In celebration of the centenary of Poland’s Independence, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute organised a competition for a treatment of a musical play based on the life of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Polish pianist and composer, politician and spokesman for Polish independence. Nine finalists will go on to the second round of the competition.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is pleased to announce the results of its recent competition for a treatment of a musical play based on the life of Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
On 7th June 2017, the jury consisting of three theatre professionals from the US and Poland met in New York to select the winners of the competition. The jury was comprised of: Mark Russell, Artistic Director, Under the Radar Festival in New York; Jim O’Quinn, Editor-in-Chief, American Theatre Magazine; and Joanna Klass, Head of Theatre and Dance Programmes, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Curator of the Paderewski musical project.
Due to the wealth of outstanding proposals received, after careful consideration, the jury declined to award first or second prizes and instead decided to name nine finalists who were awarded the third prize of $1000. As a result of the strength of the submissions, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute adjusted the process of determining the winner and each of the nine finalists was invited to continue on to the second round of the Paderewski Musical Competition – the Paderewski Cycle.
All nine finalists will receive $7000 each to develop their musical treatments into 15-minute live presentations featuring music and performance details from their respective projects. These showcases will take place in New York and Los Angeles in November 2017.
On 1st November 2017 at 9:30 PM, the New York edition of the Paderewski Cycle will be presented at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, featuring five finalists and their works:
- Rachel Jendrzejewski, Paderewski Paderewski Paderewski!
- Matthew Hardy, Virtuoso
- James Fluhr, Ellie Hayman and Zoe Sarnak, Blacksmith
- Emily Zemba and Lauren Dubowski, PADDYMANIA!
- Jeremy Kamps, 13th Point
On 3rd November at 8:30 PM, the Los Angeles edition of the Paderewski Cycle will commence at the Cammilleri Hall Brain and Creativity Institute, featuring four finalists:
- Katherine Noon, Mark Seldis, Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-a! Paderewski in America
- Mark Hein, These Hands
- Oliver Jai’Sen Mayer, Three Paderewskis
- Paula Cizmar, Golden
The Paderewski Cycle in both New York and Los Angeles will be observed and evaluated by a new jury of musical theatre professionals. The winner of the Paderewski Cycle will be announced on Saturday, 4th November 2017 at the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, California.
Meet the finalists:
Paula Cizmar is a playwright whose work combines poetry and politics and is concerned with the way stories get told in a culture. Paula has received commissions from Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Arena, Salt Lake Acting Company, Echo Theatre, and Portland Stage Company, among others. Among her many awards are an NEA grant and a TCG/Mellon On the Road grant. She is a member of the WGA and the Dramatists Guild and is an Associate Professor of Theatre at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts.
Lauren Dubowski is an artist, producer, and scholar drawn to creative projects that cross cultures to bring people together. Lauren served as an artistic associate and co-artistic director of the Yale Cabaret while an MFA student in Dramaturgy at Yale School of Drama, where she is currently a DFA candidate. Her dissertation project, which has been supported by the Fulbright Program and Yale's MacMillan Center, is on the Young Poland playwright Stanisław Wyspiański whose work she hopes to bring to a wider English-language audience.
Emily Zemba, with an MFA from Yale School of Drama, is a Brooklyn-based playwright, whose work has been developed with Exquisite Corpse Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival's Professional Training Company, The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, The Party Line, and others. Come Back Richard Simmons, her most recent collaboration with Kelly Kerwin and The Party Line, was presented as part of ANT Fest 2017 at Ars Nova in New York City. Emily has taught Playwriting at Wesleyan University.
James Fluhr is a New York based writer, actor, and production designer. His design work has been featured in Vogue, Broadway and Off-Broadway. James' solo performance, Our Lady, was hailed by Time Out New York, Backstage Magazine, MTV and The Boston Globe as 'Extraordinary' and 'Unstoppable'. He currently works as a senior event creative for Shiraz Events NYC, for clients such as Visa, Lancôme, Amazon, Andaz Hotels, and Moët Hennessy. James is a graduate of Boston University.
Zoe Sarnak’s is a Harvard-educated composer and songwriter. Her music was featured at NY Times Live, Lilly Awards, Women of Note, Cutting Edge Composers and more. Her works include Secret Soldiers, Afterwords, The Years Between, Galileo, Teddy & Max and Alma Mater. She’s won residencies and awards, including, NY Stage & Film’s Founders Award, Women’s Project Lab Artist, New York Theatre Workshop, Eugene O’Neill Artist Residency and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.
Ellie Heyman is a freelance director and the Director in Residence at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. Recent credits include: Jason Craig & Dave Malloy’s Beardo (Pipeline Theater), Erin Markey’s Boner Killer (Under the Radar/The Public Theatre), Becca Blackwell’s They, Themself and Schmerm (Under the Radar/The Public Theatre), Adrienne Truscott’s THIS (NYLA) and The Traveling Imaginary, a theatrical rock show with Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel) rated 'Top 5 shows of the year' by NPR.
Matthew Hardy is a Bookwriter & Lyricist whose musicals include The C Word (2017 Premiere, Hamilton Ground for Sculpture), Twinkle Tames a Dragon (Off Broadway 2016, National Tour 2017), Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas (Off Broadway 2014-16, National Tour 2015-16), Flambé Dreams (NYMF 2012 Excellence in Lyric Writing), Ever Happily After (NYMF 2013, Center Stage Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre), and Bonnets & Bling (West Chester University 2016).
Mark Hein: 'I have been making theatre for over 50 years, the last 20 of them in Los Angeles. As a playwright, director, actor, and critic, I am committed to giving voice to the unheard. I am thrilled to help bring Paderewski (a childhood hero) and his music back into America’s awareness, and to honour Poland’s brave heritage of carrying the nation in their hearts when it was forbidden anywhere else.'
Rachel Jendrzejewski, with an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University, is an experimental playwright who frequently collaborates with dancers, visual artists, musicians, fellow writers, and alleged non-artists to explore new performative vocabularies. She has received the Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowship and Core Writer Residency as well as project support from the Network of Ensemble Theatres, Minnesota State Arts Board and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Rachel is a 2017-18 Playwrights’ Center McKnight Fellow.
Jeremy J. Kamps, with an MFA from NYU, is a member of the Public Theatre’s Emerging Writers Group and Esperance Theater Company’s Playwright-in-Residence. His work has been produced/developed with Company Cypher at the National Black Theatre of Harlem, Ugly Rhino, Dixon Place, Hudson Valley Shakespeare, The Amoralists and New York Theatre Workshop. He has facilitated drama and writing workshops around the world and with all ages as a means of social justice and community building.
Oliver Mayer is an Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives and a professor at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He is the author of nearly 30 plays. Mayer wrote the libretto for David Conte’s opera America Tropical, as well as the sung text for We are Joy and America Belongs to Us, by composer Jenni Brandon. He also wrote the book for Blue House, with songs by Perla Batalla and David Batteau, about the life and love of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. He is a member of The Temblors.
Mark Seldis is Producing Director of The Ghost Road Company. Mark was the Managing Director of The Actors’ Gang from 1990 to 2000 and produced over twenty of their plays, including Hysteria, Mein Kampf, Euphoria, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella and Dreamplay. In 1999 Seldis co-founded The Edge of the World Theatre Festival and in 2000 co-created the L.A. History Project for Edgefest and helped curate the LAHP for the following eight years. He is Production Manager at The Music Center and teaches at LMU.
Katharine Noon is the Artistic Director of the Ghost Road Company. Her recent Director/Conceiver credits include Asterion at The Getty Villa and Atwater Village Theatre (2016). The Bargain and the Butterfly performed at South Coast Repertory Theatre in 2014, Komuna Warszawa in 2013 and Los Angeles’ Artworks in 2013. The company made numerous trips to Poland to collaborate with Studium Teatralne and most recently Teatr ZAR. Katharine is also Professor in the Theatre Department at LMU.
The Paderewski Cycle
- New York edition
1st November 2017, 9:30 PM
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre
425 La Fayette St., New York, New York
- Los Angeles edition
3rd November at 8:30 PM
Cammilleri Hall Brain and Creativity Institute
3620A McClintock Ave., University of Southern California Campus
The USC School of Dramatic Arts is a co-presenter of the Paderewski Cycle.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski is an alumnus of the University of Southern California.
Source: press materials, compiled by NR, 1 Aug 2018