Welcome to Amelas High
~victor omnium accipere~
About The Work
Farewell Chris Yee opens with the best and the brightest of California’s tech progeny reeling from spates of school suicides as a result of their frantic race to the top. At the start of the show the discovery that another student has gone missing leads to the search for the body, the search for reason, and the revelation of the true cause and ultimate downfall of the school’s up-and-coming students. The contemplation of what it means to be present and what it means to be missing bring the show to its conclusion, as we witness the unexpected winners and losers in the race to nowhere, and the pursuit of perfection.
Voiced by a young author/composer, this work speaks to a current culture of young adults who have become unfortunate test subjects in the pressure cooker of academic high-stakes achievement.
Created in a traditional musical format, the evening-length work is comprised of two acts with twenty songs. Written and composed by Sierra Blanco over the course of two years, the piano/vocal scores (created in Finale), are expressed primarily in solo voices, as the collaborative element is intentionally undermined thematically and vocally. Featuring a cast of fifteen, the production is helmed by Sierra’s long-time collaborator, Musical Director Matthew Russell. Simple scenic elements and projected backdrops complete the juxtaposition of reality and otherworldly influences in the set.
Playwright, Composer, Lyricist
Sierra Blanco is the winner of the Stephen Sondheim National Young Playwrights Competition, Writopia's Worldwide Plays Competition, NYC Write A Play! Competiton, and an Invited Guest Playwright to the National Theater Institute's Eugene O'Neill Young Playwrights Festival. Her poetry has been published in the NY Times and her play "Bang!" published in A Decade of Shared Stories. She was a recipient of the 2017 Michael Perelstein Discover Your Passion Scholarship for Playwrighting and Musical Theater Composition. Sierra was a Finalist for the 2019 Andrew Lloyd Webber Training Scholarship. She has had three Off-Broadway productions of her work, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, AEA, and MENSA. She attended a NYC Public School for Gifted Learners.
Beth F. Milles
Beth specializes in physical theatre and the development of new and devised work, as well as the tradition of farce and the contemporization of the Commedia dell'Arte. She is the founder of Banter Company, which focuses on the adaptation of classical theatre for the modern audience. She has developed new work at many theatres including Trinity Repertory, The Magic Theatre, The Cherry, The Sundance Theatre Institute, American Repertory Theatre, Young Playwrights, Inc., New York Stage and Film, The Mark Taper Forum, New York Shakespeare Festival, ASK Theater Projects and South Coast Repertory Theater. Directing credits include: SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS (3 LA Ovation Nominations) the world premiere of PRIVATE BATTLE (3 LA Weekly Nominations) world premiere of NERO: ANOTHER GOLDEN ROME ( Magic Theatre) Carson Kreitzer’s SELF DEFENSE (The Actor’s Gang: 3 LA Weekly Awards) Julia Sweeney's AND GOD SAID “HA” on Broadway (Lyceum Theatre) SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (Shakespeare Santa Cruz) A CERTAIN LABOR DAY written by/starring Carroll O' Connor(Union Square Theatre) Beth adapted and directed THE IMAGINARY INVALID (Actors’ Gang Theater/Rushmore Festival.4 LA Ovation Awards) She has guest lectured at Harvard University, Brown University, The University of Texas, Austin. She has served as the Head of the Directing MFA at Brown University, as Associate Director at Trinity Repertory Company, and the Director of Education at Long Wharf Theatre. Beth is a graduate of ART Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Current Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University.
As a music director Matthew J Russell loves bringing new musicals to life. In NYC he has music directed several readings of new musicals as well as festival performances (NYMF, Winter Rhythms).
Before moving to NYC he was an MD for Holland America Cruise Lines, where he performed with over 50 artists including Broadways Dale Kristien and singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester.
As a teacher he has been on the faculty of The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and Lake Michigan College.
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