Abigail has worked as an actor/director in Chicago for over ten years, and along with husband Jason Epperson founded Lotus Theatricals in 2015, and PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City in 2016 (where she serves as Managing Editor of both publications). When not talking shop, Abigail is raising three padawans with Jason, drinking lots of coffee, converting school buses into RV's, and eating all the foods at Disney World. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue
The 2017 NYMF Production of the then titled NUMBERS NERDS. (l-r) Danielle Davila, Jake Morrissy, Madison Kauffman, Tiffany Tatreau, Maisie Rose. Photo by Hunter Canning.
Chicago’s CPA Theatricals’ lead producer Larry Little announced that the company has reached an agreement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide for licensing of 57TH NATIONAL MATHLETE SUM-IT (The Almost All-Girl Math Musical).
The musical, written by Chicagoans Laura Stratford (book, based on a story by Little) and Alex Higgin-Houser (lyrics) and former Chicagoan David Kornfeld (music, with additional music by Dylan MarcAurele), was one of ten musicals invited to present a full production at this year’s New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), where it performed under its original title, NUMBERS NERDS. The sold-out and extended run earned rave reviews.
Originally titled NUMBERS NERDS, the musical follows an almost all-girl high school math team from a Milwaukee suburb. The team has won the regional math competition and is off to compete in the National Math SUM-IT.
Little says, “Our goal for the show was to create a musical that could be performed by high school, college and community theaters for years to come. Recognizing that the talent pools for these productions typically favor women and girls, we sought to develop a piece that would offer strong roles for females. And strong role models as well – our musical seeks to shatter the myth that math is daunting for girls. Our characters are stellar ‘mathletes’ who are more than ready to compete with the boys.”
The NYMF production was directed by Chicago director-choreographer Amber Mak, with music direction from Tom Vendafreddo. Prior to the NYMF production NUMBERS NERDS was workshopped in 2016 at both the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival and the Illinois Theatre Association’s Community Theatre Festival.
Steve Spiegel, President of Theatrical Rights Worldwide said “We’re pleased to be able to offer a musical of this caliber and style that is so well suited to the needs and resources of the school market. A show with numerous strong female roles meets a huge requirement and will be greatly appreciated and performed everywhere.” He confirmed that the show will be available starting in 2018 for licensing by non-professional performing arts organizations and schools as well as by professional companies. But demand has already been gauged and a waiting list is being formed.
57TH NATIONAL MATHLETE SUM-IT was performed at NYMF with a cast of six, but CPA Theatricals has prepared an alternative “large cast” version providing opportunities for schools to include more students in their productions. Tina Reynolds, the Director of Bravo Performing Arts, a youth program based in Oak Park, Illinois, helped develop the alternative version which adds several minor characters and an ensemble. The 29-performer version premiered in July as part of Bravo’s Summer Academy.