NEWS RELEASE: Pace New Musicals Announce Premiere of its 2012 Official Selection, Zoe Sarnkak’s “A Lasting Impression” on January 18

Pace New Musicals has selected Zoe Sarnak’s “A Lasting Impression” – a tangled story of three artists: a composer, a writer, and a painter – as its 2012 official selection. There will be seven staged reading performances with a live band beginning January 18 at Pace’s Schaeberle Studio Theater, 41 Park Row, 10th Floor. For reservations call (212) 346-1352 or email


Contacts: Samuella Becker, Pace Media Relations,; 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172; Robert Meffe, Music Director,, 917-297-3897

Pace New Musicals Announces Premiere of its 2012 Official Selection,

Zoe Sarnak’s A Lasting Impression, at

Pace University’s Schaeberle Theater on January 18 – 22

 Staged Reading Performances with Live Band

 Directed by Amy Rogers; Music Direction by Robert Meffe

NEW YORK, NY, January 13, 2012 – Pace University’s Pace New Musicals program, dedicated to the discovery of new theater works, has selected Zoe Sarnak’s A Lasting Impression from over 50 submissions as its 2012 most promising show.

Amy Rogers, Associate Professor of Musical Theater and creator of the BFA Musical Degree program at the Dyson College of Arts & Science at Pace University, and Robert Meffe, Musical Director, are collaborating with Sarnak on a staged reading of her musical.

A Lasting Impression will be presented at Pace’s Schaeberle Studio, 41 Park Row, 10th Floor, Pace NYC Campus  from January 18-22;  performances Wednesday-Friday at 8:00PM; Saturday at 2:00 & 8:00PM and Sunday at 8:00PM.  Ticket prices: $5 for students; $10 for adults.  For reservations call (212) 346-1352 or email

In A Lasting Impression, each of the three lead characters chose their own artistic medium – book, music or visual design – to express one shared story. Josh, a once guarded journalist, acts as the play’s narrator, using old taped interviews and pictures to guide us through his memory of his two sisters. Kali, a manic musician, is the piece’s composer, moving in and out of “her” band as the story unfolds. Simone, a young painter, controls the evolution of what begins as a blank set, and comes to life through the addition of her visual art. A Lasting Impression is about impressions that we make through love, on those close to us, and through art, on those we may never meet.

The eight Pace Musical Theater students who will be bringing A Lasting Impression to life without costumes or scenery are (in alphabetical order, with hometown and their character roles):

  • Aaron Albert (Los Angeles, CA) as Josh Weinstein
  • Bethany Jeffery (Cincinnati, OH) as Mother
  • Taylor Noble (Glastonbury, CT) as Kali Blanche
  • Danny Quadrino (East Rockaway, NY) as Josh Understudy
  • Krista Pioppi  (Succasunna, NY) as Kali’s Band
  • Cailan Rose (Sarasota, FL) as Simone Blanche
  • Kevin Shotwell (Wilmington, DE) as Franklin
  • Emily Thomas (Pittsburgh, PA) as Kali’s Band

The actors will be supported by Alex James (Schwenksville, PA) as Stage Manager and Dylan Bustamante (Babylon, NY) as Assistant Director.

The Pace New Musicals Program was developed in 2007 to nurture the creation of new musical theater in New York City, while at the same time providing an invaluable educational opportunity for students to work directly with top professionals in the field. Perhaps most importantly, the program allows students to experiment with new, untested works without precedent-setting productions, a rare opportunity in theater education.

The BFA Musical Theater Program at Pace University began with six majors in 2002, and has grown to more than 90 majors. In 2006, Pace became only the second school in New York City to offer a BFA in Musical Theater.

Past works in the Pace New Musicals Program include staged workshops of Factory Girls by Creighton Irons, Sean Mahoney, and Maggie-Kate Coleman; Quanah by Larry Gatlin, Anthony Dodge, Marcia Milgrom Dodge; Darling by Ryan Scott Oliver and B.T. Ryback’s; Luck!, by Mark Waldrop and Brad Ross; and College: The Musical, which was later selected for a production with the New York Musical Theatre Festival where the authors, Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola, won the NYMF award for Excellence In Writing (Lyrics).

ZOE SARNAK (Writer) is a composer, lyricist, and playwright. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University where her first show, The Quad, was produced in 2009. In addition to numerous concert/cabaret features and performances with her band, TheWD, Sarnak has written two new musicals including A Lasting Impression, and Mixtape, which will be featured in Silent Street Productions 2011/2012 season.

AMY ROGERS (Director) is a tenured Associate Professor of Musical Theater at Pace University where she created the BFA Musical Theatre degree program.  Originally from Canada, Amy received her degree in musical theatre from Arizona State University, and her MFA from San Diego State University.  NYC directing credits include: Carousel, College: The Musical, Ragtime, The Wild Party (Lippa), Little Women and Violet. Amy has assisted director Lonny Price on Can-Can and Kismet at Encores at City Center, Candide with the New York Philharmonic and the Emmy Award winning Passion for Live at Lincoln Center.

ROBERT MEFFE (Music Director) is a professional music director, pianist, orchestrator, and vocal coach. On Broadway he was the Associate Conductor of Little Women as well as Les Miserables for the last six years of its run. Off-Broadway: Violet, The Prince and the Pauper, and Gutenberg! The Musical!. He was the Music Director for the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera and has played keyboards for Mamma Mia, Hairspray, Avenue Q, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Grey Gardens, and Bombay Dreams.  Meffe is the Director of Music for the Musical Theater Program at Pace University.

About Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Performing Arts Programs at Pace University:

Undergraduate: Dyson’s Performing Arts Department (PAD) offers Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Acting and in Musical Theater and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts with specialized focuses in Acting, Directing, Commercial Dance or Design/Technical Theater. On average, there are 1,000 applicants for every 100 new openings each year. PAD presents over 50 performances every year. Performance spaces range from the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Schaeberle (black box) Theater, and Studio 501, home to many student-directed productions.

Graduate: The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, also located in Dyson College, is the only MFA (Acting, Directing and Playwriting) theatre program officially sanctioned by the legendary Actors Studio (co-presidents Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino). All MFA students participate in the Craft Seminars known to the world as the Bravo Network television series Inside the Actors Studio (taped at Pace’s Schimmel Theater and open to students), hosted by James Lipton, Dean Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Actors Studio Drama School.

About Pace University: For 105 years, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

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NEWS RELEASE: It’s a Pace TRIFECTA! Director Grant Kretchik, Producer Rebecca Cunningham and Actress Samantha Steinmetz Will Preview “Scottish Sperm” at Pace’s NYC Campus July 21 – 23 Prior to Edinburgh Festival Fringe Debut

“Scottish Sperm” Director/Professor Grant Kretchik, Performing Arts Alum/Producer Rebecca Cunningham and BFA Acting Student/Co-Star Samantha Steinmetz will travel to the largest arts festival in the world in Scotland’s capital city in August. But first, a stopover at Pace’s New York City Campus to host three special theatrical previews (July 21, 22 and 23).

Pace Media Contact: Samuella Becker,, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172


A Pace University Trifecta: Pace University Professor (Grant Kretchik) Directs; Performing Arts Alum (Rebecca Cunningham) Produces; BFA Acting Student (Samantha Steinmetz) Co-Stars


Special Previews at Pace University, NYC Campus – July 21, 22 and 23

New Yorker Jacqueline McLaren’s New Play to be performed ALL OF AUGUST at The Fringe. 

AOL’s PATCH Calls Ms. McLaren “The Next Wendy Wasserstein” and “Indeed a Young Writer to Watch.”

July 12, 2011 – Jacqueline McLaren’s new play Scottish Sperm (Directed by Grant Kretchik) will debut in Edinburgh, Scotland August 5 at 18:40 at theSpace@Jury’s Inn on 43 Jeffrey Street (Venue 260) and will run thru August 25th Monday- Saturday at 18:40.

Previews for Scottish Sperm will be held on July 21, 22, and 23 at Pace University’s Schaeberle Studio Theatre, 41 Park Row – 10th Floor, New York City (East of City Hall). Admission is $10 and reservations (strongly recommended) can be made at  

McLaren’s new irreverent, incisively funny play focuses on three characters as they face life’s challenges.  What’s so great about Scottish sperm?  The characters in this dark comedy know the answer to this question, but not much else. Emma, Sarah, and Robert are stuck in the crossroads of their lives, and their refusal to move on leads them to destroy the relationships that they are attempting to save.  Filled with hilarious, irreverent, and piercing dialogue, Scottish Sperm follows these three characters as they learn to handle love, loss, and whiskey.

The Creative Team:

Jacqueline McLaren (Playwright) is a playwright known for her irreverent, cutting humor and ear for dialogue.  Scottish Sperm will be Ms. McLaren’s first production at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Ms. McLaren’s previous play How to Build a Bomb won the Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Award.  How to Build a Bomb was also selected for Pace University’s New Works Festival in Manhattan in 2010.  Two of Ms. McLaren’s plays were chosen for the University Theater’s New Plays Festivals in Chicago.  Ms. McLaren is a writer on Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro, on NBC/Telemundo, that network’s first bilingual talk show.  Ms. McLaren is a graduate of the University of Chicago.  She taught at several public schools in the notoriously rough South Side of Chicago throughout her four years. 

Grant Kretchik (Director) holds an MFA in Acting from the New School University, and is the head of Pace University’s BFA Acting Program. He has appeared as an actor Off Broadway and regionally.  Film/TV: Law and Order, Guiding Light, As The World Turns, Man on the Moon, and When Harry Tries to Marry (which Kretchik also helped produce). He has worked as both an actor and director at La Mama etc., and been accepted into the Stage Directors Choreographers Society’s 2010/2011 Observership Season. This past October Kretchik assisted on the first Broadway National Tour of Next to Normal, directed by Michael Grief. In September 2011, he will be directing The Parade by Tennessee Williams at the Tennessee Williams International Theater Festival in Provincetown, MA.

Rebecca Cunningham (Producer) – Rebecca is recent graduate of Pace University in New York City with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Directing. Directing credits include: The Vagina Monologues, Out in the Open: Stories of Queer Oppression and Empowerment, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Uncommon Women and Others, How to Build a Bomb, Freshwater, romance, and With the Lights Out. AD credits: Sign Me, Who is Dan Schiller?, Gin Joint, The Beggar’s Opera, and Glory of Living.

 The Cast:

Megan Channell (Sarah) recently appeared in Spleen Theatre Company’s inaugural production of Bound at New York Theatre Workshop. Theatre credits include work at Theater for the New City, The Abingdon Theatre, Manhattan Repertory, Curan Repertory, and Phare Play Productions. Film/TV: Sarina’s Song, All My Children. She is a graduate of Emory University.

Dylan Lamb (Robert) is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the recipient of the Chair’s Award of Excellence in Dramatic Writing. He has worked for Warner Brothers Television as part of their Creative Lab and apprenticed at the Guthrie Theater in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. New York Theater: Demon Dreams (Gene Frankel), Glengarry Glen Ross (Cooper Union), John Faustus And The Overclocked Death Drive (Magic Futurebox), Ivanov (Tank Theater). Writing: Alligator Summer (New York Fringe), There Is No Isabelle (Minnesota Fringe), Rebirth of a Little Beauty (3LD), A Man Of My Word (NYU Festival of New Works).

Samantha Steinmetz (Emma) Recent credits include The Remarkable Rooming House of Mme. Le Monde (La Mama), Uncommon Women and Others, The Little Dog Laughed, The Bald Soprano, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Zoo Story, The Vagina Monologues, School, and A Piece of My Heart. Samantha moved from Kansas to New York in 2009 to study at BFA Acting at Pace University. She also trains with Ken Schatz in New York and is a recent graduate of the Circle in the Square Summer Conservatory.

For more information about the play Scottish Sperm, go to McLaren’s blog:; Twitter:  Scottishsperm; Facebook page:  Support Scottish Sperm.  Contributions may be made at the Facebook page.  

Special Thanks: This Project is supported by Inigo Ramirez de Haro, Consul, Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Spain; Caroline Hirsch, owner, Caroline’s on Broadway; and Shelly and Steve Antinelli, managing director, Rothschild. Inigo is not only an ambassador, but also a well-known playwright, and takes great pleasure in presenting new works. Caroline is not only a great supporter of the arts, but her organization is a launching place for new talent— Scottish Sperm’s playwright, director, and producer are all former employees of Caroline’s. Steve and Shelly are great patron of the arts and have been an integral part of getting this play produced.