Sundance Institute Selects Artists for 2014 Playwrights Retreat at Ucross Foundation
He has written music for seven full-length musicals, most recently Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, an electropop opera based on War & Peace, for which he was also librettist, orchestrator and Pierre. Comet premiered at Ars Nova in the fall of 2012, winning a Richard Rodgers Award and a Special Citation OBIE, before transferring to Kazino, a Russian supper club built specially for the show. He is also one of the co-creators/performers of Three Pianos, a drunken romp through Schubert's "Winterreise" (Ontological-Hysteric Theater, New York Theater Workshop, American Repertory Theater; 2011 Special Citation OBIE Award), and the composer for the Brooklyn-based ensemble Banana Bag & Bodice. Other musicals include Beowulf - A Thousand Years of Baggage; Beardo; Sandwich; and Clown Bible. Other notable shows include (The 99-cent) Miss Saigon, a shoe-string adaptation complete with a toy helicopter on a zip line, and pieces with Hoi Polloi, Witness Relocation, Clubbed Thumb, and Shotgun Players. He won a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant and the 2009-11 NEA/TCG Career Development Program Grant for Theatre Designers. He has been a Guest Professor in devised music theater at Princeton and Vassar Universities. Upcoming: Black Wizard / Blue Wizard at the Incubator Arts Project, with co-creator/performer Eliza Bent. He lives in Brooklyn.
christopher oscar peña
He is originally from California and now resides in Manhattan. Selected plays include maelstrom, icarus burns, alone above a raging sea, l(y)re, the suicide tapes and awe/struck. His play with composer Melissa Lusk i wonder if it's possible to have a love affair that lasts forever? or things I found on craigslist will close the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Theater's LAUNCH year season in 2014. He is the creator and co-star of 80/20, a new series for the web, which was recently named an Official Selection at the 2013 New Media Film Festival in LA, and won the 2013 Outstanding Achievement in writing from LAWEBFEST. His newest play TINY PEOPLE (or, it gets better) was featured in the 2013 Crossing Borders Festival at Two Rivers Theater. Awards/fellowships: Latino Playwrights Award (Kennedy Center), New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist Fellow, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, Sewanee Writers Conference Fellow, US/UK Exchange (Old Vic New Voices). His play a cautionary tail received its professional world premiere at The Flea Theater in 2013. He is working on a new commission from Chicago's Goodman Theater where he is in residence as a member of their Playwrights Unit. He was the Lark Play Development Center's 2012-2013 Van Lier Fellow and is currently a 2013-2014 Fellow in the Lark's Playwrights Workshop. The first collection of his work is forthcoming from NoPassport Press.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Roxie Perkins is a graduate from UCLA's School of Theatre, Film, and Television with a BA in playwriting and directing. Her work has been produced at CalArts, UCLA's MFA New Play Festival, A Working Theatre, The Shed, and UCLA's MFA Francis Ford Coppola One Act Marathon. As the 2013 recipient of the Dr. Floyd Gaffney National Playwriting Award, her play, RUN, was featured in UCSD's MFA Wagner New Play Festival. She is a Teaching Artist at Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre and resides in Los Angeles.
Shaina is a songwriter and performer, raised in Vermont and living in Brooklyn. She was Ars Nova's 2012 Composer-in-Residence. Her original soul-folk opera, The Daughters, was a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award and has been developed by the Yale Institute of Music Theater and CAP21 Theater Company. She is currently writing songs for two new musicals: There's A House, commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, with playwright, Kim Rosenstock, and Robin, commissioned by Ars Nova, with playwright Jen Silverman. She has developed songs for Walt Disney Imagineering, been a member of the Johnny Mercer Songwriter's Project, and recently gave a TEDx Talk on why artistic communities are crucial to creativity. As a singer/ songwriter, she plays regularly in New York with her trio, has released two albums, What Otters Do and Shaina Taub Trio, and her headlining Joe's Pub concert was featured on NPR/WNYC's Best Gigs of the Year. She has traveled the world as a musician and performer, appearing on stages from Abu Dhabi to Germany to Nashville, and venues including the Sydney Opera House, the Kennedy Center and the Beacon Theater. She has received a MacDowell Fellowship, a Yaddo Fellowship, served on the music theater faculty at Pace University and is a University Scholar alumnus of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Shaina is currently playing the role of Mary in the critically acclaimed electropop opera, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.
Elise's musical plays have been produced in the United States and Europe: Green Violin, music by Frank London of The Klezmatics; Prozak and the Platypus, music by Jill Sobule; Charlotte: Life? or Theater?, music by Gary Fagin. As writer/director: Recycling: washi tales in collaboration with Karen Kandel and company of Japanese traditional performers, commissioned/premiered at The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; also Los Angeles County Museum (2011), Hong Kong, Singapore (2014). For 20 years, Elise has created cross-cultural exchanges with Russian and American theater artists. She directed the first Sam Shepherd play in Moscow; adapted and directed The Great Gatsby in Russian at a The Pushkin Theater in Moscow, where it played for over nine years. As Associate Artistic Director at American Place Theatre, Elise developed and directed many new plays and solo shows. She also co-founded with Wynn Handman Literature to Life, a theater literacy program, now nationwide where Lemon Andersen's County of Kings was first developed for students, before performing at The Public, Spoleto, and venues around the world. Elise is thrilled to be working again with Lemon on his new play ToasT, developed at Sundance Institute Theater Lab and the Ucross Foundation, at The Public Theater; and writing a new opera, Memory of Fire: Hatuey, with composer Frank London.