Tuesday, November 02, 2010



From: Arizona Theatre Company [mailto:jgrynkewich@arizonatheatre.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 11:05 AM
Subject: Press Release: Arizona Theatre Company sings the story of our country with WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG






Musical celebrates the unique life and journey of an American icon



Arizona Theatre Company takes us on a journey across America through the legendary songs of Woody Guthrie in the inspirational musical, WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG. This Arizona premiere, directed by Randal Myler, who also brought ATC audiences Hank Williams: Lost Highway, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues and Love, Janis, WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG plays in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art from November 27, 2010 through December 18, 2010.  It continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from December 30, 2010 through January 16, 2011 with a special New Year's Eve performance on December 31, 2010.  The Tucson media sponsors for the 2010-2011 Season are KGUN9, MIX-FM and Tucson Lifestyle.  Arizona Theatre Company's season sponsors are I. Michael and Beth Kasser.


Bound for Glory, Nine Hundred Miles, This Land Is Your Land. We all know them and we've all sung them - songs about the open road, fighting for one's rights, and the beauty of nature.  Now meet the man that brought them all to life.  As he looked for work and his next meal, Woody sang the stories of a whole nation determined to survive the Great Depression.  Featuring a stunning cast of singers, actors and musicians, WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG is about discovering and celebrating one of the great Americans who gave our country its voice and conscience.

"Woody 'lived his songs.' A dust bowl refugee himself, he hopped the freight trains, worked and sang in the migrant camps. He traveled the country, listening and writing and working side-by-side with the people," said Director Randal Myler. "So, like Hank Williams, listeners sense a deep truth and deep honesty in the songs. A timeless honesty."


WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG was conceived and adapted by PETER GLAZER from Woody's songs and writings. Glazer is a professional director and playwright whose plays, adaptations, collaborations and directing projects include Woody Guthrie's American Song (Bay Area Drama Critics award; Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations Off-Broadway; Joseph Jefferson Award winner in Chicago), O'Carolan's Farewell to Music, Michael, Margaret, Pat & Kate, Foe, Measure for Measure, Seven Lears, Mariso, Heart of Spain and Foe. He holds a Ph.D. in performance studies from Northwestern University and is currently department chair and associate professor at U.C. Berkley.

RANDAL MYLER (Director) returns to ATC where he co-wrote and directed Touch the Names; Love, Janis; Hank Williams: Lost Highway and It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues and directed The Immigrant. He was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award in the Outstanding Director category for the New York production of Hank Williams: Lost Highway and was a Tony Award nominee (Best Book of a Musical) for It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues. He has directed at theatres across the country, including The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Denver Center Theatre Company and many others. His writing and directing projects include co-adapting and directing Fire on the Mountain and Back Home Again: A John Denver Holiday Concert and directing Union City (with Rosie Perez) and, most recently, co-conceived (with Dan Wheetman) and directed both Mama Hated Diesels: Songs and Stories of the American Trucker at Denver Center Theatre Company and Low Down Dirty Blues (five Chicago Jeff Award nominations) at Northlight Theatre. In New York, he has also directed at Broadway's Ambassador Theater, The New Victory Theater, Little Shubert Theatre, Dodger Stages, Promenade Theater, Manhattan Ensemble Theater, B.B. King's and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The cast of WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG includes SALLY MAYES (Woman), who made her Broadway debut in Cy Coleman's Welcome to the Club. On Broadway, Ms. Mayes is perhaps best known for her performance in the Roundabout Theater revival of She Loves Me, for which she earned Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Recent performances include Urban Cowboy, Dirty Blonde, and the Broadway revival of Steel Magnolias. Off-Broadway credits include Closer Than Ever , Das Barbecü, Pete n' Keely  and Good Ol' Girls; JASON EDWARDS (Man), who starred on Broadway in Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, and is featured on the original cast recording produced by June Carter Cash. His Off-Broadway credits include Of Mice and Men and Johnny Guitar. His professional tours include Pump Boys and Dinettes, Man of La Mancha, The Will Rogers Follies. Regional credits include Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and Northlight Theatre. Mr. Edwards has also been featured on The TODAY Show, The Nashville Network and Country Music Television; KENITA R. MILLER (Young Woman), who has performed both on Broadway and Off-Broadway in Xanadu, The Color Purple, Dessa Rose, and Langston in Harlem. She received her training at the Eastman School of Music and American Musical and Dramatic Academy;  JIM NEWMAN (Second Young Man), who appeared on Broadway in the original companies of CurtainsMinnelli on Minnelli, Steel Pier , Sunset Boulevard  and The Who's Tommy. He performed in the First National Tours of Kiss Me Kate, Big!, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond. Off-Broadway credits include Almost Heaven: Songs and Stories of John Denver, Newsical!, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Destry Rides Again, A Good Swift Kick and Up Against It. On film, he has been seen in Out of Sync with L.L. Cool J and The Big Gay Musical; RYAN NEARHOFF (First Young Man), who appeared in Hello Dolly at Gateway Playhouse, High School Musical at Atlanta Theater of the Stars, Altar Boyz at Sacramento Music Circus/Gateway Playhouse, Anything Goes at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do with Cabrillo Music Theatre.  Mr. Nearhoff was also seen in the national tour of Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver, directed by Randal Myler.

DAVID MILES KEENAN (Assistant Musical Director/ Musician 1), was a member of cowgirl super-group Ranch Romance, and has appeared twice on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.  He was featured instrumentalist in the Denver Center Theatre Group's production of Mama Hated Diesels; DAVID P. JACKSON (Musician 2) who performed on The Andy Williams Show, he also has composed, writing Joy to the World for Hoyt Axton and The No-No Song for Ringo Starr; MARK BACZYNSKI (Musician 3) who has played in A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, Always Patsy Cline, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Big River, The Medora Musical, Honky-Tonk Angels, The Grapes of Wrath, and Fire on the Mountain.


The creative team for WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG includes DAN WHEETMAN (Music Director), who returns to Arizona Theatre Company where he was Music Director for Hank Williams: Lost Highway and It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. He was nominated for a Tony Award as co-author and received an LA Critics Award for musical direction of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. His plays Fire on the Mountain, Mama Hated Diesel, Back Home Again and Lowdown Dirty Blues were performed at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Northlight Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, San Diego Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre; VICKI SMITH (Set Design), returns to Arizona Theatre Company where she has designed 19 shows including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Kite Runner, and A Raisin in the Sun. She has also designed at many regional theatres across the country.  Ms. Smith won a DramaLogue Award for Cyrano, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Execution of Justice and The Kite Runner, and Denver Drama Critics Circle Awards for I'm Not Rappaport and Pierre, which was selected for the Prague Quadrennial Design Exposition 2007; MICHAEL GILLIAM (Lighting Designer), returns to Arizona Theatre Company where he designed [title of show], Hair, George Gershwin Alone, The Fantasticks, Play On!, The Mystery of Irma Vep and Blue. He has designed lighting on Broadway, The West End, Off-Broadway and regionally at such theatres as Arena Stage, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse and Mark Taper Forum, among many others. Among the awards he has garnered are Los Angeles Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, DramaLogue Awards, and the 1999 Career  achievement Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle; KISH FINNEGAN (Resident Costume Design), has been with Arizona Theatre Company since 1989. Her ATC costume designs include [title of show], The Kite Runner, Hair, Touch the Names, Molly's Delicious, Tuesdays with Morrie, Copenhagen, and 2 Pianos 4 Hands, among many others. She has also designed for Childsplay in Phoenix, the Burbank Repertory Theatre and the Chamber Theatre, where she won the Los Angeles DramaLogue award for Costume Design. Her most unique designs have been for Aquacades and aquatic costumes for the US national synchronized swimming team; ABE JACOB (Sound Designer), returns to ATC where he was Sound Designer for Backwards in High Heels, Hair, [title of show], The Pajama Game, The Pirates of Penzance, The Fantasticks, 5 Guys Named Moe, The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, HMS Pinafore and My Fair Lady. He pioneered and introduced the field of sound design in Broadway theatre. His original designs for musical theatre include the Broadway productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Chicago, Sgt. Pepper, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Chorus Line, Gilda Radner Live, Dancin', Beatlemania, Evita, Cats, Big Deal and Black and Blue. A native of Tucson, his initial contribution to the performing arts was the creation of the concert sound for such legendary artists as Jimi Hendrix; The Mamas and the Papas; Peter, Paul and Mary; and the historic rock celebration, The Monterey Pop Festival; JEFFREY CADY (Projections Designer), returns to Arizona Theatre Company where he designed projections for [title of show] and Love, Janis. Mr. Cady's work has been seen regionally at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Alley Theatre and Arkansas Repertory Theatre, to name a few.  Recently, Mr. Cady served as the Head Projection Programmer for the Broadway production of Green Day's American Idiot; and GLENN BRUNER is the Production Stage Manager.


Arizona Theatre Company offers accessibility services for patrons with disabilities for select performances. Audio Description provides patrons with vision loss a running audio description of the movement and activities onstage through an infrared broadcast system. An audio-described performance is offered on December 16 at 2:00 PM. Interested patrons may request a tactile tour one hour prior to curtain. American Sign Language interpretation is presented by professional, theatrically-trained ASL-interpreters for people who have deafness or hearing impairment. An ASL-interpreted performance is offered on December 16 at 7:30 PM. Open-captioning allows patrons to read the play's dialogue on an LED screen as the play progresses. An open-captioned performance is offered on December 2 at 7:30 PM and December 16 at 2:00 PM. For open-captioned or ASL-interpreted performances, patrons should request seats best suited to ASL interpretation or captioning when purchasing tickets. Large print and Braille playbills and infrared listening amplificationdevices are also available at every ATC performance with reservation. TTY access for the box office is available in Tucson at (520) 884-9723 or via Arizona Relay at (800) 367-8939 (TTY/ASCII).


Tickets start at $35, depending on date and section choice and are available at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling the box office at (520) 622-2823. Discounts are available for students, seniors and active military on specific performance days. Half-price rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability). Ten Dollar Tuesday for WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG is November 30. Balcony seats for this preview performance are available for a suggested $10 donation. (Tickets must be purchased at the ATC Box Office starting at 10:00 AM on November 30. Seating is 'first-come, first served' and is not guaranteed. Cash only, please. Two tickets per person maximum.) For discounts on groups of eight or more, call (520) 622-2823.



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