NY New Works Theatre Festival: Meet Sara McDermott Jain and Steven Skeels & Flesh and Spirit

Name: Sara McDermott Jain (playwright) and Steven Skeels (composer/lyricist)

Current project: “Flesh & Spirit”; BLURB: Michael, a priest, begins a journey of self-discovery that connects his life to that of Daphne, a drug addict and a prostitute. In trying to help Daphne and come to terms with his own sexuality, Michael incurs the wrath of his most devout parishioner, the scorned and jilted Mary, and Daphne incurs the wrath of David, her pimp and sometimes lover.

Where are you performing/why is it the right fit? : We are performing it as part of the New York New Works Theatre Festival (nynwtheatrefestival.com). This is a somewhat controversial show, delving into topics rarely (if ever?) seen in musical theatre. That makes it a little experimental. NYNW provides the perfect, supportive platform to try it out with an audience.

What’s next for you? : We’re looking to collaborate on two new musicals together. Additionally, Sara has one feature film that is releasing this fall and another just going into production, and Steven is currently writing a musical with husband Jerad Bortz as well as developing a one-man show and a new album to release in 2017. 

Biggest inspiration

Steven: “Lin Manuel. He is also an actor/composer/lyricist.” 

Sara: “I feel like I’m inspired by so many people all the time! I’m constantly reading up on my craft and trying to take in as much as I can, and am blown away by the amount of brilliant people in the world. If I have to choose just one person, though, I guess I’ll say it’s my two-year-old, Nicholas Anshuman Jain! It might be cliche, but his amazement at experiencing everything for the first time is awe-inspiring. Since he arrived in my life, he’s pushed me to do more and be better than I ever thought I could be.”

Want more?

Twitter:https://twitter.com/FandSMusical / @fandsmusical

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fleshandspiritmusical/

Sara McDermott Jain is a produced screenwriter and playwright, as well as a published author and director of the Princeton Independent Film Festival (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2016, http://www.prindiefest.com). Her feature screenplay Left, written while at Emerson College, won the Evvy Award for Best Script Drama before being purchased by Gaddis Visuals. The finished film is releasing in Fall 2016. Additionally, she has recently been hired to script the new upcoming horror film franchise Hidden Evil for Unleashed Pictures. Flesh & Spirit is her first experience writing a book for a musical. She currently has several projects in development, including two new musicals, Driven and Switched.

Steven Skeels (composer/lyricist). As an actor Steven originated the starring role of Rusty in both the International and Las Vegas companies of Starlight Express. He had a Top 10 hit single of Starlight Express on CBS records. He also had a top 5 hit in Japan with the song The Letter. Regional: Lt.Cable in South Pacific, Scarecrow in the wizard of Oz and Tom Thumb in Barnum. He has toured the world performing in over 40 countries and has performed with show biz legends Shirley MacLaine, Rita Moreno, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. Steven also performed an original song on Oprah’s After show titled Light of Love and then recorded it as a single to raise money for Oprah’s Angel Network. He has composed music for the documentary Tiny Pinnochio – The smallest dog in the world. Steven has recorded 5 albums as a singer/songwriter and has performed as a soloist for 3 US Presidents. 

Upcoming project include: CPNY the musical, Whole-A Spiritual Journey, Driven: a new musical, Switched the musical, The Dinky, Stinky & Glippy Show and a play titled Poet O.

______________________________Show info: 7pm, Sept. 12, 2016, at the Elektra Theatre in the Times Arts Center as part of the New York New Works Theatre Festival (http://www.nynwtheatrefestival.com). (Flesh and Spirit goes on at 9pm.)


300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036 – 2nd Floor
AT 7PM sharp.

*Disclaimer: Please be aware shows performing after 8:30pm may not be suitable for younger audiences. No children under the age of 4 are permitted.
** Please note that tickets can be purchased after 3pm the day of the show at the door are $25.
Click HERE for tickets and other festival participants

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