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Breaking News: Madeleine Featherby Cast As Sofia Duarte for NYMF Production

Young Australian Performer Maddie Featherby Lives the Dream at NYMF

Maddie FeatherbyRising, young Australian performer Madeleine Featherby has been cast to play the leading role of Sofia Duarte in the new Australian musical, The Mapmaker’s Opera.  The show will premiere at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in July of this year as one of only ten official selections chosen by a Grand Jury of Broadway professionals for full production.

Maddie, who has just turned 23, will be the only Australian performer in an Actors Equity cast of thirteen.  Maddie is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with American performers, most of whom are seasoned Broadway and Off-Broadway actors.

Maddie has just completed an engagement with Victorian Opera, performing in La Traviata.  She will travel to New York on 9 June to begin rehearsals for The Mapmaker’s Opera, which opens Off-Broadway, at The Pearl Theatre Performance Space, 555 West 42nd Street, on 9 July.

Stage Whispers LogoThe Mapmaker’s Opera is an original work written by Australians, Kevin Purcell (Music) and Victor Kazan (Book & Lyrics).  Selected from hundreds of submissions worldwide, the show is the first Australian large-scale musical, adapted from a best-selling novel, to appear in the decade old festival.  NYMF, presented in the heart of New York’s theatre district, is the largest, and most prestigious annual Musical Theatre festival in the world. It provides a unique opportunity for writers to have their shows seen by the leading Broadway and professional regional theatre producers.

The Mapmaker’s Opera, adapted from the novel by Béa Gonzalez, is set in 1909, on the eve of the Mexican Revolution.  The story’s young Spanish hero, Diego Clemente arrives on the Yucatán Peninsula to help create a guide to the region’s wild birds. He finds himself in a world that is as precarious as it is beautiful, and where opulent estates are built on the backs of slave labour. Diego meets and falls in love with Sofia, a young woman who longs to be as free as the birds that they both love so dearly. This is a story of star-crossed passion, a pair of mysterious birds and undying love.

“It is a thrill to be taking part in such a prestigious festival, and a privilege to be playing the leading role of Sofia in such an emotional and powerful show,” said Maddie who hails from Melbourne.  And she is delighted to be returning to the Big Apple, having performed at the famous Jazz venue, Birdland, in 2011 with John Bucchino, in his Revue, It’s Only Life.

NYMF is the flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Now celebrating its 11th year, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects, nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community, and connecting one of America’s greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.

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The NYMF Production Poster & Casting Announcement Coming Soon!

Hi Folks.  This is just a short post to let everyone know that we will be announcing our stellar cast for The Mapmaker’s Opera at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival in the next few days, so come back soon for the big news!

Just so you know: the cast is totally awesome!

Here’s the final version of our beautiful production poster.  You can check out the names of all the creative team at the bottom.  You’ll be getting to know them quite well over the next two months!

Take care,

Kevin and Victor




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The Perils of Casting Auditions

Casting_CallThis week I have been listening and looking at actors in New York.  The week started out with a day of non-Equity auditionees, followed by a day of Equity Principal Auditions (an ‘EPA’) and then several days of ‘closed’ or ‘invited’ auditions.  In all cases, actors look at the character descriptions provided as part of the casting notice and then, presumably, identify a stage role that they think best represents their individual strengths: age and physical appearance; vocal range and voice type, and possibly other specific character traits that may include height or even body art (rare).

Why do actors put themselves through this?  I wouldn’t (he says from the safety of the other side of the table).  The answer of course is that they love it – well perhaps not the rejection if things go awry, or when an actor doesn’t get cast in the role being auditioned for – but when you think about it, actors are in a room (usually airless, with a piano that has no virtue other than being used for firewood) with a captive audience to perform to.  Fabulous!

For all that, I still think they’re tremendously brave people, but it is the process we go through to find the right actor for a specific role and, frankly, how else could it be done?  Me?  I’d much rather be a composer/songwriter. Continue Reading →

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Fundraising Part II: How to Donate via NYMF 501(c)(3) For The Mapmaker’s Opera

Well, we’ve had a few days respite from fundraising efforts to get The Mapmaker’s Opera to the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in July – but now we’re starting the next phase of this task.

Yes, yes, I know this is boring, tedious, not-much-fun, uninteresting in the extreme, tiresome, infuriating and, well, as about as exciting as watching grass grow in the dark, but we do still need to raise $50,000 in sponsorship (or even possibly ‘Front Money’ – but more on that in a forthcoming post tentitavely entitled “Equity Investment Models For Broadway Musicals”). Continue Reading →

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Our Successful Kickstarter Campaign And News On The MMO Club

Party_ImageWell, we did it.  Our Kickstarter fundraising initiative is all done and dusted!

Time to rest now momentarily – as it has been a long 30 days working on this campaign.  But before we knock off to celebrate Easter, Victor and I raise a glass to everyone who worked so tirelessly on this fundraising effort, and give special thanks to all the incredibly generous people, from all around the world, who so kindly supported our efforts to raise over $38,000!

As promised, THE MMO CLUB access will go live as soon as we receive contact information from Kickstarter about each of our donors, so that we can set-up access for them to the private area on this website.  If you didn’t pledge on our Kickstarter campaign, you will still be able to gain access to the premium content in the MMO Club at the Bronze, Silver and Gold membership-level areas respectively from next month for a fee equivalent to the amounts that we specified in our Kickstarter campaign.  For those of you who pledged on Kickstarter, you will receive access this month.

But it doesn’t end there.  Straight after the holidays, I’ll be back to let our supporters in the USA know how they can donate to The Mapmaker’s Opera at the New York Musical Theatre Festival through the Festival’s own non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable fund – and receive a tax benefit too!  Why do I hear you ask?  Because, unfortunately, we still have more money to raise.


But for now, from everyone on the MMO Team, have a safe and Happy Easter – and enjoy those eggs!

Take care,


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