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NYMF's Student Leadership Program Concert


at The Laurie Beechman Theatre  [map]

  • Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm
  • Friday, July 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

The members of NYMF's Student Leadership Program will be presenting two different evenings of entertainment.

GRASSROOTS celebrates the simple magic of storytelling through song. With an acoustic, folksy, and minimalist feel, GRASSROOTS peels back the layers of sound to get to the complex and dynamic narratives at the heart of musical theatre. Get back to your GRASSROOTS at this intimate evening of musical storytelling.

TRAILBLAZERS is a celebration of the new sounds of musical theatre.  Just as The Lisps brought their indie rock band to The Good Person of Szechwan and Dave Malloy created an electronica opera with The Great Comet of 1812, TRAILBLAZERS will push the boundaries of convention. Be adventurous and join us for a night of surprises by these new composers.


GRASSROOTS will be presented on Thursday, July 10 at 7:00 pm and Friday, July 11 at 7:00 pm.

TRAILBLAZERS will be presented on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00 pm and Wednesday, July 16 at 9:00 pm.

Running Time: 90 minutes

Hali Alspach

Hali Alspach (Composer - GRASSROOTS)

Hali Alspach, originally from Ashland, Oregon, is a composer/lyricist for theatre, dance and video in NYC. She holds a M.F.A. from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU (Cyle 23) and a B.M. from University of the Pacific. In addition to Frankie Silver (words by Rachel Kunstadt), she has written two song cycles Secrets and Songs for Insomniacs, and wrote music and lyrics for Light Up (book/lyrics by Joe York).

Kyra Atekwawna (Composer/Soloist - GRASSROOTS)

Kyra Atekwana is a musical theater writer, performer and singer-songwriter. Acting credits include: Carrie in Carousel (Club OBERON), Deb in Ordinary Days (Loeb Experimental Theater), and Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors (Loeb Mainstage). She is a recent graduate of Harvard University.

Jacob Brandt

Jacob Brandt (Composer/Soloist - GRASSROOTS)

Jacob Brandt is an actor, writer, and director. Regional credits include: The Universe is a Small Hat (Prelude Festival 2013); Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Mark in RENT (Club OBERON); Evan in The Aliens (Company One); Jason in Falsettos (Huntington Theatre Company); and Noah in Caroline or Change (Speakeasy Stage Company). He is a recent graduate of Harvard University.

Ethan Carlson

Ethan Carlson (Composer - GRASSROOTS)

Ethan Carlson is a Junior BFA Musical Theatre major at Pace University. So thrilled to have his work presented as part of the NYMF SLP! The three selections you will hear are from Blind Flight, a musical he wrote with lyrics and book by Saidu Sinlah. (You can watch the full musical on Youtube!) Huge thanks to all of the people in NYMF, family, RSO, and Mary-Claire!

Simon de Carvalho

Simon de Carvalho (Composer - GRASSROOTS/TRAILBLAZERS)

Writing credits include: 1969: The Second Man (Ars Nova's ANTFest), Daisy (Loeb Experimental Theater), Olduvai (Harvard Playwrights’ Festival), and Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (2013 Davenport Ten-Minute Play Festival). Executive Producer credits include: In Concert: Jason Robert Brown, Carousel, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and RENT (Club OBERON). A recent graduate of Harvard College, he received Harvard's Robert E. Levi Prize for outstanding arts management skills.

Amanda Keating

Amanda Keating (Composer/Soloist - GRASSROOTS)

Amanda Keating is a playwright and performer. A recent graduate of Williams College and The National Theater Institute, Amanda’s work includes Roast (Alchemical Theatre Laboratory) and Near Side/Far Side (Ugly Rhino). In New York, she has studied with playwrights Anne Washburn, Julian Sheppard, Winter Miller, and Stefanie Zadravec. Amanda is currently developing her play, Go That Way, with Molly Clifford, and will be workshopping the piece this summer at the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab.

Rachel Kunstadt

Rachel Kunstadt (Composer - GRASSROOTS)

Rachel Kunstadt is a librettist/lyricist and producer. She holds an MFA from NYU/Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and a BA from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she created the concentration Musical Theatre and The American Dream. With her company, Quintessence of Dust Productions, Rachel produces benefit concerts for lesser known or underserved non-profit organizations, featuring Broadway singers performing works by emerging musical theatre writers.

Simon Pincus (Composer/Soloist - GRASSROOTS)

Simon Pincus is a rising senior at Sarah Lawrence College where he is studying theatre. His professional credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Broadway as well as readings for Atlantic and Powerhouse theatre companies, various NYC workshops, and student films. In high school he founded a non-profit organization for high school theatre students on Long Island that has raised over $12,000 for Broadway Cares/EFA (and counting!)

Jakob Reinhardt

Jakob Reinhardt (Composer - GRASSROOTS/TRAILBLAZERS)

Jakob Reinhardt is a guitarist, composer, and pit musician. He has performed and recorded with Riverdance-composer Bill Whelan and has played guitar for a variety of musical theater productions including Hair, Rent, Spring Awakening, Footloose, Rooms, Shrek, Godspell, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, and others. While finishing his degree at Berklee College Of Music he is currently writing music for the upcoming show If You Dream which will open in Boston in August.

Mickey Theis

Mickey Theis (Composer - GRASSROOTS)

A recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Mickey has written and performed extensively on his own, for the theater, and toured internationally with Motel Motel, a band with which he recorded New Denver (2008) and The Big Island (2010). Recent projects include co-writing the song cycle Ain't Gonna Make It, which was featured in the 2014 AntFest at Ars Nova, and underscoring a production of Lorca's The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife at the Yale Cabaret.

Christina Capatides

Christina Capatides (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS)

Christina is a composer, lyricist, and bookwriter. She holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU and a BA in English and Music from Georgetown University. She has written three full-length musicals: Love as a Second Language (Capatides/Lee), Entry Level (Capatides/Gammerman), and Swimmy and Other Stories (Capatides/Onada). She is currently finishing work on a song cycle, called Shelter, which she hopes to use as a fundraising vehicle for shelter dogs.

Ben Chavez

Ben Chavez (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS/Musical Director - GRASSROOTS)

Ben is a rising senior in the NYU Tisch where he enjoys composing, music directing, and arranging. He recently music directed the NYU Tisch GAP production of Frank Wildhorn’s Bonnie & Clyde. Composition credits include: ALL AMERIKEN (NYU), The Cobalteans (Dixon Place), and Yianni Papadimos and Friends Live at 54 Below. Ben is currently developing a collection of original Christmas songs with his collaborator, Yianni Papadimos, for a planned performance this upcoming holiday season.

Soloman Hoffman

Soloman Hoffman (Composer/Musical Director - TRAILBLAZERS)

Solomon Hoffman's composition/musical direction credits in theatre include Modehouse Six, Lydia & Tom (NYCFringe), Twelfth Night (Juilliard Drama), Mint’d: Inheritance (NYMF), and XMAS!6. He recently graduated magna cum laude Columbia University, where he majored in music and psychology. He composed Columbia's Varsity Show twice, and conducted and orchestrated the show for all four years. He is currently the assistant musical director on the off-Broadway show Pageant: The Musical.

Mateus Falci

Mateus Falci (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS)

A film production major and music minor at Harvard College, he is pursuing a career in music composition and performance. As the drummer for Harvard's premiere on-campus band "Hot Breakfast," Mateus opened for Janelle Monae at Harvard's 2014 YardFest. He was a cast member and percussionist for 1969: The Second Man which opened June 2014 at ARS NOVA's ANT Fest in New York City. He thanks Daniel Hopen for co-writing "Figurine."

Khiyon Hursey

Khiyon Hursey (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS)

Khiyon is a songwriter and musical theater composer living in New York City. A recent graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in Songwriting, he has written various theater pieces and songs in addition to assisting in workshops and readings. Recent projects include Everybody Wants to Rule The World, a theatrical concert, which premiered this past April. Recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Irving Burgie Scholarship and Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship.

Jessica Kahkoska

Jessica Kahkoska (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS)

Jessica is excited to be involved with NYMF for the first time. New York: Pyre Cantata (FGP Playgroup), Easter Mysteries (Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew), The Quiet Clock (Stage 72). Regional: The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It (Notre Dame Shakespeare), Call My Name (Smithsonian American Folk Life Festival), Godspell, City of Angels (Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center). Proud Northwestern graduate.

Addison O

Addison O'Donnell (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS)

Addison has recently composed Sleepy Hollow and will produce a concert reading in the fall. Addison has been a producer for a number of theatrical events in New York City: Chemistry by Jacob Marx Rice (Alchemical Theatre Company), CLUELESS: The Music and Lyrics of Addison O'Donnell (The Laurie Beechman Theatre), and Broadway Battles Bullying (NYU Skirball Center). Addison is presently starting his passion project musical, which is currently in top-secret development.

Yianni Papadimos

Yianni Papadimos (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS)

Yianni Papadimos is a NYC based actor and writer. He is pursuing a B.F.A. in Drama and English Literature from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Writing credits include Yianni Papadimos & Friends (54 Below), The Cobalteans (Dixon Place NYC), and MARIE (Dixon Place NYC). Recent roles onstage include Duke Orsino in Twelth Night (NYU Tisch) and Farid in A Journey Outside the Wall (NYU Tisch). He will graduate in December.

Marah vanBeekom

Marah vanBeekom (Composer - TRAILBLAZERS)

Marah vanBeekom is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist based in Brooklyn, NY. She originally hails from the Deep South and scatters traces of its ghostly charm as she roams across the City. Besides writing and performing music, Marah enjoys running through hidden forests and across the windswept plains, and watching the clouds roll by with her husband and muse, the talented artist Karel vanBeekom, without whose help and inspiration none of this music would exist.

Bonnie Antosh

Bonnie Antosh (Soloist - GRASSROOTS)

Bonnie Antosh is a performer and writer based in Brooklyn. Born and bred in South Carolina, her regional credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Les Misérables (White Plains Performing Arts Center), Anything Goes (CLOC), and workshop productions of The Last Queen of Canaan and Pregnancy Pact (Yale Institute for Music Theater). BA from Yale University.

Sean Green, Jr.


Sean is thrilled to be part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival! He is currently pursuing a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre at Pace University. Past theatre credits include Once On This Island (Agwe), Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), and Hair (Hud). He would like to thank everyone involved for making this process so special! Also, a HUGE congratulations to all the writers and the performers for putting together such an amazing concert!

Gilbert Sanchez (Soloist - GRASSROOTS)

Gilbert Sanchez was last seen in Allegro at the Astoria Performing Arts Center. Off-Broadway: Showgirls the Musical, Spears: the Gospel According to Britney. Regional: College Light Opera Company and LOOK Musical Theatre. Graduate of the University of New Mexico.

Leila Teitelman

Leila Teitelman (Soloist - GRASSROOTS)

Leila is a theater major and music minor at Connecticut College with a concentration in playwriting. She recently attended The National Theater Institute and was a vocal company member at The College Light Opera Company. She received a New Hampshire Theater Award for her role as Josephine in Little Women, and another nomination as Maureen in RENT. She has performed in various collegiate and regional productions; most recently as a vocalist with David Dorfman Dance.

Déa Julien


Déa Julien is thrilled to be a part of this year’s NYMF! West Side Story 1st Nat’l Tour (Rosalia). New York: Intimacy (The New Group, dir. Scott Elliott), Lawnpeople (Cherry Lane Theatre), 365 Days/365 Plays (Public Theater), Abraham’s Daughters and The Seven Little Foys (Fringe NYC). Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus (5 seasons).

Joey LaVarco

Joey LaVarco (Soloist - TRAILBLAZERS)

Broadway credits include: 13 the musical (Simon; u/s Brett/Eddie), The 2010 Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Patrick), as well as touring the country with the show in 2011. Joey can also be seen as a young Alec Baldwin on NBC's 30 Rock and heard on numerous episodes for Nick Jr.'s The Wonderpets. Joey is currently a sophomore BFA Musical Theatre major at Pace Univeristy. He sends his love to his friends and family.

Rebekah Lowin

Rebekah Lowin (Soloist - TRAILBLAZERS)

Rebekah Lowin a singer and writer based in Manhattan. She's thrilled to be back for her second summer at NYMF. Recent credits include Lydia & Tom (FringeNYC 2013), Mint'd (NYMF 2013), and The Light in the Piazza (The Glicker-Milstein Theatre). BA from Columbia University.

Mary Claire Miskell

Mary Claire Miskell (Soloist - TRAILBLAZERS)

Mary Claire Miskell is so excited to be making her NYMF debut in TRAILBLAZERS! Broadway: Jason Robert Brown’s 13 The Musical. Junior BFA Musical Theatre Major at Pace University. Pace University: Lysistrata Jones (Robin), Spring Awakening (Thea), workshops of Confirmed (Haggie) and My Name is Annie King, Hatched: Fresh work. Freshmen @54 Below. Much love and thanks to the composer/lyricists for sharing their work, NYMF crew, cast, Lily, Solomon, and Nessie!

Cheeyang Ng

Cheeyang Ng (Soloist - TRAILBLAZERS)

Cheeyang is thrilled to be performing with TRAILBLAZERS at NYMF! Born and raised in Singapore, Cheeyang recently graduated from Berklee College of Music (B. Mus.). Credits include Working (Lyric Stage Co. of Boston), Miss Saigon (North Shore Music Theatre), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre), Les Miserables and Shrek (Weathervane Theatre). Cheeyang can also be seen in NYMF’s reading of Guilin and in August, Godspell at Totem Pole Playhouse. Thanks to Avalon Artists Group.

Monet Sabel

Monet Sabel (Soloist - TRAILBLAZERS)

Rising senior at NYU Tisch in the fall, Monet has played Mother in Ragtime (NYU Tisch StageWorks), Velma in Chicago (Arundel Barn), and Emma in 6 the Musical (NYMF). She also sings lots of original works in concerts around the city. At the end of August, check out Monet's debut solo cabaret at Don't Tell Mama. Also give her EP a listen: Monet Sabel and the Charlie Rosen Big Band. @monetsabel &

Alex Sanders

Alex Sanders (Soloist - TRAILBLAZERS)

Alex Sanders is so thrilled to be a part of the NYMF TRAILBLAZERS concert series and would like to thank the team and the cast for making his experience so awesome! Alex is currently a Junior BFA Musical Theater major at Pace University. Enjoy the show!

Ariella Serur

Ariella Serur (Soloist - TRAILBLAZERS)

Ariella Serur just graduated from Ithaca College and is thrilled to be part of this concert. Some favorite credits include Louise in Gypsy (Hangar Theatre), Maire in Translations (Ithaca College), and Marcy in I Love You Because (Ithaca College). Next up she'll be doing a solo cabaret August 8th and 17th at Don't Tell Mama. For more information check out Love and thanks to the cast and crew, and her family and friends!

Molly Rose Clifford (Director - GRASSROOTS)

Molly Clifford is a young director working in New York. A two-time National Theater Institute graduate and Connecticut College alum, Molly has worked with The Play Company, New York Theater Workshop Gotham Chamber Opera and assisted Erica Schmidt at the Vineyard Theater. This summer, she will be directing fellow NTI alum Anna Fox’s play The Elephant in the Room in FringeNYC. She is currently developing Amanda Keating’s play GO THAT WAY.

Lilleth Glimcher (Director – TRAILBLAZERS)

She is a director, writer, performer, and designer. Directing credits include: 1969: The Second Man (2014 Ars Nova’s Ant Fest); The Pillowman (Loeb Mainstage); Fault (Murr Center); Raised in Captivity & Closer (Loeb Experimental Theater). Performance credits include: The Universe is a Small Hat (Prelude Festival 2013); The Lily’s Revenge (A.R.T.). A recent graduate of Harvard College, she has worked with the A.R.T., Williamstown Theater Festival, and New York Theatre Workshop.

Anna Kelsey (Stage Manager - GRASSROOTS)

Anna graduated from Harvard College in May with a degree in Folklore and Mythology. Credits at the American Repertory Theater's Club OBERON include Chicago (Production Stage Manager), Spring Awakening (Stage Manager), RENT (Director), and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Director). Credits on the American Repertory Theater/Harvard University Loeb Mainstage include Sunday in the Park with George (Executive Producer) and Penelope (Stage Manager). 

Nessie Nankivell (Stage Manager - TRAILBLAZERS)

Nessie is currently studying English at Pace University. Recent projects have included lending her hand to the Joe Iconis and Family Cabaret, and stage managing Hatched: a night of new musical theatre presented by Ryan Scott Oliver. Nessie is from Toronto, where her most exciting theatrical endeavor was taking part in the Leading Ladies Mentorship at the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Her photography can be seen at

Catherine Ratcliffe (Casting Director - GRASSROOTS/TRAILBLAZERS)

Catherine graduated from The King's College with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and The Arts. Her training includes the Cambridge College Programme (UK), the Atlantic Acting School, and she interns at Liz Lewis Casting. Her favorite roles include Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, and voice overs as a Radio Disney Kid. She is honored to return to SLP and gives thanks to her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Fatima Cadet-Diaby (Press Representative - GRASSROOTS/TRAILBLAZERS)

Fatima is a rising junior studying Musical Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College. Performance credits include: Venus (UMass), Vagina Monologues (Mt. Holyoke), The Brother Sister Plays (Marymount Manhattan), and Elegies (Marymount Manhattan; Dir: Bill Russell). She is currently a Production Assistant for ValueVille (NYMF 2014 Next Link Project)! She has interned with Repertorio Español, Fat Dumpling Productions, and Ars Nova. She would like to thank her family, NYMF, and Beyoncé.

David Manella (Producer - GRASSROOTS)

A graduate of Harvard College, he is pursuing a JD/MFA in Theatre Management & Producing at Columbia University. New York credits include: 1969: The Second Man at Ars Nova's ANT Fest (Executive Producer) and The 2013 Davenport Ten-Minute Play Festival (Associate Producer). Executive Producing credits at the American Repertory Theater's Club OBERON include: Carousel, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and RENT. He is the recipient of Harvard's Robert E. Levi Prize for outstanding arts management skills.

Dana Jones (Producer - TRAILBLAZERS)

Dana is a rising junior at Barnard College majoring in Theatre. Student theatre credits include Godspell, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Varsity Show, and a number of student-written shows. This fall, she will be producing Titus Andronicus at Columbia. She currently interns at Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, and has assistant produced various concerts Off-Broadway. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented people on this concert.

Tabia Lau (Literary Manager - GRASSROOTS)

So honoured to be returning to NYMF’s Student Leadership program as literary manager this summer! Tabia is originally from Montreal, Canada, and is currently an MFA Playwriting candidate at Columbia University. Her new original musical #WeddingMusical runs this summer at the Toronto Fringe Festival with the award-winning production team Bad Dress Productions.

Andrew James Hall (Literary Manager - TRAILBLAZERS)

Andrew is a playwright, composer, and lyricist. Select past works include: Faux Snow (Thespis Theater Festival ’13), ‘Til Love Do Us Part (FRIGID NYC 2012), Lost in the Fall (New School), Communication: the Musical, Slaves of a Household Death Car, The Park Bench, Aria of the Ocean, Ambrosia (O’Neill Center, NTI 2011, 2013), Dead Tree (Route 66, Chicago). For more information on his past and future projects and his artistic beliefs, visit