Original musical about survival gets NYC production this July

Workshop production at Geva in May has same NYC creative team

Rochester, NY – Rochester will have a front row seat at the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) this July, thanks to a new musical written by Rochesterians Deborah Haber and Casey Filiaci:  Moses Man: A Musical Journey of Survival.

“We are ecstatic that Moses Man was chosen out of hundreds of submissions to be one of NYMF 2015’s full productions,” says Deborah Haber, who based the musical’s book and lyrics on the nine-year journey to freedom of her own parents, Holocaust survivors Kalman and Lily Haber. “This festival has already opened so many doors for us, and there’s actually a buzz in New York about our show!”

As the largest annual musical theatre festival in the U.S., NYMF is musical theatre’s answer to the independent film movement, and acceptance into the Festival is seen as an important stepping stone to success for any musical.

“If you’re in the theatre industry, you know how incredible this opportunity is,” says Moses Man composer, Casey Filiaci, whose musical about Cinderella, Plagued – A Love Story, was one of only ten NYMF Next Link Project selections in 2009. “It’s a NYC debut, and a chance to be seen by industry professionals, producers and investors that can fast-track a show to the next level.”

Filiaci is a two-time Emmy Award nominee for his HBO compositions, runs a local music production studio called The MusicMaker Company, and wrote a previous musical with Haber about making healthy choices called Sweet House.

Haber is also the executive artistic director of the recently repositioned non-profit DEEP Arts, originally Rochester Children’s Theatre, which she founded and led for 24 years. DEEP (Develop, Explore, Enrich, Perform) Arts is developing and producing Moses Man, which debuted at JCC’s CenterStage in March of 2013, with additional workshop performances at Indiana Repertory Theatre and Indiana University.

Haber and Filiaci have already engaged much of Moses Man’s NYMF creative team, which will also be involved in the show’s workshop production at Geva Theatre Center’s Fielding Nextstage on May 21 –24 (tickets on sale now at gevatheatre.org).

That team includes Director Michael Bush, who won the 2009 NYMF Award for Excellence in Direction, and has directed nine NYMF musicals. He is the former director of artistic production and associate artistic director for the Manhattan Theatre Club in NYC, with which he has been associated for more than 25 years, helping to guide over 200 new plays and musicals that include the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof and Doubt, and the Tony-winning Love! Valour! Compassion!  Bush has developed more than 100 new shows, including [title of show] and The Story of My Life, both of which were produced on Broadway.

Rochester’s own Don Kot, current Geva Theatre Center musical director, will serve as musical director for Moses Man at Geva and NYMF, and NYC choreographer Wendy Seyb (The Pee Wee Herman Show on Broadway, HBO) will also be part of both creative teams. 

Equity and non-Equity auditions will take place in New York City in April, but the cast – for the Geva workshop production especially – will include local actors as well.

“This is truly a Rochester project,” says Haber. “We are so thankful for all of the local support, and we hope that Rochester will continue to take this incredible journey with us.”

The New York Musical Theatre Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theatre.

Now in its twelfth year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award® and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work “creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form.”

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org.

Media please note: Moses Man high-resolution images, interviews and photo/footage opportunities are available on request.

###