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Beyond Words (Student Leadership Project)

Music and Lyrics by Various Student Artists

Beyond Words (Student Leadership Project)

at Theater 3  [map]

  • Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 9:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm

When speaking just isn’t enough.

BEYOND WORDS celebrates the intangible power of musical theatre to express what words alone cannot say. When speaking will no longer suffice, we are moved to sing, and the inhibitions of the real world fade away. BEYOND WORDS is a transcending showcase of original musical theatre, where music gives life to what can only be expressed through the freedom of song.

Running Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Ciara Curran

Ciara Curran (Cast Member)

Ciara Curran, a singer, actress, and cat-lover, is thrilled to join Beyond Words in her NYMF debut! She recently finished a musical recording composed by one of her favorites, Charles Strouse. Ciara is proud to be a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and is now a senior at The King's College in New York City, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media, Culture, and the Arts while also studying Acting and Voice under the instruction of Anthony Abeson and Judy Blazer. Keep an eye out for Ciara's next performance in the Fringe festival this summer! Ciara sends special thanks to her family and friends for their unending support!

Lynda DeFuria

Lynda DeFuria (Cast Member)

Lynda is a Jersey born, Vegas raised singer, songwriter, actress, and educator. Lynda was most recently seen Off-Broadway and on tour in Fancy Nancy: The Musical. Other favorite NY credits: Prince of Christmas (St. Luke’s Theatre), Barcode (NYFringe ‘13), Madame Infamy - workshop (Marie Antoinette). She has appeared on Showtime at the Apollo, at The Sydney Opera House, and as the Top 40 band’s lead singer on Holland America Cruise Lines. Lynda won BMI’s John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship for her song “Where You Stand,” and frequently plays northeast venues with her band. Her newest release, Ticking Clocks, and Alive (EP) are available on iTunes and CD Baby. A Berklee College of Music graduate. Visit Lynda on Facebook, @LyndaDeFuria, &


Jake Glassman

Jake Glassman (Cast Member)

Jake Glassman is thrilled to be a part of NYMF SLP, working with these incredible composers and performers. A recent graduate of the inaugural class of NYU Tisch New Studio On Broadway, his favorite credits include The Addams Family (Lucas), Spring Awakening (Moritz), American Idiot (Tunny). Other regional credits- The Miracle Worker, Rent, Hamlet. Around NY, he has performed at Radio City, The Waldorf Astoria, Joe's Pub, and NYTB. So much love to my teachers, friends, and family.

Josh Greenblatt (Cast Member)

New York Credits include Assassins (Zangara), Urinetown (Bobby Strong), Three Sisters (Fedotik), Peter Pan (Peter), and Beatsville (Claude). Favorite Regional: Altar Boyz (Mark), Les Miz (Marius), and Spring Awakening (Georg). Josh studied at NYU Steinhardt, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Barrow Group, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is represented by The Mine agency.

Logan Kesel

Logan Kesel (Cast Member)

Logan Kesel is just thrilled to be a part of NYMF with the Student Leadership Project! A current undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, she has worked on numerous regional and collegiate productions including Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman), Gypsy (Rose), Iolanthe (Fairy Queen), LoveMusik (regional premiere), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Pirates of Penzance, and Cabaret. Logan has participated in the CAP21 summer professional program (2014) as well as the Making it on Broadway winter intensive (2015), and she has also performed in the Bound for Broadway showcase in NYC. She is an avid reader, member of a pretty awesome a cappella group, and an intern for DramaClub NYC. Love to family and friends, and many thanks to the SLP for this opportunity!

Alexandra Marks

Alexandra Marks (Cast Member)

Alexandra Marks is a senior theatre major/music minor at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. She is also a student in the CAP21 Summer Professional Training Program and a graduate of the Broadway Dance Center Training Program. Aside from her musical theatre training, she prides herself in her unique special skills list, which includes beat boxing while walking on her hands. A huge thank you to the entire SLP team and to anyone and everyone who has supported her in her journey thus far!

Nick Martinez

Nick Martinez (Cast Member)

Nick Martinez is beyond thrilled to be apart of Beyond Words. Most Recently; In The Heights (Piragua Guy), 25th Annual..Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear), The Wild Party (Max), Seussical (Wickersham Brother). BFA : Elon University. Love and thanks to his family, friends and Elon MT15

Oliver Mayes

Oliver Mayes (Cast Member)

Oliver is pumped to be a part of this concert and working with such a talented cast and creative team! Recent theatre and concert credits: 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, Grease (Doody), A Year With Frog and Toad (Frog), She Loves Me, Dogfight (Boland), Dogfight (Lounge Singer; 2014 Broadway World LI Best Actor in a Musical Nomination), RENT (Roger), The Music of Maglione & Ruiz: #thestruggle, Bare: A Pop Opera (Jason), HAIR (Hubert/Steve), All's Fair (Barker), An Arctic Tale (Nat; World Premiere). Upcoming: American Idiot. Interesting fact: Oliver is the guy making out with a girl next to Jeremy Jordan on this year's NYMF poster. BFA MT graduate of AMDA.

Emily Senkowsky

Emily Senkowsky (Cast Member)

Emily Senkowsky is very excited to be participating in this concert! She is a graduate of NYU Steinhardt. Favorite roles include: Carrie (Carousel), Bogle (Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol), Rusty (Footloose), Sally (The Cat in the Hat), Sister Amnesia (Nunsense, Jamboree), Nurse (Oh, What a Lovely War!). Thanks to family and friends!


Jonathan K. Stevens

Jonathan K. Stevens (Cast Member)

Jonathan Stevens is excited to be making his New York performance debut as a member of the NYMF Beyond Words team. Jonathan is a graduate of Harvard University where he performed in the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and participated in other productions including Parade, Spring Awakening, and Macbeth. Other credits include '8' and 'In Concert: Jason Robert Brown' at the American Repertory Theater and Bremer's Moving Picture Musical Dictionary at Northeastern University.

Ellie Todd

Ellie Todd (Cast Member)

Ellie Todd is an actor, director, and writer originally from Lexington, Kentucky and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan (BFA Musical Theatre). She has worked extensively in Kentucky, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. on plays, musicals, and the upcoming film Liberty's Secret. Favorite credits include: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, CABARET, THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Dir.), UNCLE VANYA, HAIR, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS...(Dir.), LEGALLY BLONDE, OLIVER! and many more. She is thrilled to be a part of bringing these new works from these incredible writers to life. Many thanks to family, friends and Jeff Berger Management. Love to Elias. GO BLUE!

Jordan Wolfe

Jordan Wolfe (Cast Member)

Jordan Wolfe is thrilled to be returning to NYMF after previously appearing in Alice Unraveled and Riley Thomas’s Looking Forward. New York/Off-Broadway: Richard III, Love’s Labors Lost (New York Classical Theatre), The Alchemists (Prospect Theatre Company), The Here Theatre, Musicals Tonight!, The John Houseman Theatre, and the upcoming new musical All For Joe at the Duke Theatre on 42nd Street. Regional: Camelot (Mordred - Gretna Theatre and Westchester Broadway), The Secret Garden (Dickon), At Liberty Hall (World Premiere, Aaron Burr), She Loves Me (Arpad), Funny Thing...Forum (Hero), Dracula (World Premiere, Jonathan Harker). TV: Law & Order: CI. Love to a beautiful and incredibly supportive family!

Matthew Baumer

Matthew Baumer (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Andrew Baumer is a New York based actor and pianist. He is studying Drama at NYU Tisch in the Lee Strasberg Studio. He made his NYU debut in Spring Awakening as Ernst this past semester. Andrew is the other half of the writing duo of Yeager&Baumer. This song comes from their first full musical which is currently being composed. It is planned to be finished by spring of 2016. If you would like updates on the progress of their show follow them on Facebook at:

Benedict Braxton-Smith

Benedict Braxton-Smith (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Benedict is a highly sought after Australian composer, music director and pianist. He began composing in the 6th grade for small ensembles, and expanded into arrangements and originals for larger ensembles and choirs in his final years of schooling. In his final year of high school, he composed the scores for several short films. Upon leaving high school, he began expanding into theatre. After first performing on stage in AVENUE Q (2012), Benedict became heavily involved in the Brisbane theatre industry, gaining credits in Music Direction, Orchestration, Arrangement and Musical supervision for several productions. Concurrently Benedict provided scores for many local short films. Recently, Benedict trained in music direction with Goodspeed Musicals. In 2015, Benedict’s new musical, METALHEAD, for which he wrote Book, music and lyrics, will premiere in Brisbane, produced by Underground Productions. This cutting edge work takes a sideways look at Australia’s most famous outlaw, Ned Kelly.

Caroline Caffrey & Eric Mertz

Caroline Caffrey & Eric Mertz (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Caroline Caffrey (lyricist) and Eric Mertz (composer) are a new songwriting team based at Northwestern University where they are both theatre majors and rising sophomores. Holding On is the first song they worked on together; it was first performed in a cabaret at Northwestern last winter. Their second song, Max Martin, was performed at Northwestern in the spring in a festival of original student written work. Though they both grew up surrounded by music, this year marks their first endeavor into writing their own original work. At school, Caffrey and Mertz also enjoy acting, writing for the annual Waa-Mu show- a student written musical-, planning and participating in Northwestern’s Dance Marathon, and fencing. They are currently in the process of writing an original musical.

Ethan Carlson

Ethan Carlson (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Ethan Carlson is a Senior at Pace University where he is pursuing his BFA in Musical Theatre Performance. As a writer, he wrote "Blind Flight," with librettist Saidu Sinlah; And is now currently working on a full-length musical, "Knight Of Columbus". His work has also been presented at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. He is excited to do another SLP concert this year, and would like to thank his family, BethMCNess and RSO!

Liz Kantor

Liz Kantor (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Liz Kantor is a rising sophomore studying neurobiology at Harvard University. Stage credits include: Hairspray (Tracy Turnblad), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), Anything Goes (Reno), The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet), Drood (Durdles – Metro Award Nom.), Pygmalion (Liza Doolittle), [title of show] (Heidi – Original Amateur Cast). Creative credits include: Getting the Girl (music director/arranger), Avenue Q (choreographer), Curtains (assistant choreographer). Training: Coupè Theatre Studio, Broadway Dance Center, Celeste Simone Voice. Liz would like to thank the incredible women of Harvard for inspiring her to write this song, and her mom for being the most important woman (and person) in her life.

Kelly McIntyre (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Kelly's music has been performed at venues such as Joe's Pub, New York Theatre Barn, The Hartt School of Music and Speak Easy Stage. As a Composer and Singer-Songwriter from Boston, Kelly recently graduated from The Hartt School with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Both of Kelly's pieces tonight are from her in-progress musical Leech. A big thank you to NYMF's SLP, and MD&S.

Cynthia Meng

Cynthia Meng (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Cynthia Meng graduated from Harvard University this past May with a degree in Computer Science, and is extremely excited to have her work featured in the NYMF SLP concert this summer! While at Harvard, she composed the music for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and served as the student conductor and assistant music director for the company as well. She has also music directed several productions at Harvard, and was very involved in a cappella. Originally hailing from northern California, she will be moving to New York in July and is looking forward to the rewards of post-grad life: existential crises, high rent, and countless boxes of Instant Ramen.

Gretchen Midgley & John Tafone

Gretchen Midgley & John Tafone (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Gretchen (words) and John (music) are a musical theatre composing team based in Washington, DC. They met at The Catholic University of America and began writing together in 2013. Gretchen recently graduated with a degree in Musical Theatre. She has written multiple plays and is also interested in directing; favorite directing credits include Twelve Angry Men, Carousel, and The Exorcism Room. She served as the Artistic Director and Writer-in-Residence for The Centerstage Theatre Company's 2014-2015 season. John is a rising senior studying Music Composition. His work has been performed internationally by numerous ensembles including the Rhode Island Festival Orchestra, The Chorus of Westerly, and the Washington National Symphonic Brass. He is the Composer-in-Residence for The Centerstage Theatre Company and the Arranger/Orchestrator and Assistant Conductor for The Chorus of Westerly. Together, John and Gretchen’s work has been performed by soloists such as Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek and Matthew Worth, as well as The Chorus of Westerly and the Christ Church Cathedral Choir in Oxford, UK. Their full-length pieces include First Light: A New Musical and The Curious (and Grudgingly Musical!) Case of the Blue Carbuncle. They are currently developing a new musical entitled The Lighthouse. Find them on Facebook or at

Mike Ross

Mike Ross (Book, Music, Lyrics)

Mike Ross is a playwright and performer; he is also lucky enough to write lyrics and librettos for co-composer Dylan MarcAurele. Writing credits include Sorry (Harvard Playwrights’ Festival), Mike and Micah Lose A Bunch Of Kids In The Woods and In Other Words (A.R.T.’s Loeb Experimental Theater), and What the Hell?, or, Pair of Guys Lost (Harvard First Year Musical). The latter two shows were both written with co-composer Dylan MarcAurele, with whom he is thrilled to be a part of NYMF. Mike is a rising senior at Harvard College, where he also performs with the Harvard University Stand-Up Comic Society and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

Brandon Powell (Director)

Brandon Powell is making his New York debut with Beyond Words. Recently relocated from California, Brandon has produced, directed, and stage managed theatre in the Bay Area for five years, both as a student at Stanford University, and professionally with companies like Playwrights Foundation and Broadway By the Bay. He has a special passion for new work, most recently working on the Original Winter One Acts at Stanford and the 5th Annual SF One-Minute Play Festival. Ask him about: his desire to adapt young adult novels for the stage, his thoughts on audience engagement versus audience participation, and the the time he produced Violet on a moving bus. See more of his work at

Sarah Flamm

Sarah Flamm (Producer)

Sarah Flamm is a rising senior at NYU Gallatin where she is concentrating in “Creating and Advancing Theatre,” focusing on the production of new work and audience engagement in the current theatrical landscape. In addition to producing for the SLP, Sarah is a member of the Executive Board of the Gallatin Theatre Troupe and was a Producer of this year’s Gallatin Arts Festival. Sarah has also interned in Audience Engagement at The Broadway League and Group Sales and Marketing at Davenport Theatrical. Sarah is so honored to be working with such incredible talent and to be part of the SLP, and would like to thank the NYMF staff and interns, the composers, cast, and the rest of the SLP for their dedication to this project. Sarah hopes to make a career out of bringing new theatre to life, and is thrilled to start pursuing that goal at NYMF!

Natalie Wagner

Natalie Wagner (Stage Manager)

Natalie Wagner is a student at the University of Chicago, studying Theater and Performance Studies and concentrating in stage management. For University Theater: Endgame and The Effect…Marigolds (SM); Godspell, Grey Gardens, and Hedda Gabler (ASM); Theater[24] (Curator/SM). She was a Production Assistant for the 2014 West Village Musical Theater Festival and a Venue Production Assistant for the New York International Fringe Festival, and is currently a Production Assistant for the NYMF show Spot on the Wall.

Tess Davison

Tess Davison (Marketing Director)

Tess Davison, a rising senior at Harvard University, is ecstatic to be working on BEYOND WORDS this summer. She has been seeing shows at NYMF every year with her mother since it first started -- she was in 4th grade -- and has always wanted to be a part of it. She is fairly new to marketing, having only assistant produced several shows with the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club this past year, but she has been involved in countless musical theater productions, both onstage and behind the scenes.

Amanda Dash

Amanda Dash (Casting Director)

Amanda Dash is originally from Pittsburgh, and moved to New York City at the age of sixteen with a full scholarship to dance at The Joffrey Ballet School. After graduating high school, she decided to get her bachelor’s degree from The King’s College. Now going into her senior year, Amanda has put dance on hold. After finishing a semester at CESD Talent Agency, Amanda thought casting would be a great fit for her. After accepting the position as casting director for NYMF SLP, Amanda has learned a lot about the process that goes into creating an original show. In the meantime, Amanda is assisting Broadway Producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland on her new Broadway show, Amazing Grace. Amanda is also working at Entertainment Tonight and The Insider that airs daily at 7pm on CBS. She would like to thank the amazing SLP team for all they have done and her family and friends for always supporting her.

David Rosenberg (Musical Director)

David Rosenberg is a senior studying music composition at NYU where he'll later be returning for his masters in music education. Credits include Spring Awakening (music director - NYU), Songs For A New World (music director - NYU), Coromandel (music director - Trevor Bachman), and Odyssey: The Epic Musical (keys 2 - Matt Britten) alongside music directing and orchestrating for various cabarets around the city.