'ACADEMY' RECEIVES
HIGH MARKS AT NYMF,
HEADS TO SOUTH KOREA

Dec. 29, 2009 (Jupiter, FL) - Sometimes good theater is simply about numbers.

Take the show Academy, for example. Simple math reveals what it took for the show to become a winner at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, or NYMF:

Combine two talented people, Andrew Kato and John Mercurio. Give them 10 years to develop and write a show. Add a talented cast and director, and you have a musical that wins two awards at NYMF and gets to be performed in Seoul, South Korea.

"You can't imagine how gratifying it is for us to take Academy from Jupiter to New York to Korea," said Andrew Kato, who conceived and developed the show and is artistic director at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, where Academy was seen in October 2008.

Academy won the Daegu International Musical Festival Production Award on Nov. 22 at the NYMF Awards. The prize: an opportunity to present the show, with the original cast, in late June in South Korea. The award was presented by Sung-il Shin, a Korean film star and the chief chairman of DIMF. Academy also won awards for Excellence in Writing and for Outstanding Ensemble Performance.

At NYMF, the buzz for Academy grew, and the show sold out, forcing organizers to add two shows.

Critics raved.

"John Mercurio and Andrew Kato's Academy is one of the most impressive of the 28 full productions," The New York Times wrote. "It has a cast of handsome, personable young men; poignant, funny lyrics; and a plot that addresses morality and character when a bet between two older boys over which one can influence a classmate more has devastating consequences. All this show needs for the big time is a set and a larger theater."

"The audience and critical response has been a dream come true for us," said Mercurio. "We've been receiving calls and e-mails from so many people, so we're grateful there will be life after NYMF."

The initial successes are encouraging, but they're all part of a larger stage for Academy, which got its start in Jupiter.

"Every regional theatre needs to contribute to the national stage with new works," said the Maltz Jupiter Theatre's Kato. "Mounting a musical is both time-consuming and expensive. We are continuing to learn about the show as it evolves to the next level."

It all adds up: Academy equals a significant contribution to the national theatre landscape.

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is an award-winning professional not-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and is located east of U.S. Highway 1 at 1001 East Indiantown Road and State Road A1A in Jupiter.

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