Alexandria, Va., May 9, 2016 – The Washington, D.C.,-based Monumental Theatre Co. will perform the world premiere of local playwright Neal Learner’s musical “Life: A Comic Opera in Three Short Acts” in a staged reading this Sunday.
The performance is part of Monumental’s New Work Series and takes place at 7 p.m., Sunday, May 15th at The Catholic University of America's Music School. The university is located at 620 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, D.C., 20064, and The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music is located in Ward Hall on Harewood Road NE. The reading will take place in John Paul Hall.
“Life: A Comic Opera” is an intimate, 60-minute show that centers on the life of family of four, from the birth of twin children to the death of the parents. The story is often funny and absurd but also tender and sad as it explores life's major milestones. The show is entirely sung through and the music is a blend of classical, Broadway and pop/rock genres. The Monumental performance will be done with sheet music.
Based in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, Learner is a long-time DC journalist and communications professional. He also is a multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter, and teaches violin and piano at the Del Ray Performing Arts Center. In 2011, he released a self-produced CD of children’s music, “Would You Like to Be a Mermaid?” Learner studied violin at the University of Michigan and sang bass in the university’s famed male a cappella group, The Friars.
Life will be directed by Clare Shaffer, casting director and associate producer at Nu Sass Productions, and chief brand officer at Flying V. Shaffer is also a well-known freelance director. She recently completed an Artistic Apprenticeship at Olney Theatre Center, and before that served as the artistic director of a non-profit theatre company while studying directing at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Monumental Theatre Co. was founded in 2015 by Michael Windsor, Jimmy Mavrikes and Beth Amann. The company is committed to fostering new work and providing platforms for emerging writers and local artists, particularly those of the Millennial Generation. Founders say they, "hope to contribute positively to the reputation of our generation by developing works for Millennials by Millennials. Great art should be relatable across generations, and we want to help our peers contribute to that cannon."
Monumental's New Work Series
Life: A Comic Opera in Three Short Acts
By Neal Learner
Directed By Clare Shaffer
Music Direction By JongBin Kim
Joan: Alicia Osborn
Charles: Will Mark Stevenson
Max: Adrian Iglesias
Sally: Sophie Schulman
Catholic University of America's Music School, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C., 20064
Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, on campus, John Paul Hall
Monumental Theatre Co.: www.monumentaltheatre.org.
Neal Learner: firstname.lastname@example.org