5th Avenue Theatre Debuts New Work Program to Support Musical Theatre Development

by Jacob Coakley

 

5th Avenue Theatre Musical Supervisor Ian Eisendrath will head the program.
5th Avenue Theatre Musical Supervisor Ian Eisendrath will head the program.

Alright composers, lyricists and book writers, there’s a new forum to get your new musical produced: The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Wash., has just announced their New Work Program. The Program aims to provide “the opportunity for teams of up-and-coming and established composers, lyricists and book writers, to create Musical Theater, uninterrupted by the hassles and distractions of their daily lives.” Programs include writers’ residencies, retreats, table readings, workshops, to fully-staged productions. The Program is supported by the donations of long-time 5th Avenue donors Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff. Resident Music Supervisor Ian Eisendrath will head the New Works Program.

THE 5TH AVENUE THEATRE ANNOUNCES

NEW WORKS PROGRAM TO FOSTER, CULTIVATE,
AND DEVELOP NEW MUSICALS
Resident Music Supervisor Ian Eisendrath Named 
The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Alhadeff Family Director of New Works

(December 29, 2012 – SEATTLE, WA)  This year, The 5th Avenue Theatre is making one big New Year’s resolution.  The famed home for Broadway-bound musicals is launching a new initiative to support the creation and cultivation of new musicals from inception through production.  With the launch of its New Works Program, The 5th opens an exciting chapter in its ongoing commitment to the development of new musicals. In the past ten years, The 5th Avenue Theatre has established itself as one of the nation’s leading musical theatre houses.  The celebrated company has produced 14 new musicals, five of which have premiered moved on to Broadway, garnering 14 Tony Awards including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis).

“The establishment of this program at The 5th is an investment in the future of the American Musical Theater,” said 5th Avenue Producing Director Bill Berry.  “Few people realize how much time and support is absolutely necessary.  Many musicals are in development phases for years before they are ready to be performed in a workshop setting, let alone be performed on the main stage.  Our goal is to support and cultivate that development from the earliest phases of writing through to full-fledged productions.”

The New Works Program provides the opportunity for teams of up-and-coming and established composers, lyricists and book writers, to create Musical Theater, uninterrupted by the hassles and distractions of their daily lives.  The program will encompass a variety of activities, from writers’ residencies and retreats and table readings and workshops, to fully-staged productions.

Through the generous support of 5th Avenue Producing Partners Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, long-time Resident Music Supervisor Ian Eisendrath has been appointed to head The 5th Avenue Theatre’s New Works Program as The Alhadeff Family Director of New Works.  Eisendrath will lead The 5th Avenue in creating a robust, comprehensive and artistically rich program to support the creation of new works at all stages of development.

“We are so pleased to offer this position to Ian, who has been an integral part of the artistic success of The 5th Avenue in all its endeavors over the past seven years,” says Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong.  “We have done readings and workshops on an ad-hoc basis for a number of new musicals in the past, but with the New Works Program, we will be able to formalize how we develop new works and create long-range plans to support them.   We could not imagine a better person to head this program.”

About Ian Eisendrath
Ian Eisendrath began his tenure as Resident Music Supervisor at The 5th Avenue Theatre in 2004.  He has served as Musical Director and Conductor for many mainstage productions over the past eight years, including Sunday in the Park with George, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, On the Town, Miss Saigon, Company, Into the Woods, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and A Christmas Story.  Additionally, he has assembled and supervised the orchestra and music staff for all mainstage productions at The 5th Avenue during his residency.

“I have always been passionate about telling great stories through music, dance and drama,” says Eisendrath.  “I’m grateful to The 5th Avenue Theatre and the Alhadeff family for the opportunity to foster a stimulating, collaborative environment, where writers and members of a creative team can work together to create something new, with lasting significance.”

Eisendrath graduated from the University of Michigan in 2003, with a degree in conducting musical theatre and choral repertoire.  His passion for new work and the development process emerged during his final years of college, when he was Music Director for multiple projects at the Ann Arbor Festival of New Works.  This opportunity led to a relationship with the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, where he has served as a Music Director and Dramaturge on multiple new musicals over the past three years.

In addition to his work at the 5th Avenue and the Banff Centre, Eisendrath has conducted three seasons of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker and been the Music Director for Cabaret at American Theatre of San Jose, Ordway Center in St. Paul and Theatre Under the Stars in Houston.  He is currently the Music Director and Music Supervisor of the national tour of A Christmas Story, which was developed at The 5th Avenue Theatre and is now playing Chicago and multiple other cities this holiday season.

About the Alhadeffs

The generosity of the Alhadeff family has been an integral part of the continued success of The 5th Avenue Theatre since the 1978 when forty-three local companies and community leaders, including Morris and Joan Alhadeff, joined forces to save the glorious, historical building.  Philanthropists Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff have invested their passion and limitless energy into helping to make The 5th Avenue Theatre a nationally-renowned institution committed to delivering Broadway-quality musicals to Seattle.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Those interested in having musical projects considered for the New Works Program at The 5th Avenue Theatre should submit a script and a demo CD with three or more songs, as well as a resume with current contact information, to Ian Eisendrath.

Please send all materials to:

Ian Eisendrath, Director of New Works
The 5th Avenue Theatre
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 735
Seattle, WA 98101

For more information, please visit http://www.5thavenue.org/new-works-program