Some time ago, I asked Blake McCarty if he wanted to collaborate on a short film inspired by my “granddaughter” Viv. Viv was adopted at infancy by our friends Michael and Calvin, and because there were no grandparents in her life, she in turn adopted me and my partner as “The Gramps”.
Together, Blake and I co-wrote the screenplay, and asked Michael Biello and Dan Martin if we could use their song “Come Closer” from the musical The Cousins Grimm as part of the story. The result is a seven-minute musical short mixing live action and stop motion animation. The story focuses on a 7-year-old girl (coincidentally named Viv) who invents a fairy tale about how her Dads met as a way to entertain her new friend, Henry.
By the end of Viv’s imaginative tale - replete with Busby Berkeley Barbies - Henry is so intrigued that he decides to see how his beloved action figure might look holding hands with a male toy Viv uses to tell her deconstructed version of The Frog Prince.
So many people are involved in making a film – it indeed takes a village – and we hope you enjoy Papa’s Prince as much as we have enjoyed making it. We are thrilled that it is ready for gay pride month.
Please share it with your friends!!!
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Howie Michael Smith (Tom/Frog) played the dual roles of Princeton/Rod over 1000 times in the Broadway production of Avenue Q. Regional: Avenue Q (Ogunquit), I Love You, You’re Perfect… (Engeman), A Christmas Carol (Ford’s Theatre), 1776, Carousel (Marriott Theatre), As You Like It (Chicago Shakespeare), The Tempest (Dallas Shakespeare), Tribute to Sondheim (Pittsburgh Pops), Bill Nelson‘s All Male Revue (Barrington), Singin’ in the Rain, Brigadoon, Oliver, Joseph and the Amazing…. BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Howie is the creator of the sketch comedy channel Sillyocity.
Javier Munoz (Javier/Prince) played Usnavi in Broadway's In the Heights (Richard Rodgers Theatre). Off-Broadway: In the Heights (37 Arts) and Ziad in The Porch (Altered Stages). Regional: Stagger Lee (by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Shakespeare Theatre Company); Los Otros (with Victoria Clark, NY Theatre Workshop), Venice (Center Theatre Group); and Hamilton Mixtape (by Lin Manuel Miranda). Film/TV: The House That Jack Built and Umizumis. BFA in Theatre, New York University Tisch School of the Arts/CAP 21.
Meghan Chang (Vivien) is a second grader from Monroe County NY. Meghan got the acting bug while attending a musical theatre workshop in NYC where she was signed by her agent and manager. Meghan loves to sing and dance and read. She plays the piano and has just begun an artist in residence performing arts project in Manhattan. She is very excited to a part of Papa's Prince.
Joey Curtis-Green (Henry), a British-born New Yorker, made his screen debut in Papa’s Prince. Joey can also be seen in his second short film Engram, directed by Maggie Betts and produced by Woodshed Entertainment. Errol Flynn was the inspiration for Joey’s passion and creativity in life and film.
Jillian Louis (Alix) is thrilled to be part of this beautiful short! TV/Film: Louie, Mount Joy, Wallflowers. Off-Broadway: Soul Doctor. Regional: Walnut Street, Denver Center, American Theatre Group, St. Louis Rep, etc. UK: Buxton Opera House. Jillian is co-writing lyrics for new musical The Other Sex, and a novel. Please visit www.JillianLouis.com
Ted Sod (Producer/Writer) is dramaturg for the education department at Roundabout Theatre Co. Teaching Artist: New Victory Theatre, Theatre for A New Audience, TDF, Seattle Repertory Theatre (Artist-in-Residence/Director of Education, 1993-1998); George Street Playhouse (Artistic Associate/Director of Education, 1998-2001). Actor: Bored To Death, Nurse Jackie, Ugly Betty; all three Law and Orders, Life Itself, Premium Rush, Mania Days. Director: The Ocean All Around Us (Portland Center Stage); How To Be A Good Italian Daughter In Spite of Myself, (Cherry Lane Theatre); Blood Type: Ragu (Actors’ Playhouse); By Jupiter (York Theatre Co.); Agnes of God, A Night In Tunisia, Talley’s Folly, Wit (George Street Playhouse). Writer: Papa’s Prince, The Cousins Grimm (NYMF, York Theatre, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center); 27, Rue de Fleurus (Urban Stages/Published by Samuel French); Satan and Simon Desoto (Heinemann Books/adapted for the film Crocodile Tears). www.tedsod.com
Blake McCarty (Director/Editor) is a performance and multimedia artist and educator, and the recently appointed Director of Strategic Initiatives for the San Diego Film Festival. As a director, Blake's projects range from site-specific work in collaboration with the New York City Parks Department to children’s television interstitials developed in partnership with the Fred Rogers Center. Play/Date, an immersive performance experience he conceived, will be produced this summer in New York City in collaboration with Michael Counts and 3-Legged Dog Productions. The event features new works by Tony Award winner Greg Kotis (Urinetown) and Off-Broadway stalwarts Chad Beckim, Ashlin Halfnight, and Claire Kiechel, among others. Blake’s work has been seen in productions at Dixon Place, MCC Theater, Theatre Row, Provincetown Playhouse, New York University, The New Victory Theater and La Mama E.T.C. He has also developed educational programming for the New Museum, New 42nd Street, Tribeca Film Festival, Guggenheim Museum, La Jolla Playhouse, Children's Museum of Manhattan, Invisible Children, New York University, City College of New York, and numerous schools. Blake holds a BFA in Film Production and an MA in Educational Theatre, both from New York University.
Michael Biello (Lyricist) and Dan Martin (Composer) are award-winning songwriters, life-partners, and longtime collaborators. Their musical Marry Harry is scheduled for a 2014 production by American Theater Group in Rahway, NJ following a production at the 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival and a developmental reading at New York Stage and Film’s 2011 Powerhouse Season at Vassar. The Cousins Grimm was produced in Chicago in 2008 following a staged reading at NYMF and a workshop at the O’Neill. Breathe has been produced in Chicago (After Dark Award) and in many other US cities. Their newest piece in development is In My Body – a concept musical about body image. Biello and Martin’s songs have been performed from PS 122 to Lincoln Center by a wide range of vocalists including Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba, Bessie Award winner Tom Bogdan, and disco diva Karen Young. In addition to Papa’s Prince their film/video projects include Clones in Love (Best Short, San Francisco LGBT Video Festival), The Dance (in the permanent collection of MoMA), and the anthem for the First Comes Love Project. Longtime members of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop and the Dramatists Guild.
Jeff Caldwell (Music Director) is a pianist and voice teacher, as well as a music theater director and educator. He is a fan of the composing team of Biello and Martin, having music directed workshops and recordings of Marry Harry, The Cousins Grimm, and the BMI podcast of Table Three, as well as the First Comes Love Project (www.firstcomeslove.org). He has taught at Juilliard, NYU, AMDA, Cornish College of the Arts, and the University of Washington PATP. As a singer he's appeared with New York Choral Artists at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and with the New York City Opera chorus. He also directed the North American premieres of Handel's first two operas, Almira and Rodrigo, with Operamission.
Victoria Flores (Production Manager) is currently an administrator and teacher at Playwrights Horizons Theater School from which she graduated in 2007. Once out of school she worked as a Director and occasional Stage Manager for Cape Rep Theatre located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She continues to spend summers directing productions for their main stage and incorporating actors, designers and production team members from her New York City work. Favorite productions include The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, The Baltimore Waltz, Fetes De La Nui, The Beauty Queen Of Leenane and A Year With Frog And Toad. Upcoming projects include the film Whisper Me This (DJ Mendel) and The Long Christmas Ride Home.
Joseph S. Reecher (Director of Photography) is currently enjoying his first year as the Assistant Lighting Supervisor at The Public Theater. He moved to NYC in 2007 from the Ann Arbor, MI area for a technical internship at Juilliard, where he later became the Video Coordinator/Staff Electrician. Joseph has a BBA in Mgmt for IT from Cleary University which has helped him learn any video and lighting related technology. Joseph helped with the live action sequences of the film and hopes to be a part of more projects likePapa’s Prince in the near future!
Howie Michael Smith
Michael Biello & Dan Martin