Liberators: An American Musical
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Book & Lyrics by Eric C Jones
Music by Alex Winkler & Bradley Dean Whyte
Elevator pitch: Liberators is a touching story of how three diverse families are connected together through an antique time piece, based on historical events of the liberation of Dachau & Buchenwald.
Synopsis: A powerful rock musical about forgiveness, restoration, the power of friendship and what it means to be a family. This moving tale intersects and moves back and forth throughout 70 years and tells the story through the viewpoints of three unlikely men from different religious and ethnic backgrounds who are connected through a priceless family heirloom: a gold pocket watch. From the start of WWII to post-911 America, the lives of these characters will forever be changed during the historic liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. Liberators encourages you to believe that even the most unlikely person can make a difference..
Great if you like: Hamilton meets Schindler's List
Content advisory: Mild Profanity, Adult Situations & Violence.
Thursday, 2/8 at 8pm
Sunday, 2/11 at 3pm
Saturday, 2/17 at 8pm
Saturday, 2/24 at 3pm
Eric Jones (Producer, Lyricist & Librettist) is a Medford, Massachusetts born, Minnesota & Texas raised artist. Mr. Jones is a graduate of Texas Southern University; B.S. Pharmacy. He has been involved with the Christian theater circuit since 1995 as a writer, actor, director and composer. Writing credits includes: Children of the Passage, Three Crosses, Postcard Journeys though Christmas, Hallelujah Follies, Sweet Freedom, American Skin Freedom Quilt, Liberators and Fired! The Musical, American Rifle at the Fade to Black Theater Festival, & Audition at the Fragmentation IV; Acting credits include: The Elder in Children of the Passage, Rev. Tuck in Three Crosses, Seward in Winter Garden, Mr. Gable in Postcard Journeys though Christmas. Film Credits; Mortal Love for the 48 Hour Film Project Houston 2011 (Screenwriter & Actor), Curveball for the 48 Hour Film Project 2012(Story Writer, Actor & Producer) winner of 5 awards for Best of Film ceremony Dreamland Murders (Story & Co-Scriptwriter, Actor & Producer); winner of 6 Awards for Best of Film including Best Screenplay Nomination. Dreamland Murders also won the 2015 Silver REMI Award at the 2015 World Fest Houston Film Festival for Best Dark Comedy. He also won a 2017 Platinum Remi for producing We Are All Made of Stars at World Fest Houston Film & won a third place Screenplay Award at the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Directing credits include: Children of the Passage, Miracle at Nativity Park. Emancipation won Best Short Play at the Atlanta Black Theater Festival 2013. He is honored that Liberators will make its Chicago debut at the 2018 Chicago Music Theatre Festival this February “I would like to thank God, my family, WRCF church, the Ensemble Theater, Queensbury Theatre & Underscore Theater for their support.
Bradley Dean Whyte (Composer) has written original music for The Alley Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Florida Studio Theatre, and The Cape Playhouse. “Liberators” is Whyte’s first score for a full-length musical. As a recording artist, Whyte has self-produced a handful of albums under his moniker “The Perfectly Violent Dream” and his children’s music alter-ego, “Mister Bradley”. As an actor Whyte has performed with the Shakespeare Theatre of DC, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Kansas City Rep, Illinois Shakespeare Theatre, Pennsylvania Centre Stage and The Cape Playhouse. www.alchemypop.com
Alex Winkler (Composer) is a composer who writes in nearly every style of music. His early influences from rock and jazz keep him interested in combining idioms from various musical genres. Alex is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Masters in Screen Scoring masters program. Before finding his love for film music, Alex played piano, guitar, and sang for rock and pop bands and worked as a professional jazz pianist in Houston for years. Aside from the dozens of short films in his filmography, Alex has written music for a full-length musical, a rock band, and a jazz big band. These broad musical experiences only serve to aid his work for the screen.
Allison Heinz (Director) is thrilled to be working with MorningStar Theatricals and the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. She has directed in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Nebraska before settling into the Chicago theatre scene. Her most recent credits include Don't Give Up: Stories of Perseverance and Survival (2nd Story), 26.2 (Pride Arts Center) and I've Never Been Catcalled (20% Theatre Co - Snapshots). Huge thank you to everyone who continues to offer their guidance and support throughout these creative journeys
Leslie Halverson (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working on Liberators: An American Musical. Leslie has become increasingly active in the Chicago theatre community as a performer, director, and stage manager, most prominently with the Hyde Park Community Players. She has appeared on stage in productions of Rashomon, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, The Lady’s Not for Burning, The Tempest, An Ideal Husband, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)with the Hyde Park group, and was honored to direct their outdoor production of Twelfth Night in the summer of 2017. This is Leslie’s first experience working on a project for the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, and is overjoyed to have the opportunity to do so on such an exciting new piece of work.
Samantha Westlake (Music Director) is a recent graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where she earned a Bachelor's of Music in composition with a minor in theatre. During her time in university she served as rehearsal accompanist and assistant musical director for the university's theatre department with some of her favorite productions being "Next to Normal" and "Legally Blonde: The Musical". She is very excited to be a part of the Liberators team and is thrilled to bring this important and timely story to the stage. Samantha is also an avid playwright and composer. Her work can be found at samanthawestlake.com.
Lea Jones (Executive Producer, Co-Founder of MorningStar Media Group, LLC) is a graduate of Texas Southern University with a BS degree in Environmental Health, Associate degree in Nursing from Houston Community, and attended Houston Community College film School. She has been involved with the Christian theater circuit since 1998 as a writer and director. Film Directing Credits includes: Circadian Rhythm (Finalist at Gulf Coast Film and Video Festival 2015). Producing Credits includes: Dreamland Murders; winner of (6) Awards for Best of Film and Silver REMI Award at the 2015 World Fest Houston Film Festival, and We’re All Made of Stars; Platinum Remi at the World Fest Houston Film Festival. “I thank God for the opportunity to use my gift to inspire and impact others, to my family for their love and support, our cast & crew for their commitment, and my church, Word of Restoration International Church, for always challenging me to grow and strive for excellence.
Jaime Raglow (Choreographer) moved to Chicago from Akron, Ohio to study Theatre and Dance at Loyola University Chicago. At school she was in several musicals including Urinetown and Spring Awakening. Since then, Jaime has performed in Theatre and Dance shows at Stage 773, Ruth Page, iO, and Compass Creative Dramatics, to name a few. Choreographically, Jaime has a range of experience, from choreographing for children’s theatre camps and shows at places like the Raven Theatre and Curtain Call Children’s Theatre to choreographing for a couple’s first dance at their wedding. She has choreographed several pieces for fundraisers put on by Matter Dance Company which she dances with currently. And if that weren’t enough, Dance is her day job as well, as Jaime teaches at All About Dance in Old Town. Jaime is thrilled to be a part of this powerhouse female directing team, and looks forward to sharing this powerful show with our audiences.