Monday, September 30, 2019

ASU Cast to Record Official Cast Album of the New Musical, THE ANXIETY PROJECT

Musical Theatre Writers RACHEL DEAN and DAVID BRUSH and Arizona State University Music Theatre and Opera are excited to announce the official cast album to be recorded and released for the new musical, The Anxiety Project. In a partnership that began with a staged concert reading with ASU students in 2018 and again as part of the Phoenix Theatre Company’s New Works Festival, the journey comes full circle with a cast of ASU students and musicians originating the roles for the official cast album of the piece to be available for purchase and streaming in 2020.

THE ANXIETY PROJECT official description: “Grad student Avery is in her final graduate semester and in just a few short weeks, she will earn her doctorate in psychology and open her own practice. That’s assuming she finishes her thesis – a study of the mechanics of mental illness and how science can change lives. Case after case, Avery becomes immersed in the lives of these patients – the day-to-day struggles with anxiety, depression, suicide and medication. When one of the cases hits very close to home, Avery realizes that numbers only tell part of the story of mental illness. Based on TRUE stories of REAL survivors and sufferers, The Anxiety Project is a deeply honest and hard-hitting look at mental health in America and the ways in which we are called to engage in an epidemic age.”
“Powerful. Painful. Beautiful. [The Anxiety Project] is an exploration of mental illness that we all need to experience” – Rebecca Rudnyk, Yab-Yum Music and Arts, Phoenix

“The book, music, lyrics and overall storytelling [Dean and Brush] create are superb and everything I think this artform can accomplish” – Kevin David Thomas (Broadway’s A Little Night Music and Les Miserables; Behind The Curtain podcast)

DAVID BRUSH (Book and Lyrics) As producer: Off-Broadway - Hot Mess In Manhattan; Regional - Pump Up The Volume, The Consequences, Spring Awakening, 20Something. As director: Regional premieres of Next Thing You Know, Rent, 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, The Last Five Years, Tick Tick Boom. As writer: Summer of My German Soldier (American Harmony Prize 2014, Chicago Stages Finalist, London Concert Premiere) and The Big Picture (Music by Jim Farley), The Anxiety
Project, Amelia, and The Freaking Out of Emily Preston (Music by Rachel Dean). David
graduated from Regent University with an MA in Theatre as well as having assisted in
the development of over 15 new musicals including the development residency of Hot
Mess in Manhattan and work with many contemporary musical theatre writers. Most
recently, David served as director/musical director/conductor for award-winning regional
productions of Joseph…, Once On This Island, Children Of Eden, Aida, Big Fish, The
Drowsy Chaperone, Reasons To Be Pretty, Freaky Friday and over 30 others. David is
a member of The Dramatists Guild, theatre critic for the League of Cincinnati Theatres
(LCT), and faculty member in musical theatre at several universities.

RACHEL DEAN is a New York City-based composer, pianist, and music director. She is
a pianist for Hamilton and Moulin Rouge on Broadway, and has collaborated alongside
the likes of Luis Salgado, Brandon Uranowitz, Alysha Umphress, and Jennifer
Jancuska. An ASCAP award recipient, Rachel’s work has been performed in New York,
Tokyo, Miami, Ohio, Arizona, and New Jersey. Other musicals in development include
Amelia (with Brush), Medusa (with Wes Braver), and The Ballad of Janis Matthews and
the Dodo Scouts (with Giancarlo Rodaz). Rachel is a member of ASCAP and AFM
Local 802.

HISTORY: The Anxiety Project was created through a blog series on Ryan Scott
Oliver’s Crazytown: An Artist’s Asylum in which sufferers of anxiety/depression were
asked to anonymously submit their stories for Rachel Dean and David Brush to develop
into songs/scenes. Of the large amount of material presented, these real stories were
crafted down to a roughly 90-minute thematic concept musical. The songs were first
presented through Growing Pains – a developmental concert through Area Stage
Company in Miami, Florida (May 2015). After the concert, a full book was developed for
the show and was presented in a 10-day lab and staged reading with Queen City Queer
Theatre Collective in Cincinnati, Ohio under the direction of Lindsey Mercer (June
2016). Ms. Mercer directed a second staged reading with QCQTC with new changes in
October 2016. In February 2017, New York Film Academy in Manhattan presented a
more developed staged presentation under the direction of Robert Schneider (Memphis,
regional premiere) with musical direction by Kevin David Thomas (A Little Night Music,
Les Miserables, Broadway). In 2018, the show received further development with
Gotta2 Productions in Tokyo, Japan, Rubber City Theatre (Akron, Ohio) and as an
official selection of the Phoenix Theatre Festival of New American Theatre.

PERSONNEL: Directed by Kate Leonard; Orchestrations by Benedict Braxton-Smith.
The Anxiety Project features performances by Kade Bailey, Hahnna Christianson,
Griffin Leblanc Sara Louise, Gretta Perlmutter, Nellie Shuford, Gigi Sierra and
Cade Trotter; to be recorded at Tempest Recording Studios, engineered by Clarke
Rigsby. Produced by ASU Music Theatre and Opera - Brian DeMaris, Artistic

Book and lyrics by David Brush
Music by Rachel Dean

For more information:

The Music Theatre and Opera program in the School of Music at Arizona State
University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is committed to preparing
outstanding music theatre and opera artists for professional careers in the 21st century.
Through expert individual and classroom instruction, the production of operas and
musicals, student-led workshops, new work development, research opportunities,
dynamic community engagement, and multiple professional collaborations, we foster a
creative, student-centered environment that enables students to discover who they are
as individuals and artists, at their own pace, in their own unique way, at the highest

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