March 20-27


‘Festival of the Emerging Musical’ at The University of the Arts to Challenge Convention
with Explosive, Concert-Style Performances Featuring Four New Musicals and One Classic

Marathon Day on Saturday, March 26

(11 a.m. – 11 p.m. at the Merriam Theater and Arts Bank)

Four new works in succession: Finn the Fearless, Material World, Annie Salem: An American Tale, Sometimes in Prague


The 2016 Polyphone festival produces staged concerts of new musicals and re-imagined canonical works offering professional composers, librettists and directors an opportunity to develop their work among the rich creative community of the Brind School at UArts.

“Polyphone convenes artists-in-training, master artists developing new musicals and the general public in a radical exploration of the question, ‘What is a musical?’” said Joanna Settle, director of the Brind School at UArts.

By lifting up musicals and artistic voices that are under-supported and under-developed by the musical theater establishment, Polyphone seeks to be a home for young musicals and young artists, pushing both further as a result of their encounter with each other. The Festival offers artists, theaters, producers and students in Philadelphia and beyond a glimpse into alternative futures of what the American musical might be. Each performance stands in sharp contrast to the others, making it thrilling either to attend all five performances, or just one. The five musicals are all stripped down to their essence as an off-book, semi-staged concert with a full band. The resulting performances are explosions of song and story which vibrate on the boundary between concert and musical. It’s all very rock ‘n roll.

The festival was co-founded in 2015 by former Brind School Director Joanna Settle and Cesar Alvarez, a New York-based composer, lyricist and performer who serves as Polyphone’s artistic director.

Unpacking ‘Diversity’ in Musical Theater
Friday March 25th at 6pm

In the spirit of Polyphone’s investigation of the contemporary American musical, Michael R. Jackson, New York-based playwright, lyricist and composer will deliver the Polyphone keynote address.

Creative Team:

Artistic Director – CÉSAR ALVAREZ
Assistant to Artistic Director – DINO PETACCIO ‘18
Associate Producer – MEGHAN WALSH
Assistant Producer – DAVID FERTIK ‘14
Assistant Producer – TERRY MITTELMAN ‘16
Production Assistant – MICHAEL KASPER ‘19

Lighting Designer – SOLOMON WEISBARD
Assistant Lighting Designer – RYAN STOFA ‘18
Sound Designer – LARRY FOWLER
Assistant Sound Designer – AMANDA HANNA ‘19

Lighting Designer – MASHA TSIMRING
Assistant Lighting Designer – ABBY SCHLACKMAN ‘19
Sound Supervisor / Engineer – MARK VALENZUELA


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