Students in the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program (PMTP) are set to premiere award-winning lyricist and composer Ryan Scott Oliver’s new pop/rock musical Jasper in Deadland in just one week. (Hot tip: last summer’s PMTP production won the Pasadena Weekly’s “Best Of” category for Best Theatrical Production beating out all other productions, professional or otherwise. This group does not mess around. When it hits Broadway, you can say you saw it when…) Click here to see some sneak peak videos of rehearsals.
Jasper in Deadland tells the story of 16-year-old Jasper, who loses his best friend, Agnes, and travels into the afterlife to retrieve her. But this afterlife, “Deadland,” is a hybrid of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse and Judeo-Christian mythologies, divided into seven “circles.” While there Jasper encounters Cerberus; the demoness Ammut; Loki and his daughter Hel; a psychotic redneck named The Chuckster; and the ever mysterious Mr. Lethe. Will Jasper retrieve his best friend Agnes or will he join the Dead forever?
The cast of 7th – 12th grade students – many with mad talents – are all local kids from Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre. Founded in 1995, by local education favorite Gayle Bluemel, the PMTP is a nonprofit musical theatre training program committed to bringing the highest quality in music and theatre education to students who live or attend school in Pasadena, Altadena or Sierra Madre. PMTP has served nearly 2000 students since it began and many of its graduates have gone on to well-known college theatre programs, professional theatre companies, and Broadway. Says Artistic Director Ryan Scott Oliver,“the most important thing to me is that we provide programs for a socio-economically diverse group of performers. All the students have fun, are exposed to unrivaled theatre training, and learn skills that will help them in every aspect of their lives.”
Oliver, who is an alum of PMTP, is also writing the score for Disney Theatrical’s musical Freaky Friday, which is slated for development at the La Jolla Playhouse in Spring 2012. In addition to his work with PMTP and Freaky Friday, Oliver is a Jonathan Larson Grant recipient and Richard Rodgers Award Winner. A collection of his work, Rated RSO, played the Kennedy Center. He is an adjunct professor at Pace Univerisity, New York City.
Jasper in Deadland, a musical
Pasadena High School Auditorium
2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena
Friday, August 5 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m
Tickets can be ordered online at www.pasadenamusicaltheatre.org or purchased at the door for $15 for general admission, or $30 for Premium reserved tickets.