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Held Momentarily

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Oliver Houser; Additional Material by James Zebooker

Held Momentarily

  • Monday, July 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm
  • Monday, July 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Something’s up down below.

Trapped on a stalled subway car, six strangers discover it's not just the train that's stuck. A poignant musical comedy about making connections, living in the moment, and moving on in life. Oh, and one more thing: a woman just went into labor.

Running Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes, with no intermission.

Oliver Houser

Oliver Houser (Book, Music, Lyrics, Cal)

Oliver is a writer, composer, actor and recent graduate of the Macaulay Honors Program at Hunter College, NY. His musical, Held Momentarily, ran at the 2014 NY International Fringe Festival, and was one of a small selection of shows to receive an extended run at the Fringe’s Off-Broadway “Encores” series at the SoHo Playhouse. Tony-winning composer Bill Finn has showcased Oliver's work at Barrington Stage Company and 54 Below. Oliver’s short musical, Preschool was a finalist at the Festival of New American Musicals’ 2013 Show Search competition. His musical adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull debuted at the On the Verge Theater Festival in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. Oliver is currently developing new work with the Musical Theatre Factory and is a member of the BMI musical theatre workshop. Acting credits include Melchior in Spring Awakening (Virginia Rep, RTCC nomination), TV: What Would You Do? (ABC, featured on unworthy), Phowned (Spike TV), Life on the Line (Oxygen, starring Ally Sheedy), and the lead role in the Ben Folds Five music video Sky High. Oliver is a graduate of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts and was awarded the Franklin Keller Award in recognition of talent in

James Zebooker

James Zebooker (Additional Material, Greg)

James is thrilled to be in NYMF this summer. Held Momentarily is his second collaboration with Oliver Houser (Preschool The Musical - Finalist at Festival of New American Musicals Show Search Los Angeles book and lyrics). As an actor he appeared in Held Momentarily Off-Broadway last summer at the Soho Playhouse. He played Prince Carlos in Teatro SEA’s Cinderella, and Edna in Hairspray at LaGuardia High School. He is a also a graduate of the Drama Department at LaGuardia.

India Carney

India Carney (Asherah)

India is so honored to reunite again with the cast and friends for the revival of the new musical “Held Momentarily” at the New York Musical Theatre Festival! Television: Top 5 Artist, NBC “The Voice” Season 8, PBS LIVE performing original music at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (D.C.) “Salute to 2011 U.S. Presidential Scholars”, ABC “One Life to Live” (High School Student), Online live streaming Miami YoungArts Week at The Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Featured Solo Artist: The Apollo Theater, Harlem Arts Festival, Opening act for The Roots at LA’s JazzReggae Festival, National Anthem for The New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Halftime Show (Duet) at The Rose Bowl, Opening evening ceremony for The US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Long Beach Opera for Duke Ellington’s “Queenie Pie” premiere song, African Americans for LA Opera. Off-Broadway: Held Momentarily (Lilith) at SoHo Playhouse for FringeNYC Encore Series. Other Theater Credits (Partial): UCLA Arts - The Dove and The Nightingale (Sister Josephina), L'Enfant et Les Sortilèges (Un pâtre), L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Damigella), Orpheus in the Underworld (Cybèle); LaGuardia Arts - A Chorus Line (Diana), Hairspray (Dynamite/Cindy); Manhattan School of Music - AIDA (Aida), Les Misèrables (Éponine). Awards: 2015 UCLA Distinguished Senior Award Finalist, U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, YoungArts Silver Winner in Voice (2011, Voice & Theater), ICCA Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Arranger, NYC NAACP ACT-SO Gold & Silver Winner in Voice Classical and Contemporary.

Jordan Barrow

Jordan Barrow (Stan)

Jordan is excited to be back on this subway ride after performing in the NY Fringe Festival Encore Series production. Off-Broadway: The Tempest (NY Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater). Regional: Peter Pan and The Miracle Worker (Paper Mill Playhouse), Finian's Rainbow (Music Theatre Wichita). Workshops: Sweetie directed by Patricia Birch. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Much love to his friends and family for all their support!

Ciaran Bowling

Ciaran Bowling (Liam)

Ciaran, a new graduate from LaGuardia HS here in New York, is thrilled to be the new passenger on board Held Momentarily. Off Broadway: Midsummer Night’s Dream at TFNA Brooklyn NY. Film: Midsummer Night’s Dream (dir. Julie Taymor). Ciaran is a Young Arts USA 2015 Winner and Alumni and has performed at the Baryshnikov Center where he was directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov as part of the Young Arts regionals. Ciaran has just played Billy Bigelow in LaGuardia’s production of Carousel directed by Harry Shifman and is really looking forward to working with him again on this project. Ciaran would like to thank his LaGuardia family especially Sandy Faison, Harry Shifman, and voice coach Kamel Boutros for their continued support.

Geena Quintos

Geena Quintos (Mindy)

Geena is beyond excited to be rejoining the cast of Held Momentarily! She has recently finished playing the role of Mindy in Held Momentarily at the SoHo Playhouse through the Fringe Festival. More of her credits include; Broadway: Miss Saigon. Off-Broadway: Held Momentarily at The Soho Playhouse (Mindy). National Tour: A Chorus Line (Connie). Regional Theatre: Miss Saigon at The Paramount Theatre (Mimi/Ensemble), A Chorus Line (Asst. Director/Connie), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia), and Seascape with Sharks and Dancer (Tracy), both at The Little Flower Theater. Special Event: One Thrilling Combination: A Celebration of Marvin Hamlisch at The Delacorte Theater (Connie/Dance Ensemble), What Women Do (And Men Too): A Romantic Farce (Dora), Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with AIM Dance Co. (Dancer). Film: Robot Stories (TriBeCa Film Festival). National TV and Commercials. Training: LaGuardia High of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, American Musical and Dramatic Academy. All my love to you for being here with us tonight!

Yael Rizowy

Yael Rizowy (Sam)

Yael is ecstatic to ride the Held Momentarily train for the third time! She recently graduated Cum Laude with her B.F.A in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory. Off-Broadway: Held Momentarily (Sam) with Fringe Encores. Other theater credits: Broken Heart Syndrome (Evie-principal) 59E59, Kiss Me Kate Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Naomi in the Living Room (Naomi) The Boston Conservatory, Macbeth (First Witch) Earthstone Theater Company, and Hairspray (Tracy) LaGuardia Arts High School. Film: Settle, Suffer, Repeat. and The Professor. Improv: UCB. Yael is happy to be back in NYC collaborating with good friends, and ready to give birth to this baby all over again! Thanks to the cast and crew of HELD, Lisa Rochelle, Thomas Gregg, and my father (the Einstein look-a-like) for all their endless support and wisdom. 1.2.3 PUSH!


Harry Shifman (Director)

Harry Shifman SDC, is the senior member of the Drama faculty at LaGuardia High School for Music and Art & the Performing Arts, where he teaches acting and directs theatre. His productions span the theatrical gamut, and include the musicals; Carousel, Urinetown, Cabaret, Hairspray, Les Misérables, and West Side Story, as well as plays including; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Hot L Baltimore, The House of Blue Leaves, The Rose Tattoo, and Othello. He is delighted and honored to play once again with some of his extraordinary former students.

Anisse Elias (Assistant Director)

Anisse is quite excited, and honored, to be a part of this production. After graduating the drama department at LaGuardia High School, Anisse decided to take her passion for the arts to Los Angeles. She is is currently studying Film and TV Production at the University of Southern California. She is the co-founder of Grown Upz magazine, and a proud member of G45, an artist collective started by her fellow LaGuardia pals. She would like to thank Mr. Shifman and the whole Held Momentarily family for this opportunity, and of course she would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support.

Scott Stein (Musical Director)

Scott is a pianist, composer and songwriter originally from Akron, OH. Recent musical credits include Cloned! (NYMF 2014 Best of Fest), Twelfth Night (Fringe NYC), ROPE (Venus/Adonis Festival) and Rapunzarella White (13th Street Rep). Scott is a faculty member at CAP21 and the conductor vocal ensembles Uncommon Chord and HaZamir Manhattan. He is the recipient of the Guild of Temple Musicians' Young Composers Award and holds a BM Composition from The Ohio State University. Scott is also an acclaimed singer/songwriter, playing club dates regularly in the city.

Hunter Bird

Hunter Bird (Creative Developer)

Hunter currently serves as the Line Producer for the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals and an Associate Director for The Debate Society. Hunter has directed at Ars Nova, The McKittrick Hotel, The New York Musical Theatre Festival, The NY International Fringe Festival, SoHo Playhouse, Joe's Pub, The Club at LaMaMa, Columbia University, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic

Sundance Productions, Inc. (General Manager)

David Coffman – Managing Director, General Manager
Diana Lounsbury – Associate General Manager 

Located in the heart of Times Square, Sundance Productions is a global entertainment and production firm specializing in live stage production, theatrical licensing, and theatrical consulting. With services ranging from casting, contracting, artist liaison and support, to professional management of administrative, creative, and technical theatrical issues, the agency coordinates all logistical elements concerning theatrical performances. 

Under the leadership of David Coffman as Managing Director, the company takes particular pride in working with the most creative and successful production teams in theatre today, including: current theatrical licensing deals for CATS and ROCK OF AGES in Mexico City, QUEEN ESTHER MARROW’S THE HARLEM GOSPEL SINGERS SHOW, and the international touring production of WEST SIDE STORY. Previous productions and associations include: 3 MO DIVAS, TANGUERA, GREASE (casting), LATIN HEAT, ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATRE, MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY, BLACKBIRDS OF BROADWAY, and 4 GUYS NAMED JOSE. Sundance works in association with its parent company BB Promotion GmbH, one of the largest commercial theatrical producing and touring companies in Europe.

Ben Hartley (Choreographer)

Ben Hartley choreographed Gypsy in Houston, TX. Hairspray in Stamford, CT. Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, Grease, Urinetown & Carousel for LGHS, "Fame School" NYC and a tribute to Broadway legend Ben Vereen. He choreographed for Ballet Central UK tour. He directed and choreographed A Chorus Line, Crazy For You, Chicago, Fame, & Annie for The Broadway Experience NYC. Ben served as the Assistant Choreographer on the Broadway production of Enron, & Associate Choreographer to Casey Nicholaw for the reading of Robin & The Seven Hoods. As a performer, he appeared in numerous Broadway & West End productions including Swan Lake, Fosse, Cats, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Little Mermaid, & Fiddler on the Roof.

Adam Rigg (Scenic Design)

Adam is a theater designer originally from Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the interdisciplinary performance collective I AM A BOYS CHOIR. Some of Adam’s works have been seen at La Mama, Yale Repertory Theater, BAM, Yerba Buena Center (SF), JACK, BricArts, Ars Nova, REDCAT (LA), NYU, Columbia Stages, and Los Angeles Theater Center. Adam is the recipient of the Donald Oenslager Fellowship in Stage Design and a 2015 Artist in Residence at The Wassaic Project. BA UCLA and MFA Yale School of Drama

Allison Dawe (Costume Design)

Allison is a theatre designer originally from Seattle Washington by way of Portland Oregon. Her costume designs have been seen on many Portland stages including Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Portland Playhouse, Broadway Rose Theatre Company and the Lakewood Theatre Company. Favorite recent productions include Light in the Piazza (Best Costume Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards), Band Geeks, and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Allison was the resident costume designer at the Broadway Rose Theatre Company in Portland for seven years before recently relocating to New York. She is thrilled to be a part of the Held Momentarily team. MFA Stage Design Brooklyn College.

Elijah Schreiner (Lighting Designer)

Elijah is pleased to be designing this production of Held Momentarily. A graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at Purchase, his recent design credits include: The Italian Dance Connection Festival (The Sheen Center), Carousel (LaGuardia High School) and Home Again (University Settlement). He is currently the production electrician at Sleep No More.

Becca Pickett (Stage Manager)

Becca is honored to be doing her 5th year at NYMF! Off-Bway: Ethel Sings – The Unsung Song of Ethel Rosenberg (Undercover Productions); Tail! Spin! and Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allen Poe (DRTM). Int'l: Central Avenue Breakdown (DIMF 2012, Daegu, South Korea); New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Int'l Tour 2013. NY: The Hills Are Alive! (Melodion Theatre); The Mikado (NYGASP at City Center); Wink, Animals Commit Suicide, P.S. Jones and the Frozen City (terraNOVA Collective); Broadway Bares XXIII-XV, Broadway Backwards (BC/EFA); Hostos Center for Arts & Culture. Love and thanks to the Faces at home. For Beth. Proud member AEA, SMA.


Taylor Leigh Cannon (Assistant Stage Manager)

Taylor is both overjoyed and honored to be involved in her first NYMF production. Before graduating the drama department at LaGuardia High School, Taylor fell in love with the technical side of the theater. In the fall she will begin studying arts and entertainment management at Pace University and hopes to continue furthering her technical theater education. Her most recent technical productions include Laughing Stock, Carousel, and The Laramie Project. Taylor would like to thank the outstanding cast and crew of Held Momentarily for allowing her to be a part of this amazing experience. She would also like to thank her mentors Harry Shifman, Sandy Faison, Eli Schreiner, John Marean, and most importantly Clay Smith for taking her under their wing and sharing their endless amounts of knowledge and wisdom with her. Lastly, she would like to thank her friends and family for their endless love and support.

Elisha Friedman (Wardrobe Supervisor)

Elisha is thrilled to be a part of her first NYMF production. She has a diverse background, including visual arts, dance, vocal music, museology, fashion history, and textile conservation. Recent productions include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Place Players) and Underland (terraNOVA Collective). She will be returning to student life this fall, pursuing her MFA at Brooklyn College in Design and Technical Theater.

Justin Fenniman (Technical Director)

Justin Fenniman is an aspiring stagehand, carpenter, and Technical Director. He recently graduated from LaGuardia High School with a Technical Theater endorsement and he will be attending University of North Carolina School of the Arts for Design and Production in the Fall of 2015. His recent positions include Technical Director of LaGuardia High School's fall musical In The Heights, and Technical Director of LaGuardia's 2015 Spring Drama Festival.

Zach Herchen (Winds)

Woodwind specialist Zach Herchen performs music ranging from classical trios to jazz tone poems, multimedia works, afrobeat, and beyond. He is a 2013 Bang on a Can Summer Festival Fellow, has worked on staff at New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, and has performed as a soloist in Italy, Sweden, Germany, and at various American institutions. Zach is the artistic director of Con Vivo Music and performs with New Thread Quartet, Rhymes With Opera, Red Oak Contemporary Ensemble, and Quiet City.


Stephen Purcell (Drums)

Stephen is a New York based drummer and percussionist. He is currently an in demand session and touring artist as well as playing locally in the New York City area.

Eric Allen (Cello)

Eric is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer. Most recently, he has performed in Kansas City Choir Boy and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, created arrangements for the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and can be seen in the TV series The Knick and Mozart in the Jungle. As a composer he has received an Honorable Mention in New York Youth Symphony’s First Music young composer competition (Jazz) and is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He is a founding member of Speed Bump, a string trio dedicated to performing their original compositions and unique arrangements of classical, jazz, and world music.

Jeremy Robin Lyons (Orchestrator)

Jeremy is a music director, pianist, and arranger, and is thrilled to be back aboard the Held Momentarily train! Most recently, Jeremy served as pianist for The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Festival in Salzburg, Austria. Recent orchestrations: The Songs of Henry Krieger (Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series); Getting to Know You: The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein (92nd Street Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists series). Recent MD credits: Gotham Radio Theatre Celebrates the Music of Bernard Herrmann (Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library); Much Ado About Nothing (Barrington Stage Company); Next to Normal (Musically Human); Maltby & Shire: What Could Be Better? (54 Below), William Finn’s Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists… (54 Below and BSC). Also at BSC: Asst. MD/Key 1 for On the Town (pre-Broadway); Fiddler on the Roof. In development: MD/arranger for JUNK: A Rock Opera (recent presentations: Musical Theatre Factory, Joe’s Pub, National Opera Center), MD for workshop of Kerrigan & Lowdermilk’s The Bad Years, Associate MD for reading of Kerrigan & Lowdermilk’s Republic (York Theatre).

Ari Folman-Cohen (Bass)

Ari supplies a solid, creative and melodic function to any musical endeavor in which he finds himself. He began his musical career in New York City in 2006, and has since established himself as a go-to bass player for a wide array of music, both on upright and electric bass. Ari is a founding member of Aabaraki - an acclaimed indie-soul group affiliated with Rockwood Music Hall Records. He juggles a busy schedule supporting many singer/songwriters, jazz, experimental and world musicians in the New York area and beyond. Included in this list are Avante-Latin group Gato Loco, which records for the German jazz label Winter and Winter, and singer/songwriter Lynette Williams. As a former bassist for Grammy-winning French guitarist, Stephane Wrembel, Ari is well-versed in the French Gypsy Jazz repertoire and has firmly established himself as a top purveyor of this style of bass. Past stints include touring with renowned trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, recording and performing with pianist Sam Barsh, studio recordings for rapper Angel Haze, collaboration with experimental guitarist Mike Gamble and drummer Bobby Previte as well as performance art pieces centered around experimentation with solo bass and effects.

Dan Fortune / Fortune Creative (Press Representative)

Current projects include Ghostlight Records – the Grammy Award winning label behind Broadway albums The Book of Mormon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – plus recent albums from John Schneider and Tom Wopat (celebrating 35 years of “The Dukes of Hazzard”), Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” The Little Mermaid) and Laura Benanti (“Nashville” on ABC-TV, Tony Award winner for Gypsy). Other projects include The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Soundtrack, the film Grind starring Anthony Rapp, the film soundtrack to The Last Five Years starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, and The Mama Foundation for the Arts. Past theater credits include many Broadway and Off Broadway shows. Dan serves on the board of Michael Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Foundation.

Sean Gregory (Producer's Representative)

Sean is ecstatic to be working with Sundance and the Held Momentarily team for NYMF 2015! He is currently a student at Penn State University, where he’s been involved on and offstage in over 20 productions for both No Refund Theatre and The Penn State Thespians. His most recent acting projects include Chicago, In the Heights, To Kill A Mockingbird, Catch Me If You Can, and Spamalot, and his directing credits include Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.

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