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  • Tony Winner Jeff Marx Visits New York Film Academy

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    Jeff Marx

    Avenue Q’s Jeff Marx

    Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Jeff Marx visited the New York Film Academy at our New York City Theatre in late February, much to the delight of our Musical Theatre students.

    Marx is best known for Avenue Q, the innovative musical starring both human and puppet characters that instantly earned critical acclaim and won over audiences across the country. It went on to win three Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It is currently running Off-Broadway and has toured the country and been produced in both the West End and Las Vegas.

    Before writing Avenue Q, Marx passed the New York State Bar exam, planning to be a lawyer. He met partner Robert Lopez shortly after at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, writing a spec Muppet film as a pre-cursor to their collaboration on Avenue Q. Since winning his Tony, Marx has gone on to write for the musical episode of NBC’s Scrubs, as well as songs for Bear in the Big Blue House and The Book of Pooh. He also co-wrote the theme song for Logo TV’s Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World.

    Speaking with the students of NYFA’s Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre, Marx highlighted his indirect path to Broadway stardom, mentioning that he didn’t even start writing until he was 28 years old. “The greatest thing that I can wish for you,” Marx told the audience of aspiring Broadway stars, “is hunger.” He also shared anecdotes about the making of Avenue Q.

    Jeff Marx visits NYFA

    Highlights from the @newyorkfilmacademy Instagram story featuring Jeff Marx’s visit to NYFA #PCMT

    In addition to inspiring students with his story, he also brought a special and well-received guest — puppet and star of Avenue Q, Nicky. Avenue Q’s cast of puppet characters included both rod puppets and live-hands, the latter of which are often operated simultaneously by two puppeteers. Nicky is a live-hands puppet, and students were delighted to see him in action on stage with Marx.

    Nicky wasn’t all Marx brought with him on his visit to NYFA. In addition to Nicky, he brought along his Tony Award, Broadway’s highest honor. Musical Theatre students were thrilled when Marx allowed them to hold it and pass it around — an inspiring moment for those learning at NYFA and hoping to win one of their own in the not-too-distant future.

    By the time the students had to say goodbye to Marx and Nicky, they had learned and laughed, and were extremely grateful for the generous time, energy, and inspiring words Marx brought with him to the New York Film Academy.

    Interested in joining the magical and puppet-filled world of musical theatre? Check out the programs of New York Film Academy’s Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre.

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    March 2, 2018 • Guest Speakers, Musical Theatre • Views: 4074

  • NYFA Instructor James Lecesne to Premiere “The Mother of Invention”

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    mother of inventionAbingdon Theatre Company presents the world premiere of “The Mother of Invention,” a new play by New York Film Academy Documentary Story instructor James Lecesne, who is an Academy Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award-winner. Ranked by the NY Times as “among of the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation,” Lecesne has shared the screen with Robert Downey Jr., Ian McKellan, Claire Danes, Holly Hunter, the Sex in the City cast, Anne Bancroft, and many others. He has also shared the stage with Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, and many others.

    Performances are set to begin January 28, prior to an official press opening on February 9, at The Abingdon’s Theatre (312 West 36th Street). Artistic Director Tony Speciale, who also directed “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” is set to direct.

    When Dottie Nerber’s son and daughter arrive to pack up the contents of their mother’s Florida home, their conflicting memories of her collide. As the siblings unpack family secrets, they must separate fact from fiction and are forced to question the narratives of their own lives. James Lecesne’s new full-length play is an unflinching and comedic look at how one family deals with the effects of Alzheimer’s. It asks why we tell the stories we do about the people we love, and how we live with those stories after they’ve been debunked.

    Concetta Tomei, best known for her roles on TV’s “China Beach” and “Providence” and on stage in “The Elephant Man” (opposite David Bowie) and Sarah Ruhl’s “The Clean House,” leads the cast as Dottie Nerber.

    Joining Ms. Tomei are James Davis (Broadway revival of “The House of Blue Leaves,” Soho Rep’s “We Are Proud to Present…”), Dan Domingues (INTAR’s “Locusts Have No Kings,” The Civilian’s “The Great Immensity” at The Public), Angela Reed (Broadway’s “The Country Girl” and “The Rainmaker,” and national tours of “War Horse” and “Spring Awakenin”g), Isabella Russo (Broadway’s “School of Rock”), and Dale Soules (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “Hands on a Hard Body” and “Grey Gardens”).

    The creative team includes Jo Winiarski (Scenic Design), Daisy Long (Lighting Design), Paul Marlow (Costume Design), Christian Frederickson (Sound Design), and Jerry Marsini (Props Design). Deidre Works is Production Stage Manager.

    “The Mother of Invention” runs January 28-February 26: Tuesdays-Saturdays at 7:30PM; plus matinees Saturdays at 2:30PM and Sundays at 2:00PM (with the following exceptions, no matinees January 28-29) at Abingdon Theatre Company’s June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).

    For tickets, visit abingdontheatre.org or call 212-352-3101.

    Use code Mother35 for $35 discount tickets during previews* (Jan 28 – Feb 8).

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    January 26, 2017 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking, Faculty Highlights • Views: 4746

  • Meisner Instructor to Direct Hit Play ‘The Other Mozart’

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    The Other Mozart

    As stressed in our core values, the New York Film Academy prides itself on its instructors who often have their own professional endeavors simultaneously occurring on their own free time. Starting this Sunday and running until July 12th at the HERE Arts Center in New York City, NYFA Meisner Instructor, Isaac Byrne will be directing the international hit show, The Other Mozart. The show is the true and untold story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus – a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, who performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, but her work and her story faded away, lost to history.

    Critics have already given The Other Mozart raving reviews including New York Arts, which said, “One of the most remarkable theatrical presentations I saw in 2013…Brilliant and absorbing.” 

    Set in and on a sweeping 18-foot dress (designed by Magdalena Dabrowska from the National Theater of Poland), the play is based on facts, stories and lines pulled directly from the Mozart family’s humorous and heartbreaking letters. Along with music composed by her famous brother and Marianna Martines (a female composer who inspired Nannerl), original music was written for the play byNathan Davis and Phyllis Chen (of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the International Contemporary Ensemble) using clavichords, music boxes, teacups, and fans.

    For tickets and information, CLICK HERE

    If you’re a NYFA student interested in attending, use the code NANNERL for $25 dollar tickets to see the International hit show directed by NYFA instructor Isaac Byrne!

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    June 19, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 5288

  • NYFA Instructor Julie Oni’s New Play ‘Bunk’ Opens Wednesday

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    NYFA Instructor BunkNew York Film Academy Instructor of English and Comparative Literature, Julie Oni’s new play Bunk opens this Wednesday, January 8th, at Son of Semele Ensemble for the Company Creation Festival.

    Synopsis: A job interview tasks two would-be construction workers — one Nigerian, one African-American — with building a bunk bed. To succeed, they must confront the misconceptions they have about each other’s cultures and work together toward their common goal.

    Dates:
    • FESTIVAL WEEK 1: WED 1/8, THURS 1/9, FRI 1/10 
    • FESTIVAL WEEK 3: SAT 1/25, SUN 1/26 FESTIVAL
    • WEEK 5: WED 2/5, THURS 2/6, FRI 2/7 FESTIVAL
    • WEEK 7: SAT 2/22, SUN 2/23

    For more information, CLICK HERE.

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    January 6, 2014 • #WomenOfNYFA, Academic Programs, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3867