2014 Writers Colony Bios
Listed alpabetically by project
TOM MEGAN was recently awarded the 2013 Richard Rodgers Award for The Kid Who Would Be Pope, an original musical comedy co-written with brother Jack. The show was produced at the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2011. He has written book, music, lyrics for several musicals including Sea Change, commissioned by North Shore Music Theater, A Town Called Civility, Dearo Fam’ly, and Surviving Ophelia. He composed the score and lyrics for The Witch Of Blackbird Pond, Jack, Food For Thought, and Buzz On!. His work has been seen at Playwrights Horizon, the Eugene O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, New Tuner's Theatre in Chicago, Sacred Fools Theatre in West Hollywood, and Boston Music Theatre Project. His songs are performed in cabaret and coffeehouses. Excerpts from A Vision, his musical about W.B. Yeats were presented at the Irish Repertory Theater in 2009. Tom is recipient of the Yip Harburg Lyricist Award, a grant from the Anna Sosenko Trust, several ASCAP awards, a grant from the National Institute for Musical Theater and, along with brother Jack, the 2012 American Harmony Prize. He is a graduate of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Program and a member of the Dramatist Guild.
(returning Colony Alumn)
JENNY GIERING's current projects include a commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She wrote the score for Saint-Ex (book and lyrics by Sean Barry), which was developed at Theatreworks/Palo Alto and premiered at the Weston Playhouse. Jenny’s awards include the Jonathan Larson Award, the Klinsky Prize from Second Stage, the Tilles Music Chair from Chicago Shakespeare, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, and the National Art Song prize. Jenny' s solo album, “Look for Me,” is available at www.jennygiering.com.
ADAM GWON's musicals Ordinary Days, Cloudlands, and The Boy Detective Fails have been produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Signature Theatre, and around the world including in London's West End. His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, 54 Below, Ars Nova, Joe's Pub, and more, by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O'Hara, Liz Callaway, and Brian d'Arcy James. Adam's honors include the Kleban, Ebb, and Loewe awards, Second Stage Theatre's Rosen Award, the ASCAP Harold Adamson award and the MAC John Wallowitch Award. Recordings: “Ordinary Days” (Ghostlight), Audra McDonald's “Go Back Home” (Nonesuch), “Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album.” www.adamgwon.com
LAURA HARRINGTON, award winning playwright, lyricist and librettist, winner of the 2008 Kleban Award, has written dozens of plays, musicals, operas and radio plays which have been produced in venues ranging from Off-Broadway to Houston Grand Opera. Harrington has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in playwriting and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England. Additional awards include a Boston IRNE Award for Best New Play, a Bunting Institute Fellowship, a Whiting Foundation Grant-in-Aid, etc. Laura teaches playwriting at MIT where she was awarded the 2009 Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Alice Bliss, (Penguin) her first novel, widely acclaimed in print and online, has won the 2012 Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. Alice Bliss has also been published in the UK, Italy and Denmark.
UPDATE: Anne Frankenstein was recently commissioned for further development by Second City Theatricals’ new commercial musical venture.
DAVE HOLSTEIN’s most recent plays included his musical adaptation of The Emperor's New Clothes (Chicago Shakespeare; with music by Alan Schmuckler) and The B-Team (Dad’s Garage). His one-act Anne Frankenstein: The Musical won audience and finalist awards at Sydney's Short and Sweet Festival. He’s also participated seven times in the Los Angeles version of the 24-Hour plays. For the past five years, Dave has been a writer/producer on the hit Showtime television series “Weeds” (WGA Nomination), and has also developed projects for Comedy Central, CBS and FOX. He is currently a producer on the FOX comedy series “Raising Hope.” He is a proud graduate of Northwestern University.
ALAN SCHMUCKLER participated in the inaugural Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters' Project in 2006. He wrote music and lyrics for The Emperor’s New Clothes (book by David Holstein), which received a NAMT New Project Development grant, premiered at the Tony-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and subsequently made its international debut at the Stage Artz Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia; it will be available for license shortly from Rodgers and Hammerstein. He wrote music and additional lyrics for We Three Lizas (book and lyrics by Scott Bradley), which was commissioned by About Face Theatre and produced at the Steppenwolf Garage, Joe's Pub, and (upcoming) Stage 773. With Michael Mahler, he co-wrote book, music and lyrics for Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?, which premiered and remounted there, and has since been produced at the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s 21st Annual Festival of New Musicals, the Marriott Theatre, Spirit of Broadway Theater, Swine Palace, Stages Theater, and at high schools and colleges nationwide. His music and lyrics have been featured in Stars of David (DR2 Theatre); the York Theatre Company’s NEO6 Benefit Concert; the Chicago “Monday Nights, New Voices” series; and the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s New Works Summit and Songwriters’ Showcase. His concert credits include Alan Schmuckler: I Miss The City (Joe’s Pub); and, with Mahler, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (Washington, DC), and numerous gigs with their band, the Lincoln Squares, whose debut EP, “The Lincoln Squares!”, was released in January 2013. He and playwright Laura Eason are currently working on a commission for Writers’ Theatre, Days Like Today, an adaptation of three plays by Charles Mee; it will receive its world premiere there in May 2014. Alan is a three-time Joseph Jefferson-nominated actor whose recent credits include Nikolai and the Others (Lincoln Center Theater) and Stars of David (DR2 Theatre). He's a proud Northwestern University alum and a member of AEA and ASCAP.
Annie Golden: Bounty Hunter, Yo!
JASON "SWEETTOOTH" WILLIAMS is an actor/writer/theater maker. He works closely with Joe Iconis and as an actor has appeared in such Iconis shows as: The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks, ReWrite, Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, Things to Ruin, The Joe Iconis Rock n Roll Jamboree as well as numerous concerts around NYC as part of Joe Iconis and Family. Jason has also been seen in Transport Group's Crossing Brooklyn, and various productions of Maté and Aronson's The Trouble With Doug among others. He is also a co-founding member of newFangled theatReR whose productions included the FRIGID Festival's Award-winning Harm's Way by Mac Welman. As a writer, Jason's songs have appeared in multiple venues throughout NYC (including at gigs with "The Big Galoots," the world's shortest-lived rock band). Jason was also co-writer of the Intimate Evening series with Joe Iconis and Lance Rubin.
JOE ICONIS is a musical theater writer and a fixture on the New York concert/cabaret scene. He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, and is the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, a Jonathan Larson Award, an ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, and a MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award. Joe’s songs appeared on Season 2 of NBC’s “Smash” and his writing was recently featured in The New York Times. He is the author of The Black Suits (Center Theatre Group Fall 2013; Barrington Stage Company 2012), the rock and roll Spaghetti Western musical Bloodsong of Love, ReWrite, Theaterworks USA’s The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks and We The People. The original cast recording of his theatrical concert Things To Ruin and his rock record The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree are both available now on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records. He is currently working on a musical adaptation of Ned Vizzini’s Be More Chill for Two River Theater (with Joe Tracz) and a musical about Hunter S. Thompson for La Jolla Playhouse/Broadway Across America (with Gregory S. Moss). Joe is greatly inspired by Robert Altman, Dolly Parton, The Muppets, and The Family of artists he frequently surrounds himself with. www.MrJoeIconis.com
UPDATE: Samuel received the ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award in December.
SAM WILLMOTT (Returning Colony Alumn) is a New York City-based composer/lyricist, and the recipient of ASCAP’s 2013 Harold Adamson Award, the 2012 Fred Ebb Award, the 2012 John Wallowitch Award, and the 2009 Kennedy Center ACTF Musical Theater Award. Sam’s written work includes Standardized Testing - the Musical!!!! (published by Playscripts, Inc.), Yo, Vikings! (with Marcus Stevens, 2011 Richard Rodgers Award Finalist), and the mini-musicals Scarlet Takes a Tumble (2011 Humana Festival Heideman Award Finalist), and Shotgun Wedding (with Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew, part of The Exchange’s 2013 24-Hour Musicals). He was the 2013 composer-in-residence at the O’Neill Theater Center and a member of the inaugural JMF Writers Colony at Goodspeed in 2013; he is also the first musical theater composer to be recognized with Exploring the Metropolis’ Con Edison Musicians’ Residency (2013).
Sam’s work as a music director, arranger, orchestrator and pianist has taken him from Radio City Music Hall to Key West to Abu Dhabi, UAE, with collaborators as diverse as five-time Tony-nominee Elizabeth Swados, Dan Goggin (Nunsense), recording artists Will and Anthony Nunziata, and singer/songwriter Shaina Taub. In May 2012, he made his Broadway debut subbing on the Key II book of Sister Act. Sam has spearheaded workshops, master classes, and full courses at storied institutions such as Interlochen Arts Camp, Emerson College and Harlem School of the Arts, as well as inner city schools throughout New York. He is also a proud contributing writer to the Korean children's language program English Egg.
Sam’s additional accolades include a 2013/2014 Dramatists Guild Fellowship; the 2013 ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop, led by panelists Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), Peter Schneider (Disney Animation) and Bob Alwine (Associate Producer at Goodspeed Musicals); a Tisch School of the Arts Trustee Scholarship; Interlochen Center for the Arts' Maddy Summer Artist Award; and two National Capital Area Cappie Awards.
UPDATE: Chasing Rainbows is looking forward to a production at the Goodspeed Opera House this fall.
MARC ACITO won the Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play with his comedy Birds of a Feather. He is the head writer of the musical Allegiance, which won the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Musical for its run at San Diego’s Old Globe and is the book writer of A Room with a View, which also had its world premiere at the Old Globe and appears this spring at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. With producer Dede Harris, he is developing a stage adaptation of his first novel How I Paid for College, which won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and was an Editors' Choice for The New York Times. Translated into five languages the author cannot read, the novel inspired a sequel, Attack of the Theater People. Other projects in development include a Comden & Green revue for producer Eva Price and a mini-musical with Broadway legend Sheldon Harnick. He recently became the first writer to receive two NAMT grants in one year.
A theatre historian and a regular contributor to Playbill, Marc teaches Story Structure to writers of all mediums at NYU.
LOURDS LANE is the book, music, and lyrics writer of the Broadway-bound musical, Chix 6, as well as one of the stars of the show — the electric-violin playing superhero, "Rise." Lourds is also the founder and CEO of the educational, arts-based non-profit called the Super You FUN-dation, and the founder and host of the Medusa Festival, featuring the best emerging female-fronted bands in the country. A classically-trained prodigy on violin and piano at age 3, Lourds toured with youth orchestras in concert halls around the world. Upon graduating Harvard, with a sparkly, new electric violin as her main instrument, she kicked in the distortion pedal and shredded her way on tours across North America, fronting her rock band, LOURDS, and amassing a devoted nation-wide fan base. With her message that “The superhero is you,” Lourds has become a voice of empowerment, inspiring audiences at TEDxWomen, the Forbes Women in Power Summit, and the United Federation of Teachers Annual Conference. Next year, she’s scheduled to speak at We Day to a stadium full of youth as well as at the U.N. One thing that’s for sure, no matter what the venue, Lourds energizes and embraces an audience with a voice that is unforgettable and uniquely her own. As Billboard hails "Lourds breaks the rules while poised to break into the big time."
JOE (CURRENTLY TITLED INDIAN JOE)
UPDATE: Indian Joe had a residency at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat this summer and had a production at Goodspeed’s The Terris Theatre this fall. The show will be performed in concert at Feinstein’s/54Below in January.
ELIZABETH A. DAVIS begins production for feature film Air Disturbance next month and will be seen this spring helming US Premiere of Four Last Things. BroadwayOnce (Tony Award Nom, Supp Actress) and 8-time Tony and Grammy winners. Seen at American Repertory Theatre (w/ John Tiffany and Stephen Hoggett), Classic Stage Company (w/ Christopher Lloyd and Duncan Sheik), New York Theatre Workshop, Cherry Lane Theatre (Mentor Project Fellow for Joe w/ Enda Walsh), New World Stages (w/ Maria Aitken), 59E59, Theatre Row (IT Award Best Actress) & many more. Venues: Rockwood Music Hall, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Nighttown. Some Regional: The Misanthrope, Doubt, Streetcar Named Desire, You Can't Take it With You. TV: Taxi Brooklyn, Fringe, All My Children, White Collar. Representation: Buchwald, Johnnie Planco / Untitled
UPDATE: Legendale just wrapped up a full-length reading in May for a small crowd that included Stephen Schwartz, which was a thrill. This was the third presentation of Legendale in 2016, following appearances at the ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop at the Wallis in Los Angeles in February, and the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop in New York in April. Andrea and Jeff are looking ahead to a workshop/staged reading in December at the Human Race Theatre Company in Ohio and a world premiere production in Denmark in March 2017 at the Fredericia Theater.
JEFF BIENSTOCK was born in Santa Monica, California and has a Masters in Composition from NYU Steinhardt. His first full-length musical, The Morning After / The Night Before, was produced in the 2010 NYC Fringe Festival and enjoyed a sold-out run at the Lucille Lortel Theater, also winning a Best-of-Fest Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics. In 2011, Jeff and collaborators Eric March and Patrick Link received a Sloan Foundation Grant to create The Bone Wars, an evolutionary new musical that premiered at The Ensemble Studio Theater in 2012. That same year, Jeff was invited to participate in the prestigious Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern University, where he was mentored by Broadway notables Craig Carnelia and Andrew Lippa. Recent projects include “Dorks, Drunks, Dinosaurs: The Songs of Jeff Bienstock,” hosted by the Laurie Beechman Theater, and the upcoming new musical Legendale — the world’s first ever video game-themed musical — in collaboration with acclaimed singer/songwriter Andrea Daly. Jeff is an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. He currently lives in Brooklyn and would be hard pressed to leave.
ANDREA DALY is a composer and singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. She is originally from Michigan, and has also lived in southern France. Andrea received her B.A. in music from Kenyon College, graduating summa cum laude with Highest Honors and the David B. Perry Prize in music. She is currently finishing her PhD in composition at Stony Brook University in New York, where she is the recipient of both the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the university’s prestigious five-year Graduate Council Fellowship. Andrea’s work as a composer has fed her passion for songwriting, and she actively performs her original pop songs at venues such as Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium, New World Stages, The Bitter End, and Rockwood Music Hall. In 2012, Andrea was a participant of the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern University with master teachers Craig Carnelia, Andrew Lippa, and Lari White.
UPDATE: Benjamin Scheuer won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for The Lion, with which he is now on tour through February 2017. The album “Songs from The Lion” (official cast recording) was released on June 3.
BENJAMIN SCHEUER (Returning Colony Alumn) is the recipient of ASCAP’s 2013 Cole Porter Award. He has performed iterations of his one-man musical The Lion (formerly titled The Bridge) at the St. James Theatre in London; at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the show won the Musical Theatre Network Award for Best Lyrics; and at the Cornelia Street Cafe in NYC, where he is the curator of the Songwriter Series. Scheuer records and performs with his band Escapist Papers. He debuted material from the band’s second album, “The Bridge,” at Lincoln Center’s Songbook Series. The animated video for the album’s song “The Lion” premiered at the 2013 Annecy Film Festival in France, where it won the Special Jury Award for Best Commissioned Film. The video has since received awards for Best Music Video and Best Animated Video at the Crystal Palace International Film Festival. [http://vimeo.com/60453523]
Scheuer is the composer and co-lyricist of Jihad! The Musical (Jermyn Street Theatre, London, 2010; Edinburgh Festival, 2007) and the writer of the folk-opera Nightingale and the Rose (Metropolis Opera Project, New York City, 2011) He has been a writer-in-residence at the JMF Writers Colony at Goodspeed, at the Weston Playhouse in Vermont, and at the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Workshop. Scheuer is a graduate of Harvard. BenjaminScheuer.com and @BenjaminScheuer
SCOTT BURKELL and PAUL LOESSEL’s songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Symphony Space, and Joe’s Pub, by such performers as Kristin Chenoweth, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Rebecca Luker, and Liz Callaway. They have received the Jonathan Larson Foundation and Burton Lane Awards. Recordings of their songs appear on Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley’s OPPOSITE YOU, Stephanie J. Block’s THIS PLACE I KNOW, Rebecca Luker’s GREENWICH TIME, and their own album, (SORTA) LOVE SONGS, on the Sh-K-Boom Records label. Their musical, The Extraordinary Ordinary, received the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, workshops at ASCAP and CAP21, and productions at the Philly Fringe Festival, Farmers Alley Theatre, and Off-Broadway’s Clurman Theatre. LMNOP, their new musical, received developmental productions at the University of Michigan and Goodspeed Musicals (Norma Terris Theatre). Musical revues: Love Songs And Other Crap (MAC Award nomination) and (Sorta) Love Songs (Birdland). www.scottandpaul.com.
My Heart Is the Drum
UPDATE: My Heart is the Drum will have its world premiere at the Village Theatre in Seattle in March. Stacey and Phillip were just names winners of the 2015 Fred Ebb Award for excellence in songwriting, based on their work on My Heart is the Drum.
STACEY LUFTIG is a lyricist, librettist, and playwright. Her lyrics were featured Off Broadway and on tour in That’s Life (Outer Critics Circle nomination). She wrote book/lyrics for Understood Betsy (Jackie White Memorial National Children's Playwriting Award, National Children's Theatre Festival Award). Story of an Hour, her operetta, premiered with Portland Chamber Orchestra, and her play Jinxed, an O'Neill NPC Finalist, won first place and audience favorite at Dayton Playhouse FutureFest. Stacey has also written animated television episodes for Pinky Dinky Doo, produced by the Sesame Workshop. A five-time fellow of the VCCA, she is a member of the BMI Librettists Workshop, ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild. www.staceyluftig.com
PHILLIP PALMER is a composer, arranger, and pianist. He received his Bachelor's of Music from the Eastman School of Music and has studied traditional drumming and choral music in Ghana and South Africa. Phillip is a member of the Advanced Class of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He composed the music for The Weatherman (Clear Space Productions, Network One-Act Festival). Phillip is also a Foreign Service Officer with the Agency for International Development (USAID), part of the Department of State, where he implements programs to create economic opportunities in the world’s poorest countries. He has lived and worked in Haiti and Southern Africa.
JENNIE REDLING is a playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. She is the national recipient of the Stanley Drama Award, the Arlene R. and William P. Lewis Playwriting Award for Women, and BMI’s Jerry Harrington Musical Theatre Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement as a Librettist. Ms. Redling’s plays have been read or produced in Manhattan and nationally at Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Mint Theater, New York Fringe Festival, Urban Stages, and The Barrow Group, among others.
Paint Your Wagon / Fabulous Invalid
UPDATE: In June 2016, Paint Your Wagon opens at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle with Jon’s new book.
JON MARANS’ works include The Temperamentals, produced by Daryl Roth and Stacy Shane, which ran for over eight months Off-Broadway at the Barrow Group Theater and at New World Stages. The Temperamentals was nominated for both the Lucille Lortel and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway play and Mr. Marans was nominated for the John Gassner Award. It was a 2012 American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Literature. The entire cast won the Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble and Michael Urie won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor. Mr. Marans’ play Old Wicked Songs was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, included in Otis Guernsey's Best Plays of 1996-97, and won the New York Drama League Award (including play and both actors). It was first presented by the Walnut Street Theatre, then in NYC by the Barrow Group, and then moving (produced by Daryl Roth and Jeffrey Ash) to the Promenade Theater where it ran for a season. In England, Old Wicked Songs started at the Bristol Old Vic, transferring to London's West End at the Gielgud Theater starring Bob Hoskins and James Callis. The play has been produced throughout the U.S. and has been translated and produced in over a dozen countries. Other produced shows include A Strange and Separate People at the Penguin Rep in Stony Point, NY and Studio Theater/Theater Row, NYC (2012 Lambda Literary Award Finalist), Jumping for Joy at the Laguna Playhouse and the International Adelaide Theater Festival, the musical Legacy of the Dragon Slayers at the San Jose Rep (book by Jon Marans, lyrics by Ronnie Gilbert), The Irrationals at the Village Theater and ATA, NYC (book & lyrics Jon Marans, music by Edward Thomas), The Cost of the Erection at the Blank Theatre in LA, A Raw Space at the Bristol Riverside Theatre and the one-act plays, A Girl Scout World at the Bloomington Playwrights Project and Banner Yet Wave at Mile Square Theatre. In film, Jon Marans and Yuri Sivo were hired by Universal Pictures/Tribeca Productions to write a political/war screenplay based on Roy Rowan's acclaimed book Chasing the Dragon which takes place in 1947 China, in the middle of their civil war. In television, Mr. Marans was a writer for Cookin' in Brooklyn and a writer/lyricist for the 1991 New Carol Show. Mr. Marans is a graduate of Duke University in mathematics with a minor in music and is currently rewriting the book to the musical Paint Your Wagon for the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle. His play The Temperamentals is currently in film/t.v. development with Daryl Roth Productions. His musical When the Moon Hits Your Eye was part of NEXT, Theater Latte Da’s two week 2013 workshop/reading series. Mr. Marans is a recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship.
ERIC PRICE is a lyricist and librettist. His musical Hello Out There (music by Frank Terry) has been developed and/or produced at Goodspeed Musicals, Playwrights Horizons, Adirondack Theatre Festival, and the Village Theatre. With Will Reynolds, he has written The Sixth Borough, Around The World, On The Contrary, and is currently developing Radioactive, which was created in part at the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Eric is the full-time assistant to director Hal Prince on his current and developing projects and previously worked with him on the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s Bounce at the Goodman Theatre and the Kennedy Center and on the London production of Paradise Found at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He is currently working with Mr. Prince on the upcoming Prince Of Broadway and The Band’s Visit. As a lyricist, Eric is collaborating with Tony winners Charles Strouse and Tom Meehan on The Diamond As Big As The Ritz, a new musical to be directed by Hal Prince. Other current projects include Presto Change-O, a new musical with composer Joel Waggoner commissioned by Barrington Stage Company for 2015 and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, a jukebox musical, for Stageworks Media. Eric is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, and received an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU.
WILL REYNOLDS is an actor/composer and was most recently seen in the New York revival of Sondheim's Passion at Classic Stage Company (directed by John Doyle, cast album by PS Classics). Will is the composer of The Greenwood Tree (NYMF, Kennedy Center "Page to Stage" Festival), Poems & Moon Songs: A Song Constellation and the song "Tavern,” featured on Audra McDonald's most recent album “Go Back Home”. With Eric Price, he has written The Sixth Borough, Around The World, On The Contrary, and is currently writing Radioactive, which they developed at the Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat. He was commissioned by Marymount Manhattan College to create a new musical for “The Vow Project” and his show The Whole World Is Watching will premiere there in January 2014. He is a Dramatists Guild Fellow, an alumnus of ASCAP's Johnny Mercer Project, and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. www.willreynoldsonline.com
NATHAN TYSEN is a Brooklyn-based songwriter and performer. Musical theatre work with composer Chris Miller includes lyrics for The Burnt Part Boys (2009 Lucille Lortel Nomination for Best New Musical), and Fugitive Songs (2008 Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Revue), both of which have cast albums available on Yellow Sound Label. Current projects include lyrics for the Broadway-bound adaptation of the popular novel Tuck Everlasting (Book by Claudia Shear, Music by Chris Miller, Direction by Casey Nicholaw), as well as Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film Amelie (Book by Craig Lucas, Music by Dan Messe), and songs for the revue Stars Of David. Other work with Miller includes an adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s picture book, The Mysteries Of Harris Burdick (Boston Globe Top Ten Pick of 2008). An accomplished writer and performer of children’s music, Nathan has penned tunes for Sesame Street (2012 Daytime Emmy Award), The Electric Company, Storytime By Design, and Little Maestros. Nathan has also worked for over a decade writing and directing for the Lovewell Institute For The Creative Arts, helping to create over a dozen new musicals with young adults. He applies for many awards and grants and even sometimes wins. Thank you Richard Rodgers, Jonathan Larson, Frederick Loewe, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Daryl Roth, ASCAP, and the NEA. He plays in the band JOE’S PET PROJECT. MFA: NYU GMTWP, BFA: Missouri State Univ. Nathan is originally from Salina, KS. More info at MILLERandTYSEN.com.
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
LEANNA RENEE HIEBER is an Award-winning, nationally bestselling author, actress and playwright. She graduated from Miami University with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. While performing in the regional theatre circuit, she adapted works of 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have received honors and productions around the country. Her short play Favorite Lady was a finalist in the National 10-Minute Play competition at the Humana Festival, published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2004. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, hit Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, won two 2010 Prism Awards for Best Fantasy and Best First Book in addition to several other genre and industry awards. The sequel, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker also hit Barnes & Noble and Borders mass-market bestseller lists. Additional works include the paranormal Young Adult series set in 1880 New York City, DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul and her latest The Eterna Files due in 2014. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, she was named RWA NYC’s 2010 Author of the Year. A very proud member of Actors Equity, SAG and AFTRA unions, Leanna works often in film and television. A devotee of ghost stories and Goth clubs, she loves adventuring about NYC, where she resides with her real-life hero and their beloved rescued lab rabbit. She tweets a lot at @leannarenee
NICHOLAS ROMAN LEWIS spent his formative years in the salt mines on the moon of Tandor before being freed by Captain Picard and the… no wait, that’s my other bio… Nicholas Roman Lewis is an entertainment attorney and literary agent in the fields of theater, television, music, film, and publishing. He has represented clients on Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Memphis, Wicked, Bombay Dreams, Disney’s Tarzan, and Spamelot among others on Broadway; and Tarnation, Dance Cuba, and the PBS documentary Summer Sun Winter Moon on film; Nicholas has shepherded too many projects, people and dreams to count over the years but most recently he developed the workshops for Paulo Coelho’s – The Alchemist and They Call Me La Lupe. He has represented several books which I’m sure you’ve all read including the award winning GhettoNation, A Love Noire and Leanna Renee Hieber’s best selling series Strangely Beautiful and Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul. Nicholas has a BA from Yale, a JD from Columbia and a PH.D from Life!
KENNY SEYMOUR has developed a reputation as a consummate professional for his creativity, talent, and all around great musicianship. Having worked with some of Broadway’s top producers, playwrights, and directors, Kenny was most recently the musical director and conductor for the 2010 Best Musical Tony Award-winning play Memphis and orchestrator & arranger for the forthcoming Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues, starring Lillias White and Amazing Grace at Goodspeed. Off-Broadway and Regional theater credits include Bare, Fame, Hot Feet and The Wiz (La Jolla Playhouse). As a composer/arranger he has worked with Fox, B.E.T, N.B.C, New Line Cinema, Thalicer Entertainment, and Freedom Writer Pictures. Kenny was among a select group of arrangers alongside America Idol music director Ray Chew to arrange music for the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Ball, honoring President Barak Obama. Arranging for the likes of Stevie Wonder among others.
BOBBY CRONIN is an NYC based award-winning composer/writer. His pop/rock musical Welcome to My Life (W2ML) with co-bookwriter Alicia Dempster is currently under a Broadway option. He and bookwriter Allen Mogol won the 2012 Alec Baldwin Fellowship for ‘Til Death Do Us Part. He is the first American commissioned to pen an original musical (The Concrete Jungle) for London’s esteemed ArtsEd School (President: Andrew Lloyd Webber) - the International Studio Recording released March 2013. Daybreak (add’l material by Brett Teresa; 2011 New Jersey Playwrights Contest winner) premiered in NJ & UK June 2012. Currently writing music & lyrics for Sunset City and Mary & Max. Other: Lincoln Center Songbook Series, Birdland, Joe’s Pub, Symphony Space, London’s The Players Theatre & St. James Theatre, more. "Reach The Sky: Live at The Beechman" on iTunes. Yale graduate, Member of ASCAP, Dramatists Guild, rep’d by Penny Luedtke (NYC) & James Beresford (UK). www.bobbycronin.com
WADE DOOLEY is a writer/actor whose one-person show Diary of a Dancer about fictitious, retired performer turned coach, Mary Shennanbargger, won Best Solo Show in the DC Capital Fringe Festival in 2010. This spawned the successful webseries PZAZZ 101, in which Mary coaches some of the best of the best of Broadway. Wade is currently writing the book to the new musical Sunset City with award winning composer/writer Bobby Cronin. As a performer, some favorite credits include: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Tour); Scott Alan's Monday Night New Voices (NYC), Sparky in Forver Plaid and Mikie in Over the Pub (Saint Michael’s Playhouse) just to name a few. Wade is a summa cum laude graduate of Bradley University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. Rep'd by Eddie Rabon at Take 3 Talent Agency (NYC). Proud member of Actors’ Equity.
JEFF THOMSON (Returning Colony Alumn) is a composer and the recipient of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, as well as the Dramatist Guild Musical Theatre Writing Fellowship. His songs have been performed by such artists as Diana DeGarmo, JoJo, Adam Lambert, Elizabeth Gillies and has been featured in the York Theatre Company’s N.E.O Concert Series, Scott Alan’s Monday Nights New Voices programs in Chicago and New York, and was a featured songwriter in the acclaimed "Songbook" series at Lincoln Center. With lyricist Jordan Mann, his song "Summerfling" was nominated for a 2012 MAC award. His original musical Trails was performed at the Los Angeles Festival for New Americans Musicals as well as the New York Musical Theatre Festival winning him the 2010 NYMF award for excellence in music as well as the prestigious Stage Entertainment Development Award. He is also proud to have provided special material for the opening of the 25th Annual Broadway Cares/EFA Easter Bonnet competition. In March of 2013, Trails had its regional world premiere at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA. Other projects include Virtually Me!, a dance/pop musical adaptation of the cult hit film “Jawbreaker” (book-writer Darren Stein), an arena rock musical adaptation of Allan Moyle's “Pump Up The Volume” (Book and Lyrics by Jeremy Desmon) as well as a musical of the infamous indie horror movie “ThanksKILLING.” Most recently, he was commissioned by Broadway Across America to compose the music for Madlibs Live!. He is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild, ASCAP, the ASPCA and is an activist for Greyhound Rescue.
MICHAEL COOPER is a MAC Award Nominated songwriter, recipient of the 2005 Jonathan Larson, Daryl Roth, and TRU Daniel Marshall Multicultural Awards. BA in Theatre from Williams College; MFA from NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. His musical, Sunfish, for which he co-wrote book and lyrics and produced, was awarded the top jury honor at the Daegu International Music Theatre Festival, South Korea in June 2013. Sunfish received its regional premiere at the Stoneham Theatre, MA (Broadwayworld Award Best Musical) and was showcased at the 2010 ASCAP Workshop with Stephen Schwartz, the 2006 NAMT Festival of New Musicals, TRU Reading Series, and was a finalist in the Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Playwriting Competition. It Shoulda Been You (Additional Lyrics), world premiere at the George Street Playhouse (directed by David Hyde Pierce and staring Tyne Daly) and Village Theatre Issaquah, WA; Rites of Passage, Museum Pieces, and The Dome (Prospect Theatre Company); The Strange Affair of Dr. Crippen (Theatrebuilding Chicago); Lizardman! (Audience Favorite, Short Attention Span Festival) and Luna Park, commissioned by SUNY Cortland. Selected for the York Theatre’s NEO5 Concert series and ASCAP Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project. Associate producer for “Zombie,” an award-winning short film based on the novella by Joyce Carol Oates. Member of ASCAP, BMI Workshop, and the Dramatists Guild. Michael is the President of Three Hundred Bags of Rice, Inc., a theatrical production company. For more info visit: www.michaelcoopermusicandlyrics.com
Unbound / Republic
UPDATE: In July, Kait and Brian will be workshopping a reading of The Republic, an epic adaptation of Henry IV, at The Arden Theatre in Philadelphia.
KAIT KERRIGAN (words) and BRIAN LOWDERMILK (music) made their off-Broadway debut in 2006 with their adaptation of Henry and Mudge, still touring nationally. In 2011, they released their first album Our First Mistake, which charted at #1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. Their new album, Kerrigan-Lowdermilk Live, documents a concert tour that resulted from their breakout $35K kickstarter campaign and released this spring. Other musicals include The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, Tales from the Bad Years, The Woman Upstairs, Wrong Number, The Freshman Experiment, Republic and Flash of Time. Their songs have been recorded and performed internationally and their musicals have been developed at the Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre, Theatreworks Silicon Valley, La Jolla Playhouse, Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, ASCAP/Disney Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, York Theatre, the Lark Playwrights Development Center, and Primary Stages. Together, they received the 2006 Larson Award and 2004-2005 Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and they have held residencies at the Orchard Project and the MacDowell Arts Colony. Kerrigan received the 2009 Kleban Award for libretto-writing. As a playwright, she has written Disaster Relief (developed by Page 73), Imaginary Love (Hapgood Theatre 2011), Transit (Lark Playwrights Week 2010) and she is a member of Interstate 73. She teaches libretto writing at Primary Stages. Lowdermilk composed music for The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog! (with playwright Lauren Gunderson at the Kennedy Center 2011) and Red (with librettist Marcus Stevens), which received the Alan Menken Award and 2005 Richard Rodgers Award. He was the writer-in-residence at Temple Shalom, during which he scored a full Shabbat service. Both are alumni of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, co-founders of the digital sheet music company NewMusicalTheatre.com, and proud members of the Dramatists Guild and ASCAP.
PETER MILLS is a composer/lyricist whose shows include Illyria, The Taxi Cabaret, The Flood, and Golden Boy Of The Blue Ridge. Peter has won the Cole Porter Award, the Kleban Prize, the Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, a grant from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, and received two Drama Desk Award nominations for his show The Pursuit Of Persephone. He is currently writing lyrics for the Broadway-bound musical, The Honeymooners. www.pcmills.com
CARA REICHEL is a writer and director, and serves as the Producing Artistic Director of the acclaimed NYC-based non-profit Prospect Theater Company. Over the past decade, she has co-created 11 new musicals with writer Peter Mills, as well as collaborating with many other writers to develop new music theater works. Most recent Prospect productions as director/author include: Death for Five Voices, Evergreen and Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge; as director: Iron Curtain and I Married Wyatt Earp. She also recently directed Once Upon a Time in New Jersey at the Surflight Theatre (2012) and wrote the book for I Capture the Castle (lyrics by Marion Adler, music by Peter Foley) which was workshopped at Pace New Musicals in 2013. She attended Princeton University and the MFA Directing Program at Brooklyn College. Cara is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the League of Professional Theatre Women. www.carareichel.com
DARCY FOWLER is a writer and actress living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been read and workshopped at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Primary Stages, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Harmony Gold Preview House (LA) Noho Playhouse (LA) The Cochrane Theatre (London) and Lockerbie Academy (Scotland). She is currently working on a screenplay commission for Danny Devito, Lucy Devito and Charlie Day. Most recently, her play The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight, was selected as one of five American plays to be workshopped at the Old Vic in London, as part of Old Vic/New Voices. She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood. As an actress she most recently filmed the movie “Like Sunday Like Rain” starring Leighton Meester and Debra Messing, “Bad Parents,” starring Janeane Garofalo, an episode of “Louie,” starring Louie CK, and starred in the New York Times Critic’s Pick Your Boyfriend May Be Imaginary, with the Management Theatre Company. She holds a BFA from Syracuse University.
HEATHER ROBB is an actress, musician and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is a member of folk/rock trio The Spring Standards, with whom she has released four albums, toured nationally, and made appearances on “Conan O'Brien,” NPR's Mountain Stage, Etown, Daytrotter, South by Southwest (SXSW) and more. She recently appeared as a featured vocalist on Rhett Miller's “The Dreamer,” alongside Roseanne Cash and Rachel Yamagata. As an actress she has worked extensively in theater, film and voice over. Most recently she appeared at the Ensemble Studio Theater in Stiff, a new play by Ryan Dowler. She has appeared in various independent films, including “House of the Devil” directed by Ti West. She is currently developing a piece of musical theatre with playwright Darcy Fowler and director Oliver Butler of The Debate Society. In the summer of 2013 she was selected to participate in the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project at Northwestern University. She holds a BFA in Acting from Syracuse University and is a proud company member of the Story Pirates.
BARRY KLEINBORT has earned the prestigious Edward Kleban Foundation Award for Lyric Writing, two Gilman-Gonzalez Musical Theatre Awards, the Second Stage Musical Theatre Writers Award, the Jamie deRoy ASCAP Foundation award, two Back Stage Bistro awards and ten Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) awards for his directorial and songwriting efforts. He is also a two-time finalist for the Fred Ebb Foundation award. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical, Was, (music by Joseph Thalken and based on Geoff Ryman’s cult classic novel) which was the inaugural production of the American Musical Theater Project in Chicago. He co-wrote with David Levy Perfect Harmony, a musical play about the lives of the Barry Sisters, which has been optioned for off-Broadway. He also wrote the English 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, most recently, was an “artistic consultant for “Cathouse: The Musical” for HBO. Last December his new musical, 13 Things about Ed Carpolotti, starring Penny Fuller, had a successful off-Broadway run at 59E59 theaters in New York City. He provided the show’s book, music and lyrics. Mr. Kleinbort has directed and/or written material for Brent Barrett, Petula Clark, Marvin Hamlisch, Kaye Ballard, Regis Philbin, John Barrowman, Penny Fuller, Tony Roberts, Anita Gillette, Karen Mason, Sylvia McNair, Harolyn Blackwell, Heather MacRae, and many, many others. He has also directed topical revues and intimate theater productions, including Rita Gardner's "Try to Remember - A Look at Off-Broadway" and Kaye Ballard’s off-Broadway revue, “Kaye Ballard-Working 42nd Street at Last!” He adapted and directed the New York premiere of Bob Merrill's musical, The Prince of Grand Street for the Jewish Rep and John Epperson’s autobiographical Show Trash at the Studio Theater in Washington, D.C. A highly acclaimed revue of his theater songs, “Big City Rhythm,” is available on Harbinger Records.
JOSEPH THALKEN is an award-winning composer whose theatre works include Was, book/lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, based on Geoff Ryman’s novel, Harold & Maude (an intimate musical), book/lyrics by Fantasticks co-creator Tom Jones, And The Curtain Rises, book by Michael Slade, lyrics by Mark Campbell, and Borrowed Dust, libretto by Martin Moran. Thalken has also written choral, art songs, concert and chamber music. His music and orchestrations can be heard on albums by Rebecca Luker, Howard McGillin, BJ Ward, opera star Nathan Gunn, among others. On Broadway, Thalken conducted Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli, and Gypsy with Patti LuPone. He’s also conducted the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Aachen Stadttheater (Germany); and International Opera Studio (Zurich). As a pianist and musical director, he has toured extensively with LuPone, and worked with Bernadette Peters, Elizabeth Futral, Denyce Graves, Polly Bergen, Faith Prince, Kristin Chenoweth, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Brian Stokes Mitchell and many more. Previous honors include two Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Musical Theater Commendations, the Constance Klinsky Award, Meet the Composer award, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and support from the Shen Family Foundation which included Mr. Thalken in their Musical Theater Composers Initiative, a select group, including the legendary Stephen Sondheim, that has received grants and commissions to create new works and expand the musical theater art form. He has taught music theater composition at Yale University and is a graduate of Northwestern University.
UPDATE: We Foxes is going to be in the Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in Seattle.
RYAN SCOTT OLIVER was most recently featured as the cover story for Backstage Magazine in November 2013. He is a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant Recipient, 2008 Rodgers Award Winner, 2011 Lortel Award Nominee, 2012 Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, a 2009 ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award Winner, a 2007 Dramatists Guild Fellow, and most recently, the recipient of residencies at 5th Avenue Theatre (WA), TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (CA),Weston Playhouse (VT), and Cap 21 (NY) for We Foxes, a commission by Broadway Across America. He wrote the music and lyrics for 35mm: A Musical Exhibition (original cast recording avail. on Ghostlight Records), Darling (workshopped at ACT, featured on NBC's The Apprentice), Mrs. Sharp (read at Playwrights Horizons July 2009 starring Jane Krakowski, dir. by Michael Greif), Out of My Head (licensed through Steele Spring Stage Rights), as well as the commissions Jasper in Deadland (book by Hunter Foster, presented by Prospect Theatre Company Spring 2014) and the youth theatre commission The Frog Prince Continued which ran for six months in Chicago. A collection of his work, Rated RSO, played the Kennedy Center, Joe's Pub, New York Musical Theatre Festival. Off-Broadway and elsewhere: Disney Theatricals commission, TheatreWorksUSA's We the People, Rosie O’Donnell’s Theater Kids, and cabarets worldwide. He is Director of Music at Pace University in Manhattan and the Artistic Director of the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program.