The Awakening of Angel DeLuna

Book & Lyrics by Judylynn Schmidt, Music & Lyrics by Lee Ellis

The Awakening of Angel DeLuna

at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

  • Friday, July 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Ollie let the love of his life slip through his fingers and has regretted it ever since. After discovering that the DeLuna Family Circus has fallen into the hands of a smarmy new owner from his past, he returns to the circus as a hobo clown, Can one clown recapture the heart of his true love and save the circus while keeping his identity a secret? This spectacle with live trapeze acts will remind you why the human spirit is undefeatable and love is worth every risk.

Running Time: 2 hours with intermission.

Judylynn Schmidt

Judylynn Schmidt (Book / Lyrics)

Judylynn Schmidt is bookwriter and co-lyricist of the musical The Awakening of Angel DeLuna. The first Equity Reading of The Awakening of Angel DeLuna was presented at Theatre 80 in NYC in 2009, directed by Tracy Bersley and musical directed by Barbara Anselmi. A developmental production (12 shows) debuted in Boulder, Colorado at The Dairy Center for the Arts in June of 2011. In 2012, an Equity Reading was presented at The Dramatist Guild, directed by Enrique Brown. Ms. Schmidt’s play, The Last Laugh, was presented by The Amandla Theatre in Howell, NJ in 1994.  In addition Ms. Schmidt workshopped and had readings of In The Beginning Was the Carousel, a one-act play, at New Jersey Playwrights Workshop in Red Bank, NJ; and Rattled, a play co-authored with Damion Kirk. In 2009, Kate Griffler and Judylynn Schmidt co-founded Angel Wings NYC LLC, an NYC-based theatrical production company.

Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis (Music & Lyrics)

Lee Ellis is a long-standing member of ASCAP, SAG-AFTRA, Actor's Equity and The Dramatist's Guild and has entertained audiences in cabarets worldwide, including two seasons as the Singer/Pianist on the legendary Four-Masted Sailing Ship, "Sea Cloud." While working with Tony Award-winning producer John Glines in the Stamp Out AIDS project, Lee co-produced the first series of benefits for Broadway Cares with his writing partner Tug Wilson. Lee's original CD's "Michael" and "Into my Heart" are available on iTunes and CD Baby, as well as several CDs that benefit orphans through The Global Harmony Foundation.

Matt Baker

Matt Baker (Ensemble)

Matt Baker was last seen by NYMF audiences in '08 playing Van Gogh in Matt Williams'Ward 9 (2008). He is currenly involved in a project for The Music Hall in Detroit reconstructing five numbers from the 1987 Off Bway show Funny Feet (Lamb's Theater) in which he appeared, and teaches aerial straps as well as choreographs at Circus Warehouse in Long Island City. Other recent credits include The Doors Project (APAP, aerial choreography and perfromance), Roman Holiday (Guthrie), and the past two new Years' Eve shows for Phish at Madison Square Garden. He can also be seen on the DVD release of Cirque Du Soleil's Quidam as "The Target." Other theater credits: Christmas Carol (MSG), Carnival! (Kennedy Center), Pirates of Penzance (Goodspeed), Crazy For You (1st Nat'l), and, of course, a few productions of Barnum.

Tanya Gagne

Tanya Gagne (Ensemble/Young Angel)

Tanya Gagne has been performing in and creating diverse work in NYC for the last fifteen years. Her neo-vaudevillian collaboration with Adrienne Truscott, The Wau Wau Sisters, began in 1999 and has enjoyed an Off-Broadway run at Ars Nova Theater in NYC , three seasons at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival  and award-winning appearances at Brighton, Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals.

The Wau Wau Sisters’ Last Supper recently enjoyed sold out runs at The Sydney Opera House, Adelaide Fringe, Perth Fringe World, The Famous Spiegeltent at The Victoria Arts Center (Australia), Transform Festival/West Yorkshire Playhouse, and The Roundhouse (UK) in 2010/2011.  Their new show Naked As The Day They Were Born Again, received rave  reviews at Adelaide Fringe 2011 and is touring Australia and the UK in 2012.  The Wau Wau Sisters have also appeared at The Glastonbury Music Festival (UK), The Harvest Music Festival (AU) and venues all across the U.S. They even performed at the Grammy Awards in 2005!

Tanya was a founding member of LAVA (1993-2000), Sarah East Johnson's Obie and Bessie Award-winning, circus-inspired dance company, where she assisted the choreographer and developed an education and performance program which continues today. 
She is also a long-time veteran of Circus Amok, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and La Clique.

Her choreographic work has been seen in NYC at Performance Space 122, Dixon Place, The Kitchen, The Flea Theater,  as well as the MACC in Maui, HI., the Kentucky Arts Center in Louisville and at several universities across the US. Her cabaret & circus work has been presented by such wildly diverse venues as The Bowery Ballroom, CBGB's, The Palms Casino, The Henry Fonda Theater (LA), The Soho Revue Bar and Strip Club, The Hippodrome and The Roundhouse (London), The World Buskers' Festival (New Zealand), various street corners the world over, The Famous Spiegeltent, as well as The Sharon Osbourne Show and The Jimmy Kimmel Show and J. Cameron Mitchell’s controversial film “SHORTBUS” in the company of Ms. Truscott.

Tanya is also the founder and director of the Trapeze Loft (1999-present) and Big Sky Works (2010-present) in Brooklyn, NY., a circus school and mutli-disciplinary community arts and performance space.  She has been teaching there for over 10 years when she is not touring and now curating amazing shows by local and foreign artists.

Michael Thomas Holmes

Michael Thomas Holmes (Ollie)

Michael Thomas Holmes appeared in Broadway’s Oklahoma! (Ali Hakim), toured with The Producers (with Jason Alexander & Martin Short), played Nathan Detroit in John Rando’s Guys and Dolls (Barrington Stage) and was Clown 2 in The 39 Steps (with Howard McGillin) at the George Street Playhouse. Michael has appeared twice at The Guthrie in Minneapolis– as Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale and John Adams in 1776. He recently originated the role of Squire Trelawney in a new musical adaptation ofTreasure Island  (Arkansas Rep) and played Walter Winchell in the award-winning NYMF ’12 production, Baby Case. Michael received his MFA in Acting from UC Irvine, has appeared on “Smash” and “Law & Order,” and was the immortal Stormtrooper Rolf in The Producers: The Movie Musical. Also a BFA-trained graphic designer, Michael has worked simultaneously as an actor/designer for 20+ years.

Paul C. Kelly

Paul C. Kelly (Deuce)

Paul C. Kelly just finished up playing the lead in a feature film coming out later this year. Theatre Credits include Guys and Dolls (Nathan), The Mikado (Ko-Ko), Big River (with Jeanine Tesori), Nuncrackers (directed by Terri White), The Rocky Horror ShowEvita, several productions of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now ChangeGreater Tuna (Arles roles),  Almost MaineAmadeusI Do! I Do!Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), and Chicago. He has performed clowning (studied under David Shiner) and comedy for years now and has done sketch with the writers of “The Daily Show” as well as appearing in several comedy festivals.  He has appeared in countless numbers of Films, TV shows, music videos and commercials, as well as comedy clips with The Onion News Network and

Nicholas Kohn

Nicholas Kohn (Mike)

Nicholas Kohn is very excited to be returning to the New York Musical Theatre Festival in The Awakening of Angel DeLuna!  His previous NYMF shows were Sherlock Holmes (The Early Years) and Journey to the West.  He is currently playing Brian in the Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q at New World Stages.  Theatre Credits: Avenue Q (Broadway/Las Vegas); The Buddy Holly Story (National Tour);  The Full Monty - Kevin Kline Award Nomination (Stages, St. Louis);  The Cherry OrchardA Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre); TitanicMy Fair Lady (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse); Sleeping Beauty Wakes (NAMT).  TV/Film: Nurse JackieLate Night with Jimmy Fallon. Bachelor of Music: James Madison University. Proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA.  Thanks to family, friends, Geoff Josselson, The Angel DeLuna Team, Leading Artists, my amazing parents and most of all my incredible wife Marissa Kohn. Website: Twitter: @nicholas_kohn

Patty Nieman

Patty Nieman (Angel DeLuna)

Patty Nieman’s recent credits include Mrs. Weston – Jane Austen’s Emma (Arizona Theatre Co.); Amelia Earhart – Vanishing Point (American Stage); and Desiree – A Little Night Music and Marian – The Music Man (Theater Works). A longtime resident of Minneapolis, Patty performed: in Hot ‘n Cole, ensemble (Reno cover) – Anything Goes and Petra – A Little Night Music (Ordway Center); Bobbie – Babes in Arms and Mrs. Fred – The Christmas Carol (The Guthrie Theater); LaVerne Andrews – Sisters of Swing and Christmas of Swing, and Alma – The Christmas Schooner (The History Theatre); Agatha Christie in Vanishing Point and Mum in Two Weeks with the Queen(Illusion Theatre); Cleo – The Most Happy Fella (Vocal Essence); and Ilona – She Loves Me (North Star Opera). As a playwright-lyricist with composer-lyricist Rob Hartmann, Patty wrote and performed a one-hour solo musical, Secrets of the Little Yellow Diary, for the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Zal Owen

Zal Owen (Fred)

Zal Owen is thrilled to be joining the circus, a childhood dream come true!  He played Motel on the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof opposite Harvey Fierstein and Theodore Bikel. In New York, he performed as Jozef in the Off-Broadway production of Last Jew in Europe, Capek in The ToyMaker at the York Theatre Company and as Philip Hamilton in last year’s Affair of Honour as part of NYMF. Additionally, he performed in the concert of Pump Up the Volume at Joe’s Pub and has toured the country as a member of The Broadway Boys. Regional credits include Paper Mill Playhouse, Atlanta TOTS and Ogunquit Playhouse having performed in Les MiserablesForever Plaid,Titanic and Wuthering Heights. He currently studies acting with Wynn Handman. Thanks to The Mine and to Dana, family and friends for their constant love and support.

Aidan O

Aidan O'Shea (Ensemble/Aerialist)

Born on a Buddhist commune to hippy parents on Long Island, Aidan did a little bit of everything before coming to New York to study acting. His first time onstage was opposite Annette Bening as a fairy in Midsummer, he's toured for more than a decade with S.F.'s Pickle Family Circus, played understudy for Lorenzo Pisoni's one man show,Humor Abuse, and recieved a best actor nomination for playing the French valet Passepartout in Around the World in 80 Days at the Playhouse on Park in Hartford. Aidan also taught as an adjunct professor at the Tisch program at NYU this Spring, and performed in the world premiere of Breaking Surface by Airealistic.

Amy Rebecca Shure

Amy Rebecca Shure (Ensemble)

Amy Rebecca Shure is thrilled to be part of NYMF again and this new show! Currently a member of 2 Ring Circus, she has fallen in love with the combination of theatre and circus! Favorite theatre credits include: Minnie Fay in Hello Dolly (Theatre Under the Stars starring Leslie Uggams, Ogunquit Playhouse starring Sally Struthers, Arkansas Rep); Greta Schlegel in Carnival (Goodspeed Opera House); Dream Jenny Lind/aerialist inBarnum (Asolo Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre); Mikado (New York City Opera); Swing! (Maine State Music Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse); Rumpleteazer inCATS (National Tour); Anybodys in West Side Story; Frenchy in Grease; Radio City Music Hall; Pittsburgh CLO, Kansas City Starlight, Atlanta TOTS, Casa Manana.  Being so teeny, Amy is often the stand in for children on tv shows and movies, most recently, on 30 Rock and Law & Order. To find out more about Amy, please visit her website at and

Jena VanElslander

Jena VanElslander (Ensemble)

Jena VanElslander is so excited to have joined this incredible production of The Awakening of Angel DeLuna in her NYMF debut!  Incredibly grateful thus far: Zelda: An American Love Story, Chet Walker’s world premiere Heat Wave: The Jack Cole ProjectA Chorus Line (Cassie) and CATS; love to Casey Colgan!  AC Cuilla’s Footloose (u/s Ariel) and Curtains.  Endless thanks and love to my family back home in Ontario, Canada – I miss you guys every day, my wonderful friends and my amazing boyfriend Gordy!  I love you guys.  DARE TO DREAM***

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson (Ensemble)

Emmy award winner Matt Wilson has enjoyed an eclectic career on stage and screen. His various theatrical debacles include Young Adult w/ Charlize Theron, Circus starring Britney Spears (World Tour), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, dir. James Lapine (West Coast Premiere), and the family-favorite cyber-hitCyberchase on PBS. Currently in development: Clown Baggage, multi-disciplinary spectacle immersing the audience in a solo tour-de-force fusing traditional circus and sideshow skills, clown entrees, found-object puppetry, comedy, and story-telling to expose his inner ‘clown-flict’---Med School or Clown College? Many thanks to my teams: Henderson-Hogan, Mark Fisher Fitness (Bleeee) and the divine Ms. Stephanie Sine.

West Hyler

West Hyler (Director)

Broadway: How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Jersey Boys. As Associate Director ofJersey Boys he set up international productions of the show over 5 continents. New York: NYMF (Flambé Dreams), The Big Apple Circus (Legendarium), Ars Nova, The York Theater Company, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons. Regional: Colony Theater, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Upstate Shakespeare Festival, Warehouse Theater and the O’Neill Conference as the director of Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford’s I’m Still Getting My Act Together. Writing credits include the musical Georamawith Matt Schatz and Jack Herrick and the short film “A Jake and Tom”, which premiered at the Hollywood Family Film Festival and was screened at festivals in the US, India and Europe. Artistic Director of Mythmakers Theatre Company for three seasons, where productions directed include House of AtreusThe BacchaeA Doll’s HouseThe Little Prince and Midsummer Night’s Dream and Artistic Director of the Magic Carpet Children’s Theater during their founding season. MFA, University of California, San Diego. Special thanks to Dash and Shelley, who give me wings.

Kate Griffler

Kate Griffler (Choreographer)

Producer, Angel Wings NYC; The Awakening of Angel DeLuna at The Dairy Center for the Performing Arts (producer, choreographer).  Equity readings at Theater 80  and The Dramatist Guild.  Producer, curator and choreographer of REVERBdance, a non-profit international dance festival: Baruch Performing Arts Center, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center and Purchase College. Co-producer & performer credits include a-core-dance arts at the Kobe Fashion Museum, Akashi Arts Center, and at The Heart Expo in Ishikawa, Japan.  International Dance Exchange in collaboration with CAVE Arts Space, & NYC/MEX Festival de la Ciudad International Tour.  ACR: O!Balletto at The New York International Fringe Festival. Associate producer on independent film, Indigo Children directed by Eric Chaney. Choreographer, Camilo Tranquilo directed by Ryan O’Connor. Kate is Artistic Director of 121 Dance Project: recent performances include: The REVERBdance Festival, TANK, Manhattan Repertory Theater, The Brooklyn Fashion Festival, One Arm Red Gallery & The Center at West Park. Dancer credits (selected) - Kathleen Dyer, Ayako Kurakake, Ofelia Loret de Mola, Stacy Grossfield, Brooke Broussard. BFA: Conservatory of Dance & Certificate in Arts Management from Purchase College, SUNY,School of the Arts.  Extended education with The Commercial Theater Institute.

Larry Pressgrove

Larry Pressgrove (Musical Director / Orchestrator)

Larry Pressgrove was music director/arranger for the Tony-nominated [title of show] and for that company's new production, Now. Here. This. He was music director/arranger for Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas at Goodspeed Opera House and has been music director/conductor for Cats (Broadway), Les Misérables and Phantom (national tours) as well as productions at the Ford’s Theatre and in St. Louis and Cincinnati. He composed the scores for The Angle of the Sun (NYMF 2007) and Waiting for Spring (Kitchen Theatre). He is currently Music Director for La Guardia High School of Music and Performing Arts. In last year's NYMF season, he music directed Flambé Dreams

Jess Glover (Music Supervisor / Arranger)

MD, composer and copyist from London, England. Recent projects include The Other Josh Cohen (Soho Playhouse), Mortality Play (Ars Nova), Tales of the City (ACT, San Francisco), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public Theater/Music Theatre International), Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide… (Public Theater). Music featured at Yale University, Vassar College, Goodspeed Opera House, University of Manchester (UK) and various locations throughout NYC including le Poisson Rouge, Merkin Hall, 4th Street Theatre@NYTW, NYU and Columbia University. Music Director for The Performing Arts Project, NC. Training: Musical Theatre Writing MFA from Tisch/NYU.

Kacie Hultgren

Kacie Hultgren (Set Designer)

Recent design credits include Fen and Intimate Apparel at the New School, Woyzeckwith Toy Box Theatre, Malfi Inc with The Milk Can Theatre, In Fields Where They Laywith Dreamscape Theatre, and the 2011 season for Light Opera Oklahoma includingEvita, Trouble in Tahiti and Light in the Piazza.  Broadway associate credits this season include The NanceBig Knife, Orphans, and An Enemy of the People.  Kacie spent two seasons with The Old Globe in San Diego, CA as a resident design associate and is a graduate of Boston University.  She is also a 3D designer, and teaches online courses for MAKE magazine about design and 3D printing.

Lee J. Austin

Lee J. Austin (Costume Designer)

In his forty year career as a designer, Mr. Austin’s work has included film, television and theatre. His designs for ABC television’s ONE LIFE TO LIVE earned him multiple Emmy Award nominations, and led him to create a ready-to-wear line under his own label. Because of his expertise in design, construction and maintenance, he is much in demand for America’s most challenging theatrical productions, film musicals, and large film and television projects shot in extreme and difficult locations. 

Zach Blane

Zach Blane (Lighting Designer)

Named "Designer to Watch" by Live Design Magazine 2011. This Year at NYMF: The Awakening of Angel DelunaCrossing SwordsMata Hari. Previous NYMF Productions:Baby CaseHow Deep Is The OceanSwing StateJane Austen's: Pride and Prejudice, a musical; Crazy, Just Like MeTESS, a rock operaTrails. Selected Credits: Suicide, Incorporated (Roundabout Theatre Company); LUNGSZero Hour (Barrington Stage Company); YANK! (Roundabout & Old Globe workshops); Ragtime (The Strand Theatre -Boston); CONNED (City Theatre, Detroit). Fleet-wide Lighting Designer for production shows for: Norwegian Cruise Lines; Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines; Silver Sea Luxury Cruise Lines. USA 829.

Jason A. Quinn (Stage Manager)

Broadway: A Tale of Two Cities, Cabaret, Phantom of the Opera, Urban Cowboy,Candide with the NY Philharmonic, pre-Broadway engagements of The Normal Heart, First Date, Annie Get Your Gun, and In My Life. National Tour: Tommy Tune’s Dr. Dolittle. Off-Broadway: Striking 12, Criss Angel Mindfreak, Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding, Rooms: A Rock Romance, Roundabout’s Howard Katz, Beyond Glory, The Overwhelming. For Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Broadway Bares, Easter Bonnet, Broadway on Broadway, for The Actor’s Fund; The Normal Heart, The Visit, Our Town, Nothing Like A Dame. Also, Big Apple Circus-Legendarium, productions for Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Second City, select industrials include the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty, GLAAD Media Awards, US Open, Clinton Global Initiative; events for Miller Light, VH1’s Save the Music, The New Yorker, the NY Yankees, and the NFL. Jason is a credited contributor to multiple books on event management and has served as a professor and guest lecturer at several universities.

Geoff Josselson (Casting Director)

Previous NYMF shows include Such Good Friends, Gatsby, Above Hell's Kitchen, The Toymaker, The Jerusalem Syndrome, Going Down Swingin', Sympathy Jones and Behind the Limelight (Chaplin). Geoff has also cast productions for the York Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Bay Street Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, Denver Center, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, UnsungMusicalsCo and Ripe Time. He is responsible for casting many acclaimed New York productions, including Yank!Enter LaughingSouthern ComfortNext Thing You Know, Septimus and ClarissaPerfect HarmonyGlimpses of the MoonThe Jazz AgeFire ThrowsNight SkyRemembering Mr. Maugham, and the National Tour of Disney Live and Nickelodeon’s The Backyardigans Live!. In addition to his independent casting office, Geoff has also cast film and theatre projects with Calleri Casting, Cindy Tolan Casting and MelCap Casting and is on faculty at CAP21.   

Liz Ulmer

Liz Ulmer (General Manager / Ulmer Theatricals)

Recent projects: Independents (Soho Playhouse), which was named by the New York Times and Huffington Post among the "Top Shows of 2012."  At NYMF, Liz was the producer of I Got Fired: A Revenge Musical, and traveled to South Korea for its subsequent production at the Daegu Opera House.  Also at NYMF: Baby Case (Best of Fest); Flambé Dreams; and Date of a Lifetime.  As a dramaturg, Liz has worked with NYMF, Ithaca College and numerous writers and directors. Her charity concerts have benefitted Artists Striving to End Poverty and the Human Rights Campaign, among others.  Liz is a member of the Off-Broadway Alliance, an AEA actor and a graduate of Ithaca College.

Dale Heller

Dale Heller (Press Agent)

Dale Heller, president of Heller Highwater, a communications company, has been working in public relations for over a decade. Past and present clients include: Tony Award-winner Avenue Q, Soho Rep, Passing Strange, the PBS TV series “Lomax, the Hound of Music,” [title of show]Who’s Afriad of Virginia Woolf? with Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin, Page 73 Productions, Making Books Sing, The Shelter, Tina Packer’s Women of Will, the new theatre venue Hudson River Hub, etc. Past NYMF clients include: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a musicalThe Kid Who Would Be PopeTime Between UsCross That RiverThe Happy Embalmer,

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