46 Writers Head to 3rd Annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals
This year’s participants boast credits as diverse as:
Writer for Netflix’s hit series “House of Cards” (S. Forman)
Tony Award-winner (Stew&H. Rodewald)
Member of the Blue Man Group (F. Licari)
Grammy Winner (Kinky Boots) and Member of the band The Mooney Suzuki (S. James Jr.)
Winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Audience Prize (J. Rohe)
Bon Jovi Backup Singer (P. Seibert)
Two Tony Nominated Actors, Book Writers and Goodspeed alumni (H. Foster, H. Bell)
Founder of Music in the Clinic at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center&Children’s Hospital (M. Myers)
Screenwriter with films represented at Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals (D. Fithian)
Member of the female punk band Wednesday Week (H. Rodewald)
Grammy nominated producer for artists such as Lou Rawls, Isaac Hayes, Debbie Harry,Perry Farrell, Adam Pascal, and Joan Osborne (T. Hyams)
Writers for Disney, FOX, ABC, HBO, Paramount Universal, Hanna-Barbera studios and more.
EAST HADDAM, CONN., – JANUARY 29, 2015: In what has become an annual ritual, a total of 46 established and emerging writers, composers and lyricists will converge on the Goodspeed campus later this month to participate in the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. The writing teams, representing 25 new musicals, will populate the campus, creating a truly exciting environment for discovery and inspiration.
The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed is an unparalleled, long-term residency program devoted exclusively to musical theatre writing. It provides a sanctuary for composers, lyricists, and librettists to embark on new musical theatre work or to devote a substantial amount of time to a work-in-progress in an environment rich with creative energy. For four weeks, starting January 19, the writing teams work in residence in Goodspeed’s Artists Village, each team in their own house, with whatever support is needed from dramaturgical to the Goodspeed’s fine music department. In the evenings writers get together in an informal, Salon style environment, and share the day’s work. This gathering allows the artists an invaluable opportunity to gain insight from their colleagues. The Colony is the ultimate think tank of veteran Broadway and young working professional in theater today. Over the course of the four week program, composer/lyricist Jonathan Brielle will again serve as Producer/Writer in Residence, and Michael Bush will serve as Resident Dramaturge. Goodspeed’s Donna Lynn Hilton is the Producing Artistic Director of the JMF Writers Colony.
The Writers Colony created a confluence of a long-held mission of fostering new works by Goodspeed and the JMF mission to nurture the discipline of songwriting. With this wonderful collaboration, Goodspeed continues to be an incubator for the next generation of musical theatre artists, and performers as well as the center for the American Musical.
The outstanding writers who have been invited to participate in the colony have earned tremendous recognition in the industry with honors such as the Lucille Lortel Award, ASCAP’s Howard Adamson Award, Jonathan Larson Fellowship, ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award, and the Calloway Award. In addition, participants have earned such honors as the MacDowell Fellowship, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards, NYMF Awards and an OBIE Award, as well as nominations for Tony and Olivier Awards.
We are pleased to announce that the 2014 writing teams are (in alphabetical order) Rob Ackerman, Michael Aman, Gabriel Barre, Hunter Bell, Rachel Chavkin, Matthew Doers, Diana Fithian, Sam Foreman, Hunter Foster, Meredith Friedman, Emily Goldman, Keith Gordon, Sarah Hammond, Tor Hyams, Creighton Irons, Michael R. Jackson, Amanda Jacobs, Sammy James Jr., Jonathan Keebler, Cheeyoung Kim, Ryan Korell, Dawn Landes, Frank Licari, Patrick Lundquist, Douglas Lyons, Sean Mahoney, Dave Malloy, Emily Maltby, Ann McNamee, Madeline Myers, Sara Nicholson, Patricia Noonan, Ryan Scott Oliver, Ethan Pakchar, Matthew Lee Robinson, Heidi Rodewald, Jean Rohe, Dana Rowe, Lisa Rothauser, Brett Ryback, Pete Seibert, Stew, Eric Ulloa, Eric Webb, Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary.
ABOUT THE JOHNNY MERCER FOUNDATION:
The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.
JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate our goals, including the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate The Positive Programs (New York-Kaufman Music Center, Los Angeles and Miami), The Musical Theater Program at NJPAC, Georgia State University Fellowship Program, Florida International University Fellowship Program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University. In addition, JMF also supports various charitable causes including UCLA’s Art of The Brain, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program), Braille Institute (Johnny Mercer Children and Adult Choirs) and KCET TVs Cinema Series.
For more information please visit www.johnnymercerfoundation.org
ABOUT GOODSPEED MUSICALS:
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, the first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement, produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional musicals at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which celebrated 30 years of developing new musicals in 2014. In addition to the two theatres and production facilities, Goodspeed maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed Musicals gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
Who’s Who: 2015 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals Participants
OTHER WORLD (Hunter Bell, Ann McNamee, Sammy James Jr., Gabriel Barre)
HUNTER BELL earned an OBIE Award, a Drama League nomination, and a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical for the Broadway musical [title of show]. Other credits include books for Silence! The Musical, Bellobration! (Ringling Bros. Circus), Villains Tonight! (Disney Cruise Lines), Found, Other World, and Julie Andrews’ The Great American Mousical. He is a co-creator of the web series “the [title of show] show” and has developed television with ABC Studios. Hunter is a proud graduate and distinguished alumnus of Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild, and a MacDowell Fellow. @huntbell
SAMMY JAMES, JR. is a Grammy-winning music producer, composer, and founder of NYC garage rock band The Mooney Suzuki. Since the early 00’s, the group has released 5 full-length albums, toured extensively with acts like Kings of Leon and The Strokes, and taken festival stages worldwide from Coachella to Fuji Rock. “Alive&Amplified”, the title track to the band’s Columbia Records debut, broke the UK Top 40, becoming an international hit and enjoying extensive licensing in ads, TV, film, and video games. Many other Sammy-composed Mooney Suzuki songs have found placement in ads for companies like Nike, SAP Software and Suzuki, TV shows including “Smallville,” “Friday Night Lights,” and “Gossip Girl,” and games like Madden, NHL, Burnout and Shaun White Snowboarding. For Paramount Picture’s School of Rock, Sammy composed the title song performed by Jack Black and the kids in the film’s finale. It’s actually Sammy performing the guitar heard when Jack plays in the scene. Mooney Suzuki has contributed original songs and covers to a number of film soundtracks for Columbia Pictures, Disney, and DreamWorks’ #1 hit Tropic Thunder, in which Sammy also performs.
ANN KOSAKOWSKI MCNAMEE retired as Professor Emerita of Music Theory at Swarthmore College in order to pursue a new career as a songwriter and performer. Over 250 songs, ten albums, and 750 live shows later, she’s widening her horizons to include collaborating on musical theater projects and restoring a Thomas Church garden. Ann’s portfolio of over 250 songs offers a fresh perspective on relationships and the ever-changing world. Her Wellesley College B.A. and Yale Ph.D. in Music Theory demonstrate that she knows about the rules she’s breaking. Influenced by such diverse masters as Carole King, Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan, Elton John, the Velvet Underground, and Igor Stravinsky, Ann composed for and sang with the Flying Other Brothers band from 1999 to 2006.
GABE BARRE is an internationally acclaimed director whose production of the new musical Amazing Grace is slated to open on Broadway in 2015. Amazing Grace had its world premiere at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago in the fall of 2014, and had a prior developmental production at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in Connecticut. Other work includes the off Broadway production of the The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa at the Manhattan Theatre Club which was nominated for numerous awards, including five Outer Critics Circle Awards and thirteen Drama Desk Awards, both including Best Direction of a Musical, and for which he won the Calloway Award for Best Direction. He directed the US national tour of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Eartha Kitt, which toured the country for three years, including a stint at Madison Square Garden, as well as subsequent productions regionally throughout the US. He also directed the national tour of Pippin, which originated at the Goodspeed Opera House and played throughout the US and Canada. Other original off-Broadway credits include: Almost, Maineat the Daryl Roth Theatre, Summer of ’42 at the Variety Arts Theatre, Honky Tonk Highwayat Don’t Tell Mama (winner of a MAC Award and Bistro Award for Best Review), Stars in Your Eyes at the Cherry Lane Theatre, john&jen at the Lamb’s Theatre, Son Of A Gun at the Samuel Beckett Theater and the 25th Anniversary production of Jacque Brel is Alive and Well at the Village Gate, which he also acted in and choreographed.
STEALING TIME (Lisa Rothauser, Tor Hyams) and THE BIG TIME (Lisa Rothauser, Tor Hyams, Frank Licari)
LISA ROTHAUSER is a composer, writer and performer. She has appeared in the Broadway and 2nd National Touring companies of The Producers as Hold Me Touch Me and Lick Me Bite Me. Lisa originated the roles of Marie Tovesky and Rachel/Hagar in the world premiere productions of O Pioneers! (The Producers’ Club) and Songs of Paradise (Caldwell Theater). She starred in Mock Your World at The Zipper Theatre and The Laurie Beechman in New York City and produced and starred in a one-woman show, Bye Bye Lisa, at The Studio in New York City. Most recently, she wrote, produced and starred opposite Jeremy Kushnier in Stealing Time. In addition to appearing in numerous television commercials, Lisa also wrote, produced and starred in “Mommy Needs a Timeout,” an original series for Nickmom.com. Regional credits include Guys and Dolls (Sarah), Chicago (Velma), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel), Once on This Island (Erzulie), Phantom (Christine), Swinging on a Star, The Mikado (The Huntington Theatre), Lend Me a Tenor (American Stage Festival) and Master Class (opposite Lucie Arnaz). Lisa has a Masters in vocal performance from Boston University.
TOR HYAMS is a Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter with over 20 years of experience in the music industry—from writing and performing his own material to producing world-class recording artists (Lou Rawls, Isaac Hayes, Debbie Harry, Perry Farrell, Adam Pascal, Joan Osborne, Rachel York, Vivian Campbell and Edwin McCain) and composing dozens of scores for both film and television. Though his roots are in musical theater, his professional debut came with the premiere of Greenwood at the 2011 New York Musical Theater Festival, which he co- authored and produced. For his second effort, Tor composed the music and co-authored Stealing Time with Lisa Rothauser and produced the debut at NYMF 2012.
FRANK LICARI is an actor, writer, producer and director who can currently be seen in a recurring role as the FBI Director on USA Network’s “Graceland.” He just wrapped production on Walt Before Mickey – a full length feature film that he co-produced, co-wrote and co-starred. The film stars Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie Movies), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) and David Henrie (“Wizards of Waverly Place”). He will also be seen opposite Giovanni Ribisi in a new film called PAPA, about the life of Ernest Hemingway, coming out in 2015. From 2012-2013, Frank was the show director, producer and backup vocalist for the world tour of nine time Grammy winner, Jose Feliciano (“Light My Fire,” “Chico&The Man,” Feliz Navidad”). He also guest starred on USA Network’s “Burn Notice.” He was a member of the award winning show Blue Man Group for three years.
PASSING THROUGH (Brett Ryback, Eric Ulloa)
ERIC ULLOA is the author of the play 26 Pebbles, which has its NYC premiere Fall 2014. He is also the librettist of the musical Molly Sweeney based on the Brian Friel play. Molly Sweeney recently headlined the Human Race Theatre’s festival of new musicals. Eric is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
BRETT RYBACK is a composer and lyricist. He won the 2007 Tennessee Williams One-Act Competition for his play Weird. His play A Roz By Any Other Name was the winner of the 2007 Henrico County Theatre One-Act Competition. Both are published in The Best American Short Plays 2007-2008. His play Death Valley DQ received 3rd Prize in the McClean Drama Company’s 10-minute Play Contest, and an honorable mention at American Globe Theatre’s 18th annual fifteen-minute play festival in New York City. As a composer/lyricist, he has written music and/or lyrics for Liberty Inn: The Musical (LA Ovation Award Nominations Best Book, Best Music/Lyrics), Quit India (Richard Rodgers Award Finalist 2007); High School! (UCLA’s Francis Ford Coppolla One Act Festival); and Shoulder Pads, a movie-musical written by Abe Sylvia (for whom he worked as Music Director on the film Dirty Girl.) He also wrote the book to Darling (Featured on NBC’s “The Apprentice”, winner of the Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, and Selection for 2009 Pace New Musicals), and the play I, Abraham (UCLA commission). He wrote book, music, and lyrics for The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, which recently received a “Best of Pasadena” Award.
ROW (Dawn Landes)
DAWN LANDES (Songwriter) is an internationally renowned performer and recording artist originally from Louisville, Kentucky. She has released four critically acclaimed albums: Dawn’s Music (2005), Fireproof (2008), Sweetheart Rodeo (2010) and Bluebird (2014). Landes has toured extensively in the US, Europe and around the world, often sharing the stage with artists such as Ray Lamontagne, Feist, Bryan Ferry, Andrew Bird and Suzanne Vega. Her music has been featured in commercials, popular films and TV shows, including “Bored to Death,” “House,” “Gossip Girl,” and “United States of Tara.” She composed original scores for two feature films and has appeared with The American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center, The Boston Pops and NYC Ballet as a guest vocalist. Last year she released Mal Habillee, a collection of original french songs packaged in interactive ebook form with illustrations by the artist Danica Novgorodoff to accompany the text. Her newest album, Bluebird was released on Western Vinyl Records Feb 2014. www.dawnLandes.com
LEARNING HOW TO DROWN (Amanda Jacobs, Patricia Noonan)
PATRICIA NOONAN (Book&Lyrics)
As a writer, Patricia has seen her award-winning plays The Storykeeper and Mermaid People produced by her alma mater Boston College. As an actress, Patricia has been part of developing many new musicals from table reads to workshops to full productions. In NYC, she has created roles in Maury Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday (Sophia), Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennett), Signs of Life (Lorelei), Baby Case (Betty Gow) and regionally in Neurosis (Abby) and Little House on the Prairie at the Guthrie. She is also a regular with NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program where she works with writers and composers on the development of new work.
AMANDA JACOBS (Music&Lyrics)
A native of Macon, GA and graduate of Wesleyan College, Amanda is most recognized for her award-winning work on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which swept the NYMF Awards in 2011 (including the coveted “Stage Entertainment Award” and “Most Promising Musical” award). Recently, the Jane Austen Society of North America named her their 2014 representative for their International Visitors Program to the UK. Her other collaborative works include Lily, DANIEL: The Musical and Truth in Beauty: A Shakespeare Sonnet Project. Amanda recently won the 2014 WORDS&MUSIC composition competition for her setting of Emily Dickinson’s poem “I would not paint a picture”.
FACTORY GIRLS (Rob Ackerman, Creighton Irons, Sean Mahoney, Sam Foreman)
SAM FORMAN (Book) is a writer for the stage and TV. He spent two seasons on the writing staff of Netflix’s “House of Cards” and is currently writing for HBO’s upcoming political satire “The Brink” (starring Tim Robbins and Jack Black). Sam was the lyricist for the musical adaptation of Sleepless In Seattle (Pasadena Playhouse, dir. Sheldon Epps) and Volleygirls (NYMF 2013, dir. Neil Patrick Stewart) which won NYMF 2013’s Most Promising New Musical Award; Best Of Fest; New World Stages Award and Best Ensemble Award. Sam’s other plays and musicals include: The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall (Stage 13, NYC dir. Sam Gold; Theater J, Washington DC dir. Shirley Serotsky, Helen Hayes Nomination 2010); We The People (TheaterWorks USA, Lucille Lortel Nomination 2011); href="mailto:F#@king">F#@king Up Everything (Off-Broadway: Elektra Theater, NYC, dir. Jen Wineman) which, in an earlier production, won the NYMF 2009 Award for Excellence in Book Writing (dir. Stephen Brackett); Roller Disco (A.R.T. Oberon, Cambridge, MA dir. Jen Wineman); The Moscows of Nantucket (Theatre J, Washington DC, dir. Shirley Serotsky); The Grille Room (Cherry Lane Mentor Project, dir. Thomas Kail).
ROB ACKERMAN (Book) thanks Sam Forman for introducing him to the world of Creighton Irons, Sean Mahoney, and Factory Girls. Rob’s work includes the book for the musical Volleygirls (2013, NYMF Award winner for Best Ensemble Performance, Best in Fest, Most Promising New Musical, and New World Stages Development Award, music by Eli Bolin, lyrics by Sam Forman, dir. Neil Patrick Stewart); Call Me Waldo (2012, The Working Theater, Off Broadway, and The Kitchen Theatre, Ithaca, dir. Margarett Perry); Tabletop (2001, American Place Theater, Drama Desk Award Winner, Best Ensemble Performance, dir. Connie Grappo); Volleygirls (2009, American Conservatory Theater, commission and premiere, dir. W. David Keith); Icarus of Ohio (2008, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, dir. Fritz Ertl); Disconnect (2005, The Working Theater, Classic Stage Company, dir. Connie Grappo.) Works in progress include two new musicals: Jam On! (music and lyrics by Dan Israel and Phoebe Kreutz, dir. Alan Muraoka, 2013 Musical Mondays series at Snapple Theatre).
CREIGHTON IRONS is a composer/lyricist originally from North Carolina. His musicals include Factory Girls (with Sean Mahoney; book by Sam Forman and Rob Ackerman), The Moon and the Sea, Ran Together, Soul Notes, and Staying Wild (with Janet Allard), and Homefront(with Craig Slaight), commissioned by A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory in San Francisco. His shows have been presented at Goodspeed Musicals, NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals, the American Conservatory Theater, Pace University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Boston Conservatory, and he has performed his music at ArsNova, Barrington Stage, Birdland Jazz, Boston Center for the Arts, the Canal Room, Lincoln Center, and Joe’s Pub. As a music director, he helms projects in New York (Byuioo, The People Vs. Mona) and North Carolina (Dreamland, Working, Kudzu, Diamond Studs). He graduated from UNC in 2005 (Morehead Scholar) and received an MFA from NYU-Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing program in 2008. www.creightonirons.com
SEAN MAHONEY is a Manhattan-based rock musical theater writer. His works have been developed and performed at Goodspeed Opera House, Boston Conservatory, Pace University, ACT-San Francisco, Ars Nova, Lesley University, and NAMT. Recent projects include Factory Girls (with Rob Ackerman, Sam Forman and Creighton Irons), Prep School Musical (with Forman), The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky (with Irons), Sweet Cassandra – A Greek Rock Opera (with Amy Burgess), Twilight, The Musical (with Ashley Griffin and other composers), and the ten- minute musical Diaper Derby (with Janet Allard). He is a composer/lyricist at the Lucy Moses Summer Musical Theater Workshop and has served as a music director, classroom music teacher, and contemporary music ensemble instructor at various independent schools on the West and East Coast. He has an MFA in musical theater writing from NYU-Tisch.
A STRANGE LOOP (Michael R. Jackson)
MICHAEL R. JACKSON holds a BFA in playwriting from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Dramatic Writing Program and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from the Tisch School’s Musical Theatre Writing Program. As a songwriter, he has seen his work performed at Merkin Hall, The Barrington Stage Company, The Laurie Beechman Theater, The Triad, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, The Metropolitan Room, The Bruno Walter Library at Lincoln Center, and ACT in Seattle. He wrote music and lyrics for the short musical Childhood Sweethearts with playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman for the 24 Hour Musicals to benefit The Orchard Project and worked as the bookwriter/lyricist on the musical Only Children with composer Rachel Peters. He is currently working with composer Anna Jacobs on a musical adaptation of Mitchell Lichtenstein’s 2007 indie film Teeth. Michael is a 2009 recipient of the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Grant.
THE ODYSSEUS AGREEMENT (Jean Rohe)
JEAN ROHE is a multi-lingual singer and composer, mixing aesthetic approaches from jazz, folk, and Brazilian traditions. Her one-of-a-kind narrative songs, which range from fantastical riffs on old folktales to “phonojournalism”, a genre of her own invention, have won recognition from ASCAP, the New York Songwriters Circle, and the Independent Music Awards, and her refreshingly candid performance won her the audience prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival. She is the recipient of residency fellowships at the Blue Mountain Center (2009 and 2014), The MacDowell Colony (2012), The Johnny Mercer Foundation (2013) and ISLAND (2014). Her October 2013 release with her genre-bending 8-piece ensemble, Jean Rohe&The End of the World Show, has been called “masterful,” (Daily News) “thoughtful, reflective, and courageous” (No Depression).
PUCCINI (Pete Seibert, Patrick Lundquist – Alumni, Johnny Mercer Foundation’s Writers Colony at Goodspeed)
PETE SEIBERT counts among his accomplishments performing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, writing additional music for such movies as Alice in Wonderland, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and Footloose, composing music for Fox TV’s “Mob Doctor” and three seasons of “Drop Dead Diva”, orchestrating strings for Kelly Clarkson, 3 Doors Down, singing backup for Bon Jovi, and getting into Stanford’s Graduate School of Business as a musician.
A University of Virginia graduate, PATRICK LUNDQUIST has acted in Los Angeles theatre productions such as Miss Saigon and Hairspray. He was music assistant to Andrew Lippa for the world-premiere of Big Fish. As Associate Producer for Al Jarreau‘s latest album My Old Friend, which features 12 Grammy-winning artists, he arranged and sang backup vocals. He also proudly co-wrote lyrics with Jazz legends Jarreau and George Duke on the song “Summer Breezin’”. Seibert and Lundquist’s musical theatre piece Swan Lake was developed at the Johnny Mercer Foundation’s Songwriter’s project, the inaugural Goodspeed Writer’s Colony, and was selected for the 2014 Stephen Schwartz ASCAP Dreamwork’s workshop.
HEIST (Madeline Myers, Meredith Friedman, Emily Maltby)
MADELINE MYERS is a composer and lyricist for musical theater based in New York. Madeline received her education in composition at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Musical Theatre Writing Program, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Madeline has been honored to work with Maury Yeston, Michael John la Chiusa, Laurence O’Keefe, Brendan Milburn&Valerie Vigoda, Jason Robert Brown, and Georgia Stitt. Madeline’s current show, Legends&Lore, will be read in concert at the New York Theatre Barn in October of 2014 and workshopped at the Musical Theatre Factory in November of 2014.
MERIDITH FRIEDMAN’s plays have been developed and performed at The Kennedy Center, Chicago Dramatists, The Greenhouse Theatre Center, Curious Theatre Company, the NNPN National New Play Showcase, New Repertory Theatre, The Lark, Actor’s Express, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Stage Left, Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, The American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU, and LOCAL Theatre Company.She was the NNPN Playwright-in-Residence at Curious Theatre Company for their 2010-2011 season, a 2012-2013 Dramatist Guild Fellow, and the recipient of a 2013-2014 Downstage Left Playwriting Residency at Stage Left Theatre. She was recently awarded the 2014 NNPN Annual Commission to write and develop a new play with Curious Theatre Company.
EMILY MALTBY (Director)
Emily is a New York City born and based Director and Choreographer. Born into a Von Trapp family of singers, actors, lyricists, directors, musicians and filmmakers, Emily has been surrounded by music and storytelling her whole life. Emily attended Northwestern University, studying Theatre and Dance. While at Northwestern she worked on many productions, including directing and choreographing the 70th annual Dolphin Show (America’s largest student-produced musical): 42nd Street. She also created four musical pieces to commemorate the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and directed a production of new musical The Gefilte Fish Chronicles which performed at The White House.
Unnamed Project (Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary)
ALAN ZACHARY co-wrote songs for Broadway’s romantic comedy musical First Date, which opened last year at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway after selling out its run at Seattle’s 5th Ave/ACT Theatres. Zachary (with co-writer Michael Weiner) recently also wrote songs based on material by J.K. Rowling for Celestina Warbeck&The Banshees, a musical show at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando. Currently, he is co-writing the score for an upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of the film Secondhand Lions (Book: Rupert Holmes / Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures), which had its world premiere last fall at Seattle’s 5th Ave Theatre. As a frequent songwriter for Disney, Zachary co-authored book, music and lyrics for the hit original stage musical Twice Charmed (Soundtrack on Walt Disney Records) and has written songs and developed projects for Disney Animation, Disney Channel and theme parks around the globe. Zachary is a graduate of Amherst College and is the recipient of the 2012 ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. www.zacharyandweiner.com
MICHAEL WEINER is the co-composer/lyricist of the Broadway musical First Date, which enjoyed a sold-out run at Seattle’s 5th Ave/ACT Theatres in 2012, prior to opening at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway in August 2013. Most recently, Michael (with co-writer Alan Zachary) created songs based on material by J.K. Rowling for a Harry Potter themed show, Celestina Warbeck&The Banshees, playing in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios in Orlando. Michael co-wrote music and lyrics for an upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of the film Secondhand Lions (Book by Rupert Holmes/Produced by Warner Brothers Theatre Ventures) which premiered at Seattle’s 5th Ave. Theatre in September 2013. Additionally, Michael’s original American history-themed musical Liberty Smith, debuted at historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. in 2011. For Disney, Michael has written songs/scripts for Disney Animation, Disney Channel and theme parks worldwide, including: the hit original stage musical Twice Charmed (Soundtrack on Walt Disney Records). Michael is the 2012 recipient of the ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. www.zacharyandweiner.com
TAKING STEP THREE13 (Eric Webb, Matthew Doers)
ERIC C. WEBB (Book) is a writer and freelance dramaturg, as well as Director of Creative Development for Davenport Theatrical Enterprises and Literary Manager for March Forth Productions. Other writing projects in development include The Angels of Mons (for March Forth Productions), Thompson/Gifford (a Gothic chamber musical), and Borrowed. Previous writing credits include Ubu – a twisted puppet show co-adapted from Jarry’s UbuRoi, Playwriting is Easy, Clown, and Strange Currencies. Eric received his MFA in Literary Management&Dramaturgy from Stony Brook University (2008). Literary Management/Dramaturgy credits include Literary Management for La Vie Productions (2009-2013), Associate Literary Manager for the 2008 John Gassner New Play Festival, Dramaturg for Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwrights Inc. (2008–present), Un-American Activities (new musical by William Norman), Escape From Happiness and Lynn Nottage’s Las Meninas (directed by TalvinWilks).
MATTHEW DOERS (Music&Lyrics) recently made his transition from NYC’s underground rock n’ roll scene to the stages of NYC theater. The Public Theater’s NEW WORK NOW! showcased his most recent musical, Taking Step Three13 in a concert performance at Joe’s Pub, where he was recognized as “an exciting new voice in musical theater.” Music from the show was also included at a recent concert at Ars Nova showcasing his work. Other credits include additional lyrics for the sold out London premier of a new musical based on American Psycho (soon to make its NYC transfer) with music and lyrics by Tony award winner Duncan Sheik. He also scored for the New York premier of the play Love Minus, wrote the music and lyrics for fringe hit Poking Kitty Purple and music and lyrics for Celebrate Good Times–Rockin’ Macbeth.
JASPER IN DEADLAND (Hunter Foster, Ryan Scott Oliver) and ROPE (Ryan Scott Oliver – Alumnus, Johnny Mercer Foundation’s Writers Colony at Goodspeed)
HUNTER FOSTER has previously written the books to four musicals, including the Outer Critics Circle-nominated Summer of ’42 and The Circus in Winter. He is a Tony nominee for his performance in Little Shop of Horrors and was recently seen in the Broadway musical The Bridges of Madison County. Foster originated the role of Bobby Strong in the Broadway and Off-Broadway companies of Urinetown (Outer Critic and Lucille Lortel Award Nominations). Broadway: Grease (Roger), Footloose, Les Miserables and Alan Menken’s King David. Toured nationally as the Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and understudied and performed the role of Martin Guerre in the Cameron Makintosh production of Martin Guerre. He also appeared in the New York premiere of Childen of Eden (Abel) by Stephen Schwartz at the Paper Mill Playhouse. He also appeared in the regional production of Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) in the summer of 2003. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre Program (BFA 1992).
RYAN SCOTT OLIVER was called “the future of Broadway… a major new voice in musical theatre” (Entertainment Weekly) and the “best composer working today without a major production” (Backstage Magazine). He is the winner of a Larson Grant, Rodgers Award, Lortel Award Nomination, ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and New Musicals Awards from Weston Playhouse and Pace University. He wrote the music and lyrics for 35mm: A Musical Exhibition (licensed by Samuel French, original cast recording avail. on Ghostlight Records), Darling (workshopped at ACT, featured on NBC’s The Apprentice), Mrs. Sharp (read at Playwrights Horizons July 2009 starring Jane Krakowski, dir. by Michael Greif), Out of My Head (licensed through Steele Spring Stage Rights), as well as the commission We Foxes (Broadway Across America) among others. He is currently at work on the new musical Rope, a commission for Grove Entertainment.
SADAKO&FLOYD (Keith Gordon)
KEITH GORDON has written the music&lyrics for Saint Heaven, book by Martin Casella (Village Theatre, Seattle; Stamford Center for the Performing Arts; NYMF–Director’s Choice; TRU New Musicals Festival–Best of Festival; Stages Chicago). Keith is currently writing music&lyrics for Girl Powers, with playwright Michele Aldin (Santa Fe Musical Theatre Festival 2014; Dixon Place Festival).He has also written the music for The Shadow Sparrow, book by Anton Dudley, lyrics by Charlie Sohne (O’Neill National Music Theater Conference 2011; City Theatre of Pittsburgh Momentum Festival 2012). Keith’s choral/orchestral piece “It Must Have Been” debuted in Boston and Denver in 2012. His Mass for St. Timothy’s in 2013.Keith is an alumnus of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.
UNEXPECTED BLISS (Douglas Lyons, Diana Fithian, Ethan Pakchar)
DOUGLAS LYONS (Lyrics&Music) is an actor&songwriter originally from New Haven, Conn. Currently Douglas is appearing in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway. Broadway/NY: The Book of Mormon, Pageant (Miss Bible Belt). National Tours: RENT, Dreamgirls (Apollo/Tokyo) and The Book of Mormon 1st National Tour. Regional: Pirates (Huntington Theatre Company), To Kill a Mockingbird (Hartford Stage Company). Workshops: Band Geeks! (Goodspeed Musicals) and also Tupac Shakur’s Holler if Ya Hear Me directed by Kenny Leon. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Hartt School and is currently the lyricist for the new musical Feature-Film The Dancer and The Composer.
ETHAN D. PAKCHAR (Music&Orchestration) is a New York City and Atlanta-based composer and guitarist. He has received awards and honors for his compositions from the New York Art Ensemble and the New York University Music Department. He was awarded the Orchestral Residency for the NYU Symphony Orchestra and the Woodwind Quintet Residency at NYU as well as a commission for piano trio from CMC Atlanta. Additionally, he has received a Dean’s Research Grant and a four-year music scholarship from New York University. As guitarist and banjoist/mandolinist, Ethan has played for the Broadway productions of Wicked, Book of Mormon, and Newsies, Duncan Sheik’s Off Broadway workshop of The Aenied, the Detour New Music ensemble and the NYU Symphony Orchestra as well as several productions of community musicals including Little Shop of Horrors, Children of Eden, Bye Bye Birdie, and 42nd Street. Currently is playing guitars for the 1st National Tour of The Book of Mormon.
DIANA FITHIAN is a playwright and screenwriter living in Los Angeles, California. Her plays include Three Ways (commissioned by Roundabout Theatre Company, reading at Roundabout Theatre Company), Flats and Heels (workshop production: Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theater, readings: Philadelphia Theatre Company, Roundabout Theatre Company), and Take Care of Yourself (Manhattan Theatre Source). She co-wrote the short film Doorman, an official selection at both the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and her screenplay The Young Dr. Jensen was awarded a Sloan Screenwriting Grant. Diana has earned a BA in Theatre and English from Brown University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU.
NEARLY TENNESSEE (Michael Aman, Dana Rowe)
DANA P. ROWE is an American composer whose musical theater works have been performed in New York City, London’s West End and around the world. Rowe’s scores for The Fix and The Witches Of Eastwick, both of which were produced in London by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, earned critical acclaim and Olivier Award nominations for best new musical. His most recent work, Brother Russia, was a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and premiered at the Tony Award winning Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA under the direction of Eric Schaeffer.
MICHAEL AMAN’s The Unbleached American won best play 2012 for the African American Playwrights’ Exchange (AAPEX) and had its premiere at The Stoneham Theatre in Massachusetts in April, 2014. He co-wrote the book for The Piper (with Grammy winning songwriter Marcus Hummon), which premiered at the Actor’s Bridge Ensemble in Nashville, 2010. His play POZ (+) was commissioned by [Your Name Here] Theatre Company and is opening the season for Island City Stage in Fort Lauderdale in October, 2014. He co-wrote the book and lyrics for The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde (2005 NYMF). He is currently working on Frida, a musical about Frida Kahlo (with Olivier Award nominee composer Dana P. Rowe), which was developed through Amas Musicals in New York City. Michael has a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Mastersdegree in Dramaturgy.
FROG AND GARY (Emily Goldman, Sara Nicholson)
SARA NICHOLSON is a New York City based lyricist and librettist. She holds a M.F.A. from New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and a B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where her concentrations was ‘The Social Responsibility of Theatre.’ Sara’s current projects with collaborator Emily Goldman include the continued development their thesis musical Frog&Gary, a full-length animated movie musical in collaboration with Benny Gammerman about alien space pigs titled Troyer The Destroyer, and children’s musical, Aesop’s Bagels.
EMILY GOLDMAN is a composer, pianist, and writer. She is currently Assistant Music Director for Texas State University’s BFA Musical Theatre Program, and a music director at the Performing Arts Project. She holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, and a BA summa cum laude from Cornell University. Her work has been featured at the Hangar Theatre, Barrington Stage, New Dramatists, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, the Aspen Music Festival, The Music Theatre Company, and many other venues.
ATLANTIS (Matthew Lee Robinson)
MATTHEW LEE ROBINSON has won the UTAS Stephen Schwartz Songwriting Award, the Gilbert Spottiswood Churchill Fellowship, the Pratt Prize for Music Theatre (for Best New Musical written in Australia), the $100,000 Australia Council Music Fellowship and his first musical Metro Street was nominated for five Helpmann Awards (Australia’s equivalent to the Tony Awards). Matthew has developed his latest musicals Atlantis and Happy People across Australia and the U.S. with mentorship from Stephen Schwartz and representatives from Disney Theatrical Group, Manhattan Theatre Club and Ambassador Theatre Group. Most recently, Atlantis – In Concert played to sell-out audiences in Melbourne, Australia, and Happy People underwent a week-long workshop at Village Theatre, Washington state. Matthew’s writing credits also include songs for the Emmy-nominated television series “Dance Academy” and the musical revue Sing On Through Tomorrow (Original Cast Recording available on iTunes). Matthew’s work has been heard in concert through the Ars Nova Uncharted series and in Seattle’s 2014 New Voices concert.
FAMOUS VICTORIES (Rachel Chavkin, Dave Malloy) and MOBY DICK (Rachel Chavkin, Dave Malloy)
RACHEL CHAVKIN is a director/dramaturg/writer, and the founding Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based ensemble, the TEAM (www.theteamplays.org). The TEAM’s mission is to make new work about the experience of living in America today, and over the years the company has developed a unique democratic writing process that fuses intense research, physical and verbal improvisation, and structured writing prompts. Since its founding in 2004, Rachel has directed/co-authored 9 plays with the TEAM, including Mission Drift, which recently completed a sold-out run at London’s National Theatre (co-produced by New York’s PS122, Lisbon’s Culturgest, and London’s Almeida Theatre, with music composed by Heather Christian; Winner 2011 Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel, “Best of 2011″ The Guardian), Architecting (co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, Winner 2008 Scotsman Fringe First, “Top Ten 2009″ Portugal’s Publico), and most recently RoosevElvis (co-produced by London’s Almeida and Gate Theatres, and Brooklyn’s Bushwick Starr, Time Out New York “Top Ten 2013″). The TEAM’s work has been seen all over New York (including the Public Theater and PS122), nationally (including the Walker Art Center), internationally (including London’s National Theatre, international festivals in Perth and Hong Kong, the Barbican Centre, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, and the Salzburg Festival’s Young Directors Program). The TEAM’s work was recently ranked “Best of 2013″ on three continents.
Current projects include several new works with Dave Malloy, and a collaboration with folk singer Anais Mitchell to adapt her album Hadestown for the stage. Rachel is an NYTW Usual Suspect, an Artistic Associate at London’s Gate Theatre and New York’s Classic Stage Company, for whom she has directed a number of readings/workshops and serves as a Shakespeare coach to Mandy Patinkin.
Dave Malloy is a composer/writer/performer/sound designer/musical director/pianist/theater slash artist. He is the winner of two OBIE Awards, a Richard Rodgers Award, Glickman Award, ASCAP New Horizons Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, and New Music USA Grant, a recipient of the 2009 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Theatre Directors and Designers, the 2011 Composer-in-Residence at Ars Nova, and the composer for the Brooklyn based ensemble Banana Bag&Bodice. He has written the music for seven full-length musicals, most recently Natasha, Pierre&the Great Comet of 1812, an electropop opera based on Tolstoy’s War and Peace, for which he also wrote the libretto and performed as Pierre. Great Comet was commissioned by Ars Nova and premiered there in October 2012. He is one of the co-creator/performers of Three Pianos, a drunken romp through Schubert’s “Winterreise” that premiered at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in 2010, winning a Special Citation OBIE award, and subsequently had sold out runs at New York Theater Workshop and American Repertory Theatre; and he is the composer of Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage, a Banana Bag&Bodice SongPlay written by Jason Craig and commissioned by the Shotgun Players in Berkeley, CA.
BAREFOOT PERSEPHONE (Cheeyoung Kim, Sarah Hammond)
CHEEYOUNG KIM is a musical theater composer, pianist, violinist, orchestrator and music director. He graduated from the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. At NYU, his projects included Barefoot Persephone, the one-act musical Trapped with Joe York, the short opera Two Suns with Sara Nicholson, and the puppet musical Cloud&Goat with Sarah Hammond. He is a Korean composer residing in Queens.
SARAH HAMMOND is an alumna of New Dramatists. Her honors include the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heidemann Award, commissions from South Coast Rep and Broadway Across America, and a residency at the Royal National Theatre in London. Her play Green Girl was produced at the Summer Play Festival at the Public. Her musical, String (written with Adam Gwon), won New Dramatists’ Loewe Award and was selected for the O’Neil Musical Theatre Conference, the Hammerstein Festival at Buck’s County Playhouse, and this year’s NAMT Festival. She recently completed an MFA at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where she wrote book and lyrics for the full-length Barefoot Persephone; a puppet musical called Cloud&Goat; and two ten-minute musicals that have been seen at Great Barrington Stage Company, Jack + Jill and People Are Dancing.
Untitled Project (Stew, Heidi Rodewald)
STEW&HEIDI RODEWALD: Works include Passing Strange for which he received the 2008 Tony award for ‘Best Book of a Musical.’ Wrote lyrics and co-composed music for the same. Two-time Obie winner: ‘Best New Theater Piece’ and, as a member of the PS acting family, ‘Best Ensemble.’ A four-time Tony nominee, Stew leads, along with his collaborator Heidi Rodewald, two critically acclaimed bands: The Negro Problem and Stew. Works: Post Minstrel Syndrome (TNP 1997), Joys and Concerns (TNP 1999), Guest Host (S 2000), The Naked Dutch Painter (S 2002), Welcome Black (TNP 2002), Something Deeper Than These Changes (S 2003) and the cast album of Passing Strange (2008). Artist-in-residence at the California Institute of the Arts (2004/5); Passing Strange: Berkeley Repertory Theater/the Public Theater/the Belasco Theater (2006/2007/2008). But what Stew will ultimately be remembered for is having composed “Gary Come Home” for SpongeBob SquarePants.
THE DAWN OF EDEN (Jonathan Keebler, Ryan Korell)
JONATHAN KEEBLER is a bookwriter/lyricist originally from Delray Beach, Florida. He recently received his M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch. He has written book and lyrics for three musicals to date. They are Gay Card with Ryan Korell, The Good Child with Insoo Oh, and The Sophomores with Jamie Lee Jacobs.
RYAN KORELL is a musical theatre composer who was raised in the suburbs of Chicago and is now based in New York City. He holds a newly-minted M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch and a B.M. in Composition from Vanderbilt University. His most recent work includes Gay Card, written with Jonathan Keebler, Scratches, written with Samantha Chanse, and Grounded, written with Teresa Lotz.
JONATHAN BRIELLE has composed songs on Broadway for Foxfire starring the legendary Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn; Off-Broadway, his critically acclaimed musical Himself and Nora, (book, music&lyrics) opens this Fall. He served as Composer in Residence at Circle Rep in New York under Marshal Mason and Lanford Wilson. His Las Vegas extravaganzas include: Enter The Night(book, music, lyrics) 12 years, Stardust Hotel; MadHattan (book, music, lyrics) opened New York, New York Hotel, 2 years. US/UK Tours include: Rugrats, Goosebumps Live! Ringling Brothers Barnum&Bailey Circus. Musicals In Development include: 40 Naked Women, A Monkey and Me(book, music, lyrics) Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Conference; Nightmare Alley(book, music, lyrics) Geffen Playhouse, New York Music Theatre Festival. Mr. Brielle is proud to again serve as the Producing Writer in Residence at the 3rd annual Johnny Mercer Writers’ Colony at Goodspeed Musicals; is the former National Projects Director of The Songwriters Guild of America and volunteers as Vice President of the Johnny Mercer Foundation helping to spearhead songwriting programs for elementary, middle, and high schools across the country as well as at several leading college institutions.
MICHAEL BUSH most recently directed the Off-Broadway productions of Bikeman, PsychoTherapy, Cactus Flower, and Based On A Totally True Story. Regional Productions include: Stormy Weather (Pasadena Playhouse, Prince Music Theatre), Other Desert Cities (Capital Repertory Theatre),The Sisters Rosensweig (Capital Repertory Theatre) A Christmas Carol (Capital Repertory Theatre), Murderers (Philadelphia Theatre Company, City Theatre), etc. He is the co-author and director of Leslie Uggam’s Uptown Downtown (Pasadena Playhouse, Capital Repertory Theatre), which won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for best solo performance. He won the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival Award for Excellence in Direction for the world premiere musical Hurricane. He has directed nine New York Musical Theatre Festival musicals including The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, The Piper, and Jonathan Brielle’s Himself and Nora. His second show for Leslie Uggams, Classic Uggams, premiered at New York’s premiere nightclub 54 Below in November 2012. In June 2013, he directed the world premiere of a new play with music about Judy Garland called Heartbreaker at the Adirond at the Adirondack Theatre Festival. He is the former director of artistic production and associate artistic director for the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. He was associated with MTC for at the Adiroat the Adirondack Theatre Festival.
He is the former director of artistic production and associate artistic director for the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. He was associated with MTC for over 25 years and helped artistically guide more than 200 new plays and musicals, including the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof and Doubt, and the Tony Award winning Love! Valour! Compassion! He was instrumental in the rebirth of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Cabaret&Performance Conference, and served as its artistic director from 2005 to 2012. In his associations with both MTC and the O’Neill Center he has presented such acclaimed performers as Julie Andrews, Rita Morano, Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters, Betty Buckley, Rosemary Clooney, Marilyn Maye, and Jim Dale and has developed over 100 new shows, revues, and intimate musicals including [title of show] and The Story of My Life, both of which were produced on Broadway. He is currently developing three new musicals: 40 Naked Women, a Monkey, and Me; Nightmare Alley; and Picasso.
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