Hickory, NC – The Third Annual Catawba Valley Festival of the Arts is proud to present the staged reading of the brand-new musical, Zazzie Sings!, created by the esteemed writing and directing duo Fiely Matias and Dennis Giacino. Based on the beloved children’s book Reebee Dedoo Dada, written and illustrated by Fiely Matias and published by Redhawk Publications, Zazzie Sings! brings the anti-bullying themed story to life for the whole family to enjoy.

Catawba Valley Festival of the Arts is an annual collaborative event that celebrates all forms of arts in the Foothills region. From September 29th to 30th, the festival will showcase a diverse range of artistic expressions. With generous support from the United Arts Council of Catawba County and the Rotary Club of Lake Hickory, and in partnership with the Hickory Community Theatre and the Green Room Community Theatre, Fiely Matias and Dennis Giacino will have a 10-day artist residency in Catawba County, culminating in the premiere reading of Zazzie Sings! featuring a local cast.

Author and illustrator Fiely Matias, who grew up in the Philippines and Southern California, developed a deep passion for the arts. Throughout his childhood, he faced bullying due to his unique name and background. Reebee Dedoo Dada, a book he wrote and illustrated, emerged from his desire to convey the importance of compassion and support for those who experience bullying in today’s world.

Dennis T. Giacino, renowned author, composer, and lyricist of Off-Broadway’s Disenchanted!, also encountered bullying in his youth. Collaborating with Matias on various musicals and comedies, Giacino resonated with the themes of Reebee Dedoo Dada. Together, they created the new stage musical, Zazzie Sings!. Similar to their previous work on Disenchanted! (a musical that empowers female fairy tale princesses to share the truth about “happ’ly ever after”), Zazzie Sings! is a celebration of individuals who have been marginalized by society. Matias and Giacino have devoted their careers to using art as a means of healing and inspiring positive change in the world.

The creation of a musical requires a collaborative effort, and both Fiely and Dennis feel honored to present the premiere of Zazzie Sings! at the Catawba Valley Festival of the Arts in North Carolina’s Catawba County. Matias shared, “It took two years to write and illustrate the book Reebee Dedoo Dada, which served as the foundation for Zazzie Sings! Another year was spent adapting the children’s book into a stage musical – crafting the dialogue, songs, and characters. This workshop production at Hickory Community Theatre and The Green Room Community Theatre marks the world premiere of the musical, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to witness our hard work come to life on stage. It feels like giving birth to a baby!”

Zazzie Sings! is a Theatre For Young Audiences (TYA) musical that appeals to audiences of all ages. Performances are free and do not require tickets. Mark your calendars for September 29th at 7pm at the Hickory Community Theatre and September 30th at 10am at the Green Room Community Theatre.

For more information about the Catawba Valley Festival of the Arts and the world premiere of Zazzie Sings!, please visit the festival’s website, https://cv-fa.org .