The iStar Theatre Lab today announced that Veils a new play by Tom Coash and Gay Bride of Frankenstein a new musical by Billy Butler and Dane Leeman have been selected for its inaugural Theatre Lab scheduled to take place July 16th through August 5thin New York City.
Under the supervision of Producing Artistic Director Tony Spinosa and Managing Director, Laura Bultman the three-week theatre lab will culminate in with a presentation of both pieces in front of an invited audience of industry professionals. Casting and Creative Teams will be announced at a later date.
The iStar Theatre Lab is the brainchild of Director / Choreographer Tony Spinosa who recently served as Resident Director of the 2010 Tony Award winning revival of La Cage aux Folles on Broadway. A two-time Cringe Festival winner for his work on Charlie Chang and the Mysterious Salami (2008) and Is That a Spear in Your Pocket? (2009) Spinosa’s numerous credits include TDF/CUNY 2011 Gala and direction/choreography for Fiddler on the Roof and Kiss Me, Kate for the Village Light Opera Group in NYC. On a national scale he continues to serve as Resident Director for the North American tour of La Cage aux Folles starring George Hamilton and Christopher Sieber.
Spinosa commented, “I was truly moved by Tom Coash’s writing and the distinctive voice of Veils, a theatre piece that explores the journey of a veiled African-American Muslim student who thought she might finally fit in when she enrolled for a year abroad at the American Egyptian University in Cairo. It is a deep exploration of the misunderstandings of cultural differences.”
“We were thrilled to receive so many wonderful musicals for consideration. Gay Bride of Frankenstein was not only a fun romp, but also included moving moments about love, acceptance and understanding who we really are and strive to be.” said Laura Bultman, Managing Director of iStar Theatre Lab. “There is timely truth to the story. We are excited to watch the show develop with the help of the Lab’s resources.”
The 2012 iStar Theatre Lab in New York City marks the Theatre Lab’s inaugural season. The projects selected for the 2012 Theatre Lab are:
by Tom Coash
When Intisar, a veiled African-American Muslim student, enrolls for a year abroad at the American Egyptian University in Cairo, she thinks she will finally fit in. Intisar is at first excited when, in an effort to bridge the gap between the West and the Middle-East, her non-veiled Egyptian roommate, Samar, enlists her help in creating an internet blog debating the controversial practice of wearing veils. The Arab Spring intervenes, however, and the Egyptian revolution threatens to overtake the young women and their project. In the violent struggle, Intisar and Samar find themselves on opposite sides of a bitter and dangerous cultural divide. Veils is a play about faith, human rights, revolution, and above all, the need for cultural understanding.
Gay Bride of Frankenstein
Book by Billy Butler & Dane Leeman,
Music and Lyrics by Billy Butler
A pop/rock, fairy tale musical that follows the exploits of four high school friends on one fateful Halloween night. A strange substitute teacher reads to a biology class from Mary Shelley's, Frankenstein. The roomful of seniors includes the sweet, virginal Chloe who is determined to be a good girl until the 'right person' comes along. Her best friend, Edna, has long since realized that her love for Chloe goes beyond the affection typically felt between two best friends. Chloe's boyfriend, Thad, wishes to join a fraternity but the main requirement for joining Gamma Alpha Epsilon is that he must not be a virgin. And then there's Hairy - the pot smoking voice of reason. Much to everyone’s chagrin, the Halloween Dance is canceled. However, the foursome is invited to the annual Monsters Ball and all hell breaks loose when the Dr. Shocker arrives.
The iStar Theatre Lab is a three-week workshop designed to provide mentorship and guidance in a risk-free environment for emerging or established artists who wish to develop and nurture their work. Artists who participate in the iStar Theater Lab benefit from a day-on day-off rehearsal structure which allows each participant to nurture ideas and explore his or her own work without the pressure of producing new pages every day. After three weeks of intensive work, each project is presented to the iStar Theatre Lab community in a closed session. The presentation is followed by a feedback session led by the iStar Theatre Lab’s Producing Artistic Director and creative team.