"Social Studies" at NY Summerfest

Created by Ryan Pifher and Jon Provan
Book by Ryan Pifher
Music & Lyrics by Jon Provan

Hudson Guild Theatre
441 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

Performances — 9/4 @ 6:15pm, 9/5 @ 9:00pm, 9/8 @ 9:00pm, 9/10 @ 3:30pm

Tickets — brownpapertickets.com/event/2957081

Website — socialstudiesmusical.com
Facebook — facebook.com/socialstudiesmusical
Instagram — instagram.com/socialstudiesmusical


Seven girls. One test. Multiple choices.

Seven girls from seven different walks of life get a surprise when they arrive for Day One of their 8th-grade social studies course — a virtual-classroom exam, part of a nationwide study, full of probing questions about their feelings, families and relationships. As they write, we eavesdrop on their thoughts. Through inner monologues, imagined scenarios and introspective songs, the girls discover who they really are, who they want to be, and the unseen connection between them.

With an inventive, hilarious book and an emotional pop-rock score, Social Studies is a wide-open window into the mind of the American teenager.

We need your help! This campaign will raise money to produce Social Studies in New York City this September, as part of The New York Theater Festival’s Summerfest 2017.


During the 2016-2017 season at Porch Light Studio, Stage & Schools in Glen Rock, NJ, Ryan and Jon conceived and designed Social Studies around the seven young women in Porch Light’s Youth Performance Troupe Select program. The roles were sculpted to highlight their strengths and personalities, their differences and their common bonds. The characters even sport their names! A huge thanks/shout-out to our original YPT cast — Gillian “Gilly” DuBroff, Grace DeAngelis, Cydney “Cyd” Gleckner, Emma Schmalz, Megan Karow, Meg “Margaret” Whyte, and Lauren “LP” Plastina.

Social Studies explores how we perceive one another and ourselves, who we are, and who we want to be. We had high hopes and much love for the project, but the results were even better than we expected — the scenes, songs and themes resonated with young and old alike.

And, apparently, with The New York Theater Festival, because they selected us for Summerfest 2017! It’s happening; we will be live onstage this September.

We have an all-new cast, a tighter script, sharper characters, expanded orchestration with some new music, updated choreography, completely redesigned lighting, and more. We can’t wait to show it off!

Thank you to everyone who helped us get this far. This opportunity is literally a dream come true — the Social Studies NYC Premiere!


So, about that NYC Premiere...

The budget to make this happen is $7,500 (outlined below). Producing a show in Midtown Manhattan is more expensive than doing so in Glen Rock, but Summerfest makes it more than feasible, and the opportunities and benefits are invaluable — a top-shelf performance space, massive exposure, audiences full of important members of the theatre industry...next steps, everywhere you look.

Our next step is an Off-Broadway or regional run, leading to an even larger production or a licensing deal to take Social Studies around the country. We will take full advantage of everything The New York Theatre Festival offers in order to make that leap.

Please help us make this future a reality — we cannot do this without you! In exchange for your contribution, you will receive the tiered perks outlined above, as as well as our vow to pour everything we have into this production. Our cast and creative team are loaded with incredible artists who are inspired by the vision and engaged in bringing it to life.

Each gift is deeply appreciated. Each gift humbles and inspires us. Each and every gift makes a difference.


Share, share, share! Sharing your enthusiasm for this project via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, phone, and word of mouth is a gift that keeps on giving. Please take this project viral by passing it along to anyone and everyone you know!

Easy sharing links are found at the top and bottom of this page.


Personnel = 30%
Choreographer, Lighting Designer, Dance Captain, Musicians

Publicity = 30%
Press Agent, Website, Social Media, Photographer, Videographer, Playbills, Advertising, Industry Member Tickets

Materials = 15%
Furniture, Props, Costumes, Microphones, Sound Gear, Transport

Festival Fees = 5%
Participation Fee

Other = 20%
Cast Album Production, Contingency, Crowdfunding Fees, Travel Costs


Ryan Pifher (Book/Director) is the Artistic Director of Porch Light Studio, Stage & Schools in Glen Rock, NJ. His show Stage Fright (book/lyrics) received the 2014 NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Original Musical. Ryan was honored with two Perry Awards for Outstanding Direction for his work on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Red, plus nominations for Five Women Wearing the Same Dress and Noises Off. He also directed Coming of Age, a 2014 NYMF Official Selection. Finally, Ryan is an actor and proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. He has been featured in TV, film and national tours, and he received a Best Actor nomination from the Spotlight On Festival for his work in the original play Information, PLEASE!

Jon Provan (Music & Lyrics/Musical Director) is a theatrical writer from Caldwell, NJ, and the Senior Musical Director at Porch Light Studio, Stage & Schools in Glen Rock. His song cycle Coming Of Age (book/music/lyrics) enjoyed a sold-out, extended run at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival. He received the 2013 NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Music Direction (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and the 2014 Perry Award for Outstanding Original Musical (Stage Fright, music/lyrics). His show Cracked! (book/music/lyrics) received Perry Award nominations in 2016 and 2017 for Outstanding Original Musical. In 2017, Social Studies was nominated as well, in the same category. Also a singer and solo artist, Jon has written hundreds of songs for theatre, rock bands, film scores and web series.

Peter Fournier (Producer), a visionary entrepreneur and lover of musical theater, has been involved with productions on stage as a performer as well as behind the scenes as a producer, choreographer, and director. He actively manages his own life insurance agency and has trained hundreds of salespeople on how to better themselves and grow their business. @peterjfournier

Allison Scott 
(Choreographer) is an actor/singer/dancer from Summit, NJ, and the resident choreographer for the Youth Performance Troupe and various other shows at Porch Light Studio, Stage & Schools. This spring she will receive her BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. She has also choreographed and taught at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. Selected choreography credits include: 42nd Street, The Drowsy Chaperone, Stage Fright, Cracked!, Aida, The Addams Family, and Bonnie & Clyde. As a performer, Allison's credits include Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Hair (Crissy), West Side Story, 42nd Street (Peggy Sawyer – Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Nomination), and many more. Allison is a YoungArts 2014 winner for musical theatre.

Jenn Pifher
 (Producer) is the owner and managing director of Porch Light Studio, Stage & Schools in Glen Rock, NJ. She has worked as a producer, business manager, marketing director, graphic designer and costume designer for dozens of productions over the past 10 years. Before opening Porch Light's Glen Rock location, Jenn was the Director of Marketing and Communications for an 800-seat performing arts center in Central Pennsylvania. She has been privileged to work on numerous original projects as a producer and designer, including Jon Provan's theatrical song cycle Coming Of Age, which enjoyed a sold-out run at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival, and Stage Fright, an original Halloween musical, winner of the 2014 NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Production of an Original Musical.

Devon Ercolano Provan (Producer) is a development consultant, with over 17 years of experience in fundraising, public relations, and project management. She produced Jon Provan's theatrical song cycle, Coming Of Age, which enjoyed a sold-out, extended run at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival. As a performer in her own right and an avid supporter of the arts, she is thrilled to help bring this inspired piece of work to life on the NY Summerfest stage.

Zach Pizza (Lighting Designer) Selected credits — NYC: Return to Spoon River (Theater Row), On the Head of a Pin (59E59), Coming of Age, Two-Month Rule (NYMF), Kallie (CAP21), Dream Babies (St. Clements Theater). Regional: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Little Theater on the Square), Outgoing Tide, Electric Baby, 100 Years, The Other Place (Dreamcatcher Rep), Janey Miller's World Tour (Art House Productions), Crowns (The Theater Project), Spring Awakening, Red (NJACT Perry Award, Porch Light Stage). Assistant LD: What I Did Last Summer (Signature Theater), Eugene Onegin (Spoleto USA). Assistant to LD: Rock of Ages (Helen Hayes Theater). Purchase College alum. zachpizzalighting.com

Nick Kassoy (Stage Manager) is a rising senior at Bergen County Academies in the Academy for Technology and Computer Science. This summer, he attended Northwestern University's National High School Institute for Theatre Arts, where he concentrated in Design/Tech and Stage Management. Stage management credits include 3 American Myths (Northwestern University NHSI), Les Misérables: High School Edition (ASM, bergenPAC), and Avenue Q (Porch Light Studio, Stage & Schools). Nick also works as a lighting designer/programmer and actor, and he hopes to continue his theatre studies in college.

Maddie Powell (Assistant Stage Manager) is a rising senior at Bergen County Academies in the theatre concentration, where she is looking forward to playing Elektra in the fall production of Elektra. She is a produced playwright and currently interning at Playwrights Horizons. She is also the Co-Artistic Director of a theatre company called Studio 216 (@Studio216Theatre). She is the Co-President of an a capella group called Femme Fatale and the Co-Producer of an event called Masterclasses at the Academies (academymasterclasses.com).

Abbie Anderson 
(Margaret) is an actress, singer, dancer and playwright. Favorite roles include Mayzie in Seussical, Kendra in 13 the Musical and Welch in Damn Yankees. Abbie performed with Broadway’s Melissa Erico and Orville Mendoza in the Off-Broadway musical Evergreen. Most recently, Abbie was seen Off-Broadway in the musical Pippin as a featured player. She performed at Radio City Music Hall as a soloist in the Garden of Dreams Talent Show. Abbie has studied at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, Broadway Workshop, A Class Act NY and Porch Light Productions.

Sam Brady 
(Cyd) was recently seen in Little Shop Of Horrors as Crystal at Wilkes University. Favorite roles include Wendla Bergman in Spring Awakening, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and Demeter in CATS. She was a BFA Musical Theatre student at Wilkes University, but is transferring this fall to Circle In The Square Theatre School.

Edie Crowley 
(Gilly) was part of Porch Light’s Youth Performance troupe for four years and now attends Bergen County Academies' theatre program. Favorite roles include Paulette in Legally Blonde, King Arthur in Spamalot, Marmee in Little Women, Ghost of Christmas Present in Scrooge, and Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie. She received a vocal soloist award at the Onstage New York Competition for her solo “Diva’s Lament.”

Kelly Flatley 
(Emma) is a senior in the theatre program at Bergen County Academies, where she has appeared in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline as Arviragus, Hot Mikado as Pish Tush, Evita as Peron’s Mistress, and many others, including playing several roles in the annual One-Act Play Festivals. The character of Emma shares similarities with Chris Hargensen, the antagonist in Carrie The Musical, whom she had the opportunity to play at Porch Light Productions this past year. She spends much of her time writing music and playing gigs. You can find her music by searching her name on SoundCloud. 

Kate Glennon 
(LP) is an upcoming junior at James Caldwell High School. She was most recently seen performing at Feinstein's/54 Below in the "Red, White and Broadway" show. She has performed with the Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir and Voices of Paper Mill. This past year, Kate has been seen in Bye Bye Birdie (Kim MacAfee), Godspell (Judas), and Legally Blonde (Serena). Favorite roles include Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Patty Simcox (Grease), Martha (Scrooge), and Crystal (Little Shop of Horrors). 

Claire Kwon 
(Megan) is a rising senior at Bergen County Academies in the theatre program. Some of her favorite roles include Pitti-Sing in Hot Mikado, Belarius in Cymbeline, Hannah in the play “girl.”, a soloist in Hair, and a choir member in Our Town. She was recently nominated for a Metropolitan High School Theatre Award. She is also a co-producer of Masterclasses at the Academies, a student-run theatre event for high schoolers. She is a winner of Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater and placed 3rd in the National Classical Singer Competition.

Ginger May 
(Grace) is entering her sophomore year at Bridgewater Raritan High School and her second year at the Rutgers High School Musical Theater Academy. She is voice-training with Tamara Jacobson and is a member of Broadway Mentors Program. Favorite roles include Sharpay from High School Musical, Dragon from Shrek, Rizzo from Grease, and more.
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Jon Provan 
West Caldwell, NJ

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