New Paradigm Theatre and Norwalk Symphony Orchestra Present South Pacific: In Concert

New Paradigm Theatre, a company well-known for its inventive productions that are presented with multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-gendered casting, and the Norwalk Symphony, an 80-year-old non-profit with a well-regarded professional orchestra, are excited to send you choices in what we hope will be your coverage of our exciting production of South Pacific: In Concert.

The Norwalk Symphony and the New Paradigm Theatre are partnering for this one-night-only production at 7:30pm on Saturday, February 8, 2020 (Snow date: Saturday, February 9, 2020 at 4:00pm), to present of one of the greatest musicals in the American repertoire. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s music and lyrics will be showcased by the symphony as well as performers from CT and NYC.

Set in World War II, the story portrays Americans stationed on a remote island, the native peoples and their culture, and an enigmatic French expatriate with a foot in both worlds. The unforgettable characters and songs range from high comedy and young love to racial prejudice, tragedy, and reconciliation.

In addition to presenting this beautiful music, the two organizations are committed to a “collective impact” production, bridging the gap between the arts and the local community by choosing NICE (Norwalk International Cultural Exchange), a local non-profit that echoes the theme of the show.

Artistic Director and Broadway veteran, Kristin Huffman (Milford, CT), says, “New Paradigm Theatre is a theatre with a social conscience and we are thrilled to be co-producing again this year with a like-minded arts nonprofit, The Norwalk Symphony.”

“Our collaboration in 2019 on West Side Story set the stage for us to work with New Paradigm Theatre again this season. Their expertise, connections in the performing arts community and mission has enabled the Norwalk Symphony to expand our outreach and commitment to connecting with community partners in all aspects of our work” says Sandra Miklave, Executive Director of the Symphony.

Below are our exciting choices in what we hope will be your coverage of our concert version of South Pacific: In Concert.

Women behind South Pacific: In Concert:

New Paradigm Theatre Company and the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra have put an emphasis on highlighting the strengths and talents of the women both on and off stage. With a driven female- dominated production team using their strengths to tell a powerful story. The women behind South Pacific: In Concert include: Sandra Miklave: Executive Director, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra; New Paradigm Theatre Artistic Director: Kristin Huffman; Director: Claire Kelly (also Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Sound), leading ladies: Emily Kristen Morris (Nellie) and Cidalia Kettles (Bloody Mary). This powerful group of women is leading the way to an exciting show! #OneMoreConversation.

An All-star lineup of NY and CT stars:

Norwalk Symphony and New Paradigm Theatre have spread the “casting” net far and wide for the best talent to present onstage in the leading roles for South Pacific: In Concert. Singers and agents submitted for the Connecticut and NY casting calls of our production. Our final choices for the some of the leading roles are Broadway pros: Benjamin Howes as “Luther Billis” and Patrick Connaghan as “Lt. Cable”. Opera and musical theatre performer Luke Scott will wow you with his beautiful voice as Emile on such favorites as “Some Enchanted Evening” and “This Nearly Was Mine”. Many local CT and NY pros and young people are included in the cast.

The NICE Festival partnered with Symphony and NPT:

Each summer The New Paradigm Theatre Company partners with another non-profit organization that reflects the theme of the summer production to raise money and awareness for issues and organizations surrounding the community. For South Pacific: In Concert, NPT and the Norwalk Symphony are proud to partner with NICE (Norwalk International Cultural Exchange). Janet Evelyn, Executive Director, states that “NICE is committed to bringing awareness to the multiplicity of our global cultural heritage. The performing arts have not only been a conduit through which people of different race and culture can share natural commonalities but one of the most efficacious in addressing social injustice worldwide. The song “Carefully Taught” from the musical South Pacific reminds us how important it is to expose our children at a young age to the different cultures to encourage understanding of our unique backgrounds.” As partnerships between the non-profit and for-profit world continue to form in order to tackle social challenges from all sides, this type of collective impact production has become increasingly relevant and a vital component of a community.

Jonathan Yates- Super Maestro

Jonathan Yates has been a driving force in reinvigorating the relationship between the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and the Norwalk community. The seventh Music Director of the Symphony since its inception in 1939, he made his professional orchestral conducting debut at age 23 leading the National Symphony Orchestra in a Millennium Stages Concert. The following year he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a pianist in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshop. Yates received his graduate degree in conducting from the Juilliard School. He received his Master’s in Music from SUNY Stony Brook, and his undergraduate BA from Harvard where he studied with Robert Levin. Jonathan also serves as the Music Director for the Norwalk Youth Symphony and has led this group on successful tours to Spain, Germany, Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood.

Multiple Nonprofit and community collaborations -NSO, NPT, Shakespeare on the Sound, NICE, and The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

New Paradigm Theatre Company and Norwalk Symphony Orchestra are incredibly proud to have so many partners and sponsors helping and supporting their endeavors. This year, we are collaborating with several organizations such as Shakespeare on the Sound, NICE, and The Maritime Aquarium! Details will be released soon on the IMAX movie “Journey to the South Pacific” to be shown at the Aquarium and potential restaurant partners to make February 8th a “Family Day” culminating at the Concert Hall. These collaborations are integral to making South Pacific: In Concert extraordinary, and NPT and the Norwalk Symphony are immensely grateful to these organizations for being part of the journey.

Youth Participation

Both New Paradigm Theatre and the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra are committed to educating young performers and leaders while presenting works of art. South Pacific: In Concert not only features young performers onstage who get to work elbow-to-elbow with Broadway and Symphony pros, but also college interns who are a part of the production elements. Students from surrounding high schools and colleges are a part of this ambitious production. Our partners will join youth performers from New Paradigm Theatre during the Prologue Bazaar pre-show beginning at 6:30pm. Many youth board teens from New Paradigm Theatre will assist in marketing and performance as well. We think the best way to train young leaders is to have them become a part of all that we present from the beginning stages to the final production. The curtain may come down at the end, but our work carries on long after this.

Konversations with Keeme- Highlighting Norwalk

Fifteen-year-old Ajibola Tajudeen, better known as Keeme, is the host of New Paradigm Theatre’s web series on broadwayworld.com, “Konversations with Keeme.” Keeme is also a Youth board member of NPT. The show is entirely youth produced and edited by NPT youth directing and editing. Keeme has interviewed seasoned television and film professionals like Tamara Tunie of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Renee Lawless of Tyler Perry’s The Have and the Have Nots, as well as Broadway veterans in shows such as Aladdin, Phantom of the Opera, Waitress and more! The series is in its third season and will follow Keeme’s interviews in CT, as he receives advice on “the business”, performing, and leadership from the leaders of the performing arts industry. These interviews will be released weekly as exclusives on broadwayworld.com.


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