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John Banvard portrait by Matt Schatz

In the 1850s, John Banvard did more to elevate fine arts than any American artist before him. Banvard was the most famous living painter in the world and the first millionaire artist, world-renowned for his three-mile-long moving panorama celebrating the majesty of the Mighty Mississippi. Today, an examination of reference books will not turn up a single mention of his name. John Banvard, the greatest artist of his time, has been utterly obliterated by history. This musical tells his story.



(Book, Music & Lyrics) won the 2012 Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre, and has been a finalist for Fred Ebb Award, the Jonathan Larson Grant, and the P73 Playwriting Fellowship. Plays and musicals include Georama (St. Louis Rep) The BurdensI Battled Lenny Ross (book by Anna Ziegler, Ensemble Studio Theatre), Dunkfest '88 (Ars Nova’s ANT Fest), Oh, Gastronomy! (Humana Festival), Love Trapezoid (Astoria Performing Arts Center), and The Tallest Building in the World (Luna Stage). He's currently working on new musical commissions for the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Project, and for Tony Award winning producer, Jill Furman (Hamilton). Matt is an alumnus of Youngblood at EST, the Interstate 73 Writers Group, and the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. He’s a proud member of ASCAP, Dramatists Guild, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Playwrights Union and the Writers Guild of America.

WEST HYLER (Book) was the storywriter for Cirque Du Soleil Paramour, Cirque's first Broadway musical. Other writing credits include We Declare You a Terrorist (SPF), Georama (St Louis Rep, Great River Shakespeare Festival) and the Short film A Jake and A Tom (Hollywood International Film Festival, Charleston International Film Festival). As a writer/director his work includes Legendarium and Metamorphosis (Big Apple Circus, Lincoln Center) and Panda! (Beijing State Theater, Palazzo Hotel and Casino). Directing work includes Paramour, Jersey Boys, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Broadway), Avenue Q (State Puppet Theater of Bulgaria), Mortality Play, Wingman, Kid Who Would Be Pope (Ars Nova), H2O (59E59), Getting My Act Together, Game of Love (York Theater Company), Tempest, Love's Labours Lost, Merry Wives of Windsor (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival), Georama, The Disappearing Man (St Louis Rep), No Way to Treat a Lady (The Colony Theater) and Flambe Dreams, The Awakening of Angel DeLuna (NYMF), amongst others. He's currently working on Showman Live!, a 75-minute live stage event going up in China in February 2018 as part of the opening of the worldwide film release of The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman.

JACK HERRICK (Additional Music and Lyrics, Arrangements) is the Artistic Director, Composer and Performer for the Red Clay Ramblers. For the stage he co-wrote the music and lyrics for Sam Shepard’s A Lie of Mind, which was produced Off Broadway at the Promenade Theater, featuring the Red Clay Ramblers, directed by Sam Shepard. He received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Music in a Play. He co-wrote the music and lyrics for The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas produced at the Alley Theater in Houston, TX, and at the St. Louis Repertory Theater. He composed, directed and performed music for Bill Irwin, Dave Shiner and The Red Clay Ramblers' Fool Moon, produced on Broadway at the Richard Rogers Theater (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Music in a Play, Tony Award Special Mention).

JILLIAN LOUIS (Elizabeth) is delighted to be back @NYMF & back on the Mississippi with this marvelous team! Previous NYMF: 6 productions, 2 workshops, 2 Outstanding Performance awards. Bway: It Shoulda Been You (Rebecca/Annie u/s), Off-Bway: Soul Doctor (Ruth); Tour: Cheers (Diane); NYC/ Regional: Walnut Street/Tour: Glass Menagerie (Laura), Ars Nova, Theatre for the New City, American Theatre Group, St. Louis Rep, The York, Symphony Space, North Shore, Denver Center, TheatreWorks, The Prince, The Arden, Florida Studio Theatre, many others! TV/film: Show Me A Hero, Mount Joy, Louie, Ophelia Descending ('17). IG:@JillianLouski FB:@JillianLouisArtist

P.J. GRIFFITH is thrilled to return to NYMF, where he was previously seen in A Scythe Of Time and But I'm A Cheerleader. Broadway: American Idiot (St. Jimmy). Off Broadway: Giant at The Public (Jett Rink), Sleep No More, Romeo & Juliet at La Mama. Tours: We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia. Regional: Assassins at Yale Rep, World Premiere of Georama at Repertory Theater of St. Louis, the Donmar Warehouse/Mark Taper Forum Revival of Parade, Rent at Musical Theatre West, Giant at DTC, the LA Revival of The Who's Tommy, the World Premiere of Setup and Punch at The Blank Theater (for for which he received the 2010 LA Drama Critics Circle Award) and Macbeth at LATC. Film & TV: Jessica Jones, Gotham, The Good Wife, The Mysteries of Laura, The Dark Knight Rises, Without A Trace, House MD, Easter Mysteries. Graduate of NYU's Tisch School of The Arts.

RANDY BLAIR (Taylor): Broadway: Amelie. Off-Broadway: The Black Crook (Abrons Arts Center), Gigantic (Vineyard Theatre), Adding Machine (Minetta Lane), Haute Mess (Ars Nova), Spidermusical (Mint Theater), Perez Hilton Saves the Universe (Barrow Street). Regional: Berkeley Rep, St. Louis Rep, Woolly Mammoth, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Weston Playhouse, New York Stage and Film. Film/TV: "Law & Order," "Strangers with Candy," "Naked Brothers Band," Afterwards, creative consultant on "Billy on the Street." Training: NYU.

NICK SULLIVAN (Chapman) has worked extensively on Broadway and at many theaters throughout the U.S. His television credits include The Good Wife, The Affair, Madame Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, BrainDead, Alpha House, Royal Pains, All My Children, Reading Rainbow, and all three Law and Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother, Prison Song, and Puccini for Beginners. Nick has recorded over four hundred audiobooks, is an Audie winner, and has received numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards.