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Spinning the Musical

Mary Ann Frank in
Written by Mary Ann Frank
Musical Direction by Andrew Levine

Directed by Douglas Moser
JUNE 19 – 23, 2019
Stage II

Spinning is an extraordinarily intimate 80-minute encounter with Dr. Mary Ann Frank, a highly respected clinical psychologist and accomplished singer, actress, and story teller. Mary Ann lost her beloved husband of 28 years after a grueling 14-month battle with glioblastoma. Spinning refers to the early disorientation of grief, but also to Mary Ann’s capacity to spin—through story and song—a tale of a spirited marriage cut heart-breakingly short just as it was poised to renew itself. Buoying herself and her husband by singing and performing throughout his illness and continuing to do so after his death, she transforms herself. Mary Ann is a powerful spinner of deep and deeply hilarious tales of family love, incomprehensible loss, and the power of music to open a path toward resilience, healing and hope.


Heal Thyself, Reveal Thyself: When Therapists Go Public”

Panelists will include David Read Johnson, PhD, of the Post Traumatic Stress Center, and Larry Davidson, PhD, and Rebecca Miller, PhD, from Yale University. The panel will discuss the personal and professional impact of therapists using intimate details of their lives to fuel creative endeavors.  
On the Frontlines of Grief: Where Palliative, Pastoral and Psychotherapeutic Care Meet

Panelists will include Reverend Doug House, Minister, Mount Carmel Congregational Church, Rabbi Herbert Brockman, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Mishkan Israel and Sarah Nuland, founder and president of the Sherwin P. Nuland Foundation for Palliative Care. The panel will discuss the importance of supportive services for families facing medical crises. 



Written by Mary Ann Frank
Directed by Douglas Moser
Production & Lighting Design: Andrew Rubenoff
Costume Design: Marie Anne Chiment
Sound Design: Hunter Spoede
Musical Direction, Arrangements & Add. Material: Andrew Levine

Choreography: Ginger Thatcher
Associate Producer: Bruce Hirshfield
Production Stage Manager: Nicole Wiegert
Assistant Stage Manager: James Carson

Piano: Andrew Levine
Bass: Andrew Spalding




MARY ANN FRANK (Writer/Performer) is a writer, singer and actress. ​Mary Ann trained with Stella Adler and the Royal Shakespeare Company as an undergraduate at NYU (1974-76). Her credits include Mame with Angela Lansbury (1976), Maria in West Side Story, Eliza in My Fair Lady and others. She has also studied with Anne Tofflemire and Roy Mazzacane. Under the direction of James Andreassi, Mary Ann appeared as Bianca in Elm Shakespeare Companies 2001 production of Othello. With her creative partner, Andrew Rubenoff, she wrote, directed and performed in Love, Shakespeare, a series of four successful fundraising cabaret events for ESC. A concert reading of her original musical, Balcony Scene, developed with Mr. Rubenoff and composer David Sasso, was featured as part of the Shakespeare at Yale Series under the sponsorship of the Shen Curriculum. This spring, Mary Ann appeared as Mrs. Higgins in a Legacy Theatre production of Pygmalion. Mary Ann is currently a clinical psychologist in private practice in New Haven, where she has resided for the last 27 years. She is the author and co-author of several scholarly papers on treatment for binge eating disorder, and pre-natal predictors of maternal attachment. She received her PhD from City College of the City University of New York, and completed her post graduate training at the Yale Child Study Center and the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders.

ANDREW LEVINE (Musical Director/Accompanist) has enjoyed a multifaceted career in the performing arts, working as a musician, arts administrator, educator and producer. Currently the Managing Director of the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in lower Manhattan, Andrew also served as the Executive Director of the York Theatre Company, overseeing productions of the long running Cagney, award winning revivals of Closer Than Ever and Storyville, and new looks at Sondheim’s Saturday Night and Flaherty’s and Ahrens’ My Favorite Year. Andrew was instrumental in championing emerging musical theater writers, leading and expanding the York’s NEO (New, Emerging, Outstanding) program for three years running. His years as a musical director included productions at Goodspeed Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, NYMF and New American Theater. At 10 years old he saw his first musical, the 1965 revival of Carousel. Years later he had the privilege of accompanying John Raitt in his musical biography concert. Andrew led the musical theater program at Perry-Mansfield in Steamboat Springs, CO and partnered with ASCAP’s Michael Kerker and Stephen Schwartz to develop new musicals there, serving as music director for workshops of The Blue Flower, Hudsucker Proxy and River’s End. As an educator Andrew served as the resident musical director at the Savannah College of Art and Design and was an adjunct instructor for the musical theater programs at Pace University and The Hartt School. His contributions as a producer include The Blue Flower (Prospect Theater), Virtuosa (NYMF) Speed-the-Plow on Broadway, and Carousel in the West End.

DOUGLAS MOSER (Director) made his opera debut directing the world premiere of Paula Kimper’s Patience & Sarah at Lincoln Center, last year revived to rave reviews at the Players Theatre in New York. His adaptation of A Christmas Carol received the Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award for its production at the Westport Country Playhouse. Elegy for Ebenezer was work-shopped at Long Wharf Theatre. Regionally he has directed Sweeney Todd, Company, Syncopation, True West, and numerous other plays at the Boston Post Road Stage Company, where he was Artistic Director. He directed Frederick Stroppel’s Glacier Bay, starring Jack Klugman and Brett Somers; his film adaptation starring James Noble and Dorothy Bryce received numerous awards on the festival circuit. Douglas is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), a national theatrical labor union. He is the author of the YA novel Pussy Boy (www.pussyboy.org).

ANDREW RUBENOFF (Set & Lighting Design) is a well-known New Haven special events designer. Most recently he was the production and lighting designer for the revival of Paula Kimper’s Patience & Sarah at the Players Theatre in New York. For the stage, he specializes in concert and cabaret settings for artists such as: Michael Feinstein, Barbara Cook, Andrea Marcovicci, John Pizzarelli, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, and the Swingle Singers. Other shows include: The Music Man in Concert (Yale University), Nightclub Confidential (Westport Country Playhouse), Wild Women of Planet Wongo (Beckett Theatre, NY), and All Night Strut for Pennsylvania Center Stage and PBS, as well as the film Glacier Bay. He is an associate fellow of Branford College, Yale University.

MARIE ANNE CHIMENT (Costume Design) has designed sets and costume for hundreds of theater, opera and dance productions across the nation and around the world. Design credits include national tours of Grease!, Carousel and the Broadway musical Metro. Her designs for opera include the world premieres of Bright Sheng’s Song Of Magnun and Bruce Saylor’s Orpheus Decending at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Mozart’s The Magic Flute at Santa Fe Opera. Her work has also been seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Internationally, she has costumed operas and ballets in Spain, Germany, England, France and Japan. She is the recipient of the Kevin Kline Award for her costume designs for the musical Ace. Her set and costume designs for I Am My Own Wife won the Kevin Kline Award for Outstanding Production and her designs were nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Design. Her set and costume designs were exhibited in Lincoln Center’s Curtain Call: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing For Live Performance and in the exhibit Costume Design at the Turn of The Century: 1990-2015 at the Bakhrushin Museum in Moscow, Russia.

GINGER THATCHER (Choreographer) is currently Associate Choreographer/Assistant Director for the new musical, MARIE!, with Director/Choreographer, and five-time Tony Award winner, Susan Stroman. Ginger’s work has been described as “…dynamic, finding nuanced rhythms.” by the New York Post, “…passionate and groovy dancing.” by The New York Times, and “…lush, passionate, intricately designed, and highly theatrical, which brought to mind the work of Jerome Robbins.” by News-Tribune. Most recently she choreographed a production of Oklahoma! for Ogunquit Playhouse, (Fred Hanson, Director) which was nominated for Best Choreography for 2018. She has been part of the creative process for multiple works for American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Norwegian National Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She has self-produced her own critically acclaimed evenings of work at Lincoln Center and was Co-Founder and Director of New Steps Choreography Project in Cleveland, OH, for which she received an Achievement in the Arts Nomination.