A MAY SKY PICTURE
“My first experience of hearing Schuyler (Skye) Iona Press sing was one of those moments [being in the presence of greatness] and inspired me to share my appreciation for her remarkable talent.” – Rebekah Blu, Avalon Magazine Spring 2012
WHAT I’M FAILING TO LEARN
A mashup musical journey where truth holds hope
Music and Lyrics by 14-year-old SCHUYLER IONA PRESS
Starring SCHUYLER IONA PRESS
Choreography by JOEL HANNA
Music Arranged by JEB PATTON
Co-Directed by DARREN PRESS
Written and Co-Directed by C. FRASER PRESS
LIMITED OFF-BROADWAY ENGAGEMENT
MAY 15 – JUNE 15, 2013 AT THE 13th STREET REP
OPENING NIGHT IS WEDNESDAY, MAY 29 AT 7 P.M.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT 13THSTREETREP.ORG
A MAY SKY PICTURE is pleased to announce the workshop production of Schuyler Iona Press’ WHAT I’M FAILING TO LEARN, choreography by Joel Hanna, music arranged by Jeb Patton, co-directed by Darren Press, written and directed by C. Fraser Press. WHAT I’M FAILING TO LEARN will play a limited engagement at Off-Broadway’s 13th Street Rep (50 West 13th Street, NYC). Performances begin Wednesday, May 15 and continue through Saturday, June 15. Opening Night is Wednesday, May 29 (8 p.m.).
14-year-old singer songwriter Schuyler Iona Press, whose eclectic compositions include influences from modern folk, rock, and punk peppered with Latin grooves, is an outsider longing to be on the “inside”, simultaneously outraged by the implications—a kid entering adolescence and questioning her world. Accompanied by a live band, percussive modern Irish dancers and video, Schuyler brings us on a poetic imaginative quest into the depths of her emotions.
A mashup of theatrical drama/live concert/multimedia video, What I’m Failing To Learn takes us on a walking tour through the unpredictable streets of NYC and through the even more unpredictable mind of a young teenager.
What I’m Failing to Learn is a personal journey of a child colored by both positives and negatives of growing up unsheltered from certain truths of our human world. As Schuyler learns, truth holds both comedy and tragedy, but most importantly, truth holds hope.
The production stars Schuyler Iona Press (Film: Theresa is a Mother) as herself. The ensemble/band includes Carlos Mena on bass, Annette Homann on violin and as the voice of Carol, Sardinian woman and Diner Lady, Henry Koperski on the piano/flute/sax and as the voice of Harvey, Matthew Gumley (Bdwy: Elf, Addams Family, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast Film: Theresa is a Mother) on electric guitar and as the voice of the Tour Guide, Sam Wagner (The Brighton Beat) on the drums, Dominique Porter as the voice of Schuyler and Savior Lady, and Hannah Tobias as voice of Mother, Sardinian teenager and Phyllis.
The production features lighting design by Rob Belchere and sound design by MikeDeRosa. Liz Peak is the stage manager.
WHAT I’M FAILING TO LEARN plays the following schedule:
Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Saturdays at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $18-30 and are now available online at www.13thstreetrep.org or by calling 866-811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater ½ hour prior to performance.
Running Time: 90 minutes
SCHUYLER IONA PRESS (Music, Lyrics, Performer) is a 14-year old singer/songwriter guitarist and actress from NYC. She is the youngest artist ever to play the singer/songwriter sessions at the Bitter End in NYC and has played numerous music festivals in the northeast throughout the summer of 2012 including Boston GreenFest, Block Island Music Festival, Black Potatoe Music Festival and more.
A prolific songwriter from an early age, at 12 years old Schuyler opened for award winning recording artist Ellis Paul. Schuyler composed the score to the independent feature film “Theresa is a Mother,” including recording “Summer Child” the main theme song. Theresa is a Mother is currently playing in film festivals around the country and has won numerous Best Film awards. Schuyler recently recorded a guitar/vocal for the music video to her 9/11 tribute song “Playground Museum.” This video premiered at the 2012 International Film Festival Manhattan and won in the music video category at the 2012 My HERO Film Festival in LA. Schuyler was also nominated for a prestigious Ron Kovic Peace Prize.
As an actress, Schuyler was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Award from the 2012 Reel Independent Film Festival in Washington DC for her role in the film Theresa is a Mother.
A budding philanthropist, Schuyler is combining her talents and passions to create the I Am Today Project, an arts driven organization that works with children fighting serious illness helping them create personal and expressive projects in various artistic disciplines.
JOEL HANNA (Choreographer) is known for his athletic and boundary-breaking fusion of tap dance, musical percussion, Irish dance, and martial arts Joel Hanna has been called “one of the most exciting dancers to ever step on the World stage”.
Joel began his training at age 9 in Vancouver, B.C., achieving competitive success all over the world. Joel’s professional career took off after joining Riverdance: The Show in 1997, performing throughout Britain and North America. During this time he was selected to be the subject of a documentary, produced by CBC/Riverdance, called "The Badboy and the Hometown Girl", which is still broadcast today.
He has taught and choreographed award-winning pieces for schools and professional dance companies all over North and South America. His innovative style of teaching and performing has been sought-after all over the world, from Mexico City to as far North as Juneau, Alaska, and from Singapore to Warsaw, London and back! Joel also spent the summer of 2008 touring as Lead Tap Soloist in a UK tour of Magic of the Dance.
In 2007 Joel created Revolution: Sweat, Dance, Rock & Roll, which debuted in New York City at the world-famous Joyce Theater during its 25th anniversary season in Oct. 07'. Following the phenomenal success of its run, the production (partnered with Columbia Artists Management Inc. or "CAMI") performed a national tour sponsored by Gibson Guitars.
Recently, Joel performed for the delegates at the United Nations, opening the World Youth Assembly. He has performed as a soloist at the Jacob's Pillow Concert Series two years in a row, and has appeared with Grammy Award Nominee Dave Eggar at Lincoln Center in New York City. He will be seen choreographing in an upcoming Cirque du Soleil.
C. FRASER PRESS (writer, co-director) An Emmy nominated actress and writer (CBS Schoolbreak Special Stand Up 1995), C. Fraser Press began her professional career with the famed LaMama Theatre company in New York City where she performed in Andre Serban’s Fragments Of A Greek Trilogy both in NYC and on tour in the Middle East. She continued to act in theater in both Los Angeles and New York City. On stage nationally and on network and cable television, she has performed improvisation and stand-up comedy as well as three critically acclaimed one-woman shows. As a writer/director, her first film, the short, A Driving Lesson, was an official selection to over 30 film festivals worldwide and was nominated for and won numerous awards including the Lou Costello Comedy award at the Garden State Film Festival. A Driving Lesson also was also part of GlamourFilmFest.tv Glamour Magazine’s online film festival. Glamourfilmfest selects the best shorts by female directors chosen by Hollywood insiders. C. Fraser wrote, co-directed and starred in the award winning feature film Theresa is a Mother. Press received ‘Best Actress’, ‘Best Screenplay’ and
Best Director’ awards for her work on Theresa is a Mother. She is currently working on two new feature film scripts and a television pilot.
DARREN PRESS (co-director) Darren began writing, directing and producing in New York City’s off-off Broadway theater scene. Quickly moving to larger projects Off Broadway, Darren became the Managing Director of the Melting Pot Theatre Company, producing the highly acclaimed Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Woody Guthrie’s American Song and the Drama Desk Award winning Lee Blessing play Cobb, co-produced with Kevin Spacey. He produced the short film, A Driving Lesson, which was an official selection to over 30 film festivals and winner of numerous best short and comedy short categories including the Lou Costello Award at the Garden State Film Festival. Darren’s theatre directing credits include the critically acclaimed play Why We Don’t Bomb the Amish (St. Marks Studio Theatre, Gershwin Hotel); Checkpoint (Kraine Theatre, NYC); and Succulent (Pulse Ensemble Theatre, NYC). With his wife, C. Fraser Press, Darren co-directed and produced the feature film ‘Theresa is a Mother’ which is currently on the festival circuit and has already garnered many awards, including Best Picture and Best Director awards. Darren has also won awards for video and commercial direction for the United Way and the prestigious Dalton Pen Award for writing.
JEB PATTON (Music Arrangement) graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree with a major in music from Duke University, where he studied piano with Tibor Szasz, Douglas Buys, and Jane Hawkins. As a member of the Duke Jazz Ensemble under Paul Jeffrey, he performed with and/or arranged for more than 60 professional jazz artists, including 48 musicians from New York and more than 12 international jazz musicians from Italy, Monaco, and Portugal.
Studying under Sir Roland Hanna and Jimmy Heath, Jeb earned his Master of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in 1997 from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York, where he also received the Louis Armstrong Award for composition from the ASCAP Foundation. Since graduating, Jeb has toured throughout the United States and abroad with the Heath Brothers and with Jimmy Heath’s Generations Quintet, performing in theaters, festivals, concert halls, colleges, and clubs. Since moving to New York in 1996, Jeb has also played with Etta Jones, the Faddis/Hampton/Heath Sextet, Winard Harper’s group, and Antonio Hart’s Quintet, Paul West, Rufus Reid, Peter Washington, Lewis Nash, Steve Nelson, Ralph Peterson, John Ore, Jimmy Cobb, Lonnie Plaxico, Carl Allen, Kyoshi Kitigawa, Jackie Mclean, Frank Wess, James Moody, Terell Stafford, Sean Jones, Diego Urcola, Jeremy Pelt, Gerald Cannon, Willie Jones III, Steve Davis, Keter Betts, Eddie Locke, Marlene Verplank, among others.
Major national and international festival appearances with the Heath Brothers include Savannah Music Festival (2005), New Orleans Jazz and Heritage (2005), Tri C Festival (2005), Newport (Rhode Island, 2004), Mt. Hood (Oregon, 2004), Charlie Parker Festival (NYC 2004, 2002), Atlanta (Georgia, 2004), Baden-Baden Festival (Germany, 2003), 8th Salzburg Jazz Autumn Festival (Austria, 2003), 45th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival (California, 2002), 3rd Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival (California, 2001), North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland, 2000), Äarhus Jazz Festival (Denmark, 2000), the Pori Festival (Finland, 1999), Graz “Jazz-Sommer” (Switzerland, 1999), and Wiggin Jazz Festival (England, 1999),
Recent New York City metro area appearances with the Heath Brothers include “Birds of a Feather: A Charlie Parker Tribute,” at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, May 21, 2004, (also featuring the Roy Haynes Quintet), and the January 24, 2004, NEA Jazz Masters Award Concert.
Other notable New York City performances include the Opening Nights of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jimmy Heath’s 75th Birthday Celebration, October 19 and 20, 2001; and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Duo Series with Percy Heath in the Stanley Kaplan Penthouse, February 1 through 3, 2001.
Career highlights also include performing with Antonio Hart at the Kennedy Center in October 2003 at the National Visionary Leadership Project Gala and Awards Dinner. As protégés of Jimmy Heath, the duo performed a medley of all Jimmy Heath compositions in honor of Heath being named a Visionary in the Performing Arts.
Presently, when Jeb is not on the road with the Heath Brothers, he teaches musicianship and piano at Queensborough Communtiy College. Duties also include substituting for professors at Queensborough and Queens Colleges, giving lectures on jazz history, music appreciation, and coaching ensembles.
A MAY SKY PICTURE ENTERTAINMENT (AMSPE) is an entertainment production company founded by writers, producers and directors C. Fraser Press and Darren Press. AMSPE’s first project was the short film A Driving Lesson – featured in over 30 film festivals worldwide and nominated for and winner of numerous film festival awards. A Driving Lesson was also a Glamour Magazine web film series official selection, which screened short films from up and coming female directors.
AMSPE’s latest project is the upcoming feature film Theresa is a Mother starring Edie McClurg, Matthew Gumley, and C. Fraser Press. Currently on the festival circuit, Theresa Is A Mother has already garnered many awards including Best Feature Film and Best Director, Orlando Film Festival; Best Feature Film and Best Actress, The Reel Independent Film Festival Washington DC; Best Feature Film; International Film Festival Manhattan; Best Screenplay and Best Actor, NYC Independent Film Festival.
AMSPE’s first music video, Playground Museum by Schuyler Iona Press, was screened at various film festivals and was a winner at the MY HERO film festival.
AMSPE is focused on developing artist-driven material for the Film, TV, Web, Live Entertainment and Music industries.
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