Casting Announced for Bridge Street Theatre’s Summer Musical “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World”

Casting has been completed on yet another milestone for Catskill’s adventurous Bridge Street Theatre – its first full-scale summer musical! But, true to form, it’s a pretty off-beat one: Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World”. Based on the true story of three sisters from rural new Hampshire whose father forced them to form a rock band, and who recorded an album back in 1969 which has since become a cult classic, “The Shaggs” will play for eight performances only, Thursdays through Sundays July 11-21, in BST’s intimate 84-seat Mainstage.

Featured in the cast will be Steven Patterson as Austin Wiggin (creator of the role in the 2003 Los Angeles world premiere), Molly Parker Myers as Annie Wiggin, and Julian Broughton as Mr. Wilson/Floyd/Russ/Exeter Talent Show Host/Hank. Also starring in the production are five students from the Catskill Central School District – Alexa Powell, Amara Wilson, and Meeghan Darling as The Shaggs themselves – Dot, Betty, and Helen, Magnus Bush as Kyle Nelson, and Edward Donahue as Charley Dreyer/Bobby/Lenny Smalls. John Sowle will direct and design the show, assisted by Musical Director Michelle Storrs, Choreographer Marcus McGregor, Costumer Michelle Rogers, Sound Consultant Carmen Borgia, and Stage Manager Joshua Martin.

At the beginning of the current century, “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World” received developmental readings, workshops and productions at The Powerhouse in Los Angeles; LookingGlass Theatre in Chicago; NY Musical Theatre Festival (in New York); GEVA in Rochester; TheatreWorks in Palo Alto; and The Manhattan Theatre Club (New York again).  All of these led to the acclaimed Off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop/Playwrights Horizons co-production in 2011. While the production in Catskill will be the first since the play’s 2011 Off-Broadway run, bookwriter and co-lyricist Joy Gregory (“Madam Secretary”) and composer and co-lyricist Gunnar Madsen (“The Bobs”) have recently been working closely with Producer/Director Ken Kwapis (“The Office”) to bring “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World” to the screen.  In the upcoming film version, the Wiggin family will be played by Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club”) as Austin, Allison Tolman (the FX television series “Fargo”) as Annie, Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grad”) as Dot, Sydney Lucas (“Fun Home”) as Betty, and Elena Kampouris (NBC’s “American Odyssey“) as Helen. Come experience it live on stage before the film hits the screen!

“The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World” is recommended for audiences ages 13+ and plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm from July 11 – 21, 2019 at Bridge Street Theatre, 44 West Bridge Street, in Catskill, NY, just a block and a half west of Main Street across the Uncle Sam Bridge, which spans Catskill Creek. Eight performances only. General Admission is $25, Students 21 and under are only $10. Discounted advance tickets are available at shaggs.brownpapertickets.comor by calling 800-838-3006. Tickets will also be sold at the door one half hour prior to each performance on a space available basis. “Pay What You Will” performances will be held on Thursday July 11 and Sunday July 14 (“Pay What You Will” tickets are available only at the door one half hour prior to those performances). Schedule your summer vacation around this one – book your lodgings now!  For more information, visit the theatre online at BridgeSt.org.

Events at Bridge Street Theatre are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by Public Funds from the Greene County Legislature through the Cultural Fund administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts.

Performance Calendar:

Bridge Street Theatre presents
The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
An Unconventional Musical
Book by Joy Gregory
Music by Gunnar Madsen
Lyrics by Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen
with Julian Broughton, Magnus Bush, Meeghan Darling, Edward Donahue, Molly Parker Myers, Steven Patterson, Alexa Powell, and Amara Wilson
Director/Designer: John Sowle
Musical Director: Michelle Storrs
Choreographer: Marcus McGregor
Costumes by Michelle Rogers
Sound by Carmen Borgia
Stage Manager: Joshua Martin
July 11 – 21, 2019
Bridge Street Theatre Mainstage
44 West Bridge Street, Catskill, NY

Thursday July 11 @ 7:30pm (“Pay What You Will” preview)
Friday July 12 @ 7:30pm (Opening Night)
Saturday July 13 @ 7:30pm
Sunday July 14 @ 2:00pm (“Pay What You Will” performance)
Thursday July 18 @ 7:30pm
Friday July 19 @ 7:30pm
Saturday July 20 @ 7:30pm
Sunday July 21 @ 2:00pm (Closing performance)

Tickets:
Advance tickets available at http://shaggs.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 800-838-3006
General Admission $22, $10 for students ages 21 and under
Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to each performance (on a space available basis) for $25, $10 for Students ages 21 & under.
“Pay What You Will” tickets are available only on the day of performance and go on sale at the door one half hour before curtain time.

The Cast:

Steven Patterson

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Steven Patterson* (Austin Wiggin) has performed in NYC both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, as well as regionally with theaters such as South Coast Repertory, Capital Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks/Silicon Valley, freeFall Theatre, Kaliyuga Arts, Lexington Conservatory Theatre, Chenango River Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, and the Orlando, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Utah, Tennessee, Richmond, and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festivals. A few of his favorite roles have been Austin Wiggin in the Los Angeles world premiere of The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Jake Sturdy in Kill Me Now, Lear in King Lear, David in Poor Super Man, Judi Boswell in How to Pray, Zach in A Chorus Line, and Rob in King of the Crystal Palace. He also created, performed, and toured internationally for four years with Beauty, a solo show inspired by the life and works of Jean Genet. He currently resides in Catskill, NY, and serves as an Associate Artist at Bridge Street Theatre, where he has appeared in The Epic of GilgameshThe Killing & The Love DeathGrinder’s StandA Life in a Day: Lucky LindyFrankenstein: The Modern PrometheusHoliday MemoriesHow to Pray, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, The Revenge of the Space Pandas, and There Is A Happiness That Morning Is,and directed George M. Cohan’s The TavernThe Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and The Revenge of the Space Pandas.

Molly Parker Myers

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Molly Parker Myers* (Annie Wiggin) is an actor/singer/voice artist based in the glorious Hudson Valley. Molly is also appearing at Bridge Street Theatre in this season’s The Moors (Huldey). Other work with BST includes There Is A Happiness That Morning Is, Redwood Curtain, and Lucky Lindy. Regional credits include The Mound Builders, True Love Lies and Kill Me Now (Kaliyuga Arts @ Stageworks Hudson), Papermaker (Shadowland Stages), Emilie and The House of Blue Leaves (Wellesley Rep), Mamma Mia!, The GraduateThe Norman Conquests Trilogy, Lost in Yonkers and Talley’s Folly (Winnipesaukee Playhouse) and Constellations (Tangent Theatre). mollyparkermyers.org

Alexa Powell

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Alexa Powell (Dot Wiggin) has previously appeared at Bridge Street Theatre as Janice Vickery in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and as Vivian Mooster in The Revenge of the Space Pandas. She has appeared in numerous musicals at Catskill High School, most recently as Belle in their production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. She helped paint the set (designed by John Sowle) that received a 2019 Capital Region High School Musical Theatre Awards’ nomination for Best Set Construction. Alexa participated in the New Visions Art Program during her senior year and hopes to continue her studies in Musical Theatre at Nazareth College in the fall.

Amara Wilson

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Amara Wilson (Betty Wiggin) is a recent graduate of Catskill High School, where she appeared in the ensembles of the musicals Once Upon a MattressGrease, and Anything Goes, played Flotsam in The Little Mermaid, Alma Hix in The Music Man, and Madame De La Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast. Last summer, Amara appeared at Bridge Street Theatre as Bob the Sheep in David Mamet’s The Revenge of the Space Pandas.

Meeghan Darling

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Meeghan Darling (Helen Wigginrecently appeared in the ensemble of Catskill High School’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. She attended two All-County performances as a soprano. In June 2018, Meeghan performed in Carnegie Hall with the Honor Performance Series and participated in NYSSMA in April. Meeghan will be entering the 9th grade in the fall and hopes you enjoy the show.

Magnus Bush

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Magnus Bush (Kyle Nelson) is a recent graduate of Catskill High School, where he performed on stage as Oliver Hix in The Music Man and, most recently, as The Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Edward Donahue

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Edward Donahue (Charley/Bobby/Lenny Smalls) recently graduated from Catskill High School, where his performance as the villain Gaston in Beauty and the Beast was preceded by his roles as Doody in Grease, Billy Crocker in Anything Goes, Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, and Harold Hill in The Music Man. He has participated in All-County, Area All-State, All-State, and performed in Disney World with the All National Mixed Choir this past November. He will also be traveling to Sydney, Australia with two other students to perform at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Honors Ensembles Choir. Edward will be attending Purchase College in the fall.

Julian Broughton

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Julian Broughton (Mr. Wilson/Floyd/Russ/Exeter Talent Show Host/Hank) has had a long career in theater. He was very active in the New England theater community, working with such theaters as American Repertory Theatre, the Huntington, and Wheelock Family Theatre. In 2001 he moved back to NYC. He took a break after 9/11. Now living in the Hudson Valley, he has been flexing his theater chops again. He played Othello in Rockland County last summer. He is very excited to be a part of the Bridge Street theater community.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

Production Team:

JOHN SOWLE (Director/Designer) is Artistic and Managing Director of Bridge Street Theatre, which opened its doors to the public in April of 2014. In 1986, he co-founded a theatrical production company called Kaliyuga Arts with his partner Steven Patterson and received multiple awards for his directing and design work on their Los Angeles, San Francisco, NYC, and Hudson, NY productions. He has directed and designed BST’s productions of The Letters (world premiere), Casse Noisette (world premiere), There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, Leni, Redwood Curtain, How to Pray, The Official Adventures of Kieron and Jade (world premiere), Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, Holiday Memories, The Epic of Gilgamesh (world premiere), The Killing & The Love Death (late plays of William Inge), and Grinder’s Stand by Oakley Hall III, and designed their productions of The Tavern, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and The Moors. John has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from M.I.T and a PhD in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley.

MARCUS MCGREGOR (Choreographer). Marcus began studying ballet at The Hartford School of Ballet at the age of 13. During the summer months, Marcus studied ballet at Dance Theatre of Harlem and School of American Ballet (SAB). Marcus was a company member with both Dance Theatre of Harlem for 7 years and Feld Ballet for 7 years. For the last 6 years, Marcus has taught Ballet at Hudson Valley Academy of Performing Arts where his students perform Nutcracker annually and for the last 5 years, Marcus has taught ballet at Creative Studio in Coxsackie, New York. Marcus also teaches Master Class for various dance schools throughout the Hudson Valley and Catskills. For the last 5 school years, Marcus has worked as Director/Choreographer with The Coxsackie/ Athens High School Drama Club on their productions of AnnieThe Addams FamilyShrekAnnie Get Your Gun and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Marcus was contacted by The Catskill High School Drama Club and has worked for the past 4 seasons as Director/Choreographer with The Catskill High School Drama Club on their productions of Beauty and the BeastMusic ManLittle Mermaid, and Anything Goes. Marcus has worked for the last 2 seasons with The Columbia County Youth Theatre in Chatham, NY teaching students who attend the camp enrichment classes, which teaches movement for actors. Marcus has also worked with The Center of Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, NY as Choreographer for productions of CarouselDark of the Moon, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Marcus also performed in and was Choreographer for The Two of Us Productions performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.

MICHELLE STORRS (Musical Director) Michelle is the musical productions director at Catskill High School. Previous productions include GreaseAnything GoesThe Little MermaidThe Music Man, and Beauty and the Beast. Previously she worked in the pit band of Catskill productions from “Seussical” through “Once Upon a Mattress.” Michelle is an active pit band woodwind performer with schools. While at Catskill Elementary, Michelle directed and performed in three murder mystery dinner theatres that benefited the CMPSA. She directed Into the Woods, Jr. at the Brighter Choice Charter School in Albany, NY is 2014.  Michelle currently serves as the President for the Greene County Music Educators Association (GCMEA), Stage Crew Advisor at Catskill HS, and Department Chair for the Fine Arts Program at Catskill CSD.  She chaperones select students to perform at Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House. Outside of work, Michelle is an active member of the Boy Scouts of America with her three sons.

MICHELLE ROGERS (Costumes) began costuming plays while in college and continued working on high school productions throughout her teaching career. She’s designed costumes forMarat/Sade, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oliver!, and Pride and Prejudice, among others. Now retired from education, Michelle is delighted to be working with Bridge Street Theatre. She has been the costume designer for The Tavern, Frankenstein, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, How to Pray, Redwood Curtain, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, LeniDriving Miss Daisy, and The Letters.

CARMEN BORGIA (Sound) is a musician and sound designer. He has designed and mixed films for PBS, HBO, IFC, and many film festivals. He has also released two CDs of his own work, North and The Red Circle Line. In 2009 his musical South premiered at Dixon Place in New York City and had a concert reading at Bridge Street Theatre in 2017. He operates out of studios in Catskill and The Bronx, doing sound-for-picture work and music recording. He can be found at Magpie Bookshop on Saturday afternoons at his Ukulele Camp, where anyone can learn to uke.

JOSHUA MARTIN (Stage Manager) is a first-year Production Stage Manager for Bridge Street Theatre. He has a background in education and began his career teaching and coaching out in Southern California. After getting involved in theatre from an acting standpoint (he currently studies with Lora Lee Ecobelli), he discovered an interest in the production side of things, which led to gigs as an Assistant Stage Manager for Bridge Street Theatre’s presentations of Driving Miss Daisy and Casse Noisette and as  Stage Manager for the recent world premiere of David Zellnik’s The Letters and Jen Silverman’s The Moors. Joshua is excited for this opportunity to work with BST and is looking forward to the rest of the 2019 season.

Further Information:
To contact Bridge Street Theatre directly, email contact@bridgest.org or call their offices at 518-943-3894. For more information on Bridge Street Theatre visit BridgeSt.org.

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