Untitled Opiod Docu-Musical

Five people per hour die of an opioid overdose in our country.

Music and Lyrics by Niko Tsakalakos
Book and Lyrics by Janet Allard
Developed with and Directed by Markus Potter
Dramaturgy by Gayle Waxenberg

*Commissioned by NewYorkRep
*Developed in part at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals

Today five people per hour die of an opioid overdose in our country. How did we get here? Enter the Sackler family and Purdue Pharmaceuticals bringing Oxycontin to Americans under the noses of our government — insisting it wasn’t addictive. This docu-musiclal unfolds the tale and the havoc it continues to take on our nation and its families.

Niko Tsakalakos (Music and Lyrics) is a singer/songwriter and composer/lyricist who recently released his debut solo album, The First Snow,  featuring Orchestrations by Brian Usifer (Associate Music Supervisor, Book of Mormon; Conductor, Kinky Boots). Originally from New Brunswick, NJ, Niko cut his teeth in the music scene playing the LA circuit as a drummer/lead vocalist with his indie rock band, Saint Friday, in the late 90s and early 2000s. They headlined venues such as the Troubador, The Viper Room and the Roxy. He caught the ‘theatre bug’ while in LA (of all places) and moved back east to pursue an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied under the mentorship of two-time Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist William Finn.  His musical, Pool Boy, which he co-wrote with Janet Allard, received a world premiere production at Barrington Stage Company in the summer of 2010 to sold-out audiences. The show also found a home in New York at The Provincetown Playhouse, an NYU Steinhardt Production in the spring of 2012. Pool Boy has recently been commissioned by Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera as a re-imagined cabaret. Niko is a 2017 Larson Grant Finalist and a 2015  Keban Award Finalist.   In 2015, Niko was invited to be a Composer Fellow at the Sundance Institute Playwrights Retreat at Ucross, Wyoming. He was selected for the 2014 & 2011 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.  He is a two-time recipient of the Barry Manilow Scholarship for “Writing Lyrics that Succeed and Endure.” He is also proud member of the Ars Nova family of artists, appearing in the Uncharted Series in 2011 and AntFest in 2009. Niko received an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theatre Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  https://www.nikosongs.com/

Janet Allard (Book and Lyrics) is an American playwright and theatre educator who was born and raised in Hawaii. She currently teaches in the Theatre Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Allard’s plays have been produced at The Guthrie Lab, The Kennedy Center, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Yale Cabaret, The Women’s Project and Productions, Perseverance Theatre, The House Of Candles, and Access Theater in New York City, as well as internationally in Ireland, England, Greece, and New Zealand. She has twice been awarded a Jerome Fellowship by The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow (1998, New Zealand and the South Pacific). Her plays and productions include Pool Boy, which premiered at Barrington Stage Company in 2010; Vrooommm!, which premiered at the Summer Play Festival in New York City in 2007 and was later produced by Triad Stage in Winston-Salem, NC in 2016; and Privates in Bill of (W)Rights at Mixed Blood Theatre in 2004. The Unknown: a silent musical was developed with P73 Productions, garnered an award from the Jonathan Larson Foundation, and was presented at Joe’s Pub and the New York Music  https://www.janetallard.com/

Markus Potter (developed with and directed by)
Markus was honored with an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, and the New York Times Critics’ pick for his off-Broadway production of Stalking The Bogeymanat New World Stages, which he adapted and directed. He has recently directed at The Portland Stage Company, Weston Playhouse, New Jersey Rep, Center Rep, London’s Southwark Playhouse (Off-West End Award nomination for Best Production and Best Direction), and the New World Stages production of Church and State (off-Broadway Alliance nomination for best new play). As an actor he spent several seasons with The Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center, Long Wharf Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Rep, the tour of Death of A Salesman with Christopher Lloyd, and many more.  MarkusPotter.com