Meet the Writers of NAMT's 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals, Kicking Off Tomorrow
The National Alliance for Musical Theatre's (NAMT) 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals takes place tomorrow, Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street). Below, meet the writers of the 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals shows!
Kevin Del Aguila (Book & Lyrics, The Astonishing Return Of The Protagonists!) is the book writer of the hit Off Broadway musical Altar Boyz (NY Outer Critics Circle Award, Lortel and Drama Desk nominations). Other works include his stage adaptations of the DreamWorks film Madagascar (Radio City Music Hall), Skippyjon Jones (Lortel nomination) and Click Clack Moo (Lortel and Drama Desk nominations). He received the Heideman Award for his play The Greekest of Tragedies (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and took top prize at the FringeNYC with his comedy 6 Story Building. Theatergoers may know him as "Smee" from the Broadway and Off Broadway companies of Peter and the Starcatcher. www.delaguila.info
Anthony Drewe (Book & Lyrics, The Three Little Pigs) With composer George Stiles, Anthony has written book and lyrics for the multi award-winning Honk!(NAMT Fest '99), Just So, Soho Cinders and Goldilocks and The Three Bears as well as writing lyrics for Betty Blue Eyes, Peter Pan - A Musical Adventure and the new songs for the international smash hit Mary Poppins. He is currently working on the lyrics for three new shows: Soapdish, The Wind in the Willows and Travels With My Aunt. His other musicals are: The Card (with composer Tony Hatch) andA Twist of Fate (with composer Dick Lee). www.StilesandDrewe.com
Paul Gordon (Book, Music & Lyrics, Analog & Vinyl) co-wrote the Broadway musical Jane Eyre, nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score. He won a 2009 Ovation award for his score to Daddy Long Legs and won the 2007 Bay Area Critics Circle Award for his book to the musical Emma(NAMT Fest '06) which has played all across the country. Daddy Long Legs, written with John Caird, has had productions all over the world including London and Tokyo. Being Earnest, written with Jay Gruska, premiered at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley this April. Little Miss Scrooge, written with John Caird and Sam Caird, will premiere at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura this Christmas.paulgordonmusic.com
Gordon Greenberg (Book, The Single Girls Guide) Directing/Writing includes:Working (Drama Desk Award, 59 E 59, Old Globe, Broadway in Chicago, Asolo),Jacques Brel... (Zipper Theatre, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Award nominations), Band Geeks! (co-writer, Goodspeed, Human Race Theatre Co., NAMT Fest '09), Pirates! (Huntington, Paper Mill, Goodspeed, MUNY), The Baker's Wife (Goodspeed, Paper Mill), Disney's Believe (Disney Creative Entertainment), Happy Days (First National Tour). Current projects include:Scramble Band! (co-writer, Disney Channel), Rags (Roundabout), Guys & Dolls(Chichester Theatre Festival UK 2014), Johnny Baseball (Williamstown) and developing new musicals for Universal Pictures and the pop group Fun. Education: Stanford University, NYU Film School, Lincoln Center Directors Lab.www.gordongreenberg.com
David Hein (Book, Music & Lyrics, Come From Away) is an award-winning, Canadian singer/songwriter who has played festivals across North America and released four CD's. With Irene Sankoff, he co-wrote and starred in My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (based on his mother's true story and the same-sex marriage movement) winning more awards than any other show at NYMF 2010, 3 SALT awards and a Bryden "Ones-to-Watch" award, among others. Proud ASCAP members, they were featured in the ASCAP LA musical theatre showcase last year. www.sankoffandhein.com or Twitter @sankoffandhein
Stacey Luftig (Lyrics, My Heart Is the Drum) 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
Tommy Newman (Music & Lyrics, The Single Girls Guide) Band Geeks!(Goodspeed Musicals, Human Race Theatre Co., NAMT Fest '09), Tinyard Hill(Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Red Mountain Theatre, Human Race Theatre, Goodspeed, NAMT Fest '07). Off Broadway: We the People: America Rocks(Theatreworks, USA, Lortel Nomination 2010), The Yellow Brick Road(TheatreworksUSA) and 29 (NYU with Gaby Alter). In development: The Teacher from the Black Lagoon and Other Stories (TheatreworksUSA), The Odyssey Suite,ELEkTRA, The House of the Rising Sun. Tommy teaches in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Troy University. BS in Music Education, Theatre and Business, Troy University. MFA, Musical Theatre Writing, NYU Tisch.www.tommynewman.com
Richard Oberacker (Book, Music & Lyrics, The Sandman) is currently the conductor of Cirque du Soleil's Ka in Las Vegas. His musicals as composer and co-author include The Gospel According to Fishman (Signature Theatre), Dracula(Cincinnati Conservatory), In That Valley (NAMT Fest '99), Journey to the West(NYMF), Ace (NAMT Fest '05, The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Signature Theatre) and The Parenting Project (Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati). Theater scores include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter Pan and The Trojan Women, as well as new works for the Nevada Ballet Theatre.
PHILLIP PALMER (Concept & Music, My Heart Is the Drum) Theatre: The Weatherman (Clear Space Productions, Network One-Act Festival). Studies: Eastman School of Music (B.M.), traditional drumming and choral music in Ghana and South Africa. Member: Advanced Class, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Phillip is also a Foreign Service Officer with the Agency for International Development (USAID), where he implements programs to create economic opportunities in the world's poorest countries. He has lived and worked in Haiti and Southern Africa.
Andre Pluess & Ben Sussman (Music, Eastland) Based in Chicago, Pluess and Sussman have been collaborating as sound designers/composers for over 15 years. Projects include productions for Lookingglass Theatre and Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman for whom they designed the Broadway/regional/international productions of Metamorphoses, as well as her adaptation of the Chinese folk-tale The White Snake. Additional Broadway credits include sound designs for I Am My Own Wife and 33 Variations (with director Moises Kaufman), as well as the score for the Lincoln Center Theater production of The Clean House. Their musical Winesburg, Ohio (recipient of both Joseph Jefferson and Barrymore awards for outstanding musical) was a selection for the NAMT Festival in 2004, and has been produced at Steppenwolf/About Face, the Arden Theatre and Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Currently, they are composing the scores for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Tempest, as well as designing sound for The Jungle Bookfor the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. They have received numerous awards for composition and sound design including eleven Joseph Jefferson Awards, an Ovation Award, a Barrymore Award, Lortel/Drama Desk Nominations and a Drama Critics Circle Award.
JENNIE REDLING (Book, My Heart Is the Drum) is a playwright and librettist. Off Broadway: Miscast (Soho Rep, EST, NY Fringe Festival), Among Women (Mint Theater), Gone Astray (EST), The Harvest (Mint Theater). Regional/Play readings/Awards: Gone Astray (Stanley Drama Award, Penguin Rep, Urban Stages, Hudson Stage Co.), Desperate Territory (The Barrow Group), Ride the Dark Cars (NJ Rep), A Rape in Glorious (Arlene R. and William P. Lewis Playwriting Award for Women, O'Neill NPC Finalist twice, Arts & Letters Prize for Drama Finalist). Member: Dramatists Guild, BMI Librettists Workshop.www.jennieredling.com
TIM ROSSER (Music, The Boy Who Danced On Air) is a composer and music director. Credits: MD for BC/EFA's Broadway Backwards (2013) at the Palace Theatre; keyboards for The Addams Family on Broadway and Carrie; MD forMaking Books Sing and The Water Coolers. Composing (book and lyrics by Charlie Sohne): The Profit of Creation (Yale Institute for Music Theater, Johnny Mercer Songwriters Workshop) and Political Speeches (Culture Project's IMPACT). Concerts: a sold-out show at 54 Below, Cutting Edge Composers IV at Joe's Pub and more. Alumnus of Oberlin Conservatory, advanced class of the BMI Workshop.
Irene Sankoff (Book, Music & Lyrics, Come From Away) Her first musical, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (co-written and performed with David Hein) won Outstanding New Musical and Best Book (NYMF '10) and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award. Their newest show, Mitzvah (about a family dealing with the pressures of having a son with autism as he prepares for his Bar Mitzvah) was workshopped at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Irene holds an Acting MFA (New School for Drama) and a Writing/Psychology degree (York University). www.sankoffandhein.com or Twitter @sankoffandhein
Michael Shaieb (Music, The Astonishing Return Of The Protagonists!) Stage:Out of My Range (and Other Age-Related Performance Issues); Alexander's House (winner 2013 Washington Area Music Award: Best Classical Recording);Through a Glass, Darkly; Go-Go Beach (dir. John Simpkins, NYMF 2006). Film:Brief Reunion (dir. John Daschbach); Last Days of Left Eye (VH1 Rock Docs);Waking Dreams (starring Ben Shenkman). Choral: Kushner Trilogy, commissioned by Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus for the Guthrie Theater 2009 Tony Kushner Festival. Upcoming films: Decay (dir. Joseph Wartnerchaney, starring Rob Zabrecky, Jackie Hoffman, Lisa Howard); co-producing a documentary about NYC Youth Pride Chorus. MFA from NYU's Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. fatlabmusic.com
CHARLIE SOHNE (Book & Lyrics, The Boy Who Danced On Air) With composer Tim Rosser: The Profit of Creation (Yale Institute for Music Theater, Johnny Mercer Songwriters Workshop) and Political Speeches (NYTB, Culture Project's IMPACT). Lyricist: Tina Girlstar (book - Anton Dudley, music - Brian Feinstein; NYSAF, Olympus Theatricals) and The Shadow Sparrow (book - Anton Dudley, music - Keith Gordon; The O'Neill NMTC). Concerts: 54 Below, Joe's Pub and Second Stage, among others. Song with David Gaines named Top 25 in the Directory of Contemporary Musical Theater. Advanced class of the BMI Workshop, Dramatists Guild.
George Stiles (Music, The Three Little Pigs) New songs, dance and vocal arrangements for the world-wide smash-hit Mary Poppins. Also with Anthony Drewe: Betty Blue Eyes, Soho Cinders, Peter Pan - A Musical Adventure, Just So,Goldilocks and the The Three Bears and the Olivier Award-winning Honk! (NAMT Fest '99) which has been seen by more than 6 million people in over 8,000 productions around the world in more than 20 languages. They are currently writing Soapdish for Broadway, Wind in the Willows with Julian Fellowes for the West End and Travels With My Aunt. Other work includes: The Three Musketeers(NAMT Fest '99), Sam Mendes' Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya.www.StilesandDrewe.com
Robert Taylor (Book & Lyrics, The Sandman) is a graduate of Holland's Royal Conservatory, Union College, the University of Bonn and Princeton. He has taught foreign languages and ornithology in New York, English and music in China, served as music critic for the Albany Times Union, founded and directed several non-profits, worked as a freelance musician and writer in Manhattan and a translator in Europe and Asia. As lyricist and co-author, his musicals include Ace(NAMT Fest '05, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Old Globe, Signature Theatre), Journey to the West (NYMF) and The Parenting Project (Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati).
ANDREW WHITE (Book & Lyrics, Eastland) is a founding member of Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company, where he currently serves as Artistic Director. As a Lookingglass Ensemble Member and performer, he has participated in the workshop and development of more than 30 Lookingglass original adaptations and world premieres. He wrote and directed the company's 1989 production of Of One Blood, about the 1964 murders of Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman in Mississippi. In 2004, he wrote and directed an adaptation of George Orwell's1984, which received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Adaptation. Eastland is his first musical.