Chilling New Musical by Nationally Renowned Cincinnati Native Receives World Premiere Reading at The Carengie

COVINGTON, KY- His award-winning musicals produced at some of the nation’s top theatres, Cincinnati native Richard Oberacker’s newest and most hair-raising show will see its first life in Covington with a hauntingly excellent cast.

The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center (The Carnegie) proudly presents the world premiere staged reading of THE SANDMAN: A LITTLE NIGHTMARE MUSICAL by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor. A frightening musical comedy based on the macabre writings of E.T.A. Hoffmann (“The Nutcracker”), THE SANDMAN will be read and sung with Oberacker at the piano ONE NIGHT ONLY on Sunday, October 7 at 7:30pm. Featuring an all-star cast headlined by Tony nominee Pamela Myers* with Bruce Cromer*, Charlie Clark* and Sara Mackie*, THE SANDMAN is directed by Ed Cohen, with musical direction by Jamey Strawn. Tickets are $25 ($15 for theatre professionals) and are available online at www.thecarnegie.com or by calling The Carnegie Box Office at (859) 957-1940 (open Tu – Fr, noon – 5 p.m.). A reception with the playwrights and artists immediately follows the performance.

*Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

A Most Terrifying Tale…
Drawn from the more nightmarish fantasy of E.T.A. Hoffmann, author of “The Nutcracker,” comes a new and darkly comic musical tale – THE SANDMAN. When the family of an ingenious German clockmaker engages a new nanny to care for the children, a series of bizarre and unnatural events begins to unfold. As the Strauss family is thrust ever deeper into chaos, the sinister forces at play are revealed – forces from which only the children may be able to save them.

…Told by a Terrifyingly Top-Notch Cast
THE SANDMAN features a cast comprised of the area’s most superlative actors, headlined by no less than Tony nominee and Broadway legend Pamela Myers*, whose credits include INTO THE WOODS and the original production of COMPANY, among numerous national engagements throughout her storied career. Myers plays the role of the Fraulein Kaeseschweiss, the peculiar nanny hired by Maria and Albert Strauss, portrayed by Sara Mackie* and Charlie Clark*. Mackie made her critically acclaimed Carnegie debut as Rhetta Cupp in PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES this past spring, and has been seen in many productions at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC). Clark’s award-winning work has been seen in Carnegie productions of DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNRELS, OLIVER! and CAROUSEL, and he was most recently seen in ETC’s encore presentation of NEXT TO NORMAL. THE SANDMAN’s dark and strange antagonist, Dr. Copelius, is played by Bruce Cromer*, known best to Cincinnatians as Ebeneezer Scrooge in Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s (Playhouse) annual staging of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and regarded by many as the area’s finest actor. Van Ackerman, noted local actor and longtime marketing director for the Cincinnati Arts Association, provides narration.

The trio of children assembled for THE SANDMAN are no less impressive nor integral to the storytelling of THE SANDMAN. Owen Gunderman returns to The Carnegie as the young Nathaniel, whose bravery and ingenuity keeps his family’s hope alive in the face of grave danger. Gunderman was last seen as Theo in The Carnegie’s co-production of PIPPIN, and will find sharing a stage with Cromer familiar after a multi-year run as Tiny Tim in Playhouse’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Alice Magoto, a young veteran performer of the Cincinnati Ballet and Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati Prep, makes her Carnegie debut as Nathaniel’s sister, Theresa. Allison Edwards retakes the boards at The Carnegie in the role of Copelius’ ward, Clara, after ensemble work in The Carnegie’s OLIVER! and performances with Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and the Showboat Majestic, among many others.

*Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Richard Oberacker, THE SANDMAN’s composer, co-lyricist, co-librettist.

Cincinnati Native Oberacker Chooses Hometown for Premiere
With national renown and awards garnered across the country for his work as a playwright, musician and theatre artist, SANDMAN co-writer Richard Oberacker nonetheless selected his native Greater Cincinnati to offer the first look at his newest piece.

“We are thrilled to get the opportunity to hear our new musical performed for the very first time by such a top-notch cast in a perfect theatrical setting, which is so rare for a developing work,” explains Oberacker of The Carnegie’s October 7 reading. “The fact that it’s in the Greater Cincinnati area and at The Carnegie which has proved itself to be one of the fastest growing and important arts intuitions in my hometown makes it even better.”

Currently the conductor for CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S “KA” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Richard’s original musicals include THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FISHMAN (Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C.), DRACULA: THE GAME OF LOVE (College-Conservatory of Music) and IN THAT VALLEY (National Alliance for Musical Theatre in New York City). With SANDMAN collaborator Robert Taylor, Oberacker’s work includes the highly awarded musical ACE (Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, Signature Theatre and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego), as well as THE PARENTING PROJECT (formerly DON’T MAKE ME PULL THIS SHOW OVER at ETC and Cincinnati Fringe Festival) and JOURNEY TO THE WEST.

A graduate of Anderson High School and CCM’s drama program, Oberacker’s conducting credits include the national tours of THE LION KING, SHOWBOAT and CATS, among many others. An accomplished violinist, Taylor’s Broadway and national tour credits include PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, LES MISERABLES and THE BOOK OF MORMON.

What is a Staged Reading?
Actors in THE SANDMAN will read and sing through the show as they would in a full performance, but will be situated at music stands as they reference their scripts. The performance will not include any blocking (staged movement) or scenic design, though it will feature live and recorded sound effects, projected original illustrations and a special narration developed by the playwrights to evoke the mood and setting. The performance will be accompanied by two keyboards, played by Oberacker and music director Jamey Strawn.

Creating a Nightmare
Longtime friend of Oberacker and widely respected local director Ed Cohen helms the staged reading of THE SANDMAN at The Carnegie, where he has also directed or co-directed productions of IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY and BIG RIVER. Cohen teams for the first time with production music director Jamey Strawn, much lauded theatre faculty member at NKU and music director of previous Carnegie co-productions of PIPPIN and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. trueTheatre director David Levy provides digital and live sound effects throughout the show.

Ticketing
Tickets to The Carnegie’s staged reading of THE SANDMAN are $25 ($15 for theatre professionals) and are available online at http://www.thecarnegie.com or by calling The Carnegie Box Office at (859) 957-1940 (open Tu – Fr, noon – 5 p.m.). A reception with the playwrights and artists immediately follows the performance.

THE SANDMAN will play ONE NIGHT ONLY on Sunday, October 7 at 7:30pm.

About The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center
THE CARNEGIE THEATRE SERIES produces professional, innovative stagings of an eclectic range of popular and rarely-performed works. Striving to unite the greater Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati theatre community through partnerships and collaborations, the series engages and nurtures both emerging and established talent, including working professionals, committed part-time theatre artists, university performing arts students and younger students. Carnegie Theatre Series productions bring together these forces to provide quality theatre for Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area.

THE CARNEGIE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS CENTER is a multidisciplinary arts venue serving the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati community. Over the course of the past ten years The Carnegie has “morphed” from a grassroots gallery with an education component into an all-inclusive arts organization offering professional theatre, art exhibitions showcasing the best of local and regional artists and a comprehensive arts education program.

The Carnegie is home to The Carnegie Galleries, comprised of more than 6,000 square feet of gallery space where emerging and established artists exhibit in multiple shows throughout the year; the Eva G. Farris Education Center, which provides arts education to thousands of children, many of whom are at or below the poverty level; and the newly renovated 465-seat Otto M. Budig Theatre, which offers an affordable theatre space for local, up-and-coming and established production companies and is home to The Carnegie’s Theatre and Concert Series. The Carnegie is the largest arts venue in Northern Kentucky.

The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center receives ongoing operating support from ArtsWave, Kenton County Fiscal Courts, the Kentucky Arts Council and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. / US Bank Foundation.

Complete Cast and Production Team List for THE SANDMAN

Cast

  • Fraulein Kaeseschweiss – Pamela Myers*
  • Maria – Sara Mackie*
  • Theresa – Alice Magoto
  • Nathaniel – Owen Gunderman
  • Albert – Charlie Clark*
  • Doctor Copelius – Bruce Cromer*
  • Clara – Allison Edwards
  • Narrator – Van Ackerman

Production Team

  • Director – Ed Cohen
  • Music Director – Jamey Strawn
  • Playwright / Pianist – Richard Oberacker
  • Sound Designer – Dave Levy
  • Stage Manager – Michael Hatton
  • Production Manager – Bleu Pellman
  • Producer – Joshua Steele

Bio of SANDMAN Creators Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor
Richard Oberacker (composer, co-lyricist, co-librettist) is currently the conductor for CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S “KA” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. His original musicals include THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FISHMAN at the Signature Theatre, DRACULA: THE GAME OF LOVE at CCM, IN THAT VALLEY for the NAMT Festival in NYC and A LITTLE THEATER for Aurelia Theatre (Cincinnati). With Robert Taylor (co-lyricist, co-librettist), their work includes ACE for the Cincinnati Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, the Old Globe Theatre and the Signature Theatre (garnering multiple Acclaim Awards, Kevin Kline Awards and Helen Hayes Awards) and THE PARENTING PROJECT (formerly DON’T MAKE ME PULL THIS SHOW OVER) for the Cincinnati Fringe and the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Their musical JOURNEY TO THE WEST premiered at the NYMF Festival in New York City. Richard’s other conducting credits include the national tours of THE LION KING, SHOW BOAT, CATS, Cirque du Soleil’s DRALION and ANDREW LLYOD WEBER’S MUSIC OF THE NIGHT. Robert’s Broadway and national tour credits as a violinist include THE LION KING, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, LES MISERABLES, THE LITTLE MERMAID, TRIUMPH OF LOVE, PATTI LUPONE: MATTERS OF THE HEART and THE BOOK OF MORMON.

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