35 Writers Head to Goodspeed Musicals' First-Ever Musical Theatre Writers Colony, Beg. 1/21
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by BWW News Desk
A total of 35 established and emerging writers, composers and lyricists will converge on the Goodspeed campus this month to participate in the first-ever Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. The writing teams, representing more than twenty 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 will provide 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.
The outstanding writers who have been invited to participate in the inaugural colony have earned tremendous recognition in the industry with honors such as the Tony Award, Emmy Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Lorenz Hart Award, Kleban Award, ASCAP's Harold Arlen Award, Fred Ebb Award, Jonathan Larson Fellowship, ASCAP Frederick Loewe Award, ASCAP Cole Porter Award for Music and Lyrics and The National Art Song Award, as well as special grants from the NEA.
We are pleased to announce that the 2013 writing teams are (in alphabetical order) Aron Accurso, Will Aronson, Arthur Lafrentz Bacon, Sean Barry, Neil Bartram, Rob Baumgartner Jr., Jonathan Brielle, Ben Clark, Sam Davis, Christopher Dimond, Harris Doran, Laura Eason, Jenny Giering, Adam Gwon, Christy Hall, Brian Hargrove, Laura Harrington, Mark Hollmann, Victor Kazan, Hannah Kohl, Michael Kooman, Greg Kotis, Patrick Lundquist, Jordan Mann, Daniel Maté, Thomas Mizer, Curtis Moore, Adam Overett, Kevin Purcell, Jason Schafer, Benjamin Scheuer, Peter Seibert, Jeff Thomson, Beth Turcotte and Sam Willmott.
The start of the Writers Colony marks the realization of a long-held dream for Goodspeed Musicals. Thanks in part to the wonderful support of The Johnny Mercer Foundation, 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.
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed celebrates another milestone - its 50th Anniversary - in 2013. 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 gratefully acknowledges the support of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.
Jonathan Brielle (Book, Music, Lyrics) Currently has four musicals in development including the critically acclaimed NYMF production of Himself and Nora opening April 24th at the brand new Hamilton Stage in New Jersey before its Broadway run; 40 Naked Women, A Monkey and Me premiered last summer at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Conference staring Veanne Cox and Steve Blanchard; Nightmare Alley premiered at the Geffen Playhouse as the last project directed by the legendary Gil Gates; as well as a brand new unnamed musical at the Colony.
On Broadway, Jonathan wrote the songs for Foxfire staring theater legends Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, and Off-Broadway served as Composer in Residence at Circle Rep in NY under Marshal Mason and Landford Wilson writing songs and scores for dozens of plays including a new version of Fifth of July, The Great Grandson of Jedidiah Kohler, and Besides Herself. Regionally, an earlier version of Himself and Nora earned a National Endowment Award at The Old Globe in San Diego and then at The James Joyce Center in Dublin earning the Joyce estate's seal of approval. His US and UK Tours include: Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, Rugrats, & Goosebumps Live!; Jonathan's Las Vegas shows include: Enter The Night (book, music, lyrics) which ran for 12 years at the Stardust Hotel, and a two year run of Madhattan (book, music, lyrics) which opened the New York, New York Hotel featuring 30 street performers form the streets of Manhattan.
Jonathan is serving his fourth year as Board Member of The Johnny Mercer Foundation and his second term as Vice-President overseeing the JMF Songwriting Project at Northwestern University, originating the Kaufman Lyric writing program in title one schools in New York, the NJPAC lyric writing program for title one schools in New Jersey, and is serving as the Writer Producer in Residence of the Writers Colony. He is also the former National Projects Director of the Songwriters Guild of America and is the founding member of Tritone Productions with partners director Michael Bush, and producer Aldo Scrofani. For more info go to: www.jonathanbrielle.com.
Mark Hollmann received the Tony Award, the National Broadway Theatre Award, and the Obie Award for his score to Urinetown the Musical, which itself won Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Lucille Lortel Awards for best musical. Other shows as composer/lyricist: Yeast Nation (New York International Fringe Festival, Perseverance Theatre, and American Theatre Company), Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls (Perseverance Theatre and Atlantic Stage) The Man in the White Suit (New York Stage and Film), The Girl, the Grouch, and the Goat (University Theatre, U. of Kansas), Alchemist the Musical (Seattle Fringe Festival), Jack the Chipper (Greenview Arts Center, Chicago), Kabooooom! (University Theater, U. of Chicago), I Think I Can and Deal with It! (Berkshire Theatre Festival), and Fare for All (Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Gardens, NYC). Actor/co-writer for The Rack, Theater of Funny, The Mercy Ripper, LBJFKKK, Love Me, All Eight Die, and After Taste (all at Cardiff Giant Theater, Chicago). TV: songs for Disney Channel's Johnny and the Sprites. Mark received his bachelor's degree in music from the University of Chicago, where he won the Louis Sudler Prize in the Creative and Performing Arts. He serves on the Tony Nominating Committee and the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America, and is a member of ASCAP.
Greg Kotis is the author of many plays and musicals including Urinetown (Book/Lyrics, for which he won an Obie Award and two Tony Awards), Michael von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards, The Boring-est Poem in the World, Yeast Nation (Book/Lyrics), The Truth About Santa, Pig Farm, Eat the Taste, and Jobey and Katherine. His work has been produced and developed in theaters across the country and around the world, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, American Theater Company, the Eugene O'Neill National Theater Conference, Henry Miller's Theatre (Broadway), Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Stage and Film, Perseverance Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Soho Rep, South Coast Rep, and The Old Globe, among others. Greg is a member of the Neo-Futurists, the Cardiff Giant Theater Company, ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, and was a 2010-11 Lark Play Development Center Playwrights Workshop Fellow. He grew up in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife Ayun Halliday, his daughter India, and his son Milo.
Sean Barry is a writer of fiction, poetry, and theatre. He wrote the book and lyrics for "Saint-Ex" (music by Jenny Giering), which was selected by The Sundance Institute for the 2008 Theatre Lab at White Oak, awarded the 2010 Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, and received a 2011 NEA grant and a NAMT New Musical Development award. "Saint-Ex" premiered in August, 2011 at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, VT. Sean's work has appeared in numerous publications, including Boston Review and Mississippi Review. He is currently a writer-in-residence at CAP21 in New York. Sean is at work on a novel.
Laura Eason is the author of more than twenty full-length plays, original work and adaptations. Her plays have been produced at theaters all over the country including multiple productions at the Steppenwolf and Lookingglass Theatres in Chicago, the Humana Festival, Baltimore Centerstage, Kansas City Rep, Hartford Stage, Actors Theatre, Women's Project, and 59E59 in NYC, among others. Her work is published by Smith and Kraus, Playscripts, and Broadway Play Publishing. She has received Chicago's Jeff Award for New Work and Adaptation. In New York, she is an Affiliated Artist of the Obie-winning New Georges and an alumna of the Women's Project Playwright's Lab. She is an active ensemble member and former Artistic Director of Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Laura is a graduate of the Performance Studies Department of Northwestern University. Originally from Chicago, she lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Jenny Giering's scores include The Mistress Cycle (produced at Apple Tree Theater, New York Musical Theater Festival); Crossing Brooklyn (commissioned and by The Boston Music Theater Project, The Transport Group and the Beautiful Soup Theater Collective, 2008 Kleban Award); Alice Unwrapped (commissioned by Premieres, Inc. and produced at the Zipper Theater with Jennifer Damiano); Saint-Ex (2011 World Premiere at The Weston Playhouse Theater Company, Weston VT, 2010 Weston Playhouse New Musical Award). Her awards include The National Art Song Award, The Dramatists' Guild Jonathan Larson Fellowship, the Constance Klinsky Prize from Second Stage Theatre Company, and the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award. She was named the Clifton Artist in Residence at Harvard University and composer-in-residence at Sundance's Ucross Residency. She's at work on a new commission for Playwrights' Horizons with Laura Harrington and Adam Gwon.
Patrick Lundquist is a Singer/Songwriter residing in Los Angeles, CA. He began his career working for 7-Time Grammy Award winning singer Al Jarreau. Patrick's talents intrigued Mr. Jarreau, and the two began sharing and writing music together. Soonafter, Patrick began singing backup for Al in studio and in concert. Mr. Jarreau has referred to Patrick's music as "getting to the intricacies and sensitivities of what lyrics can bring to a piece of music." In January 2011, Patrick branched away, co writing an EP for his vocal group Embassy Tide, with collaborator Pete Seibert. The EP debuted at #9 on the iTunes vocal charts. The CD came across the desk of jazz legend George Duke who has called it "A Huge Sound." Patrick has performed these songs for audiences exceeding 20,000 in such venues as the American Airlines Arena in Miami and the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Other significant performances include a small benefit for the Kennedys on Cape Cod, and at the Republican Party's largest annual fundraiser, The President's Dinner. His voice has been heard on numerous studio releases, including Adam Lambert's Billboard Top Ten album For Your Entertainment, as well as the hit comedy Easy A. In addition to being a musical theatre actor, Patrick continues to write, demoing his work on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and singing both live and in studio sessions around Los Angeles.
Peter Seibert is a composer, conductor, and pianist based in Los Angeles. Additional music and/or arrangement film credits include One for the Money, Footloose, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Disney's Prom, FAME, and Dear John. Peter recently completed Paradise Lost, a tuba concerto commissioned by Seth Cook and the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra. He was also one of 25 film composers to contribute music to Haiti: A Symphony of Hope. The collaborative piece debuted in Los Angeles on August 3, 2012 with the Hollywood Studio Symphony. A faculty member at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of Los Angeles, Peter teaches Songwriting and accompanies the academy's esteemed gospel group, SONGBOOK. Peter is a recipient of ASCAP's Harold Arlen Award for Film & TV Music. He currently writes additional music for Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva and the FOX television series Mob Doctor.
Sam Willmott is an New York City-based composer/lyricist whose work has been performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Walnut Street Theatre, 54 Below, Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre, The York Theatre Company, and other venues across the country. He is the recipient of the 2012 Fred Ebb Award, the 2012 John Wallowitch Award, and the 2009 Kennedy Center ACTF Musical Theater Award.
HIS AND HERS
Sam Davis Broadway credits as arranger and/or conductor include Drood, Scandalous, Curtains, The Apple Tree, and the upcoming Big Fish. He was musical supervisor for Dreamgirls at the Apollo (also the national tour, Korea, and South Africa), plus orchestrator for The Trumpet of the Swan (Kennedy Center). As composer: Bunnicula (Daryl Roth Theater), Love and Real Estate (59 E 59), and the album Love on a Summer Afternoon (P.S. Classics). Winner of the Jonathan Larson Award for composition and a graduate of the University of Michigan. For more information visit www.samdavismusic.com
Brian Hargrove (Book and Lyrics) was a writer/producer on the television shows "Dave's World", "Caroline in the City", "Holding The Baby", and "Maggie". He co-created and executive produced "Titus" on Fox, and was an executive producer for "Wanda at Large". He created the sit-com "Nora" for TBS, wrote the book My Life as a Dog a mock-ography of Frasier's Eddie, co-wrote a new narration for Camille Saint-Saëns' "Carnivale of the Animals" performed at the Hollywood Bowl and wrote the book and lyrics for "It Shoulda Been You", a new musical headed to New York next fall.
Benjamin Scheuer (composer/lyricist) wrote music and co- wrote lyrics to Jihad! The Musical, which played sold-out runs in Edinburgh and London (dir Gordon Greenberg.) Scheuer's operetta The Nightingale and the Rose was produced NYC's Metropolis Opera Poject. A 2010 Johnny Mercer Songwriting fellow, Scheuer writes and performs with his band Escapist Papers, whose recently released their second album, "The Bridge." He gave the debut performance of "The Bridge" at Lincoln Center's Broadway's Future Series in January 2012. Scheuer composed songs for theRoundabout Theatre's reading of "What Would Nora Say" (dir Ted Sod). Scheuer has studied at the BMI workshop, was a member of the LABrynth Theatre's Intensive Ensemble, and holds an English degree from Harvard College. Diagnosed with, treated for, and cured of advanced-stage cancer at 28, Scheuer is alive and well at 30 years old. He lives in New York City.
THE MAPMAKER'S OPERA
Victor Kazan has worked in the entertainment industry for four and a half decades, and is equally at home in a theatre or on a film set. A native Londoner, he studied Modern Languages at University of London before training as an actor at Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He subsequently carved a distinguished reputation as a writer and director in British theatre and television before taking up permanent residency in Australia in 1980.
Kevin Purcell is one of those rare creative artists whose entire passion and expertise is singularly focused on Music for the Theatre, whether for Musicals or Opera. An internationally award-winning conductor/musical director, Kevin is also increasingly sought after for his concert orchestrations and arrangements for some of the most respected names in the music business. Not unsurprisingly with these dual passions, Kevin is equally at home whether directing cast and orchestra from the pit, or on-stage in concert.
MADAM FURY'S TRAVELING SHOW
Christy Hall (Bookwriter) Christy's writing for the stage includes her full-length play YOURS, ISABEL, a story inspired by actual letters from WWII. In August of 2011, the official world premiere of YOURS, ISABEL opened as an invited work of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. The production received five star reviews from Broadway Baby and Edinburgh Guide. The Scotsman responded in kind, "Beautifully crafted...playwright Christy Hall is electric."
Jordan Mann (Lyricist) is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, as well as the Dramatist Guild Musical Theatre Writing Fellowship. His original musical Trails was performed at the 2010 Los Angeles Festival for New Americans Musicals as well as the New York Musical Theatre Festival where it received 2010 NYMF citation for excellence in lyric writing as well as the prestigious Stage Entertainment Development Award. TRAILS will be making its professional debut at the Village Theatre Seattle in Spring of 2013. Other projects include Virtually Me! for TheatreworksUSA, and a pop musical adaptation of the cult film Jawbreaker (book-writer Darren Stein). Jordan's adaptation of LIAR by Issac Asimov took top honors in the City Lit Theatre of Chicago's Art of Adaptation Festival. Jordan is also proud to have been a founding coordinator of the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern University, which is now entering its 8th year! Proud graduate SUNY Buffalo and Northwestern.
Jeff Thomson (Composer) is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, as well as the Dramatist Guild Musical Theatre Writing Fellowship. His songs have been featured in the York Theatre Company's N.E.O Concert Series; six sold out engagements at The Duplex and was a featured songwriter in the acclaimed "Songbook" series at Lincoln Center. His original musical TRAILS was performed at the 2010 Los Angeles Festival for New Americans Musicals as well as the New York Musical Theatre Festival winning him the 2010 NYMF award for excellence in music as well as the prestigious Stage Entertainment Development Award. Other projects include VIRTUALLY ME! for TheatreworksUSA, a pop musical adaptation of the cult hit JAWBREAKER (book-writer Darren Stein), and a rock musical adaptation of Allan Moyle's PUMP UP THE VOLUME (Book and lyrics by Jeremy Desmon). Mr. Thomson is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild, ASCAP, The Humane Society and is an activist for Greyhound Rescue. He enjoys hiking, 80s rock and escaping to the Berkshires as often as possible.
THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY / SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
Neil Bartram is the composer and lyricist of Broadway's The Story of My Life with book writer Brian Hill (four Drama Desk Award nominations including two for Neil - Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics). Their adaptation of Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio was commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater for their 2011 season. Neil and Brian's musical Not Wanted On The Voyage received a developmental production at Northwestern University's Barber Theatre as part of the American Music Theatre Project, and was part of Goodspeed Musicals' 2012 New Works Festival. Upcoming projects include Spin for Seoul Korea's OD Musical Company directed by Eric Schaeffer, an adaptation of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-Soeurs, and a musical based on Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes all with book writer Brian Hill. Neil's awards include a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award and a Dramatists Guild Fellowship. Cast albums include Somewhere in the World and The Story of My Life (PS Classics). Neil is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and is an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Music Theatre Workshop.
Adam Gwon is a composer/lyricist whose musicals include Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre, London's West End), The Boy Detective Fails (with Joe Meno, Signature Theatre), Cloudlands (with Octavio Solis, South Coast Repertory), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (with Julia Jordan), and String (with Sarah Hammond). His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Joe's Pub, Ars Nova, and more, by such luminaries as Audra McDonald and Kelli O'Hara. Adam's honors include the Kleban, Ebb, and Loewe awards for excellence in musical theater writing, the Second Stage Theatre Donna Perret Rosen Award, the ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, the MAC John Wallowitch Award, and commissions from Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Signature Theatre (Arlington), Broadway Across America, and the EST/Sloan Project. Recordings: Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project (recorded by Brian d'Arcy James). Fellowships: MacDowell Colony, Dramatists Guild. Education: NYU/Tisch. Member: ASCAP, Dramatists Guild. www.adamgwon.com.
Laura Harrington is the 2008 Kleban Award winner for most promising librettist in American Musical Theatre. Harrington has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in playwriting and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England. Additional awards include a Boston IRNE Award for Best New Play, a Bunting Institute Fellowship at Harvard/ Radcliffe, a Whiting Foundation Grant-in-Aid, the Joseph Kesselring Award for Drama, a New England Emmy, and a Quebec Cinemateque Award. Some recent credits include: Joan of Arc (music: Mel Marvin) Nautilus Music Theatre, MN 2011; Alice Unwrapped, (music: Jenny Giering), a Premieres, Inc Production at The Zipper Factory, NYC, 2008, Nautilus Music Theatre, MN, Spirit in the House Festival, MN, Minneapolis Fringe Festival, 2009; Crossing Brooklyn (music: Jenny Giering) Transport Group, NYC, 2007, Pace University, NYC, 2008, Bristol Riverside Theatre, PA, 2010; Resurrection, (music: Tod Machover) adapted from Tolstoy's last novel, Houston Grand Opera and Boston Lyric Opera. Available on CD from Albany Records. N (Bonaparte), a tragicomedy about Napoleon in exile, Pilgrim Theatre Company, Boston Center for the Arts and the KO Festival. N (Bonaparte) is available in the Spring 2007 issue of Theatre Forum. Hallowed Ground, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, winner of the IRNE Award for Best New play, Portland Stage Company, Tulane University, winner of a "Big Easy" Award. Martin Guerre (Music: Roger Ames), Hartford Stage Company, directed by Mark Lamos, nominated for 3 Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, including "Outstanding Musical." Marathon Dancing, (directed by Anne Bogart) En Garde Arts, NYC and Munich, Germany. The Perfect 36 (Music: Mel Marvin), Tennessee Repertory Theatre, the NAMT festival, NYC and the Hartt School of Music. Lucy's Lapses, (Music: Christopher Drobny), Portland Opera and Playwrights Horizons, NYC. The Book of Hours, New Harmony Project, Wellesley Summer Theatre; Einstein + The Angels, The Heart of an Emperor, Dress Right, Universal Soldier, and Flag Girls, Boston Playwrights Theatre; Joan of Arc, (Music: Mel Marvin), Suffolk University Boston Music Theatre Project, Manhattan Theatre Club Workshop, Wellesley College; The Song of the Silkie, (music: Elena Ruehr) Rockport Chamber Music Festival, 2006 and 2010; Babes in Toyland, Houston Grand Opera, etc; and Sleeping Beauty, (Music: Roger Ames) North Shore Music Theatre.
Harris Doran (lyricist) has worked at the O'Neill as an actor in The Red Eye Of Love (dir. Ted Sperling) for NMTC, and two seasons for CPC. As a writer Harris's work includes Salvage (aka Higher), which made the top 20 for NMTC selection and has been in development with NY producers, as well as the musicals dTension and Oliver Button, and the full length play Beautiful. Harris has written lyrics for the pop world, including a top ten single on the European charts, for recording artists Marion Raven, A Band Called Freddy, and Shane. He met his collaborator Arthur Lafrentz Bacon at the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop and is a member of ASCAP. As an actor Harris's credits include, NY: It Must Be Him, Reading Under The Influence, Hair, Love Jerry (NYMF best actor award). Regionally: I'm Connecticut (world premiere), Harry Connick Jr's The Happy Elf (world premiere), Amadeus, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Cabaret, Oliver (Ovation Award Nom). Film & TV: "The Black Donnellys," "Malcolm In The Middle," "Any Day Now," and the upcoming films Junction and My Best Day. Training: The Juilliard School. www.harrisdoran.com
Arthur Lafrentz Bacon (composer) is a Top-20 pop composer and multiple Clio award-winner. He co-wrote "Stay Forever" for Joey Lawrence (Top-20 hit), "Falling Away" for Marion Raven (#1 European Billboards), was songwriter, arranger and keyboardist for Freddy and the Dials (Virgin Records), Kelli Price and SHANE. Arthur formed the band The Erratics (Touchwood/Zero Hour Records) and was a member of "Groovy Little Band" on The Caroline Rhea Show. He played keyboards on DJ Victor Calderone's remix of "I Don't Need Another Man" (#1 Billboard Dance Single), Hall & Oats' "Do It For Love" (#1 Billboard). He was MD of Hinton Battle's one man show, and MD/Arranger of Saint Hollywood (P.S. 122). Arthur has written music for over 100 national television and radio commercial spots and won 2 Clio Awards (Best Original music for Pepsi), formed Chris & Arthur Music, where he created music for Revlon, Lenscrafters, and Bank of America, among many others. He has studied piano with renowned jazz pianist Lou Stein, Olegna Fuschi (Juilliard Pre-College) and studied composition at SUNY Purchase with Anthony Newman. Arthur composed the musical Billy Sleepyhead (Center Stage, NYC) and is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop. Most recently, Arthur composed the music for the Rock/R&B musical Salvage, which had a successful 29 hour reading at New World Stages. Broadway producers Debbie Bisno and Rebecca Milikowsky have signed on to the project.
Jason Schafer (book) wrote the acclaimed indie hit Trick, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by Fine Line Features. In addition to being a staff writer/co-producer of the GLAAD Media Award winning first season of Showtime's Queer as Folk, Jason has written for Warner Bros., Paramount, ABC and Fox Television. He is currently at work on an original film project for director Carl Byrd. Works for the stage include I Google Myself ("Queer in the best sense of the word: self-consciously outside of the mainstream, looking in with intelligence and wit." - The Village Voice) and Notes on the Land of Earthquake & Fire ("Sharp and satisfying... more polished than most new plays opening Off-Broadway" - The New York Times). He is the recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwrighting Award and the FringeNYC Excellence in Playwrighting Award, a GLAAD Media Award nominee, a Goldberg Playwrighting Award finalist and a semi-finalist for the O'Neill Theater Conference and Geller Screenwriting Competition. Jason holds a BA in Music Theory & Composition from UCLA and an MFA from NYU's Department of Dramatic Writing.
Michael Kooman (music) and Christopher Dimond (book & lyrics) received the 2010 Jonathan Larson Grant and are the first recipients of the Lorenz Hart Award. Between them, they have received the Burton Lane Award, the Harold Adamson Award, the KC/ACTF Musical Theatre Award, an Anna Sosenko Grant, numerous ASCAP Plus awards, and have been three-time finalists for the Fred Ebb Award.
STORY OF JO-BETH
NOTE: Also working with Will Aronson and Hannah Kohl on another project
Will Aronson's work includes the scores for the hit Korean musical Bungee Jump (Best Score, 2012 Korea Musical Awards), Mormons, Mothers, and Monsters (Barrington Stage; Boston Globe Critic's Pick), My Scary Girl (Best Musical, 2009 NY Musical Theatre Festival), and The Trouble With Doug(NAMT 2010, dir. Victoria Clark), for which he also co-wrote the book. Other work includes music for Mary Testa's Sleepless Variations and William Finn's Songs of Innocence and Experience, as well as arrangements and incidental music for the Finn/Lapine musical, Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse). Will is the recipient of a Fulbright grant, an ASCAP Frederick Loewe Award, and a Baryshnikov Fellowship; he holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.F.A. from Tisch/NYU.
Hannah Kohl has written the book, music, and lyrics for The Blackbird, Gardenia, Cake, and Tora Bora! and the book and lyrics for The Houdini Box (Chicago Children's Theatre, 2012), The Light And Leonardo Da Vinci and Cake!. Kohl is the Associate Creative Producer on the Broadway-bound musical Rocky, with a score by Ahrens & Flaherty and book by Thomas Meehan. The show opened to rave reviews in Hamburg (2012) where she served as Script Supervisor. Based in New York City, Kohl also works as a translator in German and Spanish and travels as an educator and consultant, bringing art, music, and theatrical experiences to schools and organizations around the world. Her new company Showbox Theatricals hosts a collection of new original children's theatre titles for schools and professional theatres. Kohl's book, Great Composers for Kids, will be published by Bright Ring Publishing in 2013. Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Fellow. MFA, Musical Theatre Writing, New York University. MS, International Education, SUNY-Buffalo. www.hannahkohl.com
Rob Baumgartner Jr., hails from DC. Recent works include Adam Lives (NAMT Songwriters Showcase), Under Construction-with Heidi Heilig. The Hole-with Heidi Heilig and Joey Murray (St. Clements '09) Date of a Lifetime (NYMF '11 and Alone World (winner: Best Score, West Village Musical Theatre Festival-both with Carl Kissin. Radiant Ruby-with Dante Russo (Vital Theatre '05) and Lullabies-with Will Brumley. In addition to his work as a composer, Rob serves as an assistant to composers Galt MacDermot (Hair), Rob Reale (A Year With Frog and Toad) and Debra Barsha (Radiant Baby) Rob is a proud faculty member at Cap21/NYU.
CIRCUS IN WINTER
Ben Clark (Music/Lyrics, The Circus in Winter) hails from Floyds Knobs, IN. Ben has been writing music since 14 and The Circus in Winter marks his full length musical debut. He is a recent graduate of Ball State University ('11) with a degree in Musical Theatre Performance. Ben currently lives and works in Chicago as a recording artist/composer.
Beth Turcotte (Book, The Circus in Winter) is a Professor of Theatre at Ball State University and received her MFA from Southern Methodist University. During her tenure at Ball State University, Beth directed three productions (Company, Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar) for the American College Theatre Festival. This past January, The Circus in Winter was selected to participate in and honored by The American College Theatre Festival/The Kennedy Center with eleven awards including Outstanding New Work and Director of a New Work. Internationally, Beth has directed and taught throughout China, Korea and Japan.
GRETEL / TRINITY
Aron Accurso Composer/Additional Lyricist: Strega Nona (commissioned by The Weston Playhouse. Six productions including The Atlantic Theatre and a National Tour by Maximum Entertainment.) Composer: The Dogs of Pripyat (showcased at the 2011 NAMT Festival, Goodspeed's Festival of New Artists, Weston's New Musical Award, the University of Miami, and in Bound for Broadway at Merkin Hall.) Training: Dramatists Guild Fellow, BMI Workshop (Harrington Award). B'way: Sister Act (Associate Conductor), Little Mermaid (Keyboard 1), Billy Elliot (Casting, Rehearsal Pianist). Regional: Calvin Berger at George Street (Incidental Music/Music Director). Workshops: Aladdin, Up Here, Newsies, Addams Family, Hello My Baby, Red Clay. TV: Regis and Kelly, and Wendy Williams with American Idol Finalists. Education: BA in Music Composition with distinction from St. Olaf College. Upcoming: Nice Work if You Can Get It (B'way).
Adam Overett is a writer and performer living in New York City. He was a Musical Theater Fellow at the Dramatists Guild (2010-2011), and a Lucille Lortel Award nominee for his contribution to the score of the Off-Broadway musical WE THE PEOPLE (2011).
Thomas Mizer was the recipient of a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant for his music theater collaborations with Curtis Moore. He wrote the book and lyrics for The Legend of Stagecoach Mary (NAMT Festival of New Musicals), The House of the Seven Gables (ASCAP Workshop) and The Bus to Buenos Aires (Ensemble Studio Theatre), and he co-wrote the book for the New York Fringe Festival hit For the Love of Tiffany. Commissioned by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, he wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book for Triangle, which was subsequently presented at the Eugene O'Neill Center (directed by Robert Longbottom), the American Music Theatre Project and TheatreWorks Palo Alto. An honors graduate of Northwestern University, he has also completed the BMI Lehman Engel writing workshop and received an artist in residence grant from the National Music Theater Conference In addition to his theater work, Thomas is a copywriter for Comedy Central, writes travel features for several national publications and is editor of thebroadwayblog.com, a website devoted to theater in New York and beyond. In a "prior" life as an actor, Thomas appeared in roles Off-Broadway and at regional theaters, including his starring role as "Steve" in the First National Tour of Blue's Clues, Live!. For more more information, go to www.thomasmizer.com.
Curtis Moore is a composer, songwriter, and musician whose work can be heard on the Broadway and international stage, T.V., film, and new media. He has worked for Playwrights Horizons, The Old Vic Theatre, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, The Public Theater, and Lincoln Center. In collaboration with Thomas Mizer, lyricist, he was awarded the 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant. Together they have written the musicals Triangle (commissioned by Williamstown Theatre Festival, subsequently presented at the Eugene O'Neill Center and Theatreworks Palo Alto), The Legend Of Stagecoach Mary (National Alliance for Musical Theater), and The Bus To Buenos Aires (Ensemble Studio Theater, NY). Together, they teamed up with Amanda Green (Bring It On) and Matthew Brookshire on the critically acclaimed musical, For The Love Of Tiffany. His new stage musical Venice, written with Matt Sax and Eric Rosen, premiered as a joint production between The Center Theater Group in Los Angeles and The Kansas City Rep with a production planned for 2013 at The Public Theater. He recently returned from conducting and performing the music in The Bridge Project's acclaimed world tour of Richard III, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Kevin Spacey. This concluded three years of work with The Bridge Project (a joint production of BAM and The Old Vic) as Mark Bennett's associate composer and music supervisor for The Cherry Orchard, The Winter's Tale, As You Like It, The Tempest, and Richard III. For film, Curtis and Matthew Brookshire wrote and performed songs for the Todd Solondz' film Palindromes (Venice, Toronto, Telluride, New York film festivals.) Three of which were short-listed by Variety for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Song. Other film credits include composing for Industrial Light and Magic, MTV networks, the Miss America Pageant, and the CBS' Rose Bowl Celebration. Awards include "Best Composer Award" at the ASCAP/NYU Film Scoring Workshop, "Garland Award" for best score, and multiple grants from the Eugene O'Neill Music Theater Conference. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and a founding member of the Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance. Curtis is currently based in New York, NY and enjoys volunteering his time and talent to The Actors Fund, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and the Ali Forney Center.
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 Johnny Mercer: the most prolific lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator, and producer of the 20th Century. 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 Ginger Mercer championed.
JMF partners with several institutions including: LyricNOTES with the Kaufman Center in New York City; The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University (The American Music Theatre Project) to nurture and encourage young talent in the field of songwriting and The Johnny Mercer Collection at Georgia State University, where Johnny's many works and memorabilia are housed. They also support Georgia State University in a fellowship-type program to facilitate music education through the development of an elementary and middle school curriculum that focuses on, but is not limited to, songwriting and the Great American Songbook.
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed celebrates another milestone, its 50th Anniversary, in 2013. 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 gratefully acknowledges the support of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.