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About Austin The Unstoppable

Reigning master of the X-box and junk food junkie, eleven-year-old Austin must face the long-term consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle when he learns his mother has been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Austin the Unstoppable was commissioned and produced by George Street Playhouse in partnership with ShapingNJ. This musical comedy explores the challenges of one family learning how to make healthy choices together.

Written by Barry Wyner and Daniel Israel, this fun, upbeat, touring musical engages students in the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise by celebrating how positive change can occur through love, hard work and support. Since premiering in 2012, Austin the Unstoppable has toured to over 160 schools, reaching nearly 40,000 students throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

View our curricular resources for students and educators.

Find out what audiences are saying about the production by reading our testimonials and press.

Read stories of inspiration from students and teachers.

Ready to bring Austin to your school or event?

Meet the Creators
 
Barry Wyner is a Boston native who, due to an overwhelming love of theatre, moved to New York City and never left. His writing has won him the Richard Rodgers Award, Jerry Bock Award, Kleban Prize, and Noel Coward Prize. His musical CALVIN BERGER was developed at Gloucester Stage, Barrington Stage, and George Street Playhouse, where it was directed by 3-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall. The Original Cast Recording of CALVIN BERGER can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora. One of the songs was even recorded by film/TV star Neil Patrick Harris! Wyner's other projects include THE COUNSELOR, seen Off-Broadway, and two educational musicals for George Street Playhouse: Austin The Unstoppable and Gabi Goes Green! He has had professional workshops of his shows by Manhattan Theatre Club, Musicals Tonight, and several Broadway producers. Wyner studied music at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Queens College, and the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. BarryWyner.com
 
Daniel Israel is a proud member of the advanced BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, where he is the recipient of the 2010 BMI Harrington Award for Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre. Working with lyricist and librettist Barry Wyner, Daniel wrote the music for Austin the Unstoppable. Barry and Daniel collaborated again on another new George Street Playhouse musical, Gabi Goes Green! This environmental superhero musical officially opened in April, 2015 and will continue touring over the next several years. The Dirty Hippie Jam Band Project, his full-length musical in development, has been featured at Merkin Hall (Bound for Broadway), York Theatre (NEO 6), Snapple Theater (Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab) and other showcases throughout New York City. Daniel also composes for The Water Coolers, a theatrical group that delivers musical comedy to corporate audiences. He was a contributing composer on the critically acclaimed video game, Wolfenstein: The New Order. He is a graduate of University of Rochester, and has visited every Major League Baseball stadium with his Dad.

Cast and Crew
  Joe Piserchio (Austin) is beyond excited to be joining George Street Playhouse as an actor with the Educational Touring Theatre 2017-2018 season! It will be a tremendous honor to tell these important stories with valuable life lessons to kids all over the state of New Jersey and more, while doing what he loves most in this world — performing! Joe has been heavily involved with the New Jersey based theatre company, Breaking Through The Box, serving on the staff board for the 2016-2017 season. He will be joining the executive board this upcoming season! Joe would like to thank his family and friends for their continued and dedicated support!      Rachelle Legrand (Deena) is very excited to take her first step in her acting career with George Street Playhouse! She graduated in May 2017 from Rutgers University with a degree in Africana Studies and Journalism and Media Studies with honors. Rachelle has performed in numerous productions throughout New Jersey. She has performed in To Be Young, Gifted and Black (Lorraine Hansberry) at the Algonquin Arts Theater, Black Nativity (Mother Mary) and Hairspray (ensemble) at the Count Basie Theater. She has also been a part of numerous musicals at Rutgers, such as Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), Bare: A Pop Opera (Sister Chantelle), Hair (Dionne) and Footloose (Wendy-Jo). Rachelle is also no stranger to the stage due to her pageant experience. She represented the state of New Jersey at the Miss Caribbean United States pageant and placed fourth runner-up. She was also crowned Rutgers University's 2015 Miss Caribbean. She recently competed for Miss New Jersey for Miss America.
 
  Christina Comizio (Kayla) a longtime resident of Vernon, N.J., is so excited to be making her professional debut as a member of the George Street Playhouse Educational Touring Theatre! Recent/Favorite credits include: The Wild Party (Queenie), The Clean House (Ana), Nine (Luisa Contini), Les Misérables (Éponine), and Beauty and the Beast (Belle). She recently earned her bachelor’s degree in theater from Quinnipiac University and is a two-time New Jersey Governor’s Award winner, winning Best Actress and Best Dramatic Monologue. She would like to thank everyone at the George Street Playhouse for this opportunity, her fellow actors, and her family for their love and support. More at christinacomizio.com     Evan Hart (Dylan, Dr. Klein and others) is ecstatic to join the George Street Playhouse this year. He most recently performed with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival as Orsino in Twelfth Night and Verges in Much Ado About Nothing. Favorite credits: Emcee in Cabaret, Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show, Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald in Assassins, and Jesus in Godspell. Film: The Orphans and Dougherty Row. When not performing, he loves cooking, reading, and perfecting his coffee connoisseurship. He would like to thank his family and friends for the constant love and support. For C.


Production Staff





Books & Lyrics: Barry Wyner
Composer: Daniel Israel
Original Direction: Kevin del Aguila
Director: Jim Jack
Stage Manager: Erica Leigh
 

Set & Sound Design: Christopher Bailey
Costume Design: Esther Arroyo
Orchestration: Matt Castle & Frank Galgano
Musical Direction: Matt Castle
Study Guide: Sue Marinello & Carl Schultz

George Street Playhouse
George Street Playhouse is proud to commision and produce dynamic educational touring theatre for young audiences. Our touring productions address relevant Character Education themes such as respect, cyber bullying, conflict resolution, peer pressure, health and wellness and empathy.

Our mission is to enrich people's lives by producing world-class theatre. Founded in 1974, George Street Playhouse is one of New Jersey's preeminent professional theatres committed to the production of new and established plays. With a staff of 50 artists, technicians and administrators, George Street Playhouse develops innovative theatre that encourages the growth of the theatrical art form while reflecting and addressing the needs of our community. Through our Mainstage Series and education and outreach initiatives, the playhouse reaches an ever-growing cross-section of the diverse New Jersey community and contributes to the development of the American theatre repertory. Annually, the Playhouse serves an audience of approximately 140,000.

Visit the George Street Playhouse

Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is committed to working alongside those who can help us improve our neighbors' health and inform their health decisions, as well as inspire them to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

By sharing our time and resources, we aim to be not only a better company, but also a better member of the communities where we live and work.

Please Visit Community.HorizonBlue.com

Additional Funders & Partners
Austin the Unstoppable was commissioned by George Street Playhouse through the Victoria J. Mastrobuono New Work Development Program, Bristol-Myers Squibb and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Research for the development of Austin the Unstoppable was provided by ShapingNJ.

Additional funding for this program is provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and The Karma Foundation.