We will rock you!

-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.

Essential Playrwights are rocking the world of American theater!