Asheville Creative Arts co-founders Abby Felder and Robbie Jaeger announce an opportunity for the public to meet the playwright/composer and select cast members of ACA’s upcoming production of MISS NELSON IS MISSING! at Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe on July 16.
The event is free and runs from 5;30 – 6 p.m., and will include refreshments, selections from songs from the production, a Q&A portion led by Joan Cushing, who wrote the book, music and lyrics for the production, and who, according to TYA Magazine, “is the most produced playwright in children’s theatre.”
“We are really excited to build this partnership with Malaprops, and to be part of a forum that celebrates writers creating work for multigenerational audiences,”Artistic Director Jaeger said. “Joan is a leader in the field, and it’s an honor to bring her to Asheville.”
Based on the classic books by Harry Allard, MISS NELSON IS MISSING! follows a suffering teacher, Miss Nelson, who is played by ACA resident artist Gina Jones. When she turns up missing her students, played by Kelli Cayman Cozlin, Jordan Ellis, Emma Gwynneth Gutt and Maximilian Koger, are in for a surprise when she is replaced by Viola Swamp, a scary substitute.
In desperation, the students set out to find their beloved Miss Nelson with the help (and hindrance) of an assortment of colorful characters, played by Strother Stingley, but will they ever get her back?
Full production of MISS NELSON IS MISSING! will run from July 16-26, 2015, at NC Stage. Tickets are $23 for adults and $12 for students, and are available at the NC Stage Box Office: ncstage.org.
Press Release from Cindy Norris from Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe:
Meet Playwright Joan Cushing and Select Cast of MISS NELSON IS MISSING!
Asheville, NC- Co-Founders Abby Felder and Robbie Jaeger announce an opportunity to meet the playwright/composer and select cast members of Asheville Creative Arts’ (ACA) upcoming production of MISS NELSON IS MISSING! with book, music, and lyrics by Joan Cushing, based upon the book MISS NELSON IS MISSING! And MISS NELSON IS BACK! By Harry Allard, to be directed and choreographed by Robbie Jaeger with music direction by Jonesalee’s Gina Jones and Brenda Lee Gambill.
Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe (55 Haywood Street) will host a special author event on Thursday, July 16 from 5:30-6:00pm that is free and open to the public, and will include selections from songs from the production, Q&A led by Joan Cushing, who according to TYA Magazine, “is the most produced playwright in children’s theatre,” and light refreshments.
The full production of MISS NELSON IS MISSING! will run from July 16-26, 2015, at NC Stage (15 Stage Lane), WNC’s professional theater venue as part of their Catalyst Series that provides marketing and technical support.
According to Artistic Director Robbie Jaeger, “We are really excited to build this partnership with Malaprops, and to be part of a forum that celebrates writers creating work for multigenerational audiences. Joan is a leader in the field, and it’s an honor to bring her to Asheville.” Continues Producing Director Abby Felder: “In coming seasons, ACA will focus on nurturing new works through an Incubator Series that helps develop plays, and we will seek out world premiere productions. This event, which will allow Joan to discuss aspects of her artistic process, is the perfect springboard for these new initiatives.”
Based on the classic books, MISS NELSON IS MISSING! follows a long suffering teacher, Miss Nelson, who is played by ACA resident artist Gina Jones. When she turns up missing the students of Room 207, played by Kelli Cayman Cozlin, Jordan Ellis, Emma Gwynneth Gutt, and Maximilian Koger, are in for a surprise when she is replaced by Viola Swamp, a scary substitute. In desperation, the students set out to find their beloved Miss Nelson with the help (and hindrance) of an assortment of colorful characters, played with zest by local favorite Strother Stingley… but will they ever get her back?
ACA’s work has been called “Dazzling!” by the Mountain Xpress and “Excellent!” by the Asheville Citizen Times, and MISS NELSON IS MISSING, which according to The New York Times is “a musical that will charm anyone who has ever sat in front of a schoolteacher’s desk – or, for that matter, behind it,” will continue the company’s signature style of creating theatre that is as enjoyable to parents as it is to their children, which was established with previous hits, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, and THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS!.
MISS NELSON’s creative team includes costumes by Caroline Bower, props by Chifferobe Home and Garden, sets by Gian Marco Lo Forte, sound by Jonesalee, and lights by Eric Winkenwerder and Barbara Berry. Production Manager is Anthony Napoletano.
Tickets, which are $23 (adults) and $12 (students), are available at the NC Stage Box Office: http://www.ncstage.org/productions/miss-nelson-is-missing/. Groups and camps contact email@example.com for a schedule and to purchase discounted $7 tickets during special weekday performances, which include Activity/Fun Guide developed by Lucy Hazlehurst. Questions call 914/830-3000 or 828-239-0263.
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Asheville’s critically acclaimed, award winning theatre devoted to creating works for children of all ages, Asheville Creative Arts was founded in 2013. Led by Abby Felder and Robbie Jaeger, with Resident Artists Gina Jones and Brenda Lee Gambill of Jonesalee, the company has the following mission: -To produce, present and create professional and innovative theatre for the very young to the young at heart, and embrace diverse cultures with a main stage season of productions of musical, literary adaptations, and puppet based work that push the boundaries of children’s theatre; -To train the next generation of artists; – And to ensure that all families in Western NC and beyond have access to theatre arts through outreach such as touring, and “in-reach” such as specially discounted performances for school and community groups. In honor of contributions to the cultural landscape, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer declared July 18, 2014 “Asheville Creative Arts Day;” and ACA’s production of CHARLOTTE’S WEB was the 2014 recipient of a Grassroots Partnership Award- a grant from the NC Arts Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, distributed by the Asheville Area Arts Council.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Joan Cushing , a former elementary school teacher and cabaret performer, is best known for her political satirical revue Mrs. Foggybottom & Friends! which ran for 10 hit years at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. More recently, Cushing has adapted 15 popular children’s books as musicals, receiving over 400 productions and 3 national tours: Miss Nelson Is Missing, Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, Junie B. Jones; Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood, and George & Martha: Tons of Fun; and 101 Dalmatians and Heidi (w playwright Martha King de Silva) all commissioned by Imagination Stage; Brave Irene, commissioned by Adventure Theatre, Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly, commissioned by Oregon Children’s Theatre; and The Christmas Doll, and Lizzie Bright. Adult musicals include Tussaud, Ramana’s Garden, and Flush; and Breast In Show (w playwright Lisa Hayes). Her next two musicals – Ella’s Big Chance: A Jazz Age Cinderella and Grace for President – will premier at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Cushing lives in the Nation’s Capital and has 3 sons. www.joancushing.com.