GUMBO the Musical: Developmental Reading

Composer Brett Macias and Book Writer/Lyricist Christina Quintana are developing GUMBO, a new full-length musical, and need your help!

This campaign is raising funds on behalf of Riverside Church In The City Of New York, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can't be specified for any particular purpose.


Composer Brett Macias and Book Writer/Lyricist Christina Quintana are developing GUMBO, a new full-length musical, and need your help!

GUMBO is a fabled version of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Spun through the Orpheus & Eurydice myth, here is a tale about the life that sings within a community, even in the face of devastation. We follow Dr. Howard Hart as he descends the floodwaters amidst the City's chaos to Boss's speakeasy, the Gumbo Pot, to rescue his wife and sever Boss's reign over the City. Musically, the piece explores the reaches of soul, jazz, funk and blue grass to achieve a sound that is authentically New Orleans.



We are currently fundraising for the first stage of development, which will be a closed reading of the full piece at the Theater of the Riverside Church in New York City this February 2013. The reading is crucial to the development of the work and will allow us time to experience the cohesion of text and music, improvise with performers and musicians and revise the piece as a whole. The reading will bring us one step closer toward workshop and production.

If you’ve ever worked on a musical, you know it takes a village. And we want to compensate our village! The majority of funds will go directly toward artist fees for our cast of fifteen, casting director, musical director, director and stage manager.

For your support, we offer perks ranging from a HUGE "thank you" via Facebook and Twitter, all the way to exclusive access to the developmental reading.  And the best thing is: you will also get every prize level below your contribution!

And that’s not all: following the reading we will host a thank you concert downtown for all of you, our marvelous supporters! The concert will feature top-notch performers, premiere several songs from GUMBO and be one hell of a party—you won’t want to miss it!

Every contribution, from $1 to $1000, counts. Spreading the word makes a difference too! Check out our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/GumboTheMusical) and our Twitter (https://twitter.com/gumbothemusical) and share the love. We are eager to share the magic of GUMBO with you and are so grateful for your support! Thank you!


*GUMBO is a sponsored project of the Theatre of Riverside Church, a non-profit organization. Contributions for the purposes of GUMBO must be made payable to the Theater of the Riverside Church and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.



Brett Macias (Music) wrote music, book, and lyrics for his first musical, Three For A Match in high school. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Webster University.. He has composed music for Webster University, Encores! (NYC), the St. Louis Repertory Theatre, and most recently for Cockeyed Optimist’s Production of One Thing I’d Like to Say. He also wrote the book and contributed music to the St. Louis Gay Men's Chorus' musical, Broadway Bound! As a graduate of the Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Program at NYU, Brett wrote the music for three additional musicals: Fishing The Moon (words by Caroline Murphy), The Lavatory (words by Frederick Sauter), and Beautiful Dreamer (words by Caroline Murphy) which recently had a concert of its music at CAP21. In 2008 he was commissioned to write a new musical, Beneath the Surface, for the University of Colorado-Boulder (words by Caroline Murphy). He, with Caroline Murphy, was featured in American Theater Magazine in 2009 as a writing team to watch. He is currently developing shows with Caroline Murphy, Christina Quintana, and a few other lyricists. Brett can also be heard as a background vocalist on the new NBC show SMASH. Recently he received an evening of his music at Lincoln Center which can be seen at www.reverbnation.com/brettmacias.

Christina Quintana (Words) is a New York-based playwright and New Orleanian-transplant pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts.  Her plays have been developed, produced and/or workshopped in New York City, Santa Fe and New Orleans, with companies including The Movement Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Southern Rep Theatre. Blank Canvas was a festival selection for tea in a big mug’s Sweet Tea Summer Reading Series 2012. The Gay Play was featured in Outworks 2012 at LSU Department of Theatre. The Recession Club was nominated for “Best Overall Production of a Staged Reading” in the Planet Connections 2011 Theatre Festivity. Her first play, (HEARSAY), was featured on KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio. SCISSORING, a new full-length play mentored by Tina Landau and directed by Greg Taubman, will receive its festival premiere at the Studio Theatre of the Pershing Square Signature Center in May of 2013. The Next Thing is a site-specific collaboration currently in development with the New-York based ExtantArts Company.Other plays include: Enter Your Sleep, Sacred Mistakes, Zeitgeist, Yours, and Commute. Her blog, The Perpetual Postcard Project, was freshly pressed and featured in the South African webzine, Itch. She is a proud graduate of the Performing Arts Department and Creative Writing Program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design (formerly the College of Santa Fe.) http://cquintana.com

Terry Berliner (Director) specializes in developing and directing new plays and musicals. In December 2012 she will be directing the new play, Honour, for La MaMa in New York City. Recently she directed The End of Days (NY Fringe Festival) and The Last Romance (Okoboji Summer Theatre). Also this season she directed and choreographed the Off Broadway musical Hereafter, as well as a tribute to Grammy Award-winning composer David Shire entitledIt Goes Like It Goes. Her Broadway credits include The Lion King, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, The Sound of Music, and The Red Shoes. Off Broadway: Time and Again, Captains Courageous, Violet, and Merrily We Roll Along. Other NYC: Next Thing You Know, Cloaked (2011 Kleban Prize and Jonathan Larson Award-winning new musical), The Maiden’s Prayer, By Proxy, One Thing I Like To Say Is…, Emma (NYMF), The Mercy Seat, Spine, andAllegro (City Center Encores!). Regional: La Jolla Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Arena Stage, among many others.   Ms. Berliner received the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for her production of Bingo and the prestigious Roe Green Artist Grant for direction and choreography of Beneath the Surface. As a freelance writer Ms. Berliner has written for American Theatre magazine, Theatre Bay Area andTheatre History Studies. She is an Artistic Director of LeAp Onstage, a member of Off Broadway’s Lucille Lortel voting committee, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Gillian Berkowitz (Music Director) has played piano/keyboard/organ/accordion/vocals in over 20 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Currently performing in Jersey Boys, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Scandalous, Wicked, and Mamma Mia. An in demand music director, Gillian has music directed countless new works throughout her career and has been on the creative team at the O’Neil Theatre Conference, NYMF, NAMT, Playwrights Horizons, Human Race Theatre, Goodspeed, and is a regular contributing music director at NYU’s Musical Theatre Composition program, TACT, and Lincoln Center's Songbook Series. She has been featured as both a soloist and collaborator playing jazz/classical/contemporary music in venues all over the city ranging from Birdland and Merkin Hall to City Winery, 54 Below and Bitter End.  Member of the Sheba Ensemble: www.shebaensemble.com.

The Theatre of Riverside Church (Producer) has long been an important secular project of The Riverside Church. Founded on the belief that arts can be a transforming power in people's lives, the Theatre has presented a diverse range of programming including original dance productions, film premieres, musicals, and plays. Since its founding in 1960, the Theatre has become well known for exposing audiences to arts from many cultures, and to support emerging artists of all disciplines.




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