Written and performed by Cynthia Shaw
Directed by Peter Michael Marino
Cynthia grew up playing classical piano in a tiny Colorado town, but she was determined to achieve success in New York City. In this autobiographical solo show, Cynthia shares tuneful tales of battling inner demons, hitting wrong notes, enduring hard knocks and meeting unique Manhattan characters who inspire, help, and sometimes hinder her journey to Carnegie Hall, all illustrated by virtuoso live piano performance.
Part of 59E59 Theaters' East to Edinburgh 2022
Cynthia Shaw, writer, lives in Brooklyn, NY. She began writing VELVET DETERMINATION as she reminisced about coming to New York from Pueblo Colorado as a young, innocent classical pianist dreaming of attending the Manhattan School of Music. After seeing Hershey Felder perform his solo show about Leonard Bernstein at 59E59, she knew there was a place for classical piano solo shows and started writing. Cynthia studied writing with Austin Pendleton, Page Clements, Peter Michael Marino and Eric Webb in New York, and Jim Jackson of the Millibo Art Theatre in Colorado Springs. She currently is writing a show about her experiences in the caving areas of Kentucky and the 1930’s caver, Floyd Collins and has also created a web series in which she plays her alter ego, Dr. Ivory von Tickle - the Perceptive Piano Teacher. Dr. Ivory teaches online piano lessons to hapless students with joy and confusion. www.drivoryvontickle.com www.cynthiashaw.us
Peter Michael Marino is a New York City native who has worked extensively as a producer, director, developer, writer, teacher, and performer. Pete is a member of The Dramatists Guild, AEA, SAGAFTRA, The Indie Theater Fund, and a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute. His production company, PM2 Entertainment, has presented festivals and original comedy works everywhere from NYC to Australia, Canada, and the UK. Pete is regarded as one of the first American artists to pioneer online, live, interactive performances during the pandemic. To date he’s live streamed over 150 performances of his shows Desperately Seeking the Exit and Show Up, Kids!, and the internationally acclaimed Planet of the Grapes Live. In summer 2021, Pete produced the Spanish and English run of his acclaimed family-friendly Show Up, Kids! at The Kraine Theater, NYC. The Japanese language production opened in NYC Winter 2022. He is a subject of an early pandemic piece by Peter Marks in the Washington Post, and is also the author of a satiric, controversial piece for Medium. WINNER “2021 Creative of the Year” (Young-Howze Theatre Awards) NOMINEE “Best Zoom Show Performed in Real Time” (BroadwayWorld 2020 Cabaret Awards) NOMINEE “Outstanding Achievement In An Individual Performance” (No Proscenium) www.PeterMMarino.com
"...beautiful playing and knack for whimsical storytelling...."
"...if you're looking for an uplifting affirmation of the rewards of hard work, look no further than VELVET DETERMINATION."– AllAboutSolo.com
"Shaw...clearly knows her way around the keys, and she shows us what a little perseverance can accomplish."– OnStage Pittsburgh