Man, I forgot how much I love teaching! Feels good to be back in the studio, warming up and throwing combinations on friends and newcomers. I was lucky enough to be brought back for some summer masterclasses with Broadway-By-Donation, once on July 21st and again on August 11th. Two VERY different combos. We ponied our Hairspray fantasies to "Ladies Choice", then served ballroom seduction to Cake's cover of "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps." And there was much sweat. Hoping to do more masterclasses in the coming year!
What a night at the NYMF closing awards! I received an "Outstanding Choreography" nomination and by the end of the night, our show ended up tying for most awarded show in the festival!
"Outstanding Choreography" Nomination
Sidney Erik Wright
"Outstanding Book" Nomination
"Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role" Winner
"Outstanding Individual Performance Award" Winner
Taylor Caldwell, Gregory Diaz IV, Julian Silva
Special Citation for "Political Relevance and Impact"
I'm so proud of the work we did together, and I can't wait to see what the world holds in store for this gem of a show! Full press release of all winners and nominees HERE.
Once more, into the NYMF fray! Choreographing the delightful new musical "Pedro Pan" for this year's festival. I can't say how grateful I am to be working on this show (about Operacion Pedro Pan which helped children flee Cuba in the 1960's) in the midst of America's own immigration crisis. I love when I can combine art and activism, using my creative abilities to inspire change in the world. And this cast is ridiculously talented. Check out more info HERE
Public directing debut! Well, Joe's Pub at least. Excited to helm this super-secret (and super-emotional) send-off to the iconic Shakina Nayfack as she departs her role as the Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory. She has personally given me so many opportunities to develop work and stretch my wings as a director and choreographer, so it feels very full-circle to help create this concert to honor her and her work as the Founding Artistic Directory as MTF evolves into its next iteration. Love this lady, and love that I get to celebrate her through artists and collaborators that I've admired for years. MTF is family. #wereworkingonit
More info HERE
Once more into the fray! This year, I'll be working with the VIP dancers to create an immersive 'pre-game' before the official show begins. There will be flash mobs. There will be audience interaction. There will be couture costumes paying homage to iconic games like Risk, Barrel of Monkeys, and Corn-Hole. Gonna have SO much fun working with these lovely dancers to give the audience a surprise appetizer to the main course. Thanks BCEFA for letting me break ground on this brand-new element of the show! Excited to experiment with this titillating surprise pop-up performance!
More info HERE
Who doesn't love an immersive moment? At the '1983' pride party, Retro Factory's first big shenanigan, I'll be queer-ing an iconic music video. Corralling some badass lesbian and queer women to reinterpret A-ha's "Take On Me" as a dykes-on-bikes fierce butch/femme love story. Living for some 80's music and gay pride vibes. Come check us out in Brooklyn (because, duh!) at the Plaxall Gallery!
More info HERE
It's that time again! Looking forward to being back on the magical island with director Michael Lee Scott and fellow choreographers Barrett Davis and Justin Henry as we put on a sexy and sultry and STUPENDOUS show. I love the intersection of art and activism, using my talents to raise money for BCEFA. What we do together makes a difference!
More info HERE
Last night, May 28, 2018, Theatre Now New York presented its Fifth Annual Festival of 10-Minute Musicals, SOUND BITES 5.0, on The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center, to a sold-out house for the second year in a row. This annual, one-night only event showcases ten new musicals of up-and-coming musical theatre writing teams.
After a record-breaking amount of submissions this year, the ten musicals featured in SOUND BITES 5.0 competed for top festival honors including Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music, Best Lyrics, and Best Book. The award winners were determined by votes from a judging panel of industry professionals, which included Kristy Cates, Ken Cerniglia, Ciera Iveson, Casey McLain, Matt Murphy, Stephen Nachamie, and Zach Zamchik. The audience also voted for their favorite musical, which earned the coveted Audience Choice Award. The awards were announced by Thicket & Thistle's What's Your Wish? at an awards ceremony in the Signature lobby immediately following the performance.
SOUND BITES 5.0 AWARD WINNERS
- BEST MUSICAL: The Almost In-Laws
- AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD: Dinosaur
- BEST DIRECTION: Angelique Ilo (Run This Town)
- BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: SIDNEY ERIK WRIGHT (Dead Flowers)
- BEST ACTOR: Kyle Olsen (The Almost In-Laws)
- BEST ACTRESS: Laura Shoop (Welcome to Ridgington)
- BEST MUSIC: Bystander (Eric Grunin)
- BEST LYRICS: Dinosaur (Zach Spound)
- BEST BOOK: Hospital Kids (Lisa Mongillo)
Just as we're in the thick of rehearsals for Bares: Fire Island, an emergency gig drops into my lap. Writer Michael Finke reached out for a last-minute production number for "Dead Flowers" at the SoundBites festival produced by Theatre Now New York. Looking forward to working with director Aaron Simon Gross and to debuting another piece at Signature! Yay, new musicals!
More info HERE
Excited to direct Janelle Lawrence's new musical "Group Therapy" for MTF's 4x15 developmental program. In this series, musicals are provided 5 hours of rehearsal to explore 15 minutes of the show on its feet, away from the confines of a music stand, so that the writers can discover how their work lives as a theatrical event. I'll be collaborating with choreographer Cassie Nordgren and music director Ben Krauss to bring Janelle's brilliance to life for the first time. Looking forward to diving in and explore this thrilling piece!
I choreographed another music video! Atlanta-based artist Shawn Spencer was flying to NYC for the Grammy's and reached out to his friend, director Jason Toledo, about shooting his first music video while in town. I was enlisted to handle the movement and brought Allyson Carr, Nikki Croker, Rosie Lani Fiedelman, Myriam Gadri, and Jessica Wu on to dance. The result is 'Pretty Little Lies.' Currently in the editing process and releasing later this Spring, and based on the footage I've seen, it's going to be beautiful. Proud choreographer. First project of 2018, check!
Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS released its Fall 2017 issue of Behind the Scenes, the quarterly magazine detailing all the incredible work of the organization, and I'm thrilled to announce that my work on 'Broadway Bares: Strip U' is prominently splashed across the front cover! I am so honored to have my number help publicize the larger cause of BCEFA and contribute to this incredible organization's legacy. Collaborating with my pack of pups to bring our sexy play on Pavlov's Dog to life was the greatest. They were such good boys. Truly, what we do together makes a difference.
Luscious Lips is coming back! After workshopping a sequence of Cayenne Douglass' play at Feast: A Performance Series in October, we're remounting and expanding to present a first pass at the entire thing! One night only on the mainstage at Dixon Place on December 15th. Excited to collaborate with director Daniella Caggiano again and create physicality and movement sequences with our actors Stephanie Miller and James McCormack.
I love new musical development! I had the pleasure of directing the Act 1 Finale sequence from the musical Big Deal by KC Hur and Jacob Fjeldheim. The show is an adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing" set in a boarding school rife with teenage drama. Only 5 hours of rehearsal flies by in an instant, but with the assistance of musical director Ben Krauss we were able to achieve a fully staged and wonderfully engaging sequence incorporating the songs "Stay Invisible" and "Holly is a Slut Bag." Such a fun night directing for MTF and putting new work on its feet for the first time!
I love a good masterclass! I've been asked by the fine folks at Musical Theatre Factory to lead a movement for actors audition/coaching masterclass for the undergrads in the Playwrights Horizons Theater School. Looking forward to dancing with some talented students and passing on some pearls of wisdom through a challenging combo!
I get to collaborate with some cool peeps. Playwright Cayenne Douglass is developing a new piece, "Luscious Lips", with director Daniella Caggiano and they invited me into the rehearsal process to add some physical storytelling to the production. I had the immense pleasure of collaborating with actors Stephanie Miller and James McCormack to create some movement sequences and non-verbal interactions that sculpted the transitions between scenes. This draft was presented as part of the monthly Feast series at Under St. Marks Theater, but we're continuing to develop and hope to show another iteration in the near future...
Make your own work! I'm collaborating with a dear friend, performer and makeup artist Ryan Jackson, on a series of film projects..."Made-in-a-Minute Makeup-meets-Movement Mini-Movies." We develop a concept and then, in one afternoon, we paint, rehearse, and film a short 30-45 second film. I'm loving the chance to stretch my creative muscles and play in the on-camera directing world! And working with friends to make art doesn't suck either...
I'm Co-choreographing this glittery, fabulous, over-the-top new musical with Director/Choreographer Paul Stancato. With a book by Roger O. Hirson (of "Pippin" fame) and Music and Lyrics by Barbara Carole Sickmen, we can't wait to show NYMF that "Too Much is Never Enough"!
Off to the races! Baring again for Fire Island. Assisting the brilliant Michael Lee Scott and helping out with this summer fun-filled show on a magical island. This year's theme..."Playlist." The music you listen to while you're having sex. Naughty fun ahead...
Another season collecting with the Bucket Brigade comes to a close. The 160 member Brigade comprised of volunteers and BCEFA staff together managed 3443 slots and 954 appeals to raise a record breaking total of $6,379,572 for this worthy cause. Happy to pitch in a hand and donate my time to this phenomenal organization.
I directed some monologues for Caps Lock Theater's Pussyfest, a three night festival of monologues about the body custom-written for NY's finest working actresses, at The Access Theater. I worked with Satomi Blair, Starr Kirkland, Sarah Matteucci, and Samantha Sembler on interpreting the brilliant words of Naveen Bahar Choudhury, Nandita Shenoy, Christina Quintana, and Mara Nelson-Greenberg respectively. When an actress came down with a case of Strep at the 11th hour, Lynette Freeman stepped in to save the day. A brilliant evening of inspiring women throwing down massive talent!
As part of the Musical Theater Factory Director-Choreographer Coalition, I helped organize this networking event that brought 30 artists in the room to exchange information and build new collaborative relationships. A pleasure to organize and an honor to participate. A good time was had by all!
I was granted a 1 week Choreography Lab with the musical theater dancers of the Institute for Advanced Musical Theater. For 20 hours of rehearsal, I explored two pieces that have been developing in my choreographic brain. I first experimented with spoken word and movement for "Grammar Fetish" and then dove into a full-fledged production number to Joe Jung's "Tripping Round The Town." Such a joy to work with these students and get some new vocabulary onto bodies.