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Johnny Mercer Writers Colony

Johnny Mercer Writers Colony


In 2013, Goodspeed Musicals began its 50th Anniversary Season with the announcement of a major new four-week residency program for musical theatre writers. The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals is the first of its kind in the country dedicated solely to the creation of new musicals. In partnership with the Johnny Mercer Foundation, Goodspeed proudly offers established and emerging writers the unique opportunity to research, develop, and create new musicals. The Writers Colony is a unique, long term residency program devoted exclusively to musical theatre writing.  It provides a sanctuary for composers, lyricists, and librettists to embark on new musical theatre work or to devote a substantial amount of time to a work-in-progress in an environment rich with creative energy. For four weeks each year, 14 to 20 writers are immersed in this stimulating environment with the singular purpose of allowing the writers to write.

At Goodspeed Musicals, writers find the freedom to work without the distractions of daily life, while receiving the support and encouragement needed to develop their works in progress. Each project is assigned a creative mentor drawn from the highest levels of musical theatre professionals. The Writers Colony affords the artists unlimited access to research materials in the Scherer Library of Musical Theatre, one of the most extensive musical theatre libraries in the U.S.; composition time in Goodspeed’s music studios; and collaborative exchange with their peers through a series of informal salons for presenting and sharing their work. Throughout the residency, members of Goodspeed’s artistic staff and professionals from the Johnny Mercer Foundation are on site to offer guidance and support for the writers. Each year, writers are invited by Goodspeed’s panel of industry leaders to participate in this prestigious program.

With the establishment of the Writers Colony in 2013, Goodspeed Musicals has cemented its position as the center for the American Musical, which it supports through producing new and valued musicals from our nation’s history; the comprehensive collection and services of the Scherer Library of Musical Theatre; and the educational and outreach activities of its Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.

2018 writers

CLICK HERE for a complete list of bios and projects.

(in alphabetical order)

Zakiyyah Alexander
Kevin Armento
Gilbert Bailey II
Rob Baumgartner, Jr.*
Glen Berger
Hunter Bird
Molly Bogin
Ben Bonnema
Jeff Calhoun
John Cariani
Tom Coash
Nathan Dame
Colleen Dauncey
Ty Defoe
     Hunter Foster*
Scott Gilmour*
Robin Holloway
Oliver Houser
Tor Hyams*
Barry Kleinbort*
Mike Lew
Mark Mancina
Claire McKenzie*
Sammy Miller
Rehana Lew Mirza
Tekla Monson
Jevares Myrick

Ronve O’Daniel
Lindsey Hope Pearlman
Akiva Romer-Segal
Lisa Rothauser*
Sam Salmond
Ben Scheuer*
Tidtaya Sinutoke
Kent Staines
Chris Staskel
Ian Fields Stewart
Georgia Stitt
Imani Uzuri
Sam Willmott*

        *Festival Alumni


2017 writers

CLICK HERE for a complete list of bios and projects.

(in alphabetical order)


Janet Allard
Nikko Benson
Beth Blatt
Alex Brightman
Sam Carner
Ben Clark
Peppy Castro
Joel Derfner
Mindi Dickstein
Kate Douglas
Robert DuSold


Drew Gasparini
Nolan Gasser
Scott Gilmour
Derek Gregor
Kirsten Guenther
Benjamin Halstead
Shayfer James
Andrew Kramer
Patrick Lazour
Daniel Lazour
Sean Mahoney


Dan Marshall
Claire McKenzie
Andy Monroe
Patricia Noonan
June Rachelson Ospa
Nicky Phillips
Martha Redbone
Jen Shuber
Mark Sonnenblick
Niko Tsakalakos
Douglas Waterbury-Tieman


2016 writers

CLICK HERE for a complete list of bios and projects.

(in alphabetical order)


Aaron Albert
Robert Askins
Nikko Benson
Brett Boles
Ty Defoe
Kate Douglas
Tim Drucker
Brian Feinstein
Michael Friedman
Zina Goldrich
Ben Halstead
Kristin Hanggi
Ryan Hayes


Marcy Heisler
Shayfer James
Jason Kim
Gordon Leary
Grace McLean
Julia Meinwald
Sean Patrick Monahan
Mary Kathryn Nagle
Alexander Sage Oyen
Kristia Pioppi
Katy Rae
Matthew Lee Robison
Brett Ryback


Zoe Sarnak
Erica Schmidt
Garrett Sherwood
Tidtaya Sinutoke
Mark Sonnenblick
Jeff Talbott
Natalie Tenenbaum
Eric Ulloa
Will Van Dyke
Max Vernon
Amanda Yesnowitz
Zack Zadek
Daniel Zaitchik


2015 writers

CLICK HERE for a complete list of bios and projects.

(in alphabetical order)


Rob Ackerman
Michael Aman
Gabriel Barre
Hunter Bell
Rachel Chavkin
Matthew Doers
Diana Fithian
Sam Foreman
Hunter Foster
Meredith Friedman
Emily Goldman
Keith Gordon
Sarah Hammond
Tor Hyams
Creighton Irons
Michael R. Jackson


Amanda Jacobs
Sammy James, Jr.
Jonathan Keebler
Cheeyoung Kim
Ryan Korell
Dawn Landes
Frank Licari
Patrick Lundquist
Douglas Lyons
Sean Mahoney
Dave Malloy
Emily Maltby
Ann McNamee
Madeline Myers
Sara Nicholson
Patricia Noonan

Ryan Scott Oliver
Ethan Pakchar
Matthew Lee Robinson
Heidi Rodewald
Jean Rohe
Dana Rowe
Lisa Rothauser
Brett Ryback
Pete Seibert
Eric Ulloa
Eric Webb
Michael Weiner
Alan Zachary


2014 writers

CLICK HERE for a complete list of bios and projects.

(in alphabetical order)


Marc Acito
Tim Acito
Jeff Bienstock
Scott Burkell
Michael Cooper
Bobby Cronin
Andrea Daly
Elizabeth Davis
Ty Defoe
Wade Dooley
Darcy Fowler
Jenny Giering
Adam Gwon
Laura Harrington
Leanna Renee Hieber
Dave Holstein


Joe Iconis
Kait Kerrigan
Barry Kleinbort
Lourds Lane
Victor Lesniewski
Nicholas Roman Lewis
Paul Loesel
Brian Lowdermilk
Stacey Luftig
Jon Marans
Tom Megan
Rebekah Melocik
Peter Mills
Ryan Scott Oliver
Phillip Palmer
Eric Price

Jennie Redling
Cara Reichel
Will Reynolds
Heather Robb
Benjamin Scheuer
Alan Schmuckler
Kenny Seymour
Joseph Thalken
Jeff Thomson
Nathan Tysen
William Wade
Jason “Sweettooth” Williams
Sam Willmott
Jacob Yandura


2013 writers

CLICK HERE for a complete list of bios and projects.

(in alphabetical order)

Aron Accurso
Will Aronson
Arthur Lafrentz Bacon
Sean Barry
Neil Bartram
Rob Baumgartner Jr.
Jonathan Brielle
Ben Clark
Sam Davis
Christopher Dimond
Harris Doran
Laura Eason

        Jenny Giering
Adam Gwon
Christy Hall
Brian Hargrove
Laura Harrington
Mark Hollmann
Victor Kazan
Hannah Kohl
Michael Kooman
Greg Kotis
Patrick Lundquist
Jordan Mann            


Daniel Maté
Thomas Mizer
Curtis Moore
Adam Overett
Kevin Purcell
Jason Schafer
Benjamin Scheuer
Peter Seibert
Jeff Thomson
Beth Turcotte
Sam Willmott



Please note: participation in the Writers Colony program is by invitation only; unsolicited submissions will not be considered.