Written and Performed by Denise Marsa
with Tracy Stark on piano
World-Premiere London’s PLAYGROUND THEATRE September 27 & 29, 2018
THE PASS: The story of Denise Marsa’s development as a musician, artist, and individual is told in this original music project featuring anecdotes and vignettes recounted against a background of her original compositions.
Travel with Denise as she starts her career towards the end of the 70’s through the highly volatile and emotional 80’s continuing on through the start of the tech driven 90’s into the 21st century. From her start in her West Village studio apartment dating from 1810, to London to West Hollywood and back again, Denise shares her stories. Meet Denise the explorer, innovator, a woman drenched in tenacity; unwilling to play the game by anyone else’s rules but her own.
Experience some of the key situations that have shaped her as an artist, woman and entrepreneur and hear the songs that have been created in the process. From pop star, to record label owner, artist manager and producer, lover and partner, to publicist and marketer, her life and music are expressed through laughter, joy, disappointment, passion and power. In defying the stereotypes of the often sexist, not to mention ruthless, music industry, Denise has proven that a true voice will triumph. She hopes to inspire the audience to always be true to their own voices and to have the courage to sing out loud. It all started with Denise sneaking into the New York University Department of Music and Music Education practice rooms.
Director: Gretchen Cryer is most well known for writing the book and lyrics and starring in “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road” (with music by Nancy Ford) which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Musical, Best Actress, and a Grammy nomination for the album. Gretchen has directed scores of solo shows and won the Best Director award at the 2017 United Solo Festival. She has written numerous other shows with Nancy Ford – “Now Is the Time for All Good Men,” (Lortel Theater) “The Last Sweet Days of Isaac,” (Obie Award – Best Musical, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award) “Shelter” (Golden Theater), “Eleanor” (Williamstown), “The American Girls Revue” – (American Girl Place – Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Cryer and Ford’s new show – “Still Getting My Act Together” premiered at the Laguna Playhouse in October 2015. Gretchen is on the Dramatists Guild Council and is President Emeritus of the Dramatists Guild Fund.
Musical Director, Pianist: Tracy Stark: Pianist/Arranger/Conductor/Singer Songwriter, Tracy Stark is a 8-time MAC Award winner, in the categories of Music Director, Piano Bar Entertainer, and Song of the Year. She is also a Bistro Award winner for Musical Direction, and winner of the Dottie Burman Songwriter of the Year Award. Tracy has worked with Lesley Gore, Phoebe Snow, Karen Black, Randy Jones (Village People), Jimmy Osmond, Tovah Feldshuh, Eric Millegan, Tonya Pinkins, Ann Crumb, Marni Nixon, and hundreds of other rock, jazz, and broadway vocalists. Tracy has conducted, played, and sung at all the finest and the sleaziest venues all over the world. She has played/conducted on numerous television shows, including The Today Show. For more info please visit: www.TracyStark.com
US Lighting Designer: Ken Wills (Lighting Designer) has designed for: John F. Kennedy Center, Sharon Playhouse, Flint Youth Theatre, Florida State Opera, The York Theatre Company, The Hub Theatre, NYU-Experimental Theatre Wing, Primary Stages, Irish Arts Center, Dixon Place, Incubator Arts Project, Lincoln Center Institute, FringeNYC, Ensemble Studio Theatre, David Gonzalez, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ralph Lauren, and more. Broadway credits as an assistant/associate: The Band’s Visit, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dear Evan Hansen, Allegiance, Penn & Teller on Broadway, Outside Mullingar, Soul Doctor, Jekyll & Hyde, and The Anarchist. Ken is an alumnus of North Carolina School of the Arts and a member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829. www.kenwillsdesign.com
Project Manager: Claudio Gigante is a competent Lighting Technician with 10 years experience on board Costa cruise ships. He has the skills to program shows of any kind, quickly and with high quality levels. Diverse in his knowledge of light consoles, and knowledge of using the major media servers, and lasers, as well as sound design and engineering, he is creating a niche for himself as a theater production project manager. He has a cool and “can get it done” attitude that makes him a great collaborator with production companies and theaters, worldwide. He speaks several languages including: English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
AutoCAD Operator, AV Technician, Lighting Designer, Lighting Director, Lighting Operator, Lighting Programmer, Lighting Technician, Lighting, Followspot Operator, Special Effects Technician, Technical Manager, Technician English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish Ballet, Circus, Comedy, Dance, Inclusive Theatre, Live Events, Musicals, Opera, Tragedy https://www.mandy.com/theatre-professional/profile/claudio-gigante
Stage Design: Mick Gochanour is an award winning Writer/Producer/Director. His first award came when he received a Grammy as a producer for Sam Cooke: Legend, the first feature-length biography/documentary of the barrier-changing artist. A second Grammy followed for his soundtrack to The Rolling Stones: IRELAND ’65 (a/k/a Charlie is My Darling) when it won top honors for best historical recording. The film has been called “the most important lost rock film of all time” by Rolling Stone Magazine and currently has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. One of the first projects he produced was The Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Circus, a long thought lost legendary film that had become the holy grail of music film cult status. It included John Lennon’s 1st post-Beatles performance with Yoko One, Eric Clapton & Mitch Mitchell, The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithful and featured The Stones introducing Beggars Banquet. Mick spent three years shaping, restoring and conforming the film that now exists. The film debuted at the 41st NY Film Festival to universal acclaim. His has produced and/or directed numerous documentaries, music videos, animations, and commercials. Collaborations include works with Albert Maysels, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Mick Rock among many others. www.MickGochanour.com
Sound Score: Katie Down is a musician and music therapist living in New York. She has created numerous sound scores for theatre, film, and dance. Her latest project with her group NewBorn Trio was a commission by Ripe Time at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival for the Murakami adaptation of Sleep which is scheduled to tour in 2019. She is the recipient of the Connecticut Critic’s Circle Award for her sound design of Aditi Kapil’s Agnes Under the Big Top at Long Wharf Theatre, and she was nominated for a Drama Desk for Ronald Schimmelfennig’s The Golden Dragon at the New Ohio Theatre. http://www.soundwellcenter.com/
PR: David Burns PR: After training as an actor at Rose Bruford, David Burns moved into arts and entertainment press and publicity and has built up twenty-five years experience in this area with a particularly strong emphasis on theatre. His career has included in-house press and marketing roles at Rambert Dance Company, Avalon, Wall To Wall Television, The Really Useful Group and The Society of London Theatre. David set up his own company around ten years ago. He quickly built a diverse range of clients both in the commercial and subsidized sectors. These have included regional and London venues, leading touring companies, individuals, one-off projects and major arts festivals. www.davidburnspr.com
BMG Publisher, Kris Muñoz, (Co-presenter) Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs at BMG, joined the BMG team as part of its 2011 acquisition of Bug Music, Inc. At Bug Music for 7 years prior to BMG’s acquisition of Bug she was a vital part of the executive team and assisted the BMG Team with the successful integration of the companies. Ms. Muñoz is responsible for handling various aspects of BMG’s music publishing and business affairs needs, including contract drafting, negotiation and analysis, talent acquisition, A&R, and business development. Key BMG catalog highlights include Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe winning songwriters, multi-platinum selling artists, producers, and composers such as Bruno Mars, The Rolling Stones, Frank Ocean, Wilco, Roger Waters, T Bone Burnett, The National, Quincy Jones, Kings of Leon, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Ryan Adams, Eddie Palmieri, Ben Harper, and the late legends Buddy Holly, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Johnny Cash to name a few.
Ms. Muñoz has personally signed such notable Grammy and multi-platinum selling artists, songwriters, producers and composers with hits performed by Justin Timberlake, Drake, Eminem, Evanescence, Sheryl Crow, Beck, Christopher Lennertz, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bun B/UGK, Natasha Bedingfield, Jane’s Addiction, Memphis May Fire, In This Moment, Nostalghia and many others. Ms. Muñoz received her J.D. from Chapman University School of Law, her B.A. in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations from UCLA and her A.A. in Social Sciences from Cosumnes River College.
In furtherance of her efforts to raise awareness of women and other underserved populations in California, Ms. Muñoz testified at the State Capitol for former 1st Lady Maria Shriver’s California Commission on the Status of Women. At its conclusion, she was asked to return and provide an updated report to the Commission on various matters affecting the livelihood, education and advancement of women and children in California. Ms. Muñoz is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Association of Independent Music Publishers, the California Copyright Conference and IATSE Local 80. She has been a panelist, mentor and speaker at music industry conferences and organizations throughout the country, including SXSW, CMJ, the Musicians Institute, the Cutting Edge Music Business Conference, California Lawyers for the Arts and is a District Advocate for the Recording Academy.
Graphic Design: A Creative Experience was formed in 1998 by Frank Parker with an ambition and simple philosophy: “to offer our clients in all industries a creative spark with a truly tailored personal service, something that is often missing in client – supplier relationships.” Frank and Susann Parker, A Creative Experience Portrait rendering Jim Dyke
With deep gratitude…Artist Portrait 1979 by Philip Burke