THE PUSHING DAISY PROJECT is pleased to present the world premiere reading of PUSHING DAISY, written by Lauren Epsenhart and directed by Luis Salgado, as part of the 2nd Annual Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. The reading will take place June 23rd at 2pm at the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond Street) in New York City.
After graduating from college, Daisy Miller moves back home with her parents, Larry and Shannon. Shortly after returning, Daisy is diagnosed with cancer. Once surgery and treatments begin, she and her family face the challenges that comes with cancer and treatment. Daisy explores her identity, questioning her faith in a higher power and what her place in the world will be.
Mother, father and daughter are tested in every way possible. For Daisy, this means learning to accept and believe in what she cannot see or control. For Larry and Shannon, this means coming to terms with the fact that Daisy may die. Along the way, all three learn what it means to love unconditionally, cherish life and push beyond pain.
The world premiere reading stars Elysia Segal (RENT) as Daisy Miller, Doreen Montalvo (IN THE HEIGHTS) as Shannon Miller, Ron Bopst (CLAYMONT, TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE) as Larry Miller, Etai BenShlomo (WICKED) and Natalia Arias (WEST SIDE STORY).
THE PUSHING DAISY PROJECT was founded in 2011 by Lauren Epsenhart and inspired by her play, PUSHING DAISY. An artist and cancer survivor. Lauren has partnered with Zachary Redler (co-director) and Andrew Heyman (co-director) to create an organization in which artists of diverse genres have a platform to showcase new and developed works while giving a voice to cancer awareness and cancer charity. In art there is hope and, in hope, there is life.
Epsenhart’s most recent projects include having written book and lyric for the new Latin musical, Children of Salt (Music by Jaime Lozano, direction by Luis Salgado), whose New York debut will be in 2012, and the play Pushing Daisy. Lauren is also writing book and lyric for the full length family musical Back to You (Music by Ji Young Chang), which will have it’s debut in Korea. Past credit include Observations of a Non-Kosher Pork Lover (Book and Lyrics) and Stars Through a Telescope (Music by Yui Kitamura). Past productions have been featured at the Lincoln Center, Julliard, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Connecticut’s Goodspeed Opera House, Triad Theatre and The Theatre for the New City’s Lower Eastside Festival. Other professional associations include her affiliation with MuSE: The Multicultural Sonic Evolution (a not-for-profit theatre organization), where she functions as Administrative Director and as a writer. She also serves on the Partnership/Promotion and Education/Empowerment Committees for the NYU Musical Theatre Writer’s Collective. She is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild, the Council for Exceptional Children, and Fractured Atlas. www.pushingdaisyproject.org
Luis Salgado is the Founder/Director of the non profit organization R.Evolución Latina, through which he has directed productions and events such as the recent “2011 Choreographers Festival ” at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, “Blue Seduction Industrial” for Antonio Banderas, a reading of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Yemayas Belly, “The Latino Heritage Celebration” for Nike and more. He has studied directing with Tony Award winning Director Jack Hofsiss and has currently been involved in the development of upcoming shows such as Children of Salt and Amigo Duende. Salgado’s choreography credits include: Latin Assistant Choreographer for the Tony Award winning Broadway show, In The Heights, Choreographer for Serenade (Hola Award for best Choreography), Shafrika the White Girl and I’ll Be Damned for Jaradoa Theater and Salsa Gorda for Nueva Escena Productions. In August Luis will be traveling to Peru to direct Candela, a fantasy that celebrates the Gypsy and Folkloric history of Peru.