTER are featured as the nine-person cast on the album.

The album is produced by Oliver and John Clancy (orchestrator), with Nessie Nankivell, Kailey Marshall and Solomon Hoffman as associate producers.

The album will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and more.

Jasper in Deadland was developed as a commission for the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program in 2011. 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. In May of 2015, Jasper in Deadland opened at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. David Armstrong, 5th Avenue Theatre’s Executive Producer and Artistic Director said, “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.”

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 cast album is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff, Angela Hardy, Diane Finston, Kevin Montgomery, and Frank and Linda Damon.


WATCH: ‘WE FOXES’ and ‘ROPE’ in Concert

CHECK OUT TWO PLAYLISTS FOR RSO’S LATEST SHOWS!

‘WE FOXES’ and ‘ROPE’ represent two of three musicals in a trilogy of musical folk operas RSO is writing about American desperation during war-time.  

SELECTIONS FROM ‘WE FOXES’ IN CONCERT

‘WE FOXES’ is a southern Gothic thriller set in small-town Missouri, 1945.  It’s the story of Willa, a tough, unmannered, orphan girl, and her adoption by the crafty Sheriff’s wife, Vesta Quimby.  When Willa discovers the dark secrets beneath the floorboards, a war cuts them apart and Willa must fight to survive.  After all, Vesta Quimby is the most beloved and powerful woman in town – however she’s less humanitarian socialite than she is Machiavellian sociopath.  Can Willa discover her own salvation, deliver herself into courage, and sacrifice everything to escape Vesta?  It is a story of intense human struggle, deliverance, and the great salvation found only through oneself.  

SELECTIONS FROM ‘ROPE’ IN CONCERT

‘ROPE’ which takes place in 1864 New York, tells the story of Clay, a gang-thief who’s determined to find life’s fortune alone, and Szajda, a ghostly Jew with an Irish accent.  He is blind but possesses a remarkable power.  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 Szajda to see through the eyes of Clay, the two young men must escape the vicious gangs of New York and forge a path into the heart of the Civil War where they find the greatest battle of all must be between themselves.


RSO JOINS DUNCAN SHEIK, MARC SHAIMAN AND MORE FOR SH-K-BOOM 16TH BIRTHDAY

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Ryan Scott Oliver joined other all-star artists in concert to celebrate Sh-K-Boom Records “Sweet 16” birthday on April 14 at Symphony Space’s “Leonard Nimony Thalia.”

The music portrayed at the event spanned the spectrum of contemporary and classic theater talent that has earned Sh-K-Boom records three Grammy Awards, twelve Grammy nominations, and a Drama Desk “Special Award.”  Among these was RSO’s ‘35 MM.’  

In ‘35MM,’ each photo creates a unique song, moments frozen in time; a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening.  The multimedia musical explores a groundbreaking new concept in musical theatre through a series of vivid, imaginative songs.  This show was represented at the Sh-K-Boom Birthday Concert with Grace McLean singing “The Ballad of Sara Berry” with Ethan Carlson, Mary Claire Miskell, David Park, and John-Michael Lyles.  

“I’m proud of the range of music our label has preserved and highlighted over the last 16 years,” says Kurt Deutsch, founder and producer.  “We are thrilled to have all this musical creativity together on one stage with such stellar performing talent to celebrate the records that are treasured within the community and around the world.”

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KATIE THOMPSON, NIC ROULEAU, JAY ARMSTRONG JOHNSON AND MORE SING WE FOXES AND ROPE IN CONCERT

March 14, 2016 7pm & 9:30pm AT FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW

RSO54-WEFOXES-GREENFEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents the music of Ryan Scott Oliver in We Foxes and Rope on March 14, 2016. We Foxes and Rope represent two of three musicals in a trilogy of musical folk operas Oliver is writing about American desperation in war-time.

RSO is returning to 54 Below with a concert show featuring the music of his next two major works. Vocal powerhouse Katie Thompson (Giant) is joined by Jay Armstrong Johnson (On the Town, upcoming Quantico) Nic Rouleau (Book of Mormon), Alex Wyse (Spring Awakening), Kerstin Anderson (The Sound of Music), and F. Michael Haynie (Wicked, Dogfight) in presenting audiences a first-look at two works on the same stage. We Foxes is a musical tale of salvation in the face of murderous manipulation set in small town Missouri, 1945. Set against the Civil War, Rope explores the bonds of brotherhood when a blind boy, Shy, becomes tied to the gang-thief, Clay, and they embark on a  quest through war-torn America.

Jill Abramovitz (Cinderella), Andi Alhadeff (Jasper in Deadland), Will Erat (Catch Me If You Can), Victoria Huston-Elem (Addams Family), and Cory Jeacoma (Fan Girl) are also confirmed to perform with more to be announced.

Matthew J. Schneider will serve as the Director of the evening with Music Direction provided by Joshua Zecher-Ross who will play piano along with a five-piece folk band.

RSO at 54: We Foxes and Rope plays Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on March 14, 2016, at 7pm and 9:30pm. There is a $30-$40 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com.  Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.

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