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A reading of a new musical, which tells the story of architect Daniel Burnham, serial killer H.H. Holmes and the1893 World's Fair. Read more

Chicago, IL Musical
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on February 12, 2012.

A reading of a new musical, which tells the story of architect Daniel Burnham, serial killer H.H. Holmes and the1893 World's Fair.

Chicago, IL Musical
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About this project

We've Reached 100% of Our Goal - Let's Keep Going!

We are truly humbled and very grateful for all the support that The Dreamer and the Devil has received. Because of these gifts, the show will have a full reading this spring, and will be well on its way to a production some time in the future.

We have a few days left to go on the Kickstarter campaign. And even though we’ve hit our $7,000 goal, we can still use additional support.

 Any gift from here on out will only help us improve the entire experience of putting on this reading.

Specifically, we could pay for:

·       Better sound equipment for the cast recording

·       A photographer for the reading to take pictures for posterity

·       Additional compensation for the actors

·       A stage manager or assistant director to help coordinate rehearsals and the reading; take notes; provide support for the director

Many thanks to those who have already given. And thanks to those who are considering making a gift.

The Project

The Dreamer and the Devil is a brand new musical that tells the true tale of architect Daniel Burnham, serial killer H.H. Holmes and the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago that bound their lives together. The show features book and additional lyrics by Jenny Seidelman and music, lyrics and additional book by Jonathan Wagner.

We are planning to produce a reading, directed by Richard Shavzin, to generate interest in the show amongst commercial and non-profit producers in Chicago. Along with the reading, we’ll be recording a full-length cast album of the music that we can send to potential investors. The reading will happen in Spring of 2012 (March or April, date tba; please note - NOT February 20th, as stated in the video or donor benefits)

But, in order for us to accomplish all this – and get The Dreamer and the Devil closer to a full production - we need the help of generous supporters like you!

 About The Dreamer and the Devil

The Dreamer and the Devil is the story of architect Daniel Burnham, who has to build Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair in only 2 year’s time, without the help of his creative partner John Root. Meanwhile, a mile away from the fairgrounds, Dr. H. H. Holmes is making a killing – literally – while building a hotel to house those future fair-goers. And the same time, an Irishman named Patrick Prendergast is campaigning for Mayor Carter Harrison and is absolutely certain that the Mayor owes him a big favor.

Featuring 21 fantastic songs that range in influence from early ragtime, traditional Irish and modern Broadway, The Dreamer and the Devil is about big dreams and big business. Personal ambition and personal obsession.

Collaborators Jenny Seidelman and Jonathan Wagner first started working on The Dreamer and the Devil in early 2010. Director Richard Shavzin was soon brought in to help develop the show into a full Broadway-style musical.

In May of 2011, under Richard Shavzin’s direction, The Dreamer and the Devil had its first reading. An audience of 125 friends, colleagues and theater professionals responded with great enthusiasm, and provided value feedback. The reading was supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, with production assistance provided by Porchlight Theatre.

Since that first reading, the show has continued to grow, develop and be refined. And now…it’s ready to be seen by investors, producers and the world!

About the Artistic Team

Jenny Seidelman (book and additional lyrics) has had her work produced at WNEP Theater, n.u.f.a.n. ensemble, Point of Contention, Children’s Theater of Western Springs, TANTA Productions, Franklin Fine Arts Center – A CPS Magnet School and Messenger Theatre Company. She has had readings at Chicago Dramatists, Women’s Theatre Alliance of Chicago, Stockyards Theatre Project, Around the Coyote, Wood Street Theater, Knox College, WNEP Theater and TADA! Youth Theater. She has written scripts for Northlight Theatre’s Performing Arts Camp and Chicago director Lavina Jadhwani. Jenny is the recipient of grants from the Illinois Arts Council (in support of The Dreamer and the Devil) and City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Her play Henry Moore is Melting will receive a reading at Horse Trade Theater Group in New York in September 2012. www.jennyseidelman.com

Jonathan Wagner (music, lyrics and additional book) is an award winning performer and songwriter. He has spent the past 10 years working around the country as a musician, comedian, composer and actor. He co-wrote and appeared in the musicals Writing our World (Child’s Play at The Goodman Theatre, Nat’l. Tour) and Faker (NY Fringe, SF Fringe, Single File Festival, Chicago Improv Festival). With Chicago’s critically acclaimed musical sketch comedy group, The Cupid Players, he composed the revue Cupid on the Down Low.  His musical, Any Someone at All, has been workshopped at the Second City Training Center, and as part of Porchlight Theatre's "Off the Porch" series. He is currently a faculty member at The Second City Training Center, where he has composed over twenty original revues.

Richard Shavzin (director) is a veteran director, actor, and casting director based in Chicago. World premiere directing credits include Ten Cent Night at Chicago Dramatists; Studs Terkel's Race at Strawdog; Tops or Bottoms, Fallout, and Defamation for Canamac Productions; Beat the Jester and Slaphappy for Beat the Jester Productions; and the musical Any Someone at All at Second City's Skybox Theatre. Richard was the Artistic Director of Strawdog Theatre from 1993-1998, where he directed the Jeff Nominated productions of Criminal Hearts; Cat's-Paw; The Big Funk; A Mother, A Daughter and A Gun; Skeletons; and Hurlyburly, which won 4 Jeffs. Other directing credits include Vick’s Boy (American Theater Company/American Blues), Three Days of Rain (Frumptucker), and Klub Kokomo (PS Theatricals). Richard’s casting work can be seen in the feature films Lana’s Rain, Three Days, and Love 101, and the award-winning short King of the Tango.

Support The Dreamer and the Devil

The Dreamer and the Devil is a truly exciting new show and it has everything – drama, humor, dance numbers, big dreams and big ambitions! And with the Spring 2012 reading – which will feature some of the top musical theater stars in Chicago – we will be one step closer to seeing The Dreamer and the Devil on stage in a major production.

Your gift today will fund the Spring reading for investors and producers, and it will help us create a cast album that will generate further interest in the show. Please help us take this critical step towards getting a full, professional production of The Dreamer and the Devil.

We would love to have this amazing show come to life and we hope that you’ll help us make that dream come true. Thanks so much for your consideration of support.

~ Jenny & Jonathan ~

Want to know more?

Hear director Richard Shavzin talk with Jenny Seidelman and Jonathan Wagner about the process of creating The Dreamer and the Devil and their hopes for the future of the show at: http://db.tt/hbMuKyWr

FAQ

  • We're thrilled to share that the reading is now scheduled for May 21st, 2012. Location pending. Details will be sent to project backers whose support makes them eligible to attend. A cast recording will be sent to supporters of $25+ in June.

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Rewards

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    9 backers

    Thanks in program for the reading

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    32 backers Limited (8 left of 40)

    Thanks in program for the reading + C.D. of cast album

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    17 backers Limited (23 left of 40)

    Everything above + Invite for 2 to reading on February 20th, 2012 (location to be announced)

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    5 backers Limited (15 left of 20)

    Everything above + Poster for "The Dreamer and the Devil" by Ivan Lee Creative

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    10 backers All gone!

    Everything above + Admission for 2 to cast party and 2 complimentary drinks

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    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Everything above + Admission for 2 to the White City Revisited Walking Tour by the Chicago Architecture Foundation (Spring/Summer 2012, to be scheduled)

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Everything above + Admission for 2 to the Devil in the White City bus tour by the Chicago History Museum (March 10 or April 21, 2012)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    Everything above + Admission for 2 to the final rehearsal for the reading on February 19, 2012 (location to be announced)

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Funding period

- (21 days)