Genre: Musical, Festival
Book by Francis J. Cullinan & Dianne Sposito; Music & Lyrics by Mark Houston

THE NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL (NYMF) and EMERGING ARTISTS THEATRE and THE NEW YORK NEW MUSICAL THEATER FESTIVAL is pleased to announce the world premiere production of HEAVEN IN YOUR POCKET, directed by Alan Souza. HEAVEN IN YOUR POCKET will play a limited engagement as part of the New York New Musical Theater Festival at the 45th Street Theatre (354 west 45th Street). Performances begin Tuesday, September 16 and continue to Sunday, September 28.

En route to musical stardom in Nashville, The Heavenly Belles – a female family singing trio from Heaven, Oklahoma – take an unexpected detour to Kansas City where an unusual inheritance wreaks havoc with their plans. A handsome cowboy, a kindly Miss-Fixit and a "can-do" decorator all chime in with the Belles as they face the music (and each other) in this lighthearted, tuneful romp!

The production stars Lisa Asher (New York Nightlife Award, a MAC Award, and a Back Stage Bistro Award) as Celeste, stars Chuck Saculla (Bdwy: Aida and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Sam, stars Claire Slemmer as Grace Helen Baker.

The production features scenic design by Tim McMath, costume design by David Withrow, and lighting design by G. Benjamin Swope. Aaron Blank is the sound designer, Jenny Lee Mitchell is the Producer's representative and Jennifer Marie Russo is the stage manager.

About the Company: Emerging Artists Theatre Company

Founded in 1993, the mission of EMERGING ARTISTS THEATRE is to provide a dynamic home for emerging writers and artists, to develop their work from an idea to a fully realized production.

In the past 16 years, EAT has premiered over 275 new works, garnered a Drama Desk Award nomination for Capathia Jenkins in (Mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story, received the American Theatre Wing Award for Consistent Excellence in Theatre, and was named Best Off Off Broadway Theater Company in NYC for Actors to Work With by Back Stage.

During its 2009- 2010 season, under the Artistic Direction of Paul Adams, EAT will showcase over two-dozen new works.

Cast: Rebecca Spencer
Open:   09/16/08
Close:   09/28/08

Tuesday, September 16, at 8 PM - opening
Wednesday, September 17 at 8 PM
Saturday, September 20 at 8 PM
Sunday September 21 at 1 PM
Tuesday, September 23 at 4:30 PM
Sunday, September 28 at 1 PM
Theater:   45th Street Theater
Address:   354 W 45th St
New York, NY 10036
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Cost:$20.00; Membership rates available at www.nymf.org
Buy Tickets Online or Call: New York at
Presented by: Emerging Artists Theatre Company         Official Web Site: www.eatheatre.org
(New York Nightlife Award Winner/BackStage Bistro Award Winner/MAC Award Winner)

Lisa Asher has appeared as an actress and featured vocalist in numerous theatrical and concert venues around the country.

Ms. Asher just returned from starring in a critically acclaimed production of "Woody Guthrie's American Song" at The Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Lisa appeared in the 2007 NYMF production of Austentatious. Lisa's performance was singled out in almost every review, including a very nice mention in The New York Times.

Other roles include that of Bess Earp in the new musical I Married Wyatt Earp at Bristol Riverside Theatre, appearing in the world premiere of Almost Heaven, John Denver's America for the Tony Award Winning Denver Center Theater Company. She can also be heard on the original cast recording of Almost Heaven. Lisa toured nationally with the Broadway show The Who's Tommy and appeared in the Off-Broadway hit Woody Guthrie's American Song which received a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Musical. Lisa was featured in a concert tribute to Woody Guthrie produced by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where she shared the stage with such rock and folk notables as Bruce Springsteen, Indigo Girls, Ani DeFranco, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie. Other theatrical credits include: the dual roles of Minnie and Joan in the East Coast premiere of the musical Bingo at The Adirondack Theatre Festival; the role of Topeka in Christmas At The Swingtime Canteen (which required that she musical direct, sing, act and conduct while providing piano accompaniment for the show) at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; and, one of her favorite roles, that of Doatsey Mae in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas in Chicago.

Ms. Asher is the recipient of a New York Nightlife Award, a MAC Award, and a Back Stage Bistro Award for her solo work in cabarets in New York. Her critically acclaimed debut CD, Let The Mystery Be, was nominated for a MAC Award for Recording of the Year. Lisa's newest CD, Lisa Asher Live at The Duplex, was just released and is a faithful recording of her highly successful show that enjoyed a lengthy run at the famed Greenwich Village nightclub, The Duplex.

Lisa made her national television debut in a solo vocal performance on the Emmy Award-winning The Rosie O'Donnell Show. A veteran studio musician, Ms. Asher can be heard on television themes, audio projects for numerous publishing companies as well as commercial and educational children's products, including products for Sesame Street and Berlitz.

Originally from Indiana to Chicago to Los Angeles finally winding up in New York City. I started as a dancer with the Jane Berland School of Dance in Whiting, Indiana. My first show was Brigadoon as Harry Beaton which led to almost over 100 shows to date. Including a stop on TV's "Dance Fever" in 1986 (we lost). Some highlights have been touring with Donny Osmond in "Joseph and the Amazing Dreamcoat" as Zebulun and Broadway companies of "AIDA" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". The focus of Dance is in the past as I try to transcend into the world of acting. Wish me luck!
Having recently moved to New York from the Midwest, this is Claire¹s first stage appearance in the city. Favorite regional credits include: After the Fall (directed by Rebecca Miller), Hamlet, March of the Falsettos, Lips Together Teeth Apart, the world premiere of Michael Weller's Help!, and numerous British pantomimes in which she played the principal boy. Claire has performed widely as a vocalist and guitarist, and can be heard on voiceovers and audiobooks, and seen in Shawshank Redemption and The Insider. Claire also teaches yoga and is a resident student at Ordinary Mind Zendo. Visit www.claireslemmer.com.
MARK SHOCK is very glad to be working with Emerging Artists Theatre and the NYMF. Originally from Michigan, he now lives in New York City. Regionally, Mark has been in such shows as "Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver", "Shear Madness", "TheTaming of the Shrew" and "Once Upon a Mattress". In NYC Mark has performed at the Apollo Theater in the civil-rights musical "If This Hat Could Talk", and most recently at The American Girl Place Theater in "Circle of Friends". For a closer look at Mark�s work check out www.markshock.com.
Pheonix Vaughn has been living and working in New York City for the last nine months, having just moved to New York by way of Los Angeles. She recently appeared in "A Piece Of My Heart" with The Red Fern Theatre Company where she also played her guitar for the role of MaryJo. In her home town of Sacramento, Pheonix has appeared in over a hundred regional and local musicals and plays.

Some of her favorite credits includes: "Blood Brothers," "My Fair Lady," and "Little Shop Of Horrors." Her Los Angeles credits includes: "Assasins," "Godspell," "The People vs. Friar Laurence;" and has originated roles in the musicals "Fools," "Shakespeare's Greatest Hits," and "Trombone." For more information about Pheonix please visit www.pheonixvaughn.com.

  (Co-Producer) Artistic Director and Founder of Emerging Artists Theatre, PAUL ADAMS (Co-Producer) has been at its helm for 15 years, producing over 30 full-length original plays and over 200 new one-act plays. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of League of Independent Theatre and a committee member of The New York Innovative Theatre Awards. Paul has directed Layout by Richard Ploetz, Real Danger by Jeff Hollman, My Sister the Cow by Greg Fletcher, Reunion by William Borden, Counter Girls by Jonathan Reuning and most recently Sisters' Dance by Sarah Hollister. Paul is extremely proud and happy to be producing Heaven in Your Pocket, Emerging Artists' first venture into musicals.
  (Musical Director) A native of Texas, TEX ARNOLD has pursued a career as a pianist, arranger, music director and composer. For over 25 years he was musical director for the legendary Margaret Whiting, arranging and conducting for her performances on radio, television, and records, and with major symphony orchestras. He has written orchestrations for the Lincoln Center American Songbook series and for Carnegie Hall tributes to the song-writing teams of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. As a pianist, he has accompanied Broadway stars Melissa Errico at the Cafe Carlyle in NYC, and Barbara Cook in concerts throughout the country, including performances at the LA Music Center and Carnegie Hall. An instructor for the annual Cabaret Symposium at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center for many years, he has continued in that capacity for its successor program, the Cabaret Conference at Yale University. Mr. Arnold is a member of ASCAP and Local 802, American Federation of Musicians.

  (Book) Co-Librettist/Director FRANCIS J. CULLINAN has directed over 125 productions for professional theatres and opera companies throughout the USA and Canada. His work has been seen at Eisenhower Theatre in D.C., Boston's Huntington Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre and The Perry Street Theatre in New York City. He is a regular guest director at Creede (Colorado) Repertory Theatre and The Opera Institute of Boston University's School of Fine Arts and his work will soon be seen at Opera Omaha, where he will direct Pirates of Penzance. He has served as Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he was the principal coordinator for the MFA professional directing program and supervisor of the studio theatre series. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Henderson County (NC).
  (deceased) (Music & Lyrics/Book) The late Composer & Lyricist MARK HOUSTON is best remembered for his long running satirical review, Six Women with Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know, a breakout hit at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and featured in the 2005 NY Musical Theatre Festival. Other works include Commedia Paradia, Tommyknockers, Reggie and the Riddle, Harbledown, incidental music for A Christmas Carol at Missouri Repertory Theatre, and a world-premiere opera, Hazel Kirke, commissioned by the Lake George Opera Festival. The delightful Changin' Lanes, produced regionally, is now finding new life as Heaven in Your Pocket.
  (Director) is a busy, freelance director who just directed the world premiere of the musical The Little Hours by David Bucknam, based on the short stories of Dorothy Parker, for the New Jersey Repertory Theatre. Other recent projects include The Full Monty for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, I Do! I Do! for the New Theatre in Kansas City, and two very different productions of Side by Side by Sondheim - one for the Walnut Street Theatre and one for Virginia Musical Theatre. Coming up: regional productions of Ears on a Beatle and Little Women. He and Becky Spencer were separated at birth. Find out more at www.alansouzaonline.com
  (Book) Dramatist DIANNE SPOSITO partnered with late composer Mark Houston on three musicals: Commedia Paradia with Pamela Berlin, the poignant Harbledown and Heaven in Your Pocket with Francis J. Cullinan. Solo work includes Almost Full Circle at the Guggenheim and When There's a Will, They're Away! both produced at Emerging Artists Theatre. Current projects are: Officials of the Stardust Mission, Time Squared, What'll the Neighbors Think? and the screenplays Boris, Me, Boris and Suddenly, Lasagna! Ms. Sposito teaches in the Speech, Communications & Theatre Arts Department at BMCC (CUNY) and is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America. She is thrilled, honored and grateful to be part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival!