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Broadway Musical Tusk Headed to Animation

Steven Billing, writer and co-creator of the Broadway-bound musical TUSK, says the production is headed for animation. TUSK is the award-winning musical, which was part of the 2005 New York Musical Theater Festival in Manhattan. Billing is in negotiations with a Florida-based animation company that is interested in developing it into a feature film. TUSK premiered on stage in Albany, New York at The EGG Theater and on Broadway the following year in New York City. Billing is in negotiations with three theaters to have TUSK on stage again in the early part of 2007.

TUSK is a musical about the plight of elephants and the rain forest. Billing thought of the idea when he learned of the horrible abuse elephants endure by trainers while in the circus and decided to write a musical to educate others.

"It has taken on a life of its own," he claims. "Elephants belong in the wild not whipped, bull-hooked and shocked into doing tricks. I feel its my mission to get the word out through TUSK it finally is coming to life. TUSK tells the real story."

Billing intends to share royalties generated by the production with The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, a not-for-profit sanctuary where all retired elephants roam free and are finally released from abuse for the remainder of their days.

Billing is working to secure financing for the animated feature through various animal rights organizations as well as corporate support along with the voice of a major celebrity.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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