Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meet our newest member of the team...

Jeremiah Maestas
Jeremiah will be joining our workshop production to help us behind the scnes and we are so excited to have him on the team.

Jeremiah is a Colorado native who moved to California in 1994 to study at the University of San Diego. It was in San Diego that he found the Old Globe Theatre, one of the nation's top regional theatres, and it was there that his career in the theatre truly began.

Jeremiah began work at the Old Globe within the Development Department. There he assisted in the beginnings of a capital campaign, planned fundraising events, managed board meetings, and aided in the redefining and restructuring of the institution. During this transitionary period for the Old Globe Jeremiah began service in the Executive Offices, acting as Executive Assistant to the Managing Director, and coordinated many Board and Executive Committee functions. For the Education Department at the Globe, Jeremiah preformed as a "Play Guide", an interactive educator within the San Diego schools, helping to make Shakespeare more accessible to students of all ages. It was also during this time that he became associated with the Globe's Artistic Director, Jack O'Brien ("The Full Monty", "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "The Coast of Utopia", "Hairspray", etc.). For the past 7 years Maestas has served as Mr. O'Brien's personal assistant, bringing him East to New York and Connecticut to function in a variety of capacities both artistic and managerial.

Maestas is an actor of the stage and screen, a theatre technician, an educator and an aspiring director and producer. He has worked with theatre companies from coast to coast.

Welcome to the project Jeremiah... we know you are going to be an exciting creative addition to the team!

An Interview with Todd Loyd

Todd is the Co-Artistic Director of Sonnet Repertory Theatre and will be the director of this summer's workshop production. We thought you might like to get to know him a little.

Todd Loyd (Director) — Todd has worked on and off Broadway, including the Broadway production of La Boheme and The Color Purple, and with such festivals as NYMF and NAMT. He has toured the country as an actor and has worked as both actor and director at The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Company, among others. Portions of Todd’s directing work have aired nationally on PBS, and some of his notable directing credits include Burn This and Sight Unseen. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and serves as Co-Artistic Director of Sonnet Repertory Theatre.

What is your favorite part of working on a new piece?

The energy of the writers and actors. It's an exciting process and if you're lucky enough to find the "right" people, the opportunities for discovery and growth are endless. By "right" people, I mean those who are trying to tell a story in a new and fresh way while bringing an openness and willingness to the process. As this is a workshop production, the opportunity for taking more risks exist and that's very exciting to me.

I had the opportunity to work on The Color Purple and I'm constantly thinking about my time spent on that show while working on ONE. In many ways, The Color Purple experience has prepared me for this venture. It will be a fast-paced, creative and collaborative environment. We've got a creative team that I really believe in, we have all the necessary tools to make ONE a successful endeavor.

What do you think will be the most exciting part will be about working on ONE?

The story. Siddhartha's relationship to the world - spiritually, mentally, physically and socially and Hermann's relationship to his art and what he's willing to give up and/or compromise is a story that is translatable to everyone.

We live in a society where people are searching for something - I moved to New York in search for something. Along the journey, one can compromise a great deal in order to achieve. The question is, was it worth it - did you make the "right" choice? Were you following your intuition or motivated by desire? Intuition is never wrong, in my opinion, but we can often mistake intuition for desire. We don't attempt to answer these questions but we do present our take on one individual's journey.

How did you come to the piece?

I had been following the various incarnations of ONE, throughout the years, via the internet. When Wade moved to New York, I asked to read the script and hear some of the music. He sent me both, within hours, and I immediately wrote an e-mail to my partner in the company (Sonnet Repertory Theatre), Tiffany Little Canfield, and said I think we have to be a part of this - what are your thoughts?

It became clear to me that not only was this a worthwhile project, it fit our mission perfectly. I asked to get involved and in days was on a conference call with Wade, Kristin Steele (Book) and Samantha Swaim (Producer) and here we are, only a few months later.

After a long day of rehearsal where can we find you enjoying a post-work cocktail?

If I'm feeling cute and fancy, Bar Centrale on 46th Street - it's a treat.

What is your cocktail of choice?

Dirty Vodka Martini or a Vodka Gimlet

What theatre have you seen lately that you think everyone MUST see?

Rock of Ages because it's so much fun, August Osage County is the best play I've seen on Broadway and I'm looking forward to seeing Next to Normal.

Favorite place to dine in the city?

I love Mexican food. I like Esperanto and Barrio Chino is a new place that I recently discovered but you can't really go wrong with Mexican food in my opinion.

How can folks support this endeavor?

Support the not-for-profit arts by supporting ONE in NYC.
All donations are tax-deductible!
or you can mail a check to:

Sonnet Repertory Theatre, Inc.
PO Box 772
Attention: ONE
New York, NY 10108

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Casting Has Begun

The casting call has been put out and the headshots and resumes have been pouring in. The auditions are being set and the director anticipates seeing a total of 130 people to play the 9 parts in the show! The talent that has been submitting for the show is mind-blowing.

Here is the casting call that was put out:

Sonnet Repertory Theatre
Co-Artistic Directors: Todd Loyd and Tiffany Little Canfield

ONE is an original rock musical based both on the iconic novel Siddhartha and the uniquely personal story of its author, Herman Hesse. Employing eastern and western musical influences, ONE explores the timeless quest for human understanding, the lines that separate fact and fiction, and the singular responsibility an artist holds in service of their art.

SRT is only accepting submissions for ONE. Strong rock and pop voices with excellent harmony abilities are encouraged to submit. Experience with East Indian styles of music is a plus. We are looking for a rich multicultural cast. ONE will be presented under the AEA Showcase Code, approval pending.

Auditions for ONE will be held on June 27 and 28, by appointment only. Rehearsals begin on July 27 and will perform at 59E59 Theaters for one week beginning on Tuesday, August 24 through to Sunday, August 30.

Music & Lyrics: Wade McCollum
Book: Kristin Steele
Musical Director: Karl Mansfield
Director: Todd Loyd

For more information regarding the company, please visit us online at

Musical Director

Similar to the role of Director, the Musical Director is key to helping shape and develop the piece. The Musical Director is in charge of directing all things that are musical. This means helping to prepare the music for rehearsal, leading musical rehearsals, teaching and directing singers and musicians, and shaping and playing with each and every aspect of the music.

With any musical, the Musical Director is an important job. Often times they are the only part of the creative team on board through the entire production. Unlike the Director or Choreographer, the Musical Director will stay involved through an entire run. Often times they lead the orchestra, they run brush up rehearsals, or they prepare an understudy for a last-minute change.

We are very excited to be working with a fantastic Musical Director… Karl Mansfield.

Karl Mansfield (Music Director) — Karl’s Broadway credits as conductor and keyboardist include Xanadu, La Boheme, 13, Dracula, Coram Boy, and Sweet Charity. His Off-Broadway credits include Grey Gardens, Toxic Avenger, Shafrika the White Girl, and Altar Boyz. Regional conducting and keyboard credits include Zhivago and Thoroughly Modern Millie at La Jolla Playhouse, The Boswell Sisters and Rough Crossing at The Old Globe, A New Brain at Portland Center Stage, The Rivals at Denver Center, and The Mambo Kings at Golden Gate Theater in San Francisco. Karl’s original music and sound design have been heard in productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Yale Repertory Theater, The 52nd Street Project in New York, and The Haven Project in Portland. Karl is a recent participant in the BMI Music Theater Writers’ Workshop in New York.

The Graphic Design

After a complete re-write it seemed only right that we would need new graphic design to tell the story of the piece in its current incarnation. Something that represented the spirit of the work, something that was simple and elegant, yet told a story. So we called in the support of designer Chris Barela and his team at

After several creative meetings, several drafts, and revision we are very excited about our current design. Thank you to Chris and his team at


Are you a fan of ONE the musical on Facebook yet? It’s a quick and easy way to stay in touch… let us know what you’re thinking, receive event invites, track our development, and get the latest news. Help us to spread the word.

Become a fan: CLICK HERE

Now invite your friends and family to also become a fan. With your help we can really get the word out about ONE.

What is a workshop production?

A workshop is a playground for the creative team. This workshop will be an opportunity for Wade and Kristin to see and hear the script, finally getting it off the paper and into the hands of talented New York actors and theater creatives.

A workshop is the process taking a look at the big picture to see what’s missing or what can be left behind, and also the process fine-tuning what is already working. It will be an opportunity to ask questions, to follow and examine each character, to make changes and more changes, to edit, revise, and rewrite.

You take talented people, put them in a room with the material, and see what kind of magic happens. In this workshop we will spend 4 weeks with 9 actors, 3 musicians, 3 designers, a director, a musical director, an assistant director, and a stage manager all with the goal of playing with each moment to ask ourselves… does this work?

At the end of the four weeks we will stage what we’ve worked on for an audience. This will allow us the opportunity to invite new people into the piece, to get feedback, and to add an audience—a crucial element for any piece of theater.

What have we been doing?

As many already know, ONE has been produced in a variety of incarnations along the West Coast... with the last production taking place in Portland in 2005.

When that production closed, we knew it was time to add to the creative team in order for the piece to grow. While Wade focused his time on performing, we let the piece sit for some time... knowing that in order to take the next steps we needed to add a book writer.

In the meantime... Wade was off to LA. While in LA he had the opportunity to work with folks at Disney on a workshop production where he spent a lot of time watching the creative partnerships at work in the development of a new musical.Shortly thereafter he was cast in the touring company of the Broadway hit, "Jersey Boys." And it was off to New York for an intense 4-week rehearsal and then back to the West Coast for a San Francisco opening.

While in San Francisco, we began the search for a new book writer. Talking to many folks along the way, Wade kept returning to conversations with Kristin Steele. Kristin is a writer from Portland that had been involved in the 2005 production and had sat through some late-night script revisions.

After a Friday show of "Jersey Boys" Kristin and Wade sat with cocktails and discussed the possibility of working together on ONE. Kristin agreed to return to the source material and to think about the possibility of coming on as a book writer.

A few weeks later Kristin returned to San Francisco and the work began. For three intense days Wade and Kristin reviewed previous incarnations of scripts and music and agreed to start by returning to the novel "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse and to sit down with a blank page.

For two years they dove into research, with periods of intense writing and re-writing. In the meantime, Wade was performing in "Cabaret" in Portland and in Rochester and eventually moved to New York City. Wade took on new projects, performing in "Jeffrey" and "Spitfire Grill" while Kristin continued work on two novels and the research for a third as well as two new plays.

The two continued their collaboration with the help of technology. Drafts and revisions were emailed. Weekly and sometimes daily work sessions were held over Skype, music was sent from iPod to iPod as mp3 files, and a few trips to New York and to Portland allowed the two to work in person.

And now after two-and-a-half years of collaboration with Kristin on book and Wade on music and lyrics there is a draft. A script that is about to move into workshop. Stay tuned as we take the next big step...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Wade McCollumWade McCollum (Music & Lyrics) — Wade is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, and has worked nationally as a performer and composer with Utah Shakespeare Festival, Celebration Theatre, Portland Center Stage and more. He made a huge splash in Los Angeles with his award-winning performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and also performed with the Broadway touring production of Jersey Boys. McCollum’s first solo album, “Beauty is a Streetlight”, was produced in the legendary Kung Fu Bakery and has sold thousands of copies independently.

Kristin SteeleKristin Steele (Book) — Kristin is a Portland-based writer who teaches playwriting to at-risk youth, and leads creative writing workshops for adults in domestic violence shelters, public housing projects, and community spaces. She holds a B.A. in English from Portland State University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Goddard College. Steele’s stage work has been produced in Los Angeles, and her fiction and non-fiction works have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and literary anthologies.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We have lots of exciting things happening everyday and we want to keep you posted as we take our next steps in the evolution of ONE. Stay tuned...

Monday, June 15, 2009


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New York Contact: Katrina Kent / 917 406 4862
Portland Contact: Samantha Swaim / 503 449 3391

Sonnet Repertory Theatre Presents ONE, Opening August 25

NYC’s Sonnet Repertory Theatre (SRT) announces plans for an August workshop production of ONE, an original rock musical based both on the iconic novel Siddhartha and the uniquely personal story of its author, Herman Hesse. Originally produced by Portland’s Insight Out Theatre Collective in 2005 at the Wonder Ballroom, ONE employs eastern and western musical influences, exploring the timeless quest for human understanding, the lines that separate fact and fiction, and the singular responsibility an artist holds in service of their art.

The success of ONE has been driven by its Portland fans. SRT invites West Coast supporters to celebrate the project’s New York debut, helping to facilitate the creators in reshaping and refining their work, and bringing ONE to the next level. ONE will be staged for the public, along with potential producers and backers, at 59E59 Theatres, the week of August 25th. Tickets will be on sale soon. SRT is also implementing its Ten for ONE campaign, a grassroots program whereby contributors are encouraged to invite all of those around them to invest just $10 in the future success of ONE. Those who wish to support through participating in SRT’s Ten for ONE campaign, can send a tax-deductible $10 donation (check made out to Sonnet Repertory Theatre) to: SRT’s Ten for ONE, PO Box 772, New York, NY 10108. Donations are also accepted online at, on the Support Us page.

Music and lyrics for ONE are by WADE McCOLLUM, a composer and performer who has worked nationally with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Celebration Theatre, and Portland Center Stage, and is known for his award-winning performance in the L.A. production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. McCollum is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, and his first solo album, “Beauty is a Streetlight,” was produced independently in the legendary Kung Fu Bakery.

ONE’s book is by KRISTIN STEELE, a Portland-based writer who teaches playwriting to at-risk youth, and leads creative writing workshops for adults in domestic violence shelters, public housing projects, and community spaces. A graduate of Portland State University and Goddard College, Steele’s stage work has been produced in Los Angeles, and her fiction and non-fiction works have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and literary anthologies.

Music Director for ONE is KARL MANSFIELD, a recent participant in the BMI Music Theater Writers’ Workshop who’s Broadway work as a conductor and keyboardist includes Xanadu, La Boheme, 13, Dracula, Coram Boy, and Sweet Charity. Off-Broadway work includes Grey Gardens, Altar Boyz, and regionally at the La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Portland Center Stage, Denver Center, and Golden Gate Theater. Additionally, Mansfield’s original music and sound design have been heard at Oregon and California Shakespeare Festivals, Yale Rep, The 52nd Street Project, and The Haven Project.

TODD LOYD, SRT’s current Co-Artistic Director, will direct the production. Loyd has worked on and off Broadway, including the Broadway productions of La Boheme and The Color Purple, and at The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Company, NYMF and NAMT, among others.

SRT, a non-profit company dedicated to classic theatre for the modern planet, is now in its seventh consecutive season.

Casting is to be announced, and Broadway talent is slated. For more information, visit .

59E59 Theatres (59 East 59th Street, b/n Park and Madison in Manhattan)
Tuesday, August 25 at 7:30pm / Wednesday, August 26 – Saturday, August 29 at 8:30pm
Matinees on Saturday, August 29 at 2:30pm and Sunday, August 30 at 3:30pm
General Admission Tickets are $18
Reserve online at (click on Box Office) or call 212.279.4200 (Tickets on sale soon)

Sonnet Repertory Theatre, Inc. is dedicated to classic theatre for the modern planet. SRT promotes classic plays and adaptations, providing forums for collaboration between emerging artists and established professionals. With Classics in the Classroom, SRT aims not only to entertain, but also to educate young people by engaging them with timeless literature through expressive theatre.
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