46 Writers Head to JMF Annual Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals

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46 Writers Head to JMF Annual Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals

A total of 46 established and emerging writers, composers and lyricists will converge on the Goodspeed campus in East Haddam, CT this month to participate in the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. The writing teams, representing nearly 30 new musicals, will populate the campus, creating a truly exciting environment for discovery and inspiration.

The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed is an unparalleled, 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, starting January 21, writers will be immersed in this stimulating environment with the singular purpose of allowing the writers to write. The Colony will proudly offer established and emerging writers the unique opportunity to research, develop and create new musicals. Over the course of the four week program, composer/lyricist, Jonathan Brielle, will again serve as Producer in Residence, Michael Bush serves again as Dramaturge, and this year, Clifford Lee Johnson III will join as Resident Dramaturge.

The Writers Colony created a confluence of a long-held dream for Goodspeed and the JMF mission to nurture the discipline of songwriting. With this wonderful collaboration, Goodspeed continues to be an incubator for the next generation of musical theatre artists and performers as well as the center for the American Musical.

The outstanding writers who have been invited to participate in the colony have earned tremendous recognition in the industry with honors such as the Lucille Lortel Award, Kleban Award, ASCAP's Howard Adamson Award, Fred Ebb Award, Jonathan Larson Fellowship, ASCAP Cole Porter Award for Music and Lyrics, Richard Rodgers Award, Helen Hayes Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous MAC Awards and The National Art Song Award. In addition participants have earned such honors as the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, Winner of the NYC Fringe Festival Best-of-Fest Award for Music and Lyrics, the Prism Award for Fantasy and the Alec Baldwin Fellowship.

The 2014 writing teams are (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 Renne 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 and Jacob Yandura.

For more information about the 2014 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony participants, their backgrounds and exciting new projects, visit www.johnnymercerfoundation.org/initiatives-charities/for-songwriters/the-johnny-mercer-writers-colony.

ABOUT THE JOHNNY MERCER FOUNDATION: The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of Johnny Mercer: the most prolific lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator, and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny's legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered, and the causes he championed.

JMF partners with several institutions including: Accentuate with Positive at Kaufman Music Center in New York City and New Jersey Performing Arts Center; The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University (The American Music Theatre Project) to nurture and encourage young talent in the field of songwriting and The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, the first of its kind in the country dedicated solely to the creation of new musicals.

As well, JMF has unique relationship with Georgia State University where The Johnny Mercer Collection, including Johnny's many works and memorabilia are housed. They also support Georgia State University in a fellowship-type program to facilitate music education through the development of an elementary, middle and high school curriculum that focuses on, but is not limited to, songwriting and the Great American Songbook . The Foundation is also a major supporter of Children's Hospital Los Angeles (Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program), Braille Institute's Johnny Mercer Children and Adult Choirs, UCLA's Art of the Brain Program, and television station KCET in Los Angeles.

ABOUT GOODSPEED MUSICALS: Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, the first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement, produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional musicals at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which celebrates 30 years of developing new musicals in 2014. In addition to the two theatres and production facilities, Goodspeed maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed Musicals gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

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