2023 Writers Grove
Book by Melis Aker & Tatiana Pandiani | Music by Jacinta Clusellas | Lyrics by Melis Aker, Jacinta Clusellas & Tatiana Pandiani
MELIS AKER was recently named a “Women to Watch” by the Broadway Women’s Fund. She is a writer, actor, and musician from Turkey, based between London and New York. She currently has a series in development with Skybound Entertainment, will have the Off-Broadway premiere her play Hound Dog co-produced by Ars Nova and The Play Company, and the London premiere of the musical play Hundred Feet Tall with Benjamin Scheuer and Jemima Williams adapted from their eponymous children’s book (TBA). She will also be voicing a role in a new audio series from the creators of “Archive 81.”
Melis is the recipient of the Sundance Interdisciplinary Program grant, the New York Community Trust/Van Lier Fellowship, and will be named as the Signature Theatre’s LaunchPad Resident (TBA). She has had writing commissioned by and developed at Atlantic Theatre Company (Middle East Mixfest), Ars Nova (Play Group member), New York Theatre Workshop (2050 fellow), Dramatists Guild (DGF fellow), The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Goodspeed, New Group, Roundabout Space Jam, LaMaMa, the Lark, Noor, Golden Thread Productions, 24 Hour Plays, Magic Theatre and BRICLab in the U.S., as well as the Finborough and Park theatres in the U.K.
Melis’ screenplay ARI (Bee) was at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival as part of Maison des Scenaristes, and her series pilot for MANAR was selected for the Orchard Project’s Episodic Lab, and IFP week. She has also worked on the development of a screenplay with Revelations Entertainment headed by Morgan Freeman. Her plays include: Hound Dog, Scraps and Things (Playing on Air, starring Carol Kane, directed by Neil Pepe, featured on the New York Times); Field, Awakening (2019 Kilroy’s List, Columbia@Roundabout finalist, Sundance finalist, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor semifinalist, Playwrights Realm finalist); Dragonflies (Sundance finalist); AZUL (O’Neill NMTC, recipient of NYC Women’s Fund); When My Mama was a Hittite (Columbia@Roundabout finalist); Fractio Panis (Homebound Project/No Kid Hungry, starring Brian Cox and Nicole Ansari, directed by Tatiana Pandiani); Manar (Columbia@Roundabout finalist, Theatre503 Playwriting Award semifinalist); 330 Pegasus: A Love Letter (Jerome NY Fellowship finalist); Indigo Dreams; OPET Diaries (Page73 semifinalist); and Gilded Isle.
Acting and music credits include: The Equalizer (CBS), The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC), Seneca (HBO Max), Love in Afghanistan (Arena Stage & Roundabout Theatre Company), We Live in Cairo (New World Stages), Proof (Edinburgh Fringe). As a singer-songwriter, Melis has released a quartet of seasonal session EPs with acoustic versions of songs. Her song “The Unknowing” was in the final reel of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk contest.Melis has worked as Ayad Akhtar’s assistant, and given a StoryCorps and TEDx talk. She has taught at NYU, The New School, and is working on her debut novel through her PhD at King's College London, where she will also be teaching. Education: Columbia University (MFA), Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Acting), Tufts University (BA). Representation: CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. www.melisaker.com
JACINTA CLUSELLAS is a composer, singer-songwriter and guitarist based in New York City. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jacinta brings together South American folklore, jazz and chamber music, in the context of songs influenced by poems, literature and nature from South America.
Her bilingual musical AZUL was programmed at the 2020 National Music Theatre Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, the NAMT 33rd Annual Festival of New Musicals, and received the 2022 NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, previously developed at New York Theatre Workshop, BRIC, The Drama League, Tofte Lake Center, Catwalk Art Institute and the Prelude Festival.
In New York City, Jacinta has performed at SIX on Broadway, the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, The Great Hall at Cooper Union, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, La MaMa Theatre, Le Poisson Rouge, Rockwood Music Hall, Musical Theatre Factory, The Sultan Room, Women of Color on Broadway and more. Jacinta’s debut album El Pájaro Azul was released in NYC, and published in Japan under the record label Inpartmaint Inc. Her second album is being produced by West One Music (London, UK) recorded in NYC and Buenos Aires, and was released in the fall of 2022.
Jacinta has toured the US as a composer, songwriter, performer and resident artist. Selected: South by Southwest [SXSW] (Austin, TX), Lanesboro Arts (Jerome Foundation, MN), Audacious Raw Theatre (MN), Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (WY) Good Hart Artist Residency (MI). Internationally, she has toured her music throughout Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Canada, Greece and Italy. Jacinta has also worked as an arranger for Grammy award-winning artists Alejandro Sanz (Berklee Performance Center) and A.R. Rahman (Boston Symphony Hall).Jacinta is a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic, where she develops programs and teaches for the Very Young Composers Program, and has served as a mentor at Lincoln Center’s Music Across Borders program and Passport To The Arts program. Jacinta is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music in the Contemporary Writing and Production department.
TATIANA PANDIANI is adirector-choreographer who works in English and Spanish. She served as the Associate Director for the Broadway and the First National tour of What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck, and is the associate director of Broadway-bound LEMPICKA, directed by Rachel Chavkin. Tatiana directed the international tour of La Negrophilie by Zakiya Markland at the Frank Collymore Hall in Barbados, the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Rwanda and the Kampala International Theatre Festival in Uganda. Tatiana has served as director-choreographer and co-book writer for the ongoing development on the bilingual musical AZUL at the National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT), the National Music Theatre Conference at the O’Neill, Tofte Lake Center, New York Theatre Workshop, BRIC, The Drama League and many others. As a choreographer, Tatiana has been working with Latin Indie musical artists in concerts & music videos.
Upcoming: Torera by Monet Hurst Mendoza (Alley theater, Houston) and When My Mama was a Hittite by Melis Aker (Park Theatre, London). Other recent: Our Town (Dallas Theatre Center); Blood Wedding (Yale); Christina by Alexis Sheer (Cleveland Playhouse, workshop); Dike by Hannah Benitez (Urbanite Theatre); Friends with Guns by Stephanie Alison Walker (NYTW, workshop); Nanas by Leonardo Gonzales (LATEA & IATI); Field, Awakening by Melis Aker (Signature).
Tatiana has been developing new plays with Jon Rua, Alexis Scheer, Hannah Benitez and other exceptional writers with the support of institutions such as Long Wharf Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Urbanite Theater, NYTW, Miami New Drama, Westport Country Playhouse, Pipeline Theatre Co., Timucua Arts Center, Lanesboro Arts, The Park Theater (UK). Tatiana is the New Works Director at Miami New Drama where she oversees play & musical commissions, development programs, workshops and playwright relationships. She was a NYTW Directing Fellow and is a recipient of the 2018/2019 National Directors Fellowship from the O'Neill Center and the Kennedy Center. MFA: Columbia Proud Member of SDC. Representation: Brillstein Entertainment Partners. www.tatianapandiani.com
Book by Patrick Lundquist & Peter Siebert | Music by Peter Seibert | Lyrics by Patrick Lundquist
PATRICK LUNDQUIST spent his 20s traveling the world with jazz legend Al Jarreau. As a professional singer with a background in contemporary a cappella, his early career also included running the GRAMMY Foundation's national education programs for the best music students in the country. Helping the nation’s emerging high school musicians find their path in the music industry formed his passion for supporting music education and fostering the growth and long-term health of vocalists. In addition to his creative work, Patrick is also co-founder of OOVO and inventor of the OOVO Straw necklace and Sing Ring vocal tool. His commissioned musicals have been performed in California, London, and Italy; and his partnership with Peter Seibert has brought about numerous accolades and participation in such programs as the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern and the Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals. Their work Swan Lake the Musical, developed during these programs, was produced in concert at The Montalban Theater in Hollywood.
PETER SEIBERT is an award-winning composer and orchestrator for film and stage. He has written additional music for such projects as Captain Marvel, Thor: Ragnarok, Hotel Transylvania 3, The Mitchells vs the Machines, The Croods: A New Age, Footloose, The Lego 2 Movie, Drop Dead Diva, and many more. To date, he has written music for 20+ feature films and 50+ episodes of television. As an orchestrator, Peter has scored several large-scale works for Andrew Lippa, including a concert suite for piano & orchestra (debuted by LangLang in 2015), his “Unbreakable” for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC), and his “Songs of the Phoenix” (also for the SFGMC). Peter has also orchestrated for Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, and many others. He and longtime collaborator Patrick Lundquist, as Artists in Residence at Texas State, are currently working on a revision of their musical Swan Lake. The show, which began as a few songs at the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project, was developed into a first draft at the inaugural Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals and was later presented at the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, received a full concert production with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra at The Montalban Theatre in LA. Peter is the recipient of ASCAP’s Harold Arlen Award and has an MBA from Stanford University.
HENRY & ME
MELVIN TUNSTALL III MT3 is an Off-Broadway Alliance Award-Winning Playwright for his TYA phenomenon Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical. The show has been seen in over 50 productions worldwide and took home a Naledi Award, the South African equivalent to the Tony Award, for Best TYA Production. Also an accomplished performer, MT3 made his Broadway debut as part of the original cast of the Broadway hit Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. He also appears on the Grammy®-Winning Cast Recording. MT3 originated the role of ‘Ja’Keith’ in the Original Toronto Company of the Broadway smash Rock of Ages before joining the European Tour of Richard Maltby Jr.’s new production of his hit musical Ain’t Misbehavin! that played the world’s renowned stages, including the Folies Bergère in Paris. MT3 holds a degree from the Musical Theater program at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and was a proud participant in the Yale Institute for Musical Theatre.
SHEA SULLIVAN is an award-winning director and choreographer who has worked in film, television, and theater. The New York Times describes her choreography as “adds high gloss” and “creating infectious joy.” Recently Shea was nominated for a Chita Rivera Award for her choreography of the Off- Broadway show Neurosis.
For 20 years, Shea was the protégé of Tony Award-winning Choreographer Dr. Henry LeTang. She assisted Mr. LeTang on many projects and taught with him until his passing in April 2007. She was the assistant choreographer to Mr. LeTang for the Showtime movie Bojangles starring Gregory Hines. Shea credits her understanding of the work of a choreographer to the unique relationship she had with Mr. LeTang.Select credits include: Pre-Broadway development: SOPH- The Sophie Tucker Musical, YES! The Musical. Off-Broadway: R.R.R.E.D, Neurosis (Chita Rivera Award Nomination), Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical (Off Broadway Alliance Award), Pageant! (Drama Desk Nomination Best Revival), I’ll Say She Is. For Westchester Broadway Theatre: Newsies. For PACE University: Pete (Her) Pan. For Cape Playhouse: Drowsy Chaperone; Sweet Charity; Legally Blonde; Crazy For You; Kiss Me, Kate. For Maltz Jupiter Theatre: The Producers, Will Roger Follies, Music Man (Carbonell Award), Crazy For You (Carbonell Award). For Barrington Stage: Ragtime (Berk Theater Critic Award Nomination), Southern Comfort. For Arts Center of Coastal Carolina: Newsies, White Christmas. Pan Am (ABC), Christmas Carol (Fords Theater), Dames at Sea (Bay Street Theatre), DanceBreak '08. Proud member of SDC. Board member of the Ziegfeld Club. Shea's choreography has also been featured at Fire Island Dance Festival, Dancers Responding to Aids, Broadway Bares, Easter Bonnet and The Red Bucket Follies (formally known as Gypsy of the Year). www.SheaSullivan.com | @thesheasullivan
HERE & THEIR
JASMINE JOSHUA is a Seattle writer, producer, actor, and director. They are the Artistic Director of the award-winning Reboot Theatre Company whose mission is to test new interpretations of established works through nontraditional casting and design. As an actor, Jasmine studied with the Larry Moss Studio and the Groundlings in Los Angeles. They have been seen on the stages of The 5th Avenue Theatre, Intiman, Book-It, Seattle Musical Theatre, Annex, and Theater Schmeater, among others. Jasmine was the Assistant Director at 5th Avenue Theatre (dir. Sheryl Kaller); Associate director at Village Theatre (dir. Hunter Bird) and has directed at Intiman Theatre, Reboot Theatre, Cafe Nordo, Radial Productions, and Twelfth Night Productions. Upcoming: The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd at Book-It Theatre.
Jasmine is currently working on a nonbinary musical (book, additional music and lyrics) Here And Their with Heather Ragusa (music and lyrics). Here And Their was originally developed with The 5th Avenue Theatre's First Draft Program. With support from NAMT grants, the show received two workshops at Seattle Rep. In August 2022, Jasmine participated in the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Produced works include And So That Happened (5th Avenue Theatre), You'd Better Sit Down For This (Annex Theatre), and, with support from a PAAL grant, their solo work Bread Crumbs, a collaboration with Eddie DeHais, which was workshopped at The Scratch in Seattle, and premiered at ACT Theatre's Solo Fest in February 2020. Bread Crumbs was included in ANT Fest at Ars Nova in 2021. Jasmine is also developing Let's Be Silver, A Country Song, another collaboration with Heather.
Jasmine graduated magna cum laude from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Jewish Studies. Before moving to Seattle, Jasmine was a theatrical publicist in the Bay Area, managing clients from LORT theatres and Broadway tours to opera, ballet, and a monster truck rally. They are a proud member of the Dramatist Guild and Ring of Keys.HEATHER RAGUSA has worked as songwriter and recording artist for over a decade, including fronting Heather Rae and Tumbleweed and opening multiple times for punk legend Exene Cervenka. Heather’s freshman album Slow Down Woman inspired the queer country musical Let’s Be Silver, a collaboration with writing partner Jasmine Joshua. Heather has roots in both musical theater and commercial music production, and has collaborated and performed with members of Social Distortion, Steppenwolf, The Abiders, The Pullmen, Lily Water, The Side Show Preachers, The Rug Cutters, Whiskey Chimp, 5th and Birmingham, the Dahlia Partons, Dusty Bottom Girls, and more. Heather has performed with groups at Carnegie Hall, venues throughout Southern California, and even placed second at the Cowboy Palace’s Amateur Performer Night behind Wanda the Dairy Cow Yodeler. Also, not to name drop, but she once rode on the back of Nick St. Nicholas’s motorcycle, stole beer from Hoobastank’s green room, and squatted in Glenn Danzig’s trailer (not all on the same day). Heather raises chickens and children in Eagle Rock with her master carpenter husband, Jon-Paul.
HOW TO BUILD A REVOLUTION
PAULA COLE has never been afraid of speaking complex truths. With a musical catalog defined by honest and deeply personal lyrics carried by her powerful, radiant voice, Cole has always had a gift for discerning the underlying humanity in stories from her own life as well as those around her, and channeling those emotional elements into captivating music.
Cole recently released her 11th studio album American Quilt, which was acclaimed by Rolling Stone, k praised the album writing, "Throughout, the 11-track collection contains the folkloric roots of American music. Cole’s radiant vocals pull the underlying humanity of a nation divided."
American Quilt was produced by Cole, who was the first woman nominated (without collaborators) as Producer of the Year at the 1997 Grammy awards. She garnered a total of seven Grammy nominations that year and won “Best New Artist” for her second album and major-label debut, This Fire, with its timeless hits, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait” (later the theme song for hit TV series Dawson’s Creek). As a Visiting Scholar at Berklee College of Music, Cole tells “all my female students, ‘Start thinking like a producer, think about how you want the whole track to sound, be a voice.’” She has sold millions of albums and has a loyal following of fans.
Cole consistently has used her voice for women. “Being a feminist has always informed my music. I do this for my great-grandmother, I do this for my mother, I do this for me, and I do this for my daughter.” Cole grew up in an artistic family, with her mother a visual artist and her father a multi-instrumentalist. Both held down jobs as teachers. When Cole’s daughter was born, she took nearly eight years off from touring to focus on parenting. “I love that I was able to have it all,” says Cole, “to be a mother and come back to my career. I love music and I don’t stray from that. I’m dedicated to my path.”
Paula Cole releases the single "Mother, Son and Holy Ghost" with artists Jason Isbell and John Paul White September 21st. Profits will benefit Audubon Society.Her twelfth studio album of highly anticipated personal original compositions will be released in the Fall of 2023.
LYNN ROSEN was recently named a "2022 Visionary Playwright" by Theater Masters. She writes serious comedies that reveal her affection for working-class strivers, especially women. Recent plays: The Overview Effect, a play about the race to space and the costs of scientific and spiritual risk-taking (EST/Sloan Commission); The Imperialists, a farce about a Brooklyn tea shop, British royalty/colonialism, and gentrification (Theatreworks New Works Festival, Silicon Valley, 2019); Washed Up On The Potomac, an ode to proofreaders (San Francisco Playhouse; The Pool, NYC); Legerdemain, a three-hander about connection, faith, and chain restaurants (New Georges Audrey Residency 2018); The Firebirds Take The Field, inspired by the story of the ticking girls of LeRoy, NY (EST/Sloan Commission; Rivendell Theatre, Chicago); Bernhard: A Refugee's Journey (UCSB Launch Pad commission/production). Also: Women’s Project (Apple Cove), New Georges (Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero is Born), Working Theater (Back From The Front); Playing On Air (I Love You with Bill Irwin and Steve Boyer), Studio Theatre D.C./Willow Cabin (Nighthawks); Theatreworks (Man and Beast), ATL, EST, Baltimore Centerstage, Barrington Stage, Fault Line, New Group, Geva, New Harmony Project, SPACE, The Lark.
Current commissions: How to Build a Revolution, a new musical about Betty Friedan, Florynce Kennedy, and Helen Gurley Brown, Theatreworks Silicon Valley. Lynn is co-writing the book with Pia Wilson, music by Paula Cole. The Claudias, in which a group of forgotten women reclaim their stories, Red Bull Theater's inaugural new play commission.
Lynn recently sold a TV pilot to a major network with more in the pipeline. She's co-creator of award-winning web series Darwin, directed by Carrie Preston, and upcoming web series, Hot Air. Lynn is co-founder of The Pool, a playwright-driven, pop-up theatre company now in its third incarnation. https://www.thepoolplays.org
Lynn grew up in Gary, Indiana, has a B.A. in Theater Arts from Brandeis University, and resides in NYC.PIA WILSON has been a Newark Creative Catalyst grant recipient, Traveling Master for Dramatist Guild Foundation, resident with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Sundance fellow, and member of the 2008 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater. Her plays have been produced by AD Players, Crossroads Theatre, Workspace Collective, Drew University, Adelphi University, Horse Trade Theater Group, and The Fire This Time play festival. Her fiction podcast, If I Go Missing The Witches Did It, starring Gabourey Sidibe, is available wherever you get your podcasts and was listed as one of the Best New Podcasts of 2021 by Variety and Mashable. The podcast also won a 2021 Webby award in the Best Scripted Fiction category. Pia was commissioned by Audible to write the text for the immersive visitor audio experience that will be a part of the Harriet Tubman monument in Newark, NJ. In television, Pia was a staff writer for NatGeo’s Genius Aretha and BET’s Sacrifice.
LITTLE MISS PERFECT
Book, Music, & Lyrics by Joriah Kwamé
JORIAH KWAMÉ is a playwright/composer/lyricist based in NYC. In 2019, his career was launched when he won Tony Nominee Taylor Louderman's Write Out Loud competition, for, "Little Miss Perfect,” which since has grossed almost 10 million views. He is a recipient of the 2020 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award and was one of six ASCAP writers featured in the ASCAP Songwriters: Next Generation showcase. He participated in the 2020 Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project. He has written pieces for New York Film Academy’s song cycle Not Working, Prospect Theater Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and 54 Below. He is penning original scores for two musicals alongside renowned playwright Lauren Gunderson: Sinister (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Little Miss Perfect: The Musical. He was enlisted by Andrew Lippa to write a piece for San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ premiere song cycle Songs Of The Pheonix, alongside the likes of Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, and Ingrid Michaelson. Alongside Pasek and Paul, he wrote a song for Shawn Mendez in the Sony Picture Film Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. Original scores include How To You: A Musical Guide To Black Boyhood, Sophia, Our Beloved: A Musical Drama, Dream: A New Musical, and The Green. He is a 2021 Jonathan Larson finalist.
Book, Music, & Lyrics by Lauren Du Pree
LAUREN DU PREE is an actor, vocalist, writer, and filmmaker from Seattle, WA. After studying musical theatre at Howard University, she began working at theaters like The Kennedy Center, 5th Avenue Theatre, and Ford’s Theatre, until her failing health prophetically revealed how she'd been dimming her light to fit into an industry that was never created with her in mind. These health issues felt like an obstacle in the way of her purpose, but refocusing revealed her greatest strength was in her biggest perceived weakness. She began sharing her healing journey online through her blog, Just Du Pree, and started writing the stories she wasn't given the opportunity to tell as an actor. The lessons we learn during the challenges of life equip us to help others; that is the purpose of her work. Art should make us feel a little more seen and a little less alone. Most importantly, it is a tool for positive change.Past credits include Orphie in Orphie And The Book Of Heroes (The Kennedy Center), Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Ford's Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre (Ragtime, Man of La Mancha, Annie, Rock of Ages, The Pajama Game), and Village Theatre (Dreamgirls, My Heart Is the Drum, String). Lauren is an original cast member of the nationally syndicated PBS television show Biz Kid$. In 2019 she produced her first live show, A Night With Just Du Pree, combining all the things she loves: good music, tasty food, holistic health, and comedy. In June, she premiered her musical film shot in quarantine, Untitled: A Quarantine Playlist, during the We Out Here Festival. Her alter ego, Carmen with a K, a fame-obsessed Instagram model, was recently featured in the Sovereign Film Festival 2020. Lauren is a 4Culture 2020 Arts Projects Grant recipient, a 2021 invited resident for Village Theatre’s new BIPOC Residency Program, a 2021 Northwest Film Forum Collective Power Fund recipient, and a 2021 Artist Trust Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) Award recipient. She is also the founder and CEO of Just Du Pree Productions LLC, a film production company committed to creating content written by Black artists to inspire, heal, and create positive change. When not on stage or in front of the camera, Lauren manages a blog chronicling her healing journey from a widely unknown iatrogenic condition, topical steroid withdrawal syndrome. Most recently Lauren was in East of the Mountains starring Tom Skerritt, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2021. During the pandemic she’s had the opportunity to emcee multiple conferences and fundraisers including Re-Imagining Behavioral Health in the 21st Century: Race, Equity, and Social Justice, the AFP Advancement NW Annual Conference, and the Washington Green Schools Better Together fundraiser.
Book, Music, Lyrics by Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako | Music Arranged by Andrew Pang
CLAUDINE MBOLIGIKPELANI NAKO is an actor, director, writer, and composer who has worked extensively as a teaching artist with theatre programs across the country. Associate Director credits include Hairspray, Songs for a New World, Mamma Mia (Village); History of Theatre, Sweat (ACT). Performance credits include A Christmas Carol, Dracula, The Crucible, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (ACT); As You Like It, A Raisin in the Sun (Seattle Rep); Snow White, Red Riding Hood, The Boy Who Kissed the Sky (SCT); My Heart is the Drum, Big River (Village); A Bright Room Called Day (Williams Project); Little Bee (Book-It). Film/TV credits include Everything Sucks!, Raising Dion, Outside In (Netflix); Three Busy Debras (HBO); Grimm (NBC).
Book by Janet Roston & Mark Governor | Music by Mark Governor & Marc Sambola | Lyrics by Mark Governor
MARK GOVERNOR is a composer for 20 feature films, including Pet Sematary 2, Notes From Underground, his collaboration with Iggy Pop on The Brave (directed by Johnny Depp) and the DVD special editions of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies. Mark's songs and compositions have been featured in over 250 television series including The Daily Show, The Shrink Next Door, Friends, Spongebob Squarepants, No Reservations, in the films Nebraska and Downsizing, and many more.
In theater, Mark’s rock musical shAme is in development for Broadway, with multiple Tony-winner Kathleen Marshall directing. The show has had productions in Los Angeles, Boston and Berlin. Mark was the co-founder and co-artistic director of the Los Angeles Rock Opera Co and is the co-composer and lyricist of the flamenco flavored musical Possession. He adapted and arranged Pete Townshend?s A Quick One While He?s Away for stage performance and video, and was the Music Producer for the virtual Broadway revival of Amour by Michelle LeGrand and Jeremy Sams.
As a songwriter and record producer, he has worked with many artists including Grant Lee Phillips, Carmen Rizzo, Huun Huur Tu, Concrete Blonde, Kristian Bush (Sugarland), Katrina Lenk, James Snyder, D.J. Bonebreak (X), Billy Preston and Lolo.Mark has received commissions for ten dance pieces from Modern Dance companies in California, and he was the subject of a video documentary, Peace By Piece, which won an Emmy award in 1993.
JANET ROSTON is an award-winning Director/Choreographer who is actively involved in the writing and development of many theatrical productions. As choreographer she has won multiple Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theater award (The Color Purple, The Boy From Oz, both Celebration Theatre). She also received two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards and two NAACP awards for her theater choreography. With her dance/theater company, Mixed eMotion Theatrix (MeMT), Janet co-wrote Anaïs Nin, Unbound, which she also directed/choreographed. The production was performed at Avignon Festival, in Paris and opened the International Theater Festival of Casablanca, Morocco. With MeMT she recently created Gatsby Redux, a site-specific work inspired by The Great Gatsby that has been performed at Disney Hall, Beverly Hill’s Greystone Mansion and the Tulsa International Dance Festival. Working with composers Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda Janet co-created Midsummers Night which was performed at University of Texas Musical Theater Workshop and Nashville Shakespeare Festival. During the pandemic Janet directed You Can’t Stop The Beat, raising funds for The Actors Fund, over 3 million views YouTube, named Best of 2020 by the Washington Post. She is a member of SDC.
MARC SAMBOLA is a Barcelona-born composer, guitarist and Musical Director immersed in a tradition that combines Spanish guitar, mediterranean music and the American modern musical theatre. He won the Premis de la Crítica Award for Best Composition for La Filla del Mar in 2021. He was also nominated for the Premis Butaca Awards for the same musical. He was nominated for Best Musical Director of the Theatre Musical Awards Madrid for Ojos Verdes.
As a composer, has written musical theatre shows including: La Filla del Mar, Les històries Naturals, El Projecte dels Bojos, Tom Sawyer, detective, Artaban, the fourth wise man, Sihir i la nit de Reis, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Ocaña, Königin der Ramblas for Neuköllner Opera in Berlin, among many others. He has also written the music for the gala Catalunya Aixeca el Teló 2019 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.As a guitar player, he was trained at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya and he has been a featured guitarist in many productions for which he has created or arranged music. Marc is also the artistic director of A Grup Vocal, an acapella vocal group with which he has created many Pop arrangements for multiple shows in performing arts venues and on television.
THE RESTLESS GIRLS
JESSIE BURTON is the author of four novels, The Miniaturist, The Muse, The Confession, and The House of Fortune.
The Miniaturist and The Muse were Sunday Times no.1 bestsellers in both hardback and paperback, New York Times bestsellers, and Radio 4's Book at Bedtime. The Miniaturist went on to sell over a million copies in its year of publication, was Christmas no.1 in the UK, National Book Awards Book of the Year, and Waterstones Book of the Year 2014. In 2017 it was adapted as a two-part miniseries on BBC One, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Alex Hassell and Romola Garai, screened over Christmas, and now available on DVD and streaming services. The Confession was an instant Sunday Times bestseller, and Radio 4 Book at Bedtime?. The House of Fortune is a Sunday Times no.1 bestseller.
Her novels have been published in 40 languages.
Jessie's first book for children, The Restless Girls, was published in September 2018, and Medusa, her second, in October 2021. ?Her story “Daphne and the Doughnuts” appeared in The Book of Hopes, a collection of children's stories published in 2020, from which all profits go to the NHS.As a non-fiction writer, she has written essays and reviews for The New York Times, Harpers Bazaar UK, The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, Vogue, Elle, Red, Grazia, Lonely Planet Traveller and The Spectator. Harpers Bazaar US and Stylist have published her short stories.
BARNABY RACE is a composer and songwriter who studied at Trinity College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He works across multiple mediums including theatre, music production, orchestration and large scale events.
He currently has The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe playing in the West End and two immersive theatre shows (Doctor Who: The Time Fracture & Peaky Blinders) both running in Central London.
Other recent projects include Romeo & Juliet for Secret Cinema, Cinderella The Musical at Southampton Theatres, Babe The Sheep-Pig for Polka and The Secret Garden at Theatre By The Lake/Theatre Royal York.In 2020 he was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Original Score or New Orchestrations for his work on Amélie the Musical. The production's Original Cast Recording, which Barnaby co-produced, was nominated for Best Musical Theatre Album at the 63rd Grammy Awards.
Book by T.J. Pieffer & Shelby Solla | Music & Lyrics by Jennifer Lucy Cook
JENNIFER LUCY COOK is a composer and lyricist based in Los Angeles. Jen specializes in musical comedy for the stage and screen, choral music, and pop songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2022 Chorus Austin Composition prize and the 2022 Cantus Emerging Composer Award. She is credited both as an additional composer and singer on several upcoming films, including Toxic Avenger (Legendary Pictures), the documentaries A Mother Knows (Netflix) and Ballistic (Netflix). Her theater commissions include Full House Theatre Co., British Youth Musical Theatre, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, and her musical recaps of The Bachelor recently went viral on TikTok. She earned a Master’s degree in Musical Theater Writing from Goldsmiths University in London and a Bachelor’s in Contemporary Music from Brigham Young University. Jen is mentored by renowned composer Eric Whitacre.
T.J. PIEFFER is a Chicago-based
writer and performer. He has studied and performed at comedy institutions and
theaters around the country including The Second City, The Annoyance, UCB, The
PIT, Omaha Comedy Festival, and Playwrights Horizons. His first musical, Abduction, has received numerous
readings, workshops, and productions including MTAP, The New York Musical Festival,
New Musicals Inc., and an upcoming licensed production at the University of
SHELBY SOLLA is a playwright and screenwriter based in Brooklyn. Her plays and dramatic writing have been produced at New York Live Arts, Primary Stages, the PIT Loft, Pittsburgh New Works Festival (Runner-Up: Best LabWorks Production), Undiscovered Countries’ Infinite Festival, and Dixon Place. Most recently, she was commissioned to write a new play, Custodians, for a festival of professional playwriting alumni at her alma mater, Marymount Manhattan College. Shelby has studied improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and sketch comedy at the Peoples’ Improv Theater in NYC. 1385, the pilot she co-wrote with T.J. Pieffer, was selected as a second-rounder for Austin Film Festival in 2021.
THE SNOW GOOSE
Book by Scott Gilmour | Music by Claire McKenzie | Lyrics by Scott Gilmour
SCOTT GILMOUR & CLAIRE McKENZIE (NOISEMAKER) Both graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Scott and Claire formed Noisemaker in 2012 as a partnership dedicated to creating and developing new musical theatre in Scotland. Now nearly ten years on, the pair have worked with a wide variety of companies and collaborators including the National Theatre of Scotland, The Citizens Theatre, Dundee Rep, Royal Lyceum, Sheffield Crucible, Goodspeed Musicals, The American Musical Theatre Project, Ruth Hendel Productions, Livewire Theatrical, LD Entertainment, National Youth Music Theatre and Selladoor Worldwide.
During that time their work has also expanded from audiences at home in Glasgow, across the UK and now, more recently, in the US.
Ceilidh marks a culmination of Scott and Claire’s cultural roots and connection to home, and seeks to share and celebrate that with a wider, universal audience. Theatre Credits Include: Scots (Play Pie and A Pint/fOran Mor); Atlantic: A Scottish Story (The Big Light Podcast Network - ARIAS Nominee 2022), Oor Wullie (Selladoor Worldwide/Dundee Rep); Legend Trippers (NYMT); Hi My Name Is Ben (Goodspeed Musicals/NAMT Festival 2019); The Cook, The Theif, His Wife And Her Lover (Faena Miami/Unigram); The Snow Queen (Dundee Rep/Citizens Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Dundee Rep); My Left/Right Foot (National Theatre of Scotland - Fringe First/Herald Angel 2018); Songs From The Seven Hills (Sheffield Crucible); Atlantic: A Scottish Story (AMTP Northwestern - Herald Angel 2017); Little Red And The Wolf (Dundee Rep Theatre - UK Theatre Award 2016); The Girl Who (The Rev (formally MGR Playhouse)/AMTP Northwestern); Forest Boy (New York Musical Theatre Festival/The Other Palace - S&S Award for Best Musical), Freakshow (Roundhouse/ The Arches - Scottish Daily Mail Drama Award 2012).
Film & TV: Unicorn Universe (In Development - DC Thomson Media), Anne Of Green Gables (Sullivan Entertainment), Little Red And The Wolf (LD Entertainment), Oor Wullie: Animated Series (In Development - DC Thomson Media)
Awards include: Great British Podcast Award 2022 - Best Fiction Podcast for Atlantic: A Scottish Story, CATS Award 2019 (for My Left/Right Foot), Unique Business of the Year at the Scottish Business Awards 2018, Walt Disney Imagineering New Voices 2017, NYMF Publishing Award 2016.
Upcoming Projects Include: A commission by Goodspeed Musicals based on Paul Gallico’s novella The Snow Goose due for production in 2024. A new commission to adapt Susan Fletcher’s novel Witchlight for the stage by Idili Live. Hi My Name Is Ben (recently optioned by Robert Ahrens and LD Entertainment) and is in-development for an upcoming regional production.
Noisemaker are also proud Associate Artists of Dundee Rep Theatre and the American Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University in Chicago.www.noisemaker.org.uk
Book by Beth Malone & Mary Ann Stratton | Music & Lyrics
by Emily Saliers
BETH MALONE is on Apple TV's upcoming series, City on Fire. She's also currently recurring on Apple's Five Days At Memorial. Pre-pandemic Beth was in the midst of reprising her role as Molly in The Unsinkable Molly Brown with The Transport Theater Group, where she became an Outer Critic Circle Honoree for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical.
ANN STRATTON is a novelist, published memoirist,
essayist and poet who has taught creative writing for twenty-seven years. She
has been the featured poet in numerous slam events performing her poetry
throughout Colorado, and has won top honors garnering her an invitations to perform
with Denver’s with Poet Laureate. Starstruck
is Mary Ann’s second play and first musical.
SUEÑOS: OUR AMERICAN MUSICAL
Book, Music, & Lyrics by Jesse J. Sanchez
JESSE J. SANCHEZ is a playwright, composer, and music director. He is a sought-after collaborator in theatre, opera, TV, and film. Jesse is currently in residence as Producing Music Supervisor for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a Tony Award-winning organization that stands as one of the preeminent destinations for American regional theatre.
?In 2021, Jesse was a recipient of the NAMT Frank Young Development Grant for his musical, Sueños: Our American Musical (book, music, lyrics). In 2018, Sanchez was named “People to Watch” by American Theatre Magazine and nominated for an educator Grammy in 2014. Early in his career, he served as music assistant on the first national tour of Hamilton and the world premiere of The Prince of Egypt (Theatreworks SV). In these and other positions, he has worked with Stephen Schwartz, Alex Lacamoire, Greg Anthony Rassen, Paul Scott Goodman, AnnMarie Milazzo, Michael Starobin, Dominick Ammendum, and countless other Broadway veterans. Jesse is currently developing a new musical with the band Chicago.
Jesse's musicals have been a finalist for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Conference, and a semi-finalist for the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His plays, operas, and musicals have been performed or developed coast to coast at Barn On Fire Festival of New Musicals, Boston Lyric Opera, New York Theatre Barn, Arizona Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Choreography Lab, The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, The Green Room 42 (NYC), Arizona State University, and The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
As a composer, orchestrator, and arranger, his works have been heard nationally at Long Wharf, The 24 Hour Plays, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, FOGG Theatre SF, Arizona Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, Alley Theatre, University of Texas at Austin, among others. He has been involved in multiple writing rooms as a songwriter with Netflix (unannounced projects).
He has music directed in professional theaters across the country including Denver Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, The Alley Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Huntington Theater Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Theatreworks Silicon Valley, and many more.
As a professional jazz trumpet player and singer, Jesse has shared the stage with countless world renown musicians including Terrell Stafford, Tower of Power, Brubeck Brothers, Dave Brubeck, Paquito D'Rivera, Anat Cohen, Dee Daniels, Dave Liebman, Wayne Bergeron, Steve Smith, Jimmy Heath, Corey Christiansen, Hildemaro, Karl Perazzo, Carlos Xavier Project and many more.
Jesse holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. While at UI, Jesse studied trumpet and jazz under Dr. Vern Sielert, conducting under Dr. Michael Murphy and Professor Alan Gemberling, composition and arranging under Daniel Bukvich. Jesse is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.
JEFF CHAMBERS Born in Issaquah, Washington in 1990, Jeff Chambers grew up in eastern Washington and now composes and arranges music that is played and heard around the world. He studied composition with Dan Bukvich and Robert Dickow at the University of Idaho and has since made a full-time career in music composition. His music is frequently noted as fresh and exciting and in 2013, one of his arrangements was recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine as a "Mind-Blowing Cover".
In 2017, he began composing and orchestrating music with Jesse Sanchez for a new musical, SUEÑOS: Our American Musical. The music of their new work debuted at The Green Room 42 in New York City on October 26, 2019 and headlined the New York Theater Barn's New Works Series on December 2, 2019. In August of 2018, Jeff served as a music assistant to a new musical called Once Upon a Rhyme shortly before it was produced at New York University.In 2016 he received the bronze medal in the Seattle Composers Alliance international call for scores with his string quartet, "Whitewater." In 2016 and 2019 he was the recipient of the "Best Score" award in the Seattle 48 Hour Horror Film Festival for his original scores, Wild Roses and The Recursive Haunting of Abel Street. His scores are frequently heard in film festivals around the world including one of his more recent projects, Crowbar, which has screened at dozens of film festivals internationally and has received numerous awards and accolades.
Book by Geoffrey Nauffts | Music & Lyrics by Jonatha Brooke
JONATHA BROOKE has been writing songs, making records and touring since the early 90s. After four major label releases, she started her own independent label, Bad Dog Records in 1999, and has since released ten more albums – including the companion CD to her critically-acclaimed, one-woman, Off-Broadway show My Mother Has Four Noses.
In 2014, Ms. Brooke debuted My Mother Has Four Noses at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street in NYC. The show ran for 3 months, to rave reviews, and was a critics’ pick in the NY Times and Time Out Magazine. She has performed 4 Noses at People’s Light in Malvern, PA; The Cleveland Playhouse; The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis; The Little Rock, Arkansas ACANSAS Festival; Philly Fringe Fest; The Warner Theater in Torrington, CT; and in 2018, a month-long run at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis.
Jonatha has also written four musicals: Hopper and Death and Venice with Anton Dudley (premiered at Adelphi University and Hangar theater respectively); Quadroon, with the late legendary jazz pianist/composer Joe Sample (premiered at The Ensemble Theater in Houston, TX); and she’s currently working on Switched with playwright Geoffrey Nauffts, and TEMPUS with playwright Jaclyn Backhaus.
Jonatha has co-written and/or produced songs with Katy Perry, The Courtyard Hounds and Jessica Simpson. She's also written for four Disney films, numerous television shows, and she composed and performed the theme song for Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.
Jonatha was the recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship Grant in 2018. She won the 2019 International Acoustic Music Award for Best Female Artist for her song “Put the Gun Down,” and was the competition’s overall grand prize winner. And in 2020, she was awarded an Independent Music Award (IMA) for her EP, "Imposter.”
Throughout the pandemic, Ms. Brooke performed weekly Live Stream concerts from her home on Facebook and YouTube - “The Kitchen Covid Concerts” - all archived on her YouTube page.
Her 14th record, The Sweetwater Sessions, was released July 10, 2020.GEOFFREY NAUFFTS spent the first half of his career working as an actor both on and off Broadway, regionally, and extensively in film and television. He’s directed works for the stage by Kenneth Lonergan, Frank Pugliese, David Marshall Grant, Theresa Rebeck, and Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as the critically acclaimed production of Steven Belber’s Tape in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Turning to writing in the second half of his career, his works include: Baby Steps, an award-winning short film starring Kathy Bates, which he also directed; Jennifer, a CBS movie of the week, two seasons on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters, a season on Political Animals, the Golden Globe-nominated mini-series for USA, four seasons on ABC’s Nashville, a season on ABC’s Grand Hotel, and four seasons on ABC’s A Million Little Things. His play Next Fall was produced on Broadway on Broadway in 2010 where it received the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for Best New American Play, and was nominated for a Drama League, Drama Desk, and Tony Award.
Book by Jake Bernstein
Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Brielle
JAKE BERNSTEIN is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author. He was a senior reporter on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists team, which broke the Panama Papers story. In 2017, the project won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. Bernstein was an executive producer on the The Laundromat, a Netflix film based on his book, Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers, Illicit Money Networks, and the Global Elite (Henry Holt, 2017). He earned his first Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for National Reporting, for coverage of the financial crisis. He has done radio, television, and podcasting, including three highly-rated This American Life episodes. Bernstein has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Guardian, The New York Review of Books, and Vice, and has appeared on the BBC, NBC, CNN, PBS, and NPR. He was the editor of The Texas Observer and is the coauthor of Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency (Random House, 2006).
JONATHAN BRIELLE on Broadway: wrote the music and lyrics for Foxfire with Jessica Tandy (Tony Award) Hume Cronyn, and Keith Carradine; Off-Broadway: Himself and Nora (book, music, lyrics); Outer Critics Best Musical Nomination, Minetta Lane Theatre 2016; Circle Repertory Company, NY: dozens of scores as Composer in Residence; Regional: Himself and Nora: American Theater Group, James Joyce Center, Ireland and The Old Globe; Nightmare Alley (book, music, lyrics): Geffen Playhouse; 40 Naked Women, A Monkey and Me (book, music, lyrics) The Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Conference. Las Vegas: Enter The Night (book, music, lyrics) Stardust Hotel 12 years; MadHattan (book, music, lyrics) New York, New York Hotel; US Tours: Rugrats, Live! (Executive Music Supervisor); Goosebumps, Live! (Producer, Music) TV: Wonderama (music, lyrics); Charitable Organizations: Executive Vice President of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF), creating programs in New York, Newark, Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta. Writer/Producer in Residence of the Johnny Mercer Writers’ Grove at Goodspeed Musicals and oversees the JMF Songwriting Project at Northwestern University. Jonathan is the former National Projects Director of the Songwriters Guild of America and is the founder of a new platform featuring new Broadway bound musicals with Forever Free musical theater education for grades K-12: www.valamusicals.com.