34 Participants Announced For 7th Annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony At Goodspeed
In what has become an annual ritual, a total of 34 established and emerging composers, lyricists, and librettists will converge on the Goodspeed campus from mid-January through mid-February 2019 to participate in the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. The writing teams, representing 21 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 22, the writing teams work in residence in Goodspeed's Artists Village, each team in their own house, with whatever support is needed, from dramaturgical to Goodspeed's fine music department. In the evenings writers get together in an informal, salon-style environment and share the day's work. This gathering allows the artists an invaluable opportunity to gain insight from their colleagues. The Colony is the ultimate think tank of veteran Broadway and young working professionals in theater today.
Over the course of the four week program, composer/lyricist Jonathan Brielle will again serve as Producer/Writer in Residence. Mr. Brielle is a writer, composer and lyricist. He created the first songwriters' room in New York City, Uncle LuLu's. His first Broadway credit was writing music and lyrics for Foxfire starring theater legends Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy (who won the Tony) and Keith Carradine. Subsequently, he became Composer in Residence of the prestigious Circle Repertory Company in New York, providing scores for some of New York's top playwrights. His recent credits include Himself and Nora (book, music, lyrics), Minetta Lane Theater 2016; Nightmare Alley (book, music, lyrics), Geffen Playhouse; and 40 Naked Women, A Monkey and Me (book, music, lyrics), Eugene O'Neill Cabaret Conference. His Las Vegas shows include book, music and lyrics for Enter The Night (Stardust) and MADhattan (New York, New York). For television, he is the music director and composer for "Wonderama" on the Tribune network. He continues to serve as Executive Vice President of the Johnny Mercer Foundation.
Clifford Lee Johnson III will serve as Resident Dramaturge. As part of Wonder City Productions, he produces and develops new plays and musicals. Their current projects include moving a musical to Broadway and creating another about a beloved American figure. Between 1993 and 2009, he was the Director of Musical Development at Manhattan Theatre Club; prior to that he was the Assistant Literary Manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has been a critic for BACKSTAGE and published articles on the theater in various publications. He has also taught at the Kenyon Playwrights Conference and served as an adviser during the creation of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Mr. Johnson recently co-created the Theater Consultants Resource Website www.theaterconsultants.org, a centralized location for consultants wishing to share information and clients seeking to locate consultants.
The Writers Colony created a confluence of Goodspeed's long-held mission of fostering new works and JMF's dedication to nurturing the discipline of songwriting. With this unique collaboration, Goodspeed continues to be an incubator for the next generation of musical theatre artists and performers, as well as the home of the American Musical. This is best-illustrated by several projects that Goodspeed has moved from the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony forward to production including the 2017 productions of Deathless and Darling Grenadine, Indian Joe in 2015, Chasing Rainbows in 2016 and in 2019 Goodspeed will continue development of two new musicals that emerged from the Colony. Hi, My Name Is Ben by Scott Gilmour and Claire MacKenzie and Passing Through by Brett Ryback and Eric Ulloa will be seen in developmental productions at The Terris Theatre.
The outstanding writers who have been invited to participate in the 2019 Colony have earned tremendous recognition in the industry with honors such as the Emmy Award, The Richard Rodgers Award, The BMI Foundation Jerry Bock Award, Drama Desk Award, Ovation Award, ASCAP Rodgers/Hart Award, Barrymore Award, NYMF Award, IRNE Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, Hammerstein Award, Kennedy Center Lorraine Hansberry Award, Dramatists Guild Fellowship and many more.
Goodspeed is pleased to announce that the 2019 writing teams are (in alphabetical order) Jill Abramovitz, Janet Allard, Brad Alexander, Ross Baum, Michael Bloom, Matt Bogart, Angelica Cheri, Tom Coash, Carmel Dean, Ianne Fields-Stewart, Erik Forrest Jackson, Lance Horne, Orion Stephanie Johnstone, Melissa Li, Ray Leslee, Janine McGuire, Toby Marlow, Or Matias, Michael Medeiros, Lucy Moss, Matte O'Brien, Marshall Pailet, Abby Payne, Katy Pfaffl, Lisa Diana Shapiro, Bridget Sherman, Arri Simon,Tim Rosser, Sam Salmond, Charlie Sohne, Jenny Stafford, Georgia Stitt, Lauren Taslitz, Niko Tsakalakos, Matt Vinson and Kit Yan