Susan Blackwell
Susan Blackwell
(© David Gordon)
This July, the 10th Anniversary New York Musical Theatre Festival will present the world premiere of the girl-powered musical Volleygirls, featuring a book by Rob Ackerman (Tabletop), lyrics by Sam Forman (F#%king Up Everything), and music by Eli Bolin (I Sing). [title of show]'s Susan Blackwell will star as a disgraced Olympian coaching an oddball team of high school volleyball players. The production will run July 15-27 at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre.

Neil Patrick Stewart will direct the play, which follows former Olympian Kim Brindell as she finds herself in charge of a team of wide-eyed, high school volleyball players after years of avoiding the sport that shattered her. Kim finds a way to help the girls, to accept their help in return, and to win it all.

Television star Monica Raymund of NBC's Chicago Fire will make her debut as a lead producer.

Blackwell commented in a statement, "NYMF holds a very special place in my heart, since I participated in the inaugural season ten years ago with [title of show]. Like [title of show], I feel Volleygirls is extremely special."

The New York Musical Theatre Festival is the largest musical theater event in America, providing an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions. More than 85 festival shows have gone on to productions on and off-Broadway, and Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony and the Pulitzer Prize.