The Excitement Builds!!

We start rehearsals on Monday! So excited to see how the actors and the director shape the moments in the script. Thank God it is a beautiful day out today, so I could go for a bike ride and distract myself. I keep replaying all the funny parts of the script and the songs in my head, and giggling for no apparent reason. We’ll see what the audiences have to say about this. Hopefully it will be funny to more than just me. And we do have audiences – my block of tickets from NYMF is almost used up. I am also excited because the Princeton Alumni New York City (PANYC – best acronym ever) may come as a group on Sunday the 13th! That would be amazing!

We got some good exposure in with a very nice write up here. Wow! More excitement because this is new to me – other people (not just me) writing about my work!

I have been keeping financial track of what we’ve raised and what we’ve spent for the show (part of my responsibility as the producer), and I’ve raised a bunch of money thanks to the generosity of friends and family, but I still need to raise a bit more. As Andrew Frank put it “It’s like negotiating for a parachute on the way down.” I need to raise about $3,000 more and I will meet all my expenses.

So I am still raffling off a Bryce Harper (#Nationals) signed baseball. You can find out about the raffle, and buy tickets here. Three tickets for $10, and seven tickets for $20. The raffle ends on July 5th. There is still time. I need to connect with a bunch of baseball fans to make this work: that’s a lot of tickets I have to sell. Or, if you are not a baseball fan, you might consider making a donation to this “little show that
could” !

I do have a plan B, so any of my cast who is reading this post, don’t worry, you will be paid the agreed upon amount. I would sell a kidney on ebay if it came right down to it. Don’t worry, that is not plan B. That is plan C.

Hashtags – another fun and big deal

The New York Musical Theatre Festival wants me to use their hashtag #NYMF2014 when I tweet. So of course I do. And then at our production meeting on Wednesday, our Associate Producer Mary asked me if I had thought of one for our show. I had thought of several very bad, very long hashtags. I the good sense to not use them, and wait to discuss them with other, more experienced tweeters.

So Mary came up with one: #vivaManuel . It is the perfect hashtag; easy to remember, short, fun, doesn’t give the show away but has something to do with the show.  So now I can tweet my head off about this show, and do it in style, with a unique hashtag. So be on the look out for posts that have #NYMF2014 and #vivaManuel all over them!

Press Releases

There are certain milestones that give me mini heart attacks, and the press release is one of them. I want to be accurate, and make sure anyone who reads it knows exactly what they are getting into if they come see the show. I want them to know it is a political comedy, the music isn’t typical musical theatre fare, and the hero defies all kinds of stereotypes. But I also want to promote the hell out of this great opportunity of being in #NYMF2014, so of course I want to exaggerate, and put all kinds of stuff in the press release that will bring people in to see it (like how you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll leap out of your seats, it’s edgy, or educational, or both, etc.).

So I unloaded the whole angst filled responsibility into the very capable hands of Mary McGinley, my Associate Producer. She can be more objective because she has a little distance from the project. Plus, she has about 14 seasons experience of doing this sort of thing for the Carolinian Shakespeare Festival. Needless to say she did a great job. You can read it below, and if you want to print it be our guests!

MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY                         Press Release

For immediate release



Mary McGinley


PRINCETON, NJ: The Drama Desk Award-winning New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has chosen to include “Manuel versus The Statue of Liberty,” by Princeton playwright Noemi de la Puente, in its festival of events this coming July. The musical, which features music by Howard Post with book and lyrics by Noemi de la Puente, will be presented as a staged reading at The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., July 10 at 4pm and 8pm and July 13 at 3pm. Admission is free.

“’Manuel’ is a musical comedy about illegal immigration,” states Ms. de la Puente, “I was inspired by the true story of a brilliant Princeton undergrad who received a Rhodes Scholarship, then got into trouble because of his immigration status. The situation was so ridiculous: the bureaucracy and waste of talent. I felt if I didn’t laugh I would cry. So, I was compelled to turn it into a musical comedy.”

Composer Howard Post, whose musical composition is often featured on television and in films, was up to the challenge of working on this political satire. The music combines Latin rhythms, American pop, rock, and gospel in the score. Mr. Post is a teacher of classical guitar and jazz, who performs regularly throughout the tristate area as a musician with his jazz ensembles.

Ms. de la Puente is a Princeton graduate (MSE), with an MFA in Theatre Arts – University of Iowa (Patricia Roberts Harris Scholarship). She is a founding member of the Dramatic Question Theater and a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Director Jose Zayas will lead a cast of professional singers and actors for this staged reading. Mr. Zayas has directed over 80 productions in New York, regionally, and internationally. He is currently the Resident Director at Repertorio Espanol in New York.

Tickets are free and released to the public on an as-available basis beginning 48 hours prior to each performance. Platinum or Diamond NYMF Members and NYMF Patrons may book tickets online now. For more information about purchasing a membership, visit

To learn more about “Manuel versus The Statue of Liberty,” visit

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects; nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community; and connecting one of America’s greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.

Now in its eleventh year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in 48 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award® and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work “creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form.”

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2014 is presented in association with Fuzzrocket, TheaterMania, and Production Resource Group. NYMF is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating and tickets to individual events, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or

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