Press for Bye Bye Birdie

August 2019 

A Cutting-Edge Press Release for a Cutting-Edge Theatre

New Paradigm Theatre, a company well known for its inventive and edgy productions that are presented with multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-gendered casting, is excited to share our “Press Packet” with you! 

In addition to presenting this production NPT, a 501c3 non profit organization, is committed to a “collective impact” production, bridging the gap between the arts and the local community by choosing a local non-profit that echoes the theme of the show: The American Legion/Veterans of Norwalk were the perfect fit reflecting the idea that rock star, “Conrad Birdie”,  is being drafted.  

PRESS CHOICES:

From the Desk of Jim R, Take 2, Column 193, A Review: “Bye Bye Birdie”

Reviews are in, check this one out by clicking here!

The Fox 95.9 Podcast Features Bye Bye Birdie:

On August 16 and 17, local actors and Broadway professionals will perform “Bye Bye Birdie” in Fairfield. Kristin Huffman, artistic director and founder of the non-profit New Paradigm Theatre, and Cameron Burrill, who is playing “Conrad Birdie” in the show, stopped by to chat with Allan about the history of NPT, this year’s show, and their community involvement. Click here to listen!

Female-led Bye Bye Birdie:

New Paradigm Theatre Company has 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 this story, the women behind Bye Bye Birdie include: NPT Artistic Director: Kristin Huffman; Director: Courtney Laine Self, leading lady: Jamie Karen, Lighting Designer: Elizabeth Stewart, Stage manger: Peggy Samuels, Assistant Stage Manger: Sage Fresilli-Murphy, and Costume Designer: Elizabeth Saylor. This powerful group of women is leading the way to an exciting show! 

An All-star lineup of NY and CT stars:

New Paradigm Theatre have spread the “casting” net far and wide for the best talent to present onstage in the leading roles for Bye Bye Birdie.  Our leading roles are Broadway pros: Jamie Karen  as “Rosie” and Patrick Heffernan as “Albert”. Randye Kaye (Radio star, Broadway, TV performer) plays Mae Peterson. Many local CT actors are included in the cast. This summer’s show also features some cameo performances from our partner non profit, The American Veterans, in key roles, as well as Lucia Rilling (wife of Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling) as “The Mayor’s Wife” and Andy Garfunkel as “The Mayor”. 

The American Legion/Veterans partnered with 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 Bye Bye Birdie, NPT is proud to partner with The American Legion of Norwalk. The American Legion is celebrating 100 years since its inception.  As a patriotic Veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness, and with the resonating themes of military service and Americanism, it is truly fitting to be partnered with New Paradigm Theatre Company for their production of Bye Bye Birdie.  The play is inspired by the phenomenon of singer Elvis Presley, one of America’s most significant icons in rock and roll history, as he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1957.  The American Legion family includes the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion; organizations comprised of descendants of Legion eligible Veterans.  Our organizations are nonpartisan and not-for-profit; our sole mission is to foster and strengthen local communities and Veteran relationships through the Legion’s four pillars: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, Children and Youth, Americanism, and National Security. “We are honored and grateful to NPT for this opportunity and along with them we wish to thank all our Veterans for their service to this great nation.”  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. We are also featuring a group of the Veterans onstage during one of the Bye Bye Birdie scenes. 

Multimedia to the Max! 

Utilizing our team of professional video & TV producers, including Mark Holleran (Holleran Media)  and Emmy-nom Scott Bryce, as well as the awesome huge screen in the Black Rock church theatre space, NPT will feature many multi-media moments in our show.  Sponsors have a chance to be featured in “product placement” and “commercials”. Audiences will enjoy seeing some of our actors “up close and personal” during the show. This rock and roll show demands it and NPT delivers it!

Multiple Non-profit and community collaborations throughout the year American Legion, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and more!

New Paradigm Theatre Company is incredibly proud to have so many partners and sponsors helping and supporting each other’s endeavors. This year alone, NPT collaborated with The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare on the Sound, Building One Community (B1C), PROJECT MUSIC, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, American Legion, Connecticut Burn Care Foundation and the Norwalk PD! These collaborations are integral to making our productions extraordinary, and we are immensely grateful to these organizations for being part of the journey.  

Youth Participation 

NPT is committed to educating young performers and leaders while presenting works of art.  Bye Bye Birdie 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. Steve Musitano, a conducting student from Sacred Heart University, will get the opportunity to work with music director, Chris Coogan.  Tiara Stark from The University of New Haven will work alongside both the artistic director to learn the ropes. Katherine Griffin from UConn will be a part of the artistic team, learning elbow-to-elbow alongside director/choreographer Courtney Laine Self as well as many more.  Youth performers from Bridgeport to Stamford will perform in the show. Many youth board teens from NPT 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 Broadway and Norwalk 

Fourteen-year-old Ajibola Tajudeen, better known as Keeme, is the host of New Paradigm Theatre’s  Grant award-winning 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 with Tiara Stark 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 for Bye Bye Birdie will follow Keeme’s interviews in Norwalk, CT, as he receives advice on “the business”, performing, and leadership from the leaders of the performing arts industry as well as a few Broadway pros.  These interviews will be released weekly as exclusives on broadwayworld.com