I AM is a coming of age musical theatre piece with music by Lauren Stamm, book by Ben Gouldthorpe, and story by Stamm, Gouldthorpe, and Ted Watts Jr. The premier reading for this show will be held on June 30 and will be directed by Watts. The show will feature a seven-piece orchestra with arrangements and orchestrations by Jacinta Clusellas.
This full-length play with music explores the parallel stories of a gay high school senior and a lesbian guidance counselor struggling to coordinate their sexualities with the social norms of a late-90s conservative town in Eastern Pennsylvania. A love interest has Eli Whitaker conflicted as he prepares to accept a sports scholarship to a religious conservative college. Addison Baker is attempting to adopt her drug-addicted niece's infant daughter but facing adversity due to her relationship with a woman.
The cast includes DeMarius R. Copes (Mean Girls, Broadway), Emily Jewell (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, National Tour), Jenna Rubaii (Groundhog Day, Broadway), Tristan J. Shuler (Cruel Intentions, Off-Broadway), Fredi Bernstein (The Hard Problem, Quantum Theatre), Emily Lynne Miller (Savage, West End), Nick Martinez (In the Heights, The John W. Engeman Theatre), Leland Gantt (Malcolm X, film), Justin Michael Duval (Happy Days, National Tour), and Allie Dobyns (singer-songwriter, Dobyns).
Fredi Bernstein (Addison): I AM so humbled to be a part of this beautiful project. Recent credits include: Julia in Tom Stoppard's The Hard Problem, Jessica in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Patrina in Birthday Sax! at Joe's Pub directed by Wendy Seyb, Sonia in Pinter's Celebration, Mrs. Sands in Pinter's The Room, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera; Jekyll & Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music. www.FrediBernstein.com
DeMarius Copes (Elijah): Mean Girls (Broadway, National Theatre). Newsies (1st Nat’l Tour), The Prom (Alliance Theatre), Stilyagi (PowerHouse Theatre Season), A Chorus Line (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Les Mis, 42nd Street, Hairspray (Red Mountain Theatre). @DeMariusR_Copes
Allie Dobyns (Lia) is a New York City-based singer/songwriter and musician, both as a solo artist and as a member of her band, Dobyns. She was previously a member of We Are Stations, and has played shows at many New York venues, including The Highline Ballroom, Webster Hall, Brooklyn Bowl, and Rockwood Music Hall, and has played with artists including Brandi Carlile, Hey Marseilles, and William Beckett. She has most recently had the honor of working with Apartment Sessions, a Brooklyn-based multimedia artist collective centered around building a strong, diverse community through music and collaboration. Allie is so excited to make her acting debut and to help tell the amazing story that is I AM www.dobynstheband.com
Justin Michael Duval (Pastor Tom/Headmaster): Tours: Potsie in Happy Days the Musical (1st National), Jekyll and Hyde World Tour, Dream Girls World Tour. Regional: Chaplin (La Jolla Playhouse), Accomplice ( La Jolla Playhouse), How the Grinch Stole Christmas ( Old Globe), A Year With Frog and Toad, Lucky Duck and Brand New Kid (South Coast Rep.), Grand Night for Singing (Sacramento Musical Theatre), Duke of Weselton in Frozen (Disney Cruise Line). TV/Film Credits: Warner Bros. Valentines Day. BFA in musical theatre from California State University, Fullerton. Thanks to my wife Samantha, Danny at Hudson Artist Agency the Cast and creative team of I AM! WWW.JUSTINMICHAELDUVAL.COM
LeLand Gantt (Bill) was last seen on stage at La MaMa as Pontious Pilate in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Estelle Parsons. Since then he has kept busy touring the country with his autobiographical solo show, Rhapsody In Black, most recently performed in New York City at The Actors’ Studio, and at The United Palace uptown, as part of their Lobby Series. Regional credits include work at Long Wharf Theater, ACT San Francisco, Cincinnatti Playhouse in the Park, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Arena Stage, and Seattle Rep. Broadway and Off-Broadway: U/S Rock Dutton in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Another Man’s Poison; Let Me Live; Police Boys; Rhapsody In Black; Killa Dilla. Film and Television: Law & Order; Law & Order SVU; Presumed Innocent; Malcom X; Miracle at St. Anna; Requiem for a Dream.
Emily Jewell (Maryanne/Rose) is thrilled to be a part of this beautiful new musical's life! National Tours: Disney's Beauty & the Beast (Mrs. Potts) produced by NETworks Presentations, My Heart in a Suitcase (Mutti) with ArtsPower National Touring Theatre. NY Theatre: Fat Asses: the Musical (Margaux), The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Kitty). Select Regional: Avenue Q (Kate Monster), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rona), John & Jen (Jen), The Last 5 Years (Cathy), Or, (Aphra Behn), Boom (Barbara), Into The Woods, Assassins, & Hair. Emily is a co-founder of Elements Theatre Collective. Many thanks Lauren, Ted and this wonderful company and love to MERRLDACA! www.emilyjewell.com
Nick Martinez (Gay Adolescent/Narrator) is beyond proud to be a part of this company telling this story. Recent credits include Sonny in In The Heights (John Engeman Theatre), Romeo/ Crutchie US in Newsies, Baby Bear in Shrek, Benji in Academy (Tuacahn Center for the Arts), and Matt in Fugitive Songs (Theatre Lab). He'd like to thank Daniel Hoff, his friends, and most importantly his incredible family for their unwavering love and support. Follow @neeneemartin! HAPPY PRIDE <3
Emily Lynne Miller (Nurse/Narrator) is thrilled to be a part of this incredible work with such amazing humans! London, West End: Ilse Paulsen in Savage (Arts Theatre), Soloist in An Evening with Webborn & Finn (The Other Palace). London, Off-West End: Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me and Josefine/Monica in Romance Romance (Landor Theatre), Janet Tilghman in Vote For Me (London Theatre Workshop) and Claire in Ordinary Days (Hen & Chickens Theatre). Notable Regional roles: Fiona in Shrek, Daisy in Sideshow, Eve/Mama in Children of Eden, Gertrude in Seussical, Ellen in Miss Saigon and Val in A Chorus Line. Voice overs: St. Ives, Oreo, Dove, and Turbie Twist. Training: BFA Penn State University. Constant thanks to her Mom for being her biggest fan, and her husband for being awesome. emilylynnemiller.com
Jenna Rubaii (Tessa) was most recently seen in the Original Broadway Cast of Groundhog Day (Joelle, u/s Rita, Nancy). She has toured Internationally with Saturday Night Fever (Stephanie Mangano) and both Internationally and Nationally with American Idiot (The Extraordinary Girl). Other credits include: ILLA!: A Hip-Hop Musical (NYMF), Grease, RENT, Tommy Tune's 54 Forever & the world premier of Lucas Hnath'sOdile's Ordile (Odile). Jenna is also a singer/songwriter for the folk-rock band, Water & Rye(Debut EP release in July). Coming shows: Solo at Bonafide on July 5th & Band: The Manderley Bar at The McKittrick, July 19th.
Tristan J. Shuler (James) is a NYC based actor/director/writer, and is super happy to be working on this workshop reading of I AM. Thank you to Lauren & Ted for trusting my interpretation of this character and for welcoming me with open arms, despite my insane schedule. Off-Broadway: Cruel Intentions: the 90's Musical Experience (Male Understudy), Spamilton: An American Parody (Daveed Diggs & u/s Lin-Manuel Miranda), Urinetown, the Musical (Tiny Tom). National Tour: PBS Kids' Odd Squad LIVE(Johnny J & Male Swing). Regional: The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), Beauty and the Beast (The Beast). www.TristanJShuler.com @TristanJShuler
Lauren Stamm is the creator and songwriter of I AM, a play with music. Throughout her own life experiences, Lauren consistently turned to music as a means of self expression and a source of healing. Discovering that the songs she had written over the course of nearly a decade told an important story, she created I AM, which explores the parallel stories of two main characters struggling to find personal fulfillment and acceptance. Lauren currently resides in New York City, where she works as an on-set tutor to young actors and continues to bring her creation, I AM, to life. www.iamthemusical.com
Ted Watts Jr. is a director and educator, having directed over 50 productions regionally. Highlights include Sweeney Todd, Jesus Christ Superstar, Man of La Mancha, The Producers, Dutchman, Art,and A View from the Bridge. Ted holds a BA in musical theatre from Point Park University, and a MFA in directing from the Actors Studio Drama School. He has held directing positions at Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, Duquesne University, and the Bucks County Playhouse. Ted has been an instructor with Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, and New York Film Academy. He has also had the privilege of serving on artistic panels for Carnegie Mellon University and teaching at Harvard University for the New York Film Academy. Ted is currently serving as the Education and Outreach Director for Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, California.
Ben Gouldthorpe is a Los Angeles based writer and independent filmmaker whose work has garnered attention from the Academy Nicholl Fellowship and Sundance Screenwriters Lab. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where he received the Charles Purpura Award for Excellence in Screenwriting and was recognized as a finalist for the Goldberg Playwriting Prize. His recent projects include three independent features, a musical theater collaboration in pre-production for an off-Broadway premiere, and a successful short film initiative to build a playground for underprivileged kids in New Orleans.
Jacinta Clusellas is a guitarist, composer and arranger from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently based in NYC. Her debut album El Pájaro Azul was released at the Consulate of Argentina in NYC, and is being distributed in Japan under the record label Inpartmaint Inc. She is currently composing and arranging the music for a Spanish language folkloric musical based on Ruben Darío's works, Azul Otra Vez (Blue, Revisited) (BRIC, NYTW, The Drama League & The Habitat) and writing the arrangements and orchestrations for I AM, a new play with music. Jacinta has participated in projects as an arranger for Grammy award winning artist such as A.R. Rahman and Alejandro Sanz, she was the resident composer for NORA (Jerome Foundation, Lanesboro Arts, MN) and the Assistant Music Director for the The Boy Who Danced On Air (Abingdon Theatre Company). Jacinta holds a B.A. in Contemporary Writing and Production at Berklee College of Music; she is a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic and a participating member at the Carnegie Hall Music Educators Workshop. She was recently awarded with an artist residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts which she will be attending on September 2018. www.jacintaclusellasmusic.com