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A Dayton cultural fund has awarded a grant that will enable The Human Race Theatre Company to become even more of a national factor in musical theatre development. The combination of funding and expertise could push Dayton to the forefront of creativity in the art form that is America’s contribution to world stages.

For the past eight years, The Human Race – Dayton’s professional theatre company – has been cultivating new musicals through its Musical Theatre Workshop program. It has developed relationships with both established (Stephen Schwartz, Tom Jones) and emerging writers. (Joseph Thalken, Gregg Coffin, Rob Hartmann) Premieres, workshops and residencies have all been presented – showcasing regional and national artists. But the 2009-10 season will bring all of these projects together under one arm of The Human Race – MUSICALS IN DEVELOPMENT – thanks to a generous grant from the Miriam Rosenthal Memorial Trust Fund.

“Dayton has long been a center for innovation,” said Human Race Executive Director Kevin Moore. “The airplane, the cash register, the electric starter engine, the ice tray – just a few of the many innovations created in Dayton. We plan to use the creative energy in the Miami Valley to make this a center for the creation of new musicals.”

The Miriam Rosenthal Memorial Trust Fund has long supported artistic projects that expand the reach of the organization and the art form itself. Richard C. McCauley, Chairman of the Fund, stated “we are excited about the opportunity you see to identify The Human Race as a hub for new musical development and for local talent to be involved and exposed to professionals in this field.”

The grant, almost $94,000, will help to fund activities from July 2009 through July 2010. This will include two summer musical festivals as well as our Summer Lovewell program, two residencies and two major musical productions at The Loft Theatre.

“We are extremely grateful to the Rosenthal Fund for their incredible investment in this new vision for the company,” continues Moore. “We know this is just the beginning if we are to continue this kind of development, and we hope that more funders will follow suit.”

The Human Race is a member organization of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and Kevin Moore serves on the Board of NAMT as well as co-chairing the Festival of New Musicals for the past two years. Musical works such as WAS, WILD BLUE, HAROLD & MAUDE, CONVENIENCE, GREEN GABLES, MOBY DICK, THE AMBITION BIRD, VOICE OF THE CITY, 24 HOURS, NEFERTITI and TINYARD HILL have premiered or had development work at The Human Race.

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