Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nina's Fire the New American Musical is HOT HOT HOT!!!

"Nina's Fire: The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911"
The New American Musical
written by
Michael Monasterial
Story by
Michael Monasterial and Mike Jukovic
Music by
Chris Hillard and Zac Zinger
with Lyrics and melody by
Michael Monasterial

after years of hard work the script is in its last stages and so are the 10 Broadway musical hits that comprise our soundtrack.  Come watch the Nina's Fire Commercial

We are loaded, aimed and ready to produce our great new show in the Spring 2013

This is our masterwork since it represents the culmination of our vision and our mission
to enlighten youth through engaging Historic Theater.

The Play is basically about two women of different ages both consumed by their passion for struggle. Lilith Walsh, one of the organizers of the garment workers union sacrifices everything, including her life and family for her cause and is almost killed in the worst industrial fire in US history where 147 people (mostly immigrant women garment workers) are burned to death in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory sweatshop. Sabrina Walsh is her great great grand daughter that sneaks out of NorthEastern to join Occupy and is arrested. This play burns with passions and struggles as each character fights for their place, their identity and the purpose for their very lives.

2 hour running time
10 original songs
14 characters
$100,000. to Produce Off Broadway for a month to start the run...and we hope a long, long run    

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bill Cosby is Dead? A Musical Comedy Tribute to the Man behind the Icon

Passing the Torch Through the Arts

and The Howland playwrights lab

Present a Preview for a February 2012 Tour
Bill Cosby is Dead?
 A Musical Comedy Tribute to the Man behind the Icon
Written by Michael Monasterial 
What if you were in bed with your wife and a news report flashes on your TV screen that you are dead? Then calls flood in with condolences. This really happened to Mr Cosby, one of my childhood heroes. “I asked Camille. Honey, do I look alive to you? ” This is the premise for our Musical Theater homage to a genius: his comedy, his personal relationships, trials, successes and failures. All framed by the biggest hits of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s 90’s to add historical perspective.    THIS STAGED READING Stars: Evelyn Clarke, Stephen M Jones and Lerone Simon
November 12, 2011 at 8pm  The Howland Cultural Center  477 Main St Beacon
Admission is Free

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2 June Events with Passing the Torch! June 11th and June 22nd

Wednesday June 22nd at 6pm at the Miller Middle School in Lake Katrine, NY
Passing the Torch Through the Arts and Kathleen Fancher of the Miller Middle School in Kingston NY with funding from the Duchess County Arts Council has fused arts into the social studies curriculum and will present a program of Greek Mythology and Improvisational acting.
                      “Greek Mythology and Improv”
A group of newly trained Miller School 6th graders and Michael Monasterial of Passing the Torch will perform 4 classic Greek Myths and two generated by the students themselves.

This program was devised as a way to excite students and engage them into the material by making it challenging and fun and as the nature of Improv acting suggests you have to be “totally present” and in the moment, which was the entire point of the exercise.
The Students learned some other vital skills, like public speaking: posture, positioning, projection and audience engagement and also totally immersed themselves in the material, but mostly they had a lot of fun in an academic pursuit, (for some of them it was the first time).
So join us for what we are sure will be a program of surprises, fun  and somebody might actually learn something. It is Free admission and the room number will be posted the evening of the performance at the Miller school.
For more information please call 845-901-6820

Also coming in June…

 Saturday June 11th
Second Saturday Theater
Howland Cultural Center in Beacon NY.

The Howland Cultural Center and Passing the Torch Through the Arts present

“Works in Progress”
an Actors/playwrights lab that performs staged readings

This month we are presenting drafts of two new works for our Fall season. To be presented at 8pm.

Richard Pryor: Uncensored Genius”And“My name is Paul Robeson”

*These are first drafts of works and it is part of our process to encourage audience feedback and participation.

We are still looking for all level of actors to read these works and for other lab projects so actors please come ready to join in.

  Our lab starts at 6:00pm and is $5.00 for writers.
  Our performance starts at 8:00pm and is $10.00 for the general public.

Come Catch the Fire of Inspiration!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

May: Religion and Politics. Two plays that are dinner party taboos.

This is our Bard show last week
we rocked Fisher hall for "Tears for Haiti". we are still the Hudson Valley's only multicultural, multigenerational, professional educational Theater company!
                                         Saturday May 14th at the Howland Cultural Center
                                    (6:00pm to 9:00 pm) at 477 Main street  Beacon NY 12508
OUR Playwright/Actors lab is Free this month, for all of you to come in try us out..kick the tires and take us for a spin.
There are two subjects you’re not supposed to bring up at a dinner party, they are:
                                                                        Religion and Politics
and our three play reading offer first drafts in May and are primarily about …
“Obama: What have we done?” by Michael Monasterial
 Two top magazine writers from across political fence must collaborate to write a balanced biography of our President. They use hypothetical scenarios and text from actual speeches to uncover the Real man behind the smoke screen.

“Time Bomb: J Edgar Hoover and Malcom X” by Michael Monasterial
In 1963, the United States was on the verge of Civil War. A war over the most volatile issue facing America: Civil rights and Race. These two men had a confrontation of philosophies that could only end one way…explosion.
The third play we are opening as we begin our 2011 season is a 20 minute preview of

“Toussant L’Overture: The Fire that never dies!” by Michael Monasterial
In 1792, a revolution started that would pit a small slave island nation against the three world supers: England, Spain and France. When the people of Haiti won their Independence the man that led them to victory was kidnapped to the Swiss Alps and tortured to death after he was lured in by a peace treaty. His name and his story can never be forgotten.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Hand-to-Mouth Players Are now accepting manuscripts for their 20th Annual Award Winning One-Act

The Hand-to-Mouth Players are now accepting manuscripts for their 20th Annual Award Winning One-Act Playwright/Director's Workshop. 

Submission Deadline: April 30th, 2011

Manuscripts accepted for:
· One-Act plays
· No more than 25 minutes in length
· Minimal staging and sets
· Casts of 5 or less preferred
· Play must be previously unpublished*
· * for details contact Elaine at

Submission Guidelines:
· Submit manuscript by e-mail or snail-mail, to addresses below.
· $15 submission fee for each snail-mailed play, $20 submission fee for each e-mailed play
· Send check payable to HTM Players, to the P.O. Box shown below. Include Author and Title on the check. Plays will NOT be considered until the check is received.
· Include a title page with the following information: Name, Address, Phone number, E-mail Address, Approx. length of play (in minutes). Please include title and page number on every page.
· DO NOT put author’s name on any page other than title page. The plays will be read anonymously.

Manuscripts will NOT be returned and critiques will not be given on those plays not chosen for the workshop.

Selected plays will be performed in September 2011 in Buchanan/Montrose, NY. Up to 5 plays will be performed.

A representative from the Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) will adjudicate the last performance. Feedback will be given to the playwrights, directors, actors, and the individual productions. Audience members will also participate with anonymous comment sheets. One play may be selected to perform at the TANYS Festival in November, 2011.

E-mail Manuscript to:

Mail manuscript/check to:
HTM Playwright / Director's Workshop
P.O. Box 163
Montrose, NY 10548

For Questions contact: Gary Simon, Artistic Liaison (914) 734-8486

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The First Lab had over 60 people in it...Now, for April we have

Saturday April 9th Second Saturday Theater at the Howland Cultural center in Beacon NY.

Passing the Torch Through the Arts present
“Works in Progress” an Actors/writers lab that performs staged readings

Last Month’s “Works in Progress” was a great success Deidra Dowling’s “The Dray Horse” and Anna Mione’s “The Tea Party” was a big hit, great crowd and great comments.

 We were so proud to present these two Hudson Valley treasures. Also to our fine performers: Pat, Jean Moss and Judy Memsner. We applaud your fine work.

The Lab is catching on. We are attracting many new and established writers and local actors to our events and encourage them to come, and to bring acting projects as well as original writing material to share with our group and to perform at our staged events.

This Month is April and our theme is the Jewish Family in Honor of Passover. April 1st 1933 was the day that Hitler officially boycotted Jewish owned business and began his public policies that led to the atrocities against the Jews. We also offer a World War 2 Love story to balance the readings.

(Selected scenes from) Lost in Yonkers, Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning work will be read. The play examines a family struggling to survive in the not too distant past. It is breathtaking in its humanity.

Anna Mione’s “Between the Sheets”, this play is about a wartime romance in the life of a famous WW II photographer and is based on actual events.     

We are still looking for all level of actors to read these works and for other lab projects so actors please come ready to join in.

  Our lab starts at 6:00pm and is $5.00 for writers.
  Our performance starts at 8:00pm and is $10.00 for the general public.
for information visit
                          Come Catch the Fire of Inspiration!
The lab in march was just warming up, at 6pm we had 8 people by 9:30 we had 60  and all this excitement over theater...who knew

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Have you always wanted to write a play? Have you always wanted to Act?

    “Works in Progress”
 The New Playwright/Actor workshop at the Howland

If you are an Aspiring actor, a local professional, or just someone that is curious about the art form. If you are a published playwright, or an absolute beginner and interested in writing for the stage. Maybe you’re just a local theater artist that wants to network and keep up with the pulse of the Beacon theater scene… this monthly lab has something for you!
The second Saturday of every month Passing the Torch will present the Hudson Valley’s best up and coming playwrights as they develop their works for future productions. Great local actors will read these works. It makes a great evening of compelling entertainment.

There will be a wide variety of plays from Dramas to Musicals, and the selection will be based on the theme of the Month. March is St Patty’s Day and International Woman’s Month so we showcase two local woman playwrights presenting their work.

Anna Mione’s “The Tea Party”
A unique look at history from a modern perspective about and then including Abigail Adams.

Deidra Dowling’s “The Dray Horse”
A family drama, set in Ireland, is about a young man that is sold into service by his impoverished family.

*Be part of the Creative process as the audience is invited to offer helpful and positive critique to give the writer some perspective. The lab schedule will be the same every month:

 6 to 8pm the lab portion where playwrights and actors are given time to  present a manageable portion of their work that is in development to get some feedback and perhaps some insight from another artists point of view.

8 to 9:30pm will be performances with more completed works and established playwrights and seasoned actors. This offers the aspiring artists something to strive for and to see firsthand what how far the art form can be elevated.

Saturday March 12th   The Howland Cultural Center  477 main st Beacon NY 12508
               $5.00 for the Lab. $10.00 for the reading. $12.00 for both.
                  (this is to pay our performers and keep the Howland’s lights on)
 For Information contact the Howland, or 845-901-6820
                                      Come Catch the Fire of Inspiration!