Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dreamweaver Marketing News, "Dear Boy" at Pittsburgh's Hot Metal Musicals Incubator

Media Contact: Stephanie Riso
(412)979-5750 (cell/text)

Dear Boy Kicks-Off Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh’s Hot Metal Musicals Incubator in June

Pittsburgh, PA – June 14, 2016. On Monday, June 27, 2016, MTAP--Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh launches Hot Metal Musicals Incubator with Dear Boy, book and lyrics by Jeanne Drennan and music by David Berlin, to be presented as a reading at 7:00pm at the Pittsburgh CLO’s Charles Gray Auditorium, 130 CLO Academy Way in downtown Pittsburgh.

Stephanie Riso, producer
Dear Boy has seen much development since its debut reading in 2010 under the guidance of producer Stephanie Riso while at Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre (PICT).  The piece has continued to grow and evolve, benefitting from workshops of act one and act two at the University of Pittsburgh and MTAP respectively. 

Librettist and lyricist Jeanne Drennan, who also serves as MTAP’s Managing Director, commented on the direct impact that the Hot Metal Musicals Incubator will provide. 

“Since that initial reading David and I have made huge changes to the work: to the music, to what parts of the story get pulled into the foreground, to the inherent theatricality and the comedy that goes along with it. But since 2010 we haven't had the opportunity to see the entire show presented as seamlessly as possible. So that, and the immediate audience response to the show, will tell us what more we need to do before the show is ready for production.”

Jeanne Drennan (book/lyrics) comes to musical theatre naturally through her work as a 12 Dogs and Get out of Dodge, with the latter play to be produced this November at the Venice Theater in Venice, FL. Drennan has had plays produced or developed in a range of theatres from tiny places in New York to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
playwright, with seven fellowships from the PA Council on the Arts to her credit along with awards for her plays

David Berlin (composer) has collaborated extensively in dance-theater and multi-artist performances, and Dear Boy marks his first foray into musical theatre. Primarily a teacher and educator with orchestral compositions performed nationally and internally by such groups as the Philadelphia Classical Symphony Orchestra, the Renaissance City Woodwind Quintet, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Sterbrooke Ensemble at NYC’s Carnegie Hall and Galapagos ArtSpace in Brooklyn, his experience collaborating with artists such as dancers and poets position him well for the extensive reworking involved in bringing a new musical to life.

About Dear Boy
Dear Boy presents the true story of parental love gone haywire in the 18th century.  The Earl of Chesterfield, a man who in the 1740s was in reality a significant political player in England, is remembered chiefly today for his many letters to his illegitimate son, Stanhope, a boy he sent off to be raised as a gentleman and scholar. As was the case through his letters, Chesterfield in Dear Boy seeks to control every detail of his son’s life, from his education and training to his choice in love.  In fact, he knows nothing of his son's secret life as a husband to Eugenia and father to two children. This news, when it comes, leaves the family in jeopardy unless the earl can overcome a profound sense of betrayal.

About The Cast
The cast features Michael Marra as the Earl of Chesterfield, Stanley Graham as his son Stanhope, and Hilary Caldwell as Eugenia. Cyndi Plyler as Mrs. Gimlet leads an ensemble that includes Hope Anthony as Companion and Sara Fisher as Mlle. du Bouchet, plus Rob James, Ryan Patrick Kearney and Nick Mitchell.

Michael Marra (Chesterfield), a Butler resident, has performed on Broadway in Les Miserables - subsequently joining the 3rd national tour with the show. He also was in the first national tour of Jekyll & Hyde, and worked regionally with Pittsburgh CLO in The Producers. In addition to live industrials, theme park, and cruise ship work, Marra’s credits include Off-Off Broadway appearances and regional roles with The Strand Theater, Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Performing Arts Center, Harlequin Dinner Theatre, Weathervane Playhouse and Mountain Playhouse.

Stanley Graham (Stanhope) graduated from Point Park University Oklahoma!, Percy Brown in The Boyfriend and Joseph Surface in The School for Scandal. Regionally, Graham has performed twice with the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops, with the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, and recently played John Wilkes Booth in Assassins at Stage 62.
in 2015 with a B.F.A. in musical theatre. While at Point Park he played leading roles such as Curly in

Hilary Caldwell (Eugenia) appeared in MTAP’s reading of new musical in development Kitty in November 2015. A graduate of Penn State, Caldwell performed with No Refund Theatre, Penn State Thespians and the Penn State School of Theatre. Recent Pittsburgh credits include: Pitti-Sing in The Mikado with Pittsburgh Savoyards, Hope Langdon inSomething’s Afoot with South Park Theatre, and was the swing for A Grand Night for Singing with Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center and company member with the 2016 Pittsburgh CLO Gallery of Heroes touring show.

Hope Anthony (Companion) is a Point Park University Conservatory graduate. Recent stage credits include Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Georgia in The Exonerated, Vivian in A Lesson Before Dying, Alma in The Music Man, Bessie in The Civil War, A Dynamite in Hairspray, Gladys in Lunch Lady Cabaret, Lillith in Cult Classic at Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, and Tess in A Pirate’s Tale on the Gateway Clipper Fleet.

Sara Ashley Fisher (Mlle. du Bouchet) is the Producing Artistic Director of 12 Peers Theater.  Sara was previously in the ensemble for the private reading of Dear Boy for MTAP.  Sara has performed with 12 Peers Theater, Unseam'd Shakespeare, Pittsburgh Playwright Theater, Prime Stage Theatre, Pittsburgh New Works Festival and The Theater Factory.  Up next, Sara will be performing in The Birds by Conor McPherson for 12 Peers Theater August 4-21 at the Pitt Studio Theatre in Oakland.
Rob James (ensemble) works for the Pittsburgh CLO Creative Vision Program. Some favorite roles have been Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q, Roger Debris in The Producers, Dave in The Full Monty, and most recently Sam Byck  in Assassins all at Stage 62 in Carnegie. Next adventure with Stephen Santa: Raph/Darth Cancer in Dani Girl at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Ryan Patrick Kearney (ensemble) was recently in the Saint Vincent's Summer Theater production of Route 66 in Latrobe and Off the Wall Theater's production of The Musical of Musicals (the Musical!) in Carnegie! Other theater credits and staged readings have been with The Pittsburgh CLO (Plaid TidingsThe Invention of Edison), Prime Stage (The Great GatsbyFahrenheit 451), South Park Theater (Forever Plaid,Nuncrackers), Stage 62 (TitanicEvita) and others.
Nick Mitchell (ensemble) originated roles in Cactus (12 Peers), The Next Galileo (Pittsburgh CLO Gallery of Heroes), and will again direct for Cup-a-Jo Productions at Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Since moving to the area nine years ago, Nick has been an active actor/director in the area. He was previously the Associate Artistic Director for The Company of Pittsburgh where he directed The Last 5 Years and [title of show]. He directs for South Park Theater, The Pittsburgh Savoyards, Stage 62, Mckeesport Little Theater, Mon River Arts, Americana Theater in Plymouth, Mass., and is resident director at Plum High School.
Cyndi Plyler (Mrs. Gimlet) has performed with many area theatres in the Cranberry Township area including An Amish Family Christmas. Roles include several runs as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Johnston in Blood Brothers, Patsy Cline in Always…Patsy Cline, Maggie in The Shadow Box, and Jean in Good People.  Recently she has been seen at the Strand Theatre in Zelienople in their productions of Oliver (Mrs. Sowerberry), Eulalie Shin in The Music Man, A USO Christmas and Frosty Grinch & Friends.   
Comtra Theatre, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center and the Canadian tour of 
The Creative Team

The reading will be directed by Stephen Santa who previously directed the MTAP reading of Off With Her Maidenheadin 2013 which was the same year he was named one of the top directors in Pittsburgh by CBS Local On-line. Santa has staged over 30 productions in the Pittsburgh area and beyond including UNCHARTED: The Music of Anna K. Jacobs and a concert workshop of TEETH a New Musical both performed at Arts Nova Theatre, NYC.
Music-direction will be by Nick Stamatakis, who has music directed, composed and accompanied for collegiate, community and comedic theater organizations throughout the Pittsburgh area including: Arcade Comedy Theater, Throughline Theatre Company, Sewickley Area Theater Company, Alarum Theatre, Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh and UPStages/Pitt Reparatory Theatre.  Nick also serves as Music/Vocal Director for productions at Montour High School, and serves on the Executive Board of the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival (Aug 25-27).
This Incubator reading of Dear Boy will be produced by MTAP member Vince Ventura, Artistic Director of 12 Peers Theater, with stage management by Mia Rosenfeld. The 2016 Incubator readings are being presented with extensive cooperation and support from the Pittsburgh CLO.

About MTAP

MTAP--Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh--brings together a group of local and regional artists working in a wide range of musical theatre expression, from solo cabaret to full-length narrative musical theatre. The group exists not only to support the development of work members bring in, but also to be an incubator where new works of musical theatre come into being and are nurtured.

MTAP meets monthly between September and May for networking, collaborations, new work development and presentations of work in progress. We are seeking aspiring or established composers, lyricists, librettists, playwrights, performers, professionals, producers and anyone interested in new musical development. To receive regular emails from MTAP about meetings, special events, and opportunities, send an email to

Fact Sheet

Who:     MTAP – Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh
What:    Hot Metal Musicals Incubator, Dear Boy book/lyrics by Jeanne Drennan, music by David Berlin
Where: Charles Gray Auditorium, CLO Academy, 130 CLO Academy Way 8th Floor, Pgh, PA 15222
When: Monday, June 27, 2016, 7pm
Cost:      Free and Open to the Public
Reservations encouraged: Event Page to RSVP is
Details: The Incubator allows a public audience to become involved in the early stages of a new musical’s long and often arduous journey toward full production. Featuring musical works in development by area artists. Visit for more details on the specific presentations. 

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