Asolo Rep Presents MĀYĀ –
Part Three of its Ground Floor Series: Making Musicals
(SARASOTA, FL) – Asolo Rep continues its Ground Floor: Making Musicals series, on Thursday, July 9 at 6pm with a preview of MĀYĀ , a new musical set in 1930 during the Gandhi Salt March, with book and music by Cheeyang Ng, book and lyrics by Eric Sorrels:
At the center of the story is Maya Mehta, a Cambridge-educated girl from India striving for recognition as a poet in the West, while her family plans her wedding to a wealthy prince. But in one life-changing moment, the Salt March, led by Mahatma Gandhi against the tyranny of the British Empire, arrives on Maya’s doorstep. When Maya joins the thousands in their quest to shake the foundations of an empire, the Mehta family’s world changes forever. With a score that fuses Western pop and Indian Classical music, MĀYĀ is about the ties that hold us, the illusions that bind us and the truth that can finally set us free.
The four-part Making Musicals competition, designed specifically for an online audience, previews four new and original musicals broadcast live on Asolo Rep’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The final musical in the series, Fountain, a new musical set in Florida with book, music and lyrics by Christopher Anselmo and Jared Corak, will be presented on Thursday, July 23. The series debuted May 21 with Sophie Blanchard’s High Flyin’ Rock and Roll Extravaganza, book, music and lyrics by Lizzie Hagstedt, and also included Johnny and the Devil’s Box, presented on June 25, with book, music and lyrics by Douglas Waterbury-Thieman.
Each 30-minute session consists of a fifteen-minute preview performance of one musical, followed by a fifteen-minute discussion with the playwright/composer and James Monaghan, Asolo Rep Dramaturg and Literary Manager, and Celine Rosenthal, Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director, who serves as the Director of the Ground Floor Series and is also directing all four musicals. After the four musicals have aired, the audience will be asked to vote for their favorite and the winner will receive a full staged reading at Asolo Rep.
To add to the fun, the Theatre is incorporating a Virtual Happy Hour into the presentation. One day prior to each performance, patrons will receive an email notice of the broadcast that includes a cocktail recipe specifically chosen to compliment the theme of that week’s new musical. The cocktail recipe can also be found on Asolo Rep’s Facebook page the day before the event.
Patrons wishing to vote for their favorite musical are required to register online through a link on Asolo Rep’s website: www.asolorep.org. Following the last performance, registered patrons will be emailed a ballot to be filled out and submitted to the theatre within 48 hours. To qualify to vote, patrons must be registered, they must have viewed all four performances and they will only be able to vote once.
Cheeyang Ng: Born and raised in Singapore, Cheeyang Ng is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has performed around the world, including Lincoln Center with Carole King and Carnegie Hall with a cappella group Vocalosity. They are the first Singaporean to headline a concert at Joe’s Pub and Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center showcasing their original music and their songs have been performed around New York, including The Duplex and Feinstein’s/54 Below. Founder of vocal groups The Lunar Collective in New York and The Apex Project in Singapore, they have won multiple vocal awards all across Asia, including Singapore, Taiwan and China. Musicals in development include Eastbound (Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals, NAMT Writers Grant, NYTB IMPACT Award) with Khiyon Hursey, and MĀYĀ (Live & In Color, Hypokrit) with Eric Sorrels. Select credits: 2020 Eric H. Weinberger Librettist Award, 2019 ASCAP Foundation Lucille & Jack Yellen Award, 2019 New York Musical Festival Commission, 2019 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project and 2018 New York City Center’s Front and Center with Tom Kitt. www.cheeyang.com @cheeyangmusic
Eric Sorrels is an NYC-based performer, songwriter, and music director. As a singer, he’s performed with professional ensembles at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Bard Music Festival, as well as sacred spaces throughout Manhattan. As a music director, he’s helmed several cabarets and concerts at The Duplex and Feinstein’s/54 Below. BA: University of TN, Knoxville; MFA: NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing. Recent credits include the Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project and Broadway: The Next Generation at the Kennedy Center. Projects in development include MĀYĀ (Live & In Color, 2020 O’Neill Finalist,) and Only Us (Drama League Residency) with Cheeyang Ng, and the song cycle Yas, Queen! @eric.sorrels
Kimberly Chatterjee: Off Broadway: NYTimes Critics’ Pick and Drama Desk-nominated Life Sucks (Wheelhouse Theater Co); Pride and Prejudice (Primary Stages); The Tempest (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Regional: Pride and Prejudice (Playhouse on Park); Dance Nation (The Wilma); Noises Off (The Guthrie); Pride and Prejudice (world premiere), As You Like It, Macbeth, Measure for Measure (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, two seasons); As You Like It (Folger Theatre). Television: “High Maintenance.” Training: B.F.A., New York University: New Studio on Broadway. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. All the love to her friends and family! www.KimberlyChatterjee.com
Meetu Chilana is an actress, singer/songwriter, TV host, and voice-over artist. Past Credits: Cirque du Soleil Zarkana (Radio City Music Hall, State Kremlin Palace); Cirque du Soleil Kooza (US tour); Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding musical (Berkeley Rep Theater.) Meetu’s original music releases blend Western and Indian folk sensibilities. BFA, NYU, Tisch @meetuchilana
Kuhoo Verma cares about Black lives and also happens to be an actor. A favorite recent role is Velma in Dave Malloy’s Octet (Lucille Lortell for Outstanding Actor, Drama Desk). Film credits include Zubeida (X-Files Girl) in Academy Award Nominated The Big Sick. You may also have seen her at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Lincoln Center, The Public, and countless others. ACAB & @whatisakuhoo. You can DM for links & resources!
Patrons may access the livestream by visiting the Asolo Rep Facebook page where the video will appear at the top of the page starting at 6pm on Thursday, June 25.
Viewers can also watch on Asolo Rep’s YouTube Live.
Asolo Rep will also post a recording of each broadcast on its Facebook and YouTube channels and on its website.