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2018 Writers Colony Bios

2018 Writers Colony Bios

Listed alpabetically by project

AUGUST RUSH

MARK MANCINA (Music & Lyrics) A Tony® nominee and multi-platinum, three-time Grammy Award®-winning composer, Mr. Mancina produced songs for Disney's blockbuster animated feature film, and proved a uniquely qualified choice to produce the music for the stage production of The Lion King. The 1994 film's critical and box office success spawned the hit album Rhythm of the Pride Lands, for which he co-wrote and produced multiple tracks, including "He Lives in You” and “Shadowland,” songs featured in the stage production. In addition to his songwriting and producing achievements, he is a seasoned film score composer. Mr. Mancina's credits include mega-hits Moana, Training Day, Speed, Twister, Bad Boys, Tarzan, and August Rush among many others.

GLEN BERGER (Book & Lyrics) His plays include Underneath the Lintel (Over 450 performances Off-Broadway, several Best Play awards, over 350 productions in U.S. and abroad, translated into 8 languages), O Lovely Glowworm (2005 Portland Drammy Award Winner for Best Script), and Great Men of Science, Nos. 21 & 22 (Ovation Award and L.A. Weekly Award for Best Play), and book and lyrics for the musicals On Words and Onwards (Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan Foundation Fellowship), and A Night in the Old Marketplace (Loewe Award), both with composer Frank London of the Klezmatics. His television credits include two Emmy Awards (twelve Emmy nominations) and more than 150 episodes for children’s series, including “Arthur” (PBS), and “Fetch” (PBS). Berger is the book writer and co-lyricist for the Broadway-bound adaptation of August Rush (with composer Mark Mancina), and was the co-book writer for Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark on Broadway (directed by Julie Taymor with music by Bono and Edge of U2), which ran for three years. His memoir Song Of Spider-Man—the harrowing tale of Turn Off the Dark’s creation—was published by Simon & Schuster in 2013. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists.

BEN

NOISEMAKER is the award-winning writing partnership of actor/writer Scott Gilmour and composer Claire McKenzie. Both graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the pair work throughout the UK and internationally creating innovative, original work to challenge the expectations of musical theatre. Noisemaker credits include: Little Red and the Wolf (Dundee Rep Theatre - Nominated for Best Production for Children and Young People UK Theatre Awards 2016 and Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2016), Forest Boy (New York Foundation for the Arts /St James’ Theatre/Edinburgh Fringe Assembly - Winner of S&S Award for Best Musical in Development, The NYMF 2016 Publishing Award); The Girl Who (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse/Edinburgh Fringe Assembly); Freakshow (The Roundhouse/ The Arches - Winner of the Scottish Daily Mail Drama Award 2012); The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh). Upcoming Projects include: Atlantic; an international collaboration between Noisemaker, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Northwestern University in Chicago to create a new work for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017. The pair have also begun developing popular Scottish band Belle & Sebastian's film God Help the Girl for the stage. Scott and Claire were recently chosen as the New Voices 2016 - an award for emerging writers from across the globe chosen by New Musicals Inc. and Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment. Alongside this, Noisemaker were currently Artists in Residence at the National Theatre of Scotland.

SCOTT GILMOUR (Book and Lyrics) trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and now works as an actor and writer throughout the UK and internationally. His acting credits include: The 306:Dawn (The National Theatre of Scotland), Pressure (Royal Lyceum/Chichester Festival Theatre), Parahandy (Pitlochry Festival Theatre) A Christmas Carol (Royal Lyceum), Lovehurts (Channel 4/Clerkenwell Films), Everyman (Splendid Productions), Velvet Evening Seance (Tortoise in a Nutshell), James and the Giant Peach (Dundee Rep), The Improvised Musical (Red Note Ensemble/Edinburgh Fringe). Gilmour’s additional writing credits include: Book/Lyrics for The Terrible Tales of Netherwold (MarkScott Productions) Lyrics for Anna and the Apocalypse (Flaming Griffin Productions).

CLAIRE MCKENZIE (Music) studied Composition and Musical Direction at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she received the Patrons Prize for Composition from the Royal Schools of Music, the Stevenson Scholarship and the Paul Kelly Prize for Drama. Claire recently completed a residency at the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and composed music for their productions of The Caucatian Chalk Circle (Winner Best Production at the Critics Awards 2015), The Illiad, Faith Healer, Hedda Gabler, The Venetian Twins and The BFG. McKenzie’s other Composing/Sound Design credits include: Long Days Journey into Night, A Christmas Carol  (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), Hecuba (Dundee Rep), Roman Bridge (National Theatre of Scotland), Hansel and Gretl, Divided City, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella  (Citizens Theatre). Her TV, film & radio credits include: Arrangements for Children in Need 2012-14, Scottish Olympic Homecoming Event, MY FIRST SPELLBOOK (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - nominated for a BAFTA New Talent Award for Original Music). www.clairemusic.co.uk

BHANGIN’ IT

REHANA LEW MIRZA (Book) plays include: A People's Guide To History In The Time Of Here And Now (readings: Primary Stages, Brooklyn College); Hatefuck (readings: New Group, Ma-Yi, Primary Stages; 2017 Kilroy); Soldier X (Ma-Yi; Brooklyn College; 2015 Kilroy); Lonely Leela (Lancaster Performing Arts Center); Barriers (Desipina and Asian American Theater Company); Neighborhood Watch (NNPN/InterAct Commission); Particles Of Pakistan (Ensemble Studio Theatre. Sloan Commission) and If It's Sad I Don't Want To See It (readings: Queens Theater in the Park, 2G). Honors include: 2017 HBO Access Fellow, 2016 Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop fellow at the Lark, 2016 Lilly Award (Stacey Mindich “Go Write A Play”), Rhinebeck residency with collaborators Sam Willmott and Mike Lew for BHANGIN' IT, La Jolla Playhouse commission (with Mike Lew), Theatre Communications Group Fellowship with New Georges. Masters of Fine Arts: Columbia University; Bachelors of Fine Arts: New York University Tisch. 

MIKE LEW (Book) plays include Teenage Dick (Public Studio, O’Neill, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis , Florida Studio Theater, and Playwrights Foundation workshops; Vineyard reading), Tiger Style! (Huntington Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, and Alliance productions; O’Neill, Center Theatre Group, and Juilliard workshops), Microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct, and Next Act productions), STOCKTON (AracaWorks and Ensemble Studio Theatre workshops), People's Park (Victory Gardens workshop), In Paris You Will Find Many Baguettes… (Humana), Roanoke (Humana Festival of New American Plays), and MOUSTACHE GUYS. He is a Tony voter, Dramatists Guild Council member, and recipient of a Mellon Foundation residency, Lark Venturous residency, NYFA fellowship, and the Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda awards. He is co-director of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the country. He is married to fellow playwright Rehana Lew Mirza, who he met in Ma-Yi Lab. Training: Juilliard (2013), Yale (2003). 

SAM WILLMOTT (Music and Lyrics) is a New York City-based musical theater composer, lyricist and bookwriter whose projects include Standardized Testing - The Musical!!!!; Yo, Vikings! (with lyricist Marcus Stevens); the mini-musical Scarlet Takes A Tumble; additional lyrics for the stage adaptation of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol; and something entirely new and mysterious with DreamWorks Animation. Sam is the recipient of the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award, the 2015 Kleban Prize for Most Promising Musical Theatre Lyricist, a 2015 Jonathan Larson Grant, the 2013 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award for Lyrics, the 2012 Fred Ebb Award, the 2012 John Wallowitch Award, the 2009 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Musical Theater Award, and Interlochen's 2004 Maddy Summer Artist Award. Sam's work has been performed in concert at Feinstein's / 54 Below, Paris' Comédie Nation with Broadway au Carré, Adelphi University's Performing Arts Center, and The Duplex. He has been a Composer-in-Residence at The Orchard Project, Running Deer Musical Musical Theatre Lab and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat (all summer 2015), Goodspeed Musicals (both 2013 and 2014), and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Music Theater Conference (2013). Sam is also an ongoing resident member of Merrimack Repertory Theatre's Patriot Program, and was the first musical theatre writer to be recognized with the Exploring the Metropolis / ConEdison Musicians' Residency (2013). Sam is also a very proud contributing writer to the Korean children's language program, “English Egg”, for whom he has written over 120 songs.

BLUE RIDGE SKY

GEORGIA STITT (Music and Lyrics) Composer/Lyricist Stitt is currently writing the original musicals Snow Child (for Arena Stage), Juliette et Romeo (for Let It Show Productions in Moscow) and Blue Ridge Sky (with Hunter Foster) as well as an as-yet-untitled oratorio for Tituss Burgess and Cynthia Erivo. Her other shows include The Danger Year; Big Red Sun (Arlen Award winner with playwright John Jiler); Samantha Spade: Ace Detective (for TADA Youth Theater with Lisa Diana Shapiro); Mosaic (for Inner Voices with Cheri Steinkellner); and The Water (with Jeff Hylton and Tim Werenko). She has released three albums of her music: This Ordinary Thursday: The Songs Of Georgia Stitt, (2007), Alphabet City Cycle (featuring Kate Baldwin) (2009) and My Lifelong Love (2011). Her choral piece with hope and virtue (using text from US President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration speech) was featured on NPR as part of Judith Clurman’s Sing Out, Mister President cycle, and her most recent orchestral piece, Waiting for Wings, co-written with husband Jason Robert Brown, was commissioned by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and premiered there in 2013 with conductor John Morris Russell. Georgia has degrees from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts. She is on the Board of Directors for The Lilly Awards Foundation, a not-for-profit group that celebrates women in theater, and has taught theater at Pace University and the University of Southern California. Other fun credits include being the music director of the current Off-Broadway revival of Sweet Charity (starring Sutton Foster), music supervisor of the Anna Kendrick/Jeremy Jordan film The Last Five Years, conducting Little Shop of Horrors on Broadway (starring Hunter Foster), writing arrangements for Tony Bennett’s 80th birthday party, serving as the vocal coach for America’s Got Talent, and playing a nun in The Sound Of Music Live! on NBC with Carrie Underwood and Audra McDonald. www.georgiastitt.com

HUNTER FOSTER (Book) returns to Goodspeed Musicals having recently directed the fall hit, A Connecticut Christmas Carol. Hunter has worked as a bookwriter, director and actor for musical theatre. Hunter most recently directed and adapted the screenplay of the movie Clue where it made its world premier at the Bucks County Playhouse in the spring of 2017. He also co-wrote the book to Jasper in Deadland, which played at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in the Spring of 2015 following its world premiere at the Propsect Theater Company in NYC. Jasper in Deadland was developed at the Johnny Mercer Writer’s Colony for Goodspeed Musicals in 2015. Hunter also wrote the book to the Off-Broadway musical, Summer of ’42, which made its premier at the Goodspeed at Chester Theatre before opening at the Variety Arts Theatre in New York City in 2001. Summer of ’42 was nominated for an Outer Critic Award for best new Off-Broadway musical. Other recent bookwriting credits include The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed Musicals), Clyde and Bonnie: A Folktale (New York Musical Theatre Festival, Aurora Theatre), and The Hollow (Signature Theatre). Hunter and Georgia Stitt were invited to bring their musical, Blue Ridge Sky, to the Rhinebeck writer’s retreat in 2016. He also wrote comedy sketches for the “Rosie Live” show on NBC starring Rosie O’Donnell. Hunter is an Artistic Associate at the Bucks County Playhouse where he has directed, Guys and Dolls, Clue: On Stage, Company, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Buddy Holly Story (2016 and 2017), National Pastime, The Rocky Horror Show (2013, 2014 and 2016), Summer of ’42, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Other directing credits include the new musical, One Hit Wonder, at the University of Michigan, The Foreigner, Cabaret, My Fair Lady (Cape Playhouse), Grease (North Carolina Theatre), Spamalot (Casa Manana) and has directed productions of the Million Dollar Quartet for the Paper Mill Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, Center Rep, The Ogunquit Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse and Westchester Broadway Theatre. In NYC he has directed the workshops of several new musicals and plays including, Far From the Madding Crowd, Cheer Wars, The Lost Boy and One Hit Wonder. As an actor he has performed in the Broadway shows: Urinetown, The Producers, The Bridges of Madison County, Hands on a Hardbody, Little Shop of Horrors, Million Dollar Quartet, Les Miserables, Footloose, Grease and King David. www.Hunterfosterofficial.com

THE DINNER TABLE

ROBIN HOLLOWAY (Book, Music and Lyrics) is a composer, actor, and writer who works throughout the United States and Europe. He has composed music and lyrics for several full-length musical shows including Cosmic Jazz Cabaret, which he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Festival, and After Hours, a one-man musical. As a founding member of Up & Down Theatre, he is co-creator of Winning The Future, a satirical comedy cabaret, with ongoing performances in New Mexico and New York City. Robin frequently performs as an actor on stage and screen, and also works regularly as a pianist on recording sessions and concerts. He is an accomplished jazz and classical musician, having appeared at Chicago Symphony Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. He has shared the stage with a number of world-class instrumentalists and vocalists including Jon Hendricks, Cleo Lane, and Bobby McFerrin.Robin holds a Bachelor’s degree in jazz piano from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and a Master’s in jazz piano from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He also holds an acting diploma from the Neighborhood Playhouse in NYC, and a degree in Theater Creation and Performance from the London International School of Performing Arts. Robin works as a music and theater educator in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the New Mexico School for the Arts, and the SF University of Art and Design. 

LINDSEY HOPE PEARLMAN (Book, Music and Lyrics) Original plays/musicals developed by Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, American Playwriting Foundation, and Fresh Ground Pepper. As a director/associate director, she’s worked at O’Neill Theatre Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Santa Fe University of Art & Design, and Barn Arts Collective. Most recently, she was the Assistant Director of Bandstand on Broadway, directed & choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler (Tony Award, Best Choreography). Finalist, Beatrice Terry Fellowship at The Drama League. Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Associate Member. Her theatre company's viral music video "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" netted over 20 million views on their Facebook channel Up & Down Theatre Co. and Occupy Democrats. Graduate, London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) B.A Hamilton College.

THE DITCH DIGGER’S APPRENTICE

TEKLA MONSON (Book and Lyrics) and MOLLY BOGIN (Music and Lyrics): are a playwright/composer writing duo at Wesleyan University. Both seniors are heavily involved in the musical theater scene on campus and have recently come together to write The Ditch Digger’s Apprentice in a musical theater workshop taught by Greg Kotis. Tekla is a Theater Major and Religion Minor from Fairbanks, Alaska and Molly is a Neuroscience & Behavior Major with a Writing Certificate from Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Tekla was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska where she grew up on a professional sled dog kennel that is still the home to over 70 Alaskan Huskies. Tekla helped her family to train and race huskies in the 1,000 mile Iditarod until she decided to go to boarding school at the age of 14. In Alaska, her only theatrical outlet was a local production of The Nutcracker every holiday season. At St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH Tekla’s interests shifted from ballet to theater. At Wesleyan University Tekla is an actor, director and designer. During her four years she has been a consistent performer in student directed musicals on campus. Recently Tekla directed Molly in Bat Boy: The Musical, her first experience directing musical theater. After graduation, Tekla plans to spend a year pursuing her love of improvisation and comedy while also adapting the story of her mother’s life as a female dog musher for the stage. Within the next 5 years Tekla intends to return to school to study architecture or scenography. 

Molly has been performing in musical theater productions since she was six years old. Although Springfield was not replete with the arts, she studied acting at a theater conservatory and took voice lessons with a local teacher. She’s been playing piano for twelve years and has recently begun composing. At Wesleyan, Molly has devoted her studies to the sciences, while spending her free time performing in numerous student-run productions and singing in an a cappella group. She initially planned to attend medical school after graduation, but has recently decided instead to pursue musical theater in New York City. She also hopes to spend more time writing in a variety of outlets (short stories, music, and potentially even TV) and eventually become certified to teach English in a socioeconomically disadvantaged community like her hometown.

GIRL SHAKES LOOSE

IMANI UZURI (Music) is a vocalist, composer and cultural worker called “a post-modernist Bessie Smith" by The Village Voice. Uzuri creates concerts, experimental theater, performance art, theater compositions, chamber orchestra compositions and sound installations to be presented in international venues/festivals including Performa Biennial, France’s Festival Sons d’hiver, London’s ICA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park SummerStage, Joe's Pub, The Blue Note, The Whitney Museum, The Public Theater and MoMA. Her work has been called “stunning” by Vulture and she has been praised in the New York Times for her "gorgeously chesty ruminations". She has also collaborated with noted artists across various disciplines including Carrie Mae Weems, Vijay Iyer, Robert Ashley, Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Sanford Biggers and Wangechi Mutu. Her most recent album The Gypsy Diaries received critical acclaim. In 2016 Uzuri made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut and was also a featured performer on BET for Black Girls Rock!. She recently received her M.A. in African American Studies from Columbia University and was the 2017 Keynote/Performer at Harvard University's Graduate Music Forum. Uzuri has recently been a Park Avenue Armory Artist- in-Residence and a MAP Fund grantee to begin composing her contemporary opera Hush Arbor. She is a recent a Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow alumnus to support her travel, research and composing of a large music work celebrating the iconography of the Black Madonna. Recent theater productions as a composer include The Public Theater: Public Works TROY and the Mobile Unit’s HAMLET. GIRL Shakes Loose (music & lyrics by Imani Uzuri, book & lyrics by Zakiyyah Alexander, poetry by Sonia Sanchez) is Uzuri's first full length musical. Time Out New York says, "[Imani Uzuri] never fails to mesmerize audiences with her narcotic blend of…ethereal sounds." www.imaniuzuri

ZAKIYYAH ALEXANDER (Book and Lyrics) is a writer and actor, and a native New Yorker raised in Queens and Brooklyn. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway and around the country; they include: Girl Shakes Loose (Penumbra, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference) 10 Things to do before I die (commissioned and produced by Second Stage), SICK? (Summer Play Festival), The Etymology Of Bird (Central Park Summerstage, Hip Hop Theater Festival, Providence Black Repertory Theatre), Blurring Shine (Market Theater, Johannesburg, NY International Fringe Festival), Sweet Maladies (Brava Arts Center, Rucker Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival), something new (commissioned by Philadelphia Theater Company), and (900). Among her awards she’s received: MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwriting Award, ACT New Play Award/Lorainne Hansberry Prize, Stellar Network Award, Theodore Ward Prize, Jackson Phelan Award, Van Lier Award at New Dramatists, Drama League New Directors/New Works, New Professional Theatre Playwriting Award, Young Playwrights Inc. Past commissions from: Second Stage, The Philadelphia Theater Company and the and the Children’s Theater of Minneapolis. Television writing credits: Grey’s Anatomy, 24 Legacy. Education: Yale School of Drama.

HART ISLAND REQUIEM

TY DEFOE (Book and Lyrics), a lyricist, book writer/playwright, and performer from the Oneida and Ojibwe Nations. Credits: Clouds Are Pillows for the Moon (Yale Institute for Music Theatre, ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Kilroy’s Honorable Mention List), Hart Island Requiem (Civilians R&D), Red Pine (Native Voices at the Autry; Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe), The Way They Live (Co-collaboration with The Civilians at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Heather Henson’s Crane: On Earth, In Sky (Ibex Puppetry at La MaMa Theater, NYC). Developing: Gender Nation, Crossing Borders (CAP21 Residency), Sunrise Prayer (Johnny Mercer Writers Colony) and Yellow Cycle. Defoe is a recipient of 2015 Johnny Mercer Songwriter Project, 2016 Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant. He has been in concerts at 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Bruner Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center in NYC, and toured Greece, Japan, Turkey at Ankara’s International Music Festival, and Festival of World Cultures in Dubai. Defoe is a member of ASCAP and Dramatists Guild. Alum of CalArts, Goddard, and NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. tydefoe.com

TIDTAYA SINUTOKE (Music) is a Thai born, NYC-based composer, writer, and musician. Her works include themes of self-discovery, gender issues, travel, social injustice and companionship. Composition credits include: Clouds Are Pillows for the Moon (Yale Institute for Music Theatre, ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Kilroy’s Honorable Mention List), Hart Island Requiem (Civilians R&D, Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Composer-in-Residence), Gender Nation, Crossing Borders (CAP21 Residency), Sunrise Prayer (Johnny Mercer Writers Colony) and Yellow Cycle. Recipient of 2014 Composer-Librettists Studio at New Dramatists, 2015 Johnny Mercer Songwriter Projects, 2015 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) IAM Mentoring Program, 2016 Robert Rauschenberg Residency, 2016-2017 Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Composer-in-Residence, and 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant. A proud member of ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild. MFA: NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. tidtayasinutoke.com

iLLA! A HIP HOP MUSICAL  

RONVÉ O’DANIEL (Book, Lyrics, Music, Arrangements) is a New York-based songwriter, lyricist, composer, rapper, actor, and playwright. As a recording hip-hop artist, he’s been featured in XXL Magazine, HipHopDX.com, and Allhiphop.com. Ronvé was the recent recipient of Eugene O’Neill 2017 National Music Theater Conference’s Georgia Bogardus Holof Lyricist Award – given to only one lyricist every summer who exemplifies a promising career in musical theater writing. He was also featured as a performer and writer for Rafael Casal and Daveed Digg’s #BARS Workshop at The Public Theater. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre from Wright State University. His current album Motivation Music is available on iTunes and ronve.bandcamp.com. You can also keep up with him at ronveodaniel.com

JEVARES C. MYRICK (Music, Orchestrations, Arrangements) is a New York-based Producer, Composer, Singer, Actor, Dancer and choreographer. Raised in Marietta, GA he is an alumnus of the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts (Pebblebrook High School) and attended Wright State University on a full scholarship for Vocal Performance. BRODAWAY CREDITS: The Book of Mormon (Swing, Understudy, and Dance Captain) NATIONAL TOUR CREDITS: The Book of Mormon Latter Day Tour (1st national) and the Jumamosi Tour (2nd national) as a swing, understudy, and dance Captain. Regional theatre credits: Smokey Joes Café, All Night Strut, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Ragtime, Sweet Charity, Aint Misbehavin’, Sophisticated Ladies, and many more. Television/Film credits: The Originals (Choreographer, and appeared on 3 episodes). He is a five time Suzi Bass Award Nominee (2 wins). Jevares is also an Ovation Award recipient for Best Male Vocalist. He has written and produced many shows for Six Flags Amusement parks across the U.S. and has produced and performed in many industrials around the world. Jevares has also been featured in BroadwayWorld.com and Playbill.com.

THE IN-BETWEEN

GILBERT BAILEY II (Book, Music and Lyrics) has written, composed and produced songs for several new artists and he recently worked with Tony-nominated, Brandon Victor Dixon, on his next release. In addition to, The In-Between, Gilbert is currently developing another new musical entitled, ‘Bout To Blow: An Album, which had it’s first industry presentation in the summer of 2017. His previous writing for musical theatre highlights include, The Enviro Kids, a children’s musical produced by Terpsichore Entertainment and, YouTube Idol, which was presented at the Penn State New Musicals Festival’s, 12: A New Composer’s Showcase. Gilbert was born and raised in San Diego, California before making his way to the Philadelphia area as a teen. After high school he attended Pennsylvania State University on full scholarship and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre Performance as well as minor degrees in Audio Production and Music Technology. As a performer, Gilbert has been featured in many shows including the Ovation award-winning LA production of, The Scottsboro Boys directed by Susan Stroman, Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, at Madison Square Garden, and, The Book of Mormon, on Broadway. You can currently catch Gilbert doing a backflip into a split, eight nights a week at The Longacre Theatre in, A Bronx Tale.

THE JUNGLE

ROB BAUMGARTNER, Jr. (Book, Music and Lyrics) hails from Washington, DC. Musicals include: Adam Lives (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Cap21), Date of a Lifetime (New York Foundation for the Arts, New Jersey Rep) Alone World (Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, West Village Musical Theatre Festival-winner of Best Score), What the Moon Saw (Cap21), Under Construction (New York University), The Hole (Theatre at St. Clements ’09), Radiant Ruby (Vital Theatre Company ’05) and Lullabies (Center Stage, DC) In addition to his work as a composer, Rob has served as an assistant to composers Galt MacDermot, Rob Reale, and Debra Barsha. Upcoming projects include an adaptation of The Jungle with Nathan Dame and The Noise Upstairs with Branden Huldeen. Rob will serve as musical director and orchestrator for the upcoming revival of Inner City. Rob is a proud faculty member at Cap21/Molloy College.

NATHAN DAME (Book, Music and Lyrics)is originally from Ogden, Utah. He lives in Brooklyn and makes his living as a music director and writer for theater. He has had plays developed by Roundabout Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage (JAW Fest 2016), The New Group, and Barrow Street Theater. Some credits as Music Director include: Off-Broadway: Pretty Filthy (The Civilians, Original Cast Recording); Dying For It (Atlantic Theater Company); Mr. Burns (Playwrights Horizons); What's It All About? (assoc. music director, New York Theatre Workshop); with Theatreworks USA: The Lightning Thief, Fly Guy and Other Stories, Charlotte's Web, and others. Regional: Be More Chill (Two River Theater, Original Cast Recording); A Little Night Music (Berkshire Theatre Group); Pump Boys and Dinettes (Geva Theatre Center); Fly By Night (assoc. music director, Dallas Theater Center). Developmental work at Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, Roundabout Theatre Company, Goodspeed Musicals, The O’Neill Theater Center, Aspen Theatre Festival, among many others.

THE LAST MEDICINE SHOW

SAMMY MILLER (Music and Lyrics) is a native of Los Angeles, Grammy® nominated drummer, who has become known for his unique maturity and relentless focus on making music that feels good as a drummer, singer and bandleader. Upon completing his Master’s at The Juilliard School, Sammy formed his ensemble, The Congregation. As a band, they are focused on sharing the power of community through their music—joyful jazz. Ars Nova selected The Congregation for the ‘Makers Lab’ in 2017. Miller has performed and recorded with notable artists including Wynton Marsalis, Iron and Wine, and Joey Alexander at venues including the White House, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl.

KEVIN ARMENTO (Book) Armento’s play Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally premiered Off-Broadway in 2015 (59E59 Theaters/One Year Lease, New York Times Critics' Pick, Drama Desk Nomination). Recent work includes Good Men Wanted (New York Stage and Film, Arena Stage) Playing Hot (Pipeline Theatre), killers (Tom Noonan's Paradise Factory), and Companion Piece (Pleasance Theatre, London). He's a current member of Ars Nova's Makers Lab and the Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, a previous Artist-in-Residence at The Drama League, and was recently awarded grants from The Jerome Foundation and Brooklyn Arts Council. Other work has been developed/produced by Cape Cod Theatre Project, Dixon Place, Seaview Productions, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, and his spec script Comfortably Numb was recently optioned by CBS Studios. Upcoming: Balls (co-written with Bryony Lavery, commissioned by One Year Lease) at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, and 59E59 Theaters.

LOVE/SICK

JOHN CARIANI (Book) is an Tony-nominated actor and an accomplished playwright. On stage, he earned a Tony Award nomination for his role as Motel the Tailor in the 2004 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, and for his role as Nigel Bottom in Something Rotten. As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which has become one of the most frequently produced plays in the United States. He has starred on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical Something Rotten! as Nigel Bottom. Additional writing credits include Love/Sick, Last Gas, and cul-de-sac.

TOR HYAMS and LISA ROTHAUSER (Music and Lyrics) Grammy nominated songwriter, Tor Hyams and veteran Broadway performer, Lisa Rothauser (The Producers) teamed up after Hyams debuted his first original musical, Greenwood, at New York Foundation for the Arts 2011. They immediately began collaborating on Stealing Time, which premiered at New York Foundation for the Arts 2012 and was featured in the Finger Lakes Musical Theater Festival. They are currently working under commission on a musical adaptation of the legendary television show, Green Acres. Additional projects include Ensemble, a collection of previously unpublished letters by the legendary Tennessee Williams, Love/Sick, the Musical with book writer/actor John Cariani (Almost, Maine), Auburn The Musical and The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You. Hyams and Rothauser wrote Mommy Needs A Timeout for Nickelodeon’s Nickmom and most recently wrote and recorded an album with Howie D of the Backstreet Boys entitled How We Do, which is now being developed as a musical for young audiences. Their one-woman event, LIFE. Who Knew? has played to sold-out audiences across the country, including New York’s 54 Below, and Joe’s Pub, Los Angeles’ Rockwell, and the Gaslight Cabaret Festival in St. Louis. The duo participated in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

ONE WAY

BEN BONNEMA (Book and Music) is a composer-lyricist and recipient of a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant by the American Theatre Wing. He wrote book, music & lyrics to Adult Swim's Peter Panic, a musical video game that's been played by over a half million people (developed by James Marion). His slumber party musical, Boys Who Tricked Me, was called "heart-healing musical theatre" by Joshua Barone of the New York Times. Other full-length: One Way, with Christopher Staskel (Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, reading at Playwrights Horizons, Yale Summer Institute 2016 Finalist), The Apple Boys with Jonothon Lyons (Dixon Place, Ars Nova), and The Lost Girl with Arianna Rose (Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival). He contributed additional sound design and composition to Punchdrunk's award winning show Sleep No More and supplied additional orchestrations for Ana Gasteyer's album "I'm Hip." Ben holds a Masters of Fine Arts from New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and is currently Marc Shaiman's music associate. www.benbonnema.com

CHRISTOPHER STASKEL (Book and Lyrics) is a musical theatre lyricist-librettist who lives and works in New York City. His work has been performed at Playwrights Horizons, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, the Laurie Beechman Theatre, the Brooklyn Lyceum, Galapagos Art Space, and the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music Theatre from Elon University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Writing from New York Uuniversity Tisch School of the Arts. Full-lengths include: One Way (music/co-book by Ben Bonnema), which received a reading at Playwrights Horizons directed by Kirsten Sanderson (First Daughter Suite); The Firebird (music by Lisa Whitson Burns); and Shades Of Wayne (music by Burns), currently in development at the Musical Theatre Factory. He was a 2015 Kleban Prize Finalist and a winner (with Max Mamon) of New York City Center’s 2014 Sondheim Remix contest, which granted him the surreal opportunity to rap for Stephen Sondheim. www.christopherstaskel.com

PROM QUEEN

AKIVA ROMER-SEGAL (Lyrics) and collaborator COLLEEN DAUNCEY (Music) have written the scores to Prom Queen, Bremen Rock City, Going Under, Scenes from the Bathhouse, Offline, and Rumspringa Break! as well as songs for cabaret performers, recording artists, and Broadway stars. Akiva was selected to participate in William Finn’s masterclass, Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project, Theatre 20’s Composium, Acting Up Stage’s Noteworthy, The Cutting-Edge Composers series in NYC and the Johnny Mercer American Songwriters Project in Chicago. Akiva and his collaborators were recipients of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s New Musical Award for Prom Queen. Find out more at colleenandakiva.com

KENT STAINES (Book) is a Toronto-based actor, playwright and screenwriter. Television writing credits include: Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story (Tapestry Pictures / CTV)MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives (CBC series co-created with Mary Young Leckie), Moose TV (Rezolution Pictures / Showcase), Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story (Screen Door / CTV) and the feature film Anxietyville (Xenophile Media). Kent was awarded a Playwright Residency Program at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto (2008) to develop Prom Queen: The Musical. Kent and his collaborators were recipients of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s New Musical Award for Prom Queen.

COLLEEN DAUNCEY (Music) is a composer/singer-songwriter who has collaborated with lyricist Akiva Romer-Segal on several musicals, including Going UnderBremen Rock CityRumspringa Break!, and Prom Queen: The Musical (recipient of the 2016 Stage West Pechet Family Musical Award). Colleen & Akiva are alumni of Theatre 20’s Composium, Acting Up Stage’s Noteworthy program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern University, and the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College. Their standalone songs have also been performed internationally in Cutting Edge Composers (NYC), Blame Canada (NYC, London, Canada), and more. Colleen writes and performs in several music groups, more at colleendauncey.com.

ROGET 

BENJAMIN SCHEUER is a songwriter, playwright and performer. At Goodspeed, Scheuer developed his solo musical The Lion (Drama Desk Award- Outstanding Solo Performance; Off West End Award- Best New Musical). Scheuer released the album Songs from The Lion with four animated music videos, which have won Best Commissioned Film at the Annecy Film Festival, and Best Music Video at the British Animation Awards (twice). Scheuer is co-creator of the photography book Between Two Spaces, proceeds of which go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Scheuer is working on a new album; and on a children’s book with his wife, illustrator Jemima Williams. Roget is a commission from Williamstown Theatre Festival. BenjaminScheuer.com @BenjaminScheuer

THREE SISTERS

TEKLA MONSON (Book and Lyrics) and MOLLY BOGIN (Music and Lyrics) are a playwright/composer writing duo at Wesleyan University. Both seniors are heavily involved in the musical theater scene on campus and have recently come together to write The Ditch Digger’s Apprentice in a musical theater workshop taught by Greg Kotis. Tekla is a Theater Major and Religion Minor from Fairbanks, Alaska and Molly is a Neuroscience & Behavior Major with a Writing Certificate from Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Tekla was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska where she grew up on a professional sled dog kennel that is still the home to over 70 Alaskan Huskies. Tekla helped her family to train and race huskies in the 1,000 mile Iditarod until she decided to go to boarding school at the age of 14. In Alaska, her only theatrical outlet was a local production of The Nutcracker every holiday season. At St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH Tekla’s interests shifted from ballet to theater. At Wesleyan University Tekla is an actor, director and designer. During her four years she has been a consistent performer in student directed musicals on campus. Recently Tekla directed Molly in Bat Boy: The Musical, her first experience directing musical theater. After graduation, Tekla plans to spend a year pursuing her love of improvisation and comedy while also adapting the story of her mother’s life as a female dog musher for the stage. Within the next 5 years Tekla intends to return to school to study architecture or scenography. 

Molly has been performing in musical theater productions since she was six years old. Although Springfield was not replete with the arts, she studied acting at a theater conservatory and took voice lessons with a local teacher. She’s been playing piano for twelve years and has recently begun composing. At Wesleyan, Molly has devoted her studies to the sciences, while spending her free time performing in numerous student-run productions and singing in an a cappella group. She initially planned to attend medical school after graduation, but has recently decided instead to pursue musical theater in New York City. She also hopes to spend more time writing in a variety of outlets (short stories, music, and potentially even TV) and eventually become certified to teach English in a socioeconomically disadvantaged community like her hometown.

Travels in Vermeer

BARRY KLEINBORT (Music, Book and Lyrics) has earned the prestigious Edward Kleban Foundation Award for Lyric Writing, two Gilman-Gonzalez Musical Theatre Awards, the Second Stage Musicals Writers Award, the Jamie deRoy ASCAP award, two Back Stage Bistro awards and ten MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) awards for his directorial and songwriting efforts. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Was (music by Joseph Thalken), based on Geoff Ryman's cult classic, which was the inaugural production of the American Musical Theater Project in Chicago. He also wrote book, music and lyrics for Angelina based on Frank D. GIlroy's "That Summer-That Fall" which premiered at the Cohoes Playhouse in Albany, New York. He co-wrote with David Levy Perfect Harmony, a musical play about the Barry Sisters which played regionally at several theaters and is now scheduled for a production in Toronto this coming year, and wrote music and lyrics for Metropolita(i)n, a bi-lingual musical revue which has successfully played in Paris and New York. He provided scripts for eight PBS TV specials and recently was artistic consultant for Cathouse: The Musical for HBO. His newest musical, 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, starring Penny Fuller had an acclaimed Off Broadway run at 59E59 Theaters and is continuing to be performed in theaters around the country, most recently at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The musical was also recently published by Dramatists Play Service. Mr. Kleinbort has directed and/or written material for Brent Barrett, Len Cariou (including co-writing and directing his recent off-Broadway one man show "Broadway and the Bard"), Petula Clark, Marvin Hamlisch, Kaye Ballard, Regis Philbin, Penny Fuller, Tony Roberts, Anita Gillette, Karen Mason, Sylvia McNair, Heather MacRae and many others. He also adapted and directed the New York premiere of Bob Merrill's musical The Prince of Grand Street for the Jewish Rep. An acclaimed revue of his theatre songs Big City Rhythm is also available on Harbinger Records.

Untitled Project

IAN FIELDS STEWART (pronouns: they/them/their) is a black, queer, and Transfeminine New York based storyteller working at the intersection of theatre and activism.Ian has worked consistently in productions at NYC venues such as Manhattan Rep, NYC Fringe Festival ’16, Shapiro Theatre, and more. In the spring of 2017, Ian performed an excerpt of their one-person show, On the Train to Nowhere in Particular, at the legendary Joe's Pub. To Learn More Please Follow Them At: https://www.ianfieldsstewart.com

SAM SALMOND is a Jonathon Larson Award- winning composer, lyricist, and bookwriter. Among the projects currently in developmentSam is writing music and lyrics for an adaptation of Eighty-Sixed, the novel written by humorist and AIDS activist, David Feinberg. It had a developmental reading at Second Stage Theatre and a workshop with Playwright’s Horizons and Musical Theatre Factory. His musical Mother, Me and the Monsters (a Boston Globe Critic’s Pick) was produced at Barrington Stage. His children’s show, The Dot, is on a 2017-18 national tour with Theatreworks USA. He wrote book and lyrics for Cage Match, which premiered at Prospect Theater Company. He’s the creator of Uncool: the Party, an immersive night of rock 'n roll, games, stories and dancing, which was workshopped at CAP21 and the Musical Theatre Factory. Sam is currently working on an original musical, The Homefront, about female factory workers who were fired at the end of WWII. He’s also writing a modern musical queer adaptation of the Frankenstein myth. Sam’s work has been featured at Lincoln Center, Ars Nova, Symphony Space, Joe's Pub, 54 Below, The Town Hall and venues all around the country. He is a 2017 Dramatists Guild Fellow and an alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

JEFF CALHOUN (Director) Disney's Newsies (Tony Award Nomination for Best Director), Bonnie & ClydeJekyll & HydeGrey Gardens, Deaf West's Big River (Tony Award Nomination for Best Revival of a Musical), BrooklynAnnie Get Your GunGrease (Tony Award Nomination for Best Choreography), Tommy Tune Tonite, and The Will Rogers Follies. On tour and internationally, Jeff directed Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 and Disney's High School Musicals 1 & 2. Jeff also had the pleasure of directing the world premiere of the new musical, Between The Lines, this past fall at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Jeff is an associate artist at The Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Covenant House International, a non-for-profit helping homeless youth in thirty cities across six countries. He loves to hear your thoughts on Twitter @thejeffcalhoun.

WILD SOUND

TOM COASH is a New Haven, CT based playwright, director, and producer. Prior to New Haven, he spent three years in Bermuda and four years teaching playwriting at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. Coash has worked for such theaters as the Manhattan Theatre Club, Stageworks/Hudson, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Coash has won numerous playwriting awards including the American Theatre Critics Association's "M. Elizabeth Osborn Award", the Clauder Competition for New England Playwrights, an Edgerton Foundation National New Play Award, the Hammerstein Award, The Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry Award, a Jerome Playwriting Fellowship, among others. His plays have been produced around the world including such theaters as: Portland Stage, Barrington Stage, InterAct Theatre Company, Abingdon Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Bailiwick Theatre, West Coast Ensemble, and many more. His play Cry Havoc was recently produced in the South African National Arts Festival where he was an artist-in-residence. His new award-winning play Veils was one of six Finalists for the American Theatre Critics Association's ATCA/Steinberg Best New American Play Award.

XY

OLIVER HOUSER (Book, Music & Lyrics) is a New York-based actor and musical theatre writer, hailed as a “talented composer” by The New York Times. Writing: XY (From Page to Stage Festival, London; ASCAP Workshop with Stephen Schwartz); Held Momentarily (New York Foundation for the Arts; New York Fringe and Fringe Off-Broadway Encore series); The Seagull (On the Verge Festival, Glasgow); Preschool (Foundation for New American Musicals Show Search Competition). Training: Dramatists Guild Fellowship; Advanced BMI Musical Theatre Workshop; Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project; selected composer for Jeanine Tesori’s Front & Center Master Class. Oliver is a New Voices Project Winner and his songs have been performed at 54 Below, Lincoln Center and various venues in NY and LA. He is currently developing new work with the Musical Theatre Factory. Select acting: Spring Awakening (Virginia Repertory Theatre, Richmond Theatre Critics Circle nomination), TV: What Would You Do? (ABC). Oliver is a proud member of ASCAP, Musical Theatre Factory, The Dramatists Guild and The Bond St. Dojo, where he haphazardly practices aikido. www.oliverhouser.com

HUNTER BIRD (Director, Creative Developer) is a Brooklyn-based theatre director and has developed, directed, and associate directed new work at Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, and numerous theatres across the country. Recent projects include The Laodamiad at Signature Theatre and The Getty Villa, developed at Roundabout Theatre Company with dramaturg Oskar Eustis. Select NYC: World premiere of Craig Lucas’ Tales of Life and Death (59E59, Edinburgh Festival), an immersive production of Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret (Secret Theatre), The Other Side of Paradise (Ars Nova, Speakeasy Tour),The Imaginary Menagerie (The McKittrick Hotel, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub), Romeo and Juliet (Lincoln Center Education), The Crazy Ones (New Musicals @ 54 Below), Edward II (The Tank), Held Momentarily (New York International Fringe Festival, Fringe Encore Series), Eversion (Ars Nova). Associate and assistant directing credits include the Pre-Broadway run of Clybourne Park, The Flaming Lips’ musical Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and work on Broadway and across the country with Lynne Meadow, Des McAnuff, Pam MacKinnon, Doug Hughes, Graciela Daniele, Gilbert Cates, Eve Ensler, and the National Theatre of Scotland. Colony Coordinator of the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals (2014 - 2016), where he worked with over 120 writers of new musicals. Awards / Honors: Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow (MTC, 2017), the Samuel J. Friedman Assistantship (MTC, 2015), SDCF Observership (2013), The UCLA Emerging Director Award (2011), Gilbert Cates Fellowship (2009). Training: BA in Directing and Musical Theatre from UCLA; RADA (Short Directing Course). Represented by Katie Gamelli at Abrams Artists Agency. Upcoming projects with Zack Zadek, Andrea Daly, Kate Douglas, Oliver Houser, Chas LiBretto, and Madeline Myers.