-by Peter Hardy
Vynnie Meli is a local playwright and member of Working Title Playwrights. In 2008, she won the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award for JIM CROW AND THE RHYTHM DARLINGS, about an all-female jazz band of (mostly) African-Americans touring the American south during World War Two. One of our patrons called it “the most powerful play I’ve ever seen.”
Since then, Vynnie has worked on a number of projects including the book and lyrics for a musical called PLAGUED: A LOVE STORY that, after workshops with Working Title, was chosen for development at the New York Musical Theater Festival. This summer, Vynnie is back at the NYMTF with a new project, ACAPELLA, and here’s what she has to say about the experience:
“I’m here at NYMF with ACAPELLA, a musical about finding your own voice. Greg Cooper commissioned me to write the book using the music of the Acappella Company. It’s a unique melding of a cappella, gospel and musical theater. No instruments. All underscoring, etc done with the vocal band including bass/percussion and a female beatboxer with outrageous energy. We have an amazing cast and crew with plenty of Broadway experience (VIOLET, MOTOWN, THE COLOR PURPLE and more). Our creative team also exemplifies diversity – director Lee Summers, music director/arranger and a cappella guru Even Feist, powerhouse choreographer Leslie Dockery, and rising star set designer Kyu Shin. The New York Musical Theater Festival is all about creating under fire – with too little (time and budget). This is my second time around [with the NYMTF]. I’m happy I got the chance to come back and put a new musical on its feet with all the NYMF resources and people behind me.”
You can find more info about Vynnie’s project by clicking on “Press” on Acappella at NYMF.org.
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