Afternoon Of American Song – Composer Bios
Adam Guettel is a composer/lyricist living in New York City. His upcoming project, Millions, will have its first production in 2017. An opera based on The H.G. Wells Invisible Man will be produced by the Houston Grand Opera. His musical, The Light In the Piazza (cast album on Nonesuch Records), with a book by Craig Lucas, premiered on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in April 2005 and went on to receive six 2005 Tony Awards including two for Mr. Guettel – Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and a Grammy nomination for best cast recording. The Light In the Piazza also received five Drama Desk Awards, including two for Mr Guettel — Best Music, and Best Orchestrations. He wrote music and lyrics for Floyd Collins, which received the 1996 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and earned Mr. Guettel the Obie Award for Best Music. Saturn Returns (recorded by Nonesuch as Myths and Hymns) was produced in an extended run at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in 1998. Accolades for Mr. Guettel include the Stephen Sondheim Award (1990), the ASCAP New Horizons Award (1997), and the American Composers Orchestra Award (2005). He received an honorary doctorate from Lehman College in 2007. www.adamguettel.com
Adam Gwon is a musical theater writer named one of “50 to Watch” by The Dramatist magazine and hailed “a promising newcomer to our talent-hungry musical theater” by The New York Times. His musicals have been produced on five continents, in more than half a dozen languages. Off-Broadway: Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre), Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre); Regional: String (Village Theatre), Cake Off (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination; Bucks County Playhouse), Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); West End: Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios).
Adam also contributed songs as a staff writer on the hit webseries Submissions Only and for Stephen Schwartz and John Tartaglia’s The Secret Silk on Princess Cruise Lines. Adam is the proud recipient of the Kleban Award, the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Frederick Loewe Award, the Second Stage Theatre Donna Perret Rosen Award, the Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, the ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and the MAC John Wallowitch Award, as well as commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre, South Coast Repertory, and Broadway Across America. His songs have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and more, performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian d’Arcy James.
Recordings of Adam’s work include the cast album of Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home (Nonesuch), The Essential Liz Callaway (Working Girl Records), Tracy Lynn Olivera’s Because, and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project (Entertainment One). Adam has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the O’Neill Music Theater Conference, and the Dramatists Guild, is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. He served on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee from 2015-2018, and currently sits on the Board at Roundabout Theatre Company. www.adamgwon.com
Andrew Lippa wrote the music and lyrics for Big Fish, book by John August, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, which recently played the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway. His oratorio, I Am Harvey Milk (words and music), was premiered by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the recording, released in October, 2013, reached number 2 on the iTunes Classical Chart. I Am Harvey Milk will be seen at LA’s Disney Hall in July and in NYC this fall at a venue soon to be announced. He wrote he Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Addams Family, book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), which opened in April of 2010 and starred Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. Mr. Lippa wrote the music for the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s (The Social Network, A Few Good Men) new play The Farnsworth Invention directed by Des McAnuff. Asphalt Beach (music and lyrics) was premiered at Northwestern University by the American Music Theatre Project in October, 2006. The Wild Party(book/music/lyrics) was given its world premiere in 2000 at the Manhattan Theater Club in New York City. The Wild Party won the Outer Critics Circle Award for best Off-Broadway musical of the season and Mr. Lippa won the 2000 Drama Desk Award for best music. 2004 saw the premiere of A Little Princess (book and lyrics by Brian Crawley) at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA. In 1999 he contributed three new songs to the Broadway version of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (including “My New Philosophy” for Tony-Award Winner Kristin Chenoweth) and created all new arrangements. He wrote the music and co-wrote the book (with Tom Greenwald) for john & jen, which premiered in New York City in 1995 at The Lamb’s Theater.
Mr. Lippa is proud to have been music director for Kristin Chenoweth since 1999 for many of her concerts. He conducted/played her sold-out shows at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC in 2007, at Carnegie Hall in 2004, and at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 2002. He has conducted the San Francisco, Chicago, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras for Ms.. Chenoweth, among others. Additionally, he is an accomplished singer having been heard in many venues in New York and, in 2005, as a guest artist at the Adelaide Cabaret Convention in Adelaide, Australia.Recordings include Julia Murney’s CD I’m Not Waiting (producer, 3 songs), The Wild Party (RCA Victor) which he also produced, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (RCA Victor) which earned him a Grammy Award nomination, The Addams Family (Decca Broadway), A Little Princess (Sh-k-boom), and john & jen (Fynsworth Alley) which he associate produced. Jazz phenom Peter Cincotti recorded the song “Raise The Roof” on his CD titled On The Moon (Phil Ramone, producer). In addition, Mr. Lippa produced the original cast recording of Bat Boy for RCA Victor and his singing voice can be heard on The Sondheim Album on Fynsworth Alley and If I Sing on PS Classics. Vocal selections from The Addams Family, A Little Princess, The Wild Party and john & jen are published by Hal Leonard. Hal Leonard also released The Andrew Lippa Song Book in Winter, 2013.
Awards include a Tony and Grammy nomination, sharing in an Emmy for the Nickelodeon TV series The Wonder Pets, the Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award, ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers/New Horizons Award, The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle and second place for the Alice B. Deucey Award for all-around outstanding fifth-grader (lost to Cynthia Fink). Memberships include ASCAP, Actor’s Equity and the American Federation of Musicians. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Lippa serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild. He was born in Leeds, England but grew up in suburban Detroit. www.andrewlippa.com
Ben Moore is an American composer. His music includes art song, opera, musical theatre, cabaret, chamber music, choral music and comedy material. His work has been called “brilliant” and “gorgeously lyrical” by the New York Times while Opera News has praised the “easy tunefulness” and “romantic sweep” of his songs. Singers who have performed his work include Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Isabel Leonard, Lawrence Brownlee, Robert White, Nathan Gunn and Audra McDonald.
Moore composed the scores for three operas including Enemies, a Love Story which premiered at Palm Beach Opera in 2015 and will be seen at Kentucky Opera in November 2018. Based on the novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer, with a libretto by Nahma Sandrow, the opera has been called “an important new work that will find its place among those works that audiences will be moved by…” (Fred Plotkin/WQXR). Odyssey and Robin Hood are youth operas commissioned by the Glimmerglass Festival with librettos by Kelley Rourke. Odyssey premiered at Glimmerglass in 2015 and has since been seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Minnesota Opera. Opera News called it “an opera for all ages” with an “ebullient and lyrical” score . The work returns to Glimmerglass in August 2018. Robin Hood premiered at Glimmerglass in August 2017, was seen at Seattle Opera in February 2018, and will be presented by Houston Grand Opera in June 2018.
Ben’s songs can be heard on Deborah Voigt’s All My Heart (EMI) with eight Moore works, Nathan Gunn’s Just Before Sunrise (SonyBMG), Lawrence Brownlee’s This Heart that Flutters (Opus Arte) and Susan Graham at Carnegie Hall (Warner Classics). Dear Theo (Delos records) features three of Ben’s song cycles. These include Dear Theo, based on the letters of Vincent van Gogh; So Free Am I, on poems by women; and Ode to a Nightingale, a setting of John Keats’ great poem.
In 2006 the Metropolitan Opera featured two of his comedy songs in a gala broadcast nationally. 2006 also saw the release of the volume “Ben Moore: 14 Songs” published by G. Schirmer. Reviewing the album, Classical Singer Magazine wrote: “…you can find a breath of fresh air in the settings included in this volume… This composer is not afraid of the past, but rather embraces many of the most beautiful aspects of his artistic heritage while imbuing his work with its own personal colors and tones.”
Born on January 2, 1960, in Syracuse, New York, Moore grew up in Clinton, New York, and graduated from Hamilton College. With an MFA from The Parsons School of Design, Ben also pursues a career as a painter. www.mooreart.com
Jake Heggie is the composer of the operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, It’s A Wonderful Life, Great Scott, Three Decembers, Out of Darkness: Two Remain, and the choral opera, The Radio Hour, among others. He has also composed nearly 300 songs, as well as chamber, choral and orchestral works. The operas – most created with writers Terrence McNally or Gene Scheer – have been produced on five continents. Moby-Dick (Scheer) was telecast throughout the United States as part of Great Performances’ 40th Season and released on DVD (EuroArts). Dead Man Walking (McNally) has received 60 international productions and has been recorded twice. Three Decembers has received nearly two dozen international productions. The composer was recently awarded the Eddie Medora King prize from the UT Austin Butler School of Music, and the Champion Award from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. A Guggenheim Fellow, Heggie has served as a mentor for the Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative and is a frequent guest artist at universities, conservatories and festivals throughout the USA and Canada. He and Gene Scheer are currently at work on If I Were You, based on the Faustian story by Julian Green, for the Merola Opera Program’s 2019 season. www.jakeheggie.com
Jeff Blumenkrantz is a Tony-nominated and Ebb Award-winning composer whose songs have been recorded and performed by such notable singers as Victoria Clark, Sutton Foster, Maria Friedman, Lauren Kennedy, Rebecca Luker, Audra McDonald, Megan Mullally and Alysha Umphress. Jeff’s career as a songwriter began at Northwestern University, where he was a four-year contributor to the celebrated Waa-Mu Show. While pursuing a career as an actor in New York, he completed The BMI Workshop two-year program, going on to become a member of the Advanced Workshop. He is the 2001 recipient of the BMI Advanced Workshop Harrington Award. His one act musicals, Woman with Pocketbook, written with Annie Kessler and Libby Saines, and Precious Little Jewel, written with Libby Saines, have been performed at regional theatres and have both won the Ten Minute Musical Competition.
In 1989, his musical with Libby Saines and Annie Kessler, The Other Franklin, was chosen for the Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Development Program. “I Won’t Mind,” a song from that show, was recorded in 2000 by Audra McDonald on her CD, How Glory Goes, and also was included in her PBS concert, Audra McDonald: Live at the Donmar. In 2002-2003, Jeff was a Fellow in the Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Fellowship Program. He received a 2003 Tony Award nomination for the songs he contributed to the score of Urban Cowboy, the musical. In 2004, Jeff was commissioned by Carnegie Hall to contribute a song to The Seven Deadly Sins, a song cycle premiered by Audra McDonald at Zankel Hall in June of that year. Jeff’s song, entitled “My Book,” deals with the sin of Sloth.
In 2005, he participated in RIPFest, a movie musical festival where seven creative teams each created a ten minute movie musical with only two and a half weeks from conception to premiere. His film, Freefall, directed by Lonny Price with screenplay by David Simpatico, can be seen on youtube.com. That same year, Jeff was one of twenty-odd writers who contributed material to the Transport Group’s highly-acclaimed production of The Audience. He received another commission from Guggenheim Works and Process to write a musical setting of the Paul Muldoon poem “Myself and Pangur” for their Muldoon celebration. 2005 also marked the publication of The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook, a piano/vocal folio of twenty songs, and the first episode of The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast, a performance and interview show featuring Jeff’s songs sung by some of musical theatre’s great talents.
Along the way, Jeff has contributed special material for concert performances by Megan Mullally and Victoria Clark, and he served as the bandleader for the pilot episode of The Megan Mullally Show. In 2008, Jeff produced The BMI Workshop Songbook Podcast, which featured twenty new songs from the members and alumni of the famed musical theatre writers’ workshop. He also edited the accompanying songbook, which includes all the songs featured on the podcast. Jeff is the proud recipient of the 2011 Fred Ebb Award.
He created the song cycle, Month Upon a Time, written over the course of a year, featuring 12 songs each dealing with a different month, inspired by ideas pitched to him by his Twitter followers. These songs are also featured on the podcast. Early 2015 marked the release of his recording I’ve Been Played: Alysha Umphress Swings Jeff Blumenkrantz featuring Alysha Umphress (“Hildy” in the 2014 Broadway revival of On the Town) singing Jeff’s jazziest songs and arrangements. His songs can also be heard on such recordings as: Audra McDonald’s How Glory Goes, Sutton Foster’s Wish and An Evening with Sutton Foster – Live at the Café Carlyle, Rebecca Luker’s Greenwich Time, Victoria Clark’s 15 Seconds of Grace, Megan Mullally’s Big as a Berry, Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album, and Lauren Kennedy’s Here and Now.
Jeff was commissioned to write a Lincoln Center-themed song for the Lincoln Center Originals: Songwriters series, which he performed in the May 2015 concert. He had the honor of hosting the subsequent LCO: Songwriters concertin October of that same year. He received a commission from Paulette Haupt at Premieres to contribute a one-act musical monologue to the 2018 Inner Voices production. His musical, “Scaffolding,” starring Rebecca Luker, with direction by Victoria Clark and musical direction by Benji Goldsmith, ran (alongside “Window Treatment” and “The Costume”) from October 20 – November 17, 2018 at New York’s The Barrow Group Theatre. Jeff gives frequent concerts of his songs at such venues as Birdland and 54 Below, performances from which can be seen on his Youtube channel. He is currently writing incidental music for Classic Stage Company‘s upcoming production of The Dance of Death, directed by Victoria Clark. www.jeffblumenkrantz.com
John Adams is a composer, conductor, and creative thinker, occupying a unique position in the world of American music. His works, both operatic and symphonic, stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Over the past 30 years, Adams’s music has played a decisive role in turning the tide of contemporary musical aesthetics away from academic modernism and toward a more expansive, expressive language, entirely characteristic of his New World surroundings.
Born and raised in New England, Adams learned the clarinet from his father and played in marching bands and community orchestras during his formative years. He began composing at age ten and heard his first orchestral pieces performed while still a teenager. The intellectual and artistic traditions of New England, including his studies at Harvard University and attendance at Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts, helped shape him as an artist and thinker. After earning two degrees from Harvard, he moved to Northern California in 1971 and has since lived in the San Francisco Bay area.
Adams taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for ten years before becoming composer-in-residence of the San Francisco Symphony (1982-85), and creator of the orchestra’s highly successful and controversial “New and Unusual Music” series. Many of Adams’s landmark orchestral works were written for and premiered by the San Francisco Symphony, including Harmonium (1981), Grand Pianola Music (1982), Harmonielehre (1985), My Father Knew Charles Ives (2003) and Absolute Jest (2012).
In 1985, Adams began a collaboration with stage director Peter Sellars that has resulted in three decades of groundbreaking operas and oratorios: Nixon in China (1987), The Death of Klinghoffer (1991), both to libretti by Alice Goodman, El Niño(2000), Doctor Atomic (2005), A Flowering Tree (2006), The Gospel According to the Other Mary (2012) and Girls of the Golden West (2017). Of his first opera, The New Yorker Magazine said, “Not since Porgy and Bess has an American opera won such universal acclaim as Nixon in China.”
Adams has received numerous Grammy awards, many of them for his over thirty releases on Nonesuch Records. In 2017 the Berliner Philharmoniker released The John Adams Edition, a multi-CD and DVD compilation of his music in performances conducted by Rattle, Dudamel, Petrenko, Gilbert and Adams himself. A new recording of the complete opera Doctor Atomic, with Adams conducting the BBC Symphony and featuring baritone Gerald Finley and soprano Julia Bullock was released in July, timed to the new Sellars production at the Santa Fe Opera. Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? a new concerto for pianist Yuja Wang, will be premiered in March of 2019 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel.
Both Harvard and Yale universities have conferred honorary doctorates on Adams, as have Northwestern University, the Juilliard School and Cambridge University in England. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California honored him with the Governor’s Award for his distinguished service to the arts in his adopted home state. His Violin Concerto won the 1993 Grawemeyer Award, and On the Transmigration of Souls, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to commemorate the first anniversary of 9/11, received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
John and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, honorary degree recipients, Yale University, 2014. Adams’ work for two-pianos, Hallelujah Junction, serves at the opening music in Lucca Guadagnino’s Academy Award-nominated film “Call Me By Your Name.” John Adams is a much sought-after conductor, appearing with the world’s major orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Chicago Symphony and the Metroplitan Opera. His programming combines his own works with a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner to Ives, Stravinsky, Carter, Zappa, and Ellington.
In the current season Adams returns to the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Dallas Symphony and the Oslo Philharmonic as well as leading the Juilliard Orchestra and presenting the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 12 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Since 2009 Adams has held the position of Creative Chair with the Los Angeles Philharmonic where he has been instrumental in the success of that orchestra’s highly creative Green Umbrella new music series. Through his conducting and commissioning of new works, Adams has become a significant mentor of the younger generation of American composers. The Pacific Harmony Foundation, created with his wife, the photographer Deborah O’Grady, supports commissions and performances of new works and musical education initiatives throughout the country. Adams’ educational activities reach from the local (the John Adams Young Composers program in his hometown of Berkeley, California) to the national and international (the Juilliard School, the Royal Academy of Music, the New World Symphony and the Berliner Phiharmoniker Akadamie).
John Adams is also a highly esteemed and provocative writer. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and has written for The New Yorker and The London Times. Hallelujah Junction, Adams’s much praised volume of memoirs and commentary on American musical life, won the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and was named one of the “most notable books of the year” by The New York Times. The official John Adams website is www.earbox.com
John Bucchino’s songs have been performed and recorded by renowned pop (Art Garfunkel, Judy Collins), theatre (Liza Minnelli, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald), cabaret (Barbara Cook, Michael Feinstein), and classical (Yo-Yo Ma, Deborah Voight, Nathan Gunn), artists as well as The Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, The Hollywood Bowl, The Sydney Opera House, London’s O2 Arena and The White House.
Among his honors are two Drama Desk nominations, The Johnny Mercer Songwriter Award, The ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, The Jonathan Larson Award, The Kleban Award, The Los Angeles Ovation Award (for the revue IT’S ONLY LIFE), The DVD Premiere Award (for the song “Better Than I”), and the first annual Fred Ebb Award.
He has written scores for the musicals URBAN MYTHS, LAVENDER GIRL, Broadway’s A CATERED AFFAIR (nominated for 12 Drama Desk Awards, and winner of the New York Drama League Award for Best Musical, with a book by Harvey Fierstein), IT’S ONLY LIFE, and the Dreamworks animated film JOSEPH, KING OF DREAMS, and lyrics for the children’s musical SIMEON’s GIFT (with a book by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton and music by Ian Fraser). Some recordings of his work are: GRATEFUL, THE SONGS OF JOHN BUCCHINO (with companion songbook), SOLITUDE LESSONS (another collection of original songs), ON RICHARD RODGERS’ PIANO (solo piano interpretations of Rodgers songs on the composer’s own Steinway, voted Best Instrumental CD by Show Business Weekly), and the PS Classics releases of the cast albums of IT’S ONLY LIFE (with companion songbook) and A CATERED AFFAIR. As part of their Julie Andrews Collection, Harper Collins published a children’s book, based on John’s song, called “Grateful, A Song of Giving Thanks” which was awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold Award. www.johnbucchino.com
Kait Kerrigan (words) and Brian Lowdermilk (music) are musical theater writers, YouTube creators, songwriters, and dramatists. They make big, structurally complex pieces of art, and stunningly small emotional gut punchers.
Off-Broadway: The Mad Ones (formerly known as The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown) and Henry and Mudge, which toured the country for over a decade. New projects include the immersive house party The Bad Years, slated for production in 2019, Republic directed by Michael Arden, a fancy new commission they can’t talk about yet. Other musicals include Unbound, The Woman Upstairs, Wrong Number, The Freshman Experiment, and Flash of Time, an immersive art / puppet installation-musical hybrid at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Rosie Revere, Engineer & Friends, written with playwright Lauren Gunderson, which is currently touring the US.
On the internet, their first album “Our First Mistake” charted at #1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart after their kickstarter for $10K capitolized in 24 hours and went on to make $35K. Their second album, “Kerrigan-Lowdermilk Live”, documents the concert tour that resulted from their kickstarter campaign. Their YouTube channel has 16.7K subscribers, and their videos have over 9 million views. Brian Lowdermilk has since started his own YouTube series called “From_B” where he vlogs about traveling and writes songs in real time. If you like silly composers being silly, this is for you from B. In theater, they’ve gotten lots of awards for emerging and mid-career artists (whatever that means) including the Larson Award and a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and they have held residencies at McDowell, Johnny Mercer, Theatreworks/Palo Alto and others.
Kait Kerrigan received the 2009 Kleban Award for libretto-writing and the 2016 Emerging Artist Award for lyrics from the Theater Hall fo Fame (nominated by Lynn Ahrens. As a playwright, she has had her work developed at Page 73, where she was an Interstate 73 member, Primary Stages, the Lark, and Chautauqua Theatre Company, and the Weston. Her plays include Father / Daughter, Imaginary Love, Disaster Relief, and Transit.
Brian Lowdermilk received the Alan Menken Award and the Richard Rodgers Award for Red written with librettist Marcus Stevens. He also wrote The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful (and her Dog) with Lauren Gunderson, commissioned and produced by the Kennedy Center.
Both are alumni of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, co-founders of the start-up NewMusicalTheatre.com, and members of the Dramatist Guild and ASCAP. www.kerrigan-lowdermilk.com
Lee Hoiby was born in Wisconsin in 1926. He studied piano with Gunnar Johansen and Egon Petri but gave up his intentions to be a concert pianist when he received an invitation to study composition with Gian Carlo Menotti at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Menotti led Hoiby to opera, presenting Hoiby’s one-act The Scarf at the first Spoleto (Italy) Festival in 1957. The New York City Opera presented Hoiby’s A Month in the Country (libretto by William Ball) in 1964, and his Summer and Smoke (with a libretto by Lanford Wilson based on the Tennessee Williams play) in 1972. Hoiby’s opera, The Tempest, based on Shakespeare’s last play (libretto adapted by Mark Shulgasser) was premiered at the Des Moines Metro Opera in 1986, and produced by the Dallas Opera in November 1996. A new production is scheduled at Canada’s Pacific Opera Victoria in British Columbia in February 2004. Among Hoiby’s shorter operas are the one-act buffa Something New for the Zoo(1980), This Is the Rill Speaking (based on Lanford Wilson’s early one-act play; 1992), and the two musical monologues, The Italian Lesson (text by Ruth Draper) and Bon Appetit! (text by Julia Child), which were performed off-Broadway and on tour by Broadway/TV actress Jean Stapleton in the late 80s. He has just completed work on an operatic setting of Romeo and Juliet, with a libretto by Mark Shulgasser adapted from Shakespeare.
Hoiby’s songs, many set to distinguished texts by Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, and James Merrill, are widely performed, notably by soprano Leontyne Price. In 1995 his setting of the Martin Luther King, Jr. text Free at Last and five Whitman poems, I Was There, were premiered by baritone William Stone and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. In 1994 his What Is the Light, based on texts by Virginia Woolf, was performed at the 92nd Street Y by actress Claire Bloom. In August 1996 he was composer-in-residence at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, where a new work for voices, wind quintet and piano, Rain Forest, based on poems of Elizabeth Bishop, was introduced.
Hoiby has also made notable contributions to the choral repertory, including the oratorios A Hymn of the Nativity (text by Richard Crashaw, 1960), Galileo Galilei (Barrie Stavis, 1974), and For You O Democracy (Walt Whitman, 1992). Among his numerous anthems and shorter choral works should be mentioned the widely performed Hymn to the New Age which was heard on the internationally broadcast celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. A commissioned work, Measureless Love for baritone and chorus (text, again, by Walt Whitman) was heard at the centennial celebration of the American Guild of Organists in New York in July 1996.
Notable among Hoiby’s instrumental music are Sonata for Cello and Piano, Sonata for Violin and Piano, Serenade for Violin and Orchestra, Sextet for Piano and Winds, First and Second Suites for Orchestra (Hearts, Meadows and Flags), the ballet suite After Eden, two piano concertos, a flute concerto and numerous works for piano solo. MMC Recordings recently released a CD of the Piano Concerto No. 2 with soloist Stanley Babin and the Slovak Radio Orchestra, also including solo piano works (Narrative and Schubert Variations) performed by the composer and the Violin Sonata performed by Daniel Heifetz.
Mr. Hoiby has been a recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Numerous concerts devoted exclusively to his music have taken place, most notably on the American Composer’s Series at the Kennedy Center in 1990. G. Schirmer, Inc publishes many of Mr. Hoiby’s works, including The Tempest.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer, as well as a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient. His current musical, Hamilton – with book, music and lyrics by Mr. Miranda, in addition to him originating the title role – opened on Broadway in 2015. Hamilton was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and earned a record-breaking 16 Tony Nominations, winning 11 Tony Awards including two personally for Mr. Miranda for Book and Score of a Musical. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton won the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Both Mr. Miranda and Hamilton won the 2016 Drama League Awards for Distinguished Performance and Outstanding Production of a Musical, respectively.
For its sold-out Off-Broadway run at The Public Theater, Hamilton received a record-breaking 10 Lortel Awards, as well as 3 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 8 Drama Desk Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical, and an OBIE for Best New American Play. Material from the show was previewed at the White House during its first-ever Evening of Poetry & Spoken Word in 2009, Lincoln Center Theater’s 2012 American Songbook Series and New York Stage and Film’s 2013 Powerhouse Theatre Season at Vassar College. The Chicago production of Hamilton opened in October 2016, with a 1st National Tour and London production both opening in 2017. The London Production went on to win 7 Oliver Awards in 2018, including Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in Music for Mr. Miranda and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire. The Hamilton Mixtape, a concept album inspired by the show’s score featuring top rappers and musicians in the music industry, was released on Dec. 2, 2016. Lin-Manuel received a 2017 MTV VMA Award in the “Best Fight Against The System” category for the video, “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” off of The Hamilton Mixtape.
Mr. Miranda’s first Broadway musical, In the Heights, received four 2008 Tony Awards (including Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography and Best Musical), with Miranda receiving a Tony Award for Best Score, as well as a nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. In the Heights also took home a 2009 Grammy Award for its Original Broadway Cast Album and was recognized as a Finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. In 2016, Miranda won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music for the Original London production of In The Heights. Off-Broadway, In the Heights received a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance, the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Musical and Mr. Miranda received an Obie Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics.
Mr. Miranda is the co-composer (with Tom Kitt), and co-lyricist (with Amanda Green) of Broadway’s Bring it On: The Musical (2013 Tony Nom., Best Musical, 2013 Drama Desk Nom., Best Lyrics). He contributed new songs to the revival of Stephen Schwartz’ Working and Spanish translations for the 2009 Broadway Revival of West Side Story. In 2014, Mr. Miranda received an Emmy Award with Tom Kitt for their song, “Bigger” from the 67th Annual Tony Awards. Mr. Miranda contributed music, lyrics and vocals to several songs in Disney’s feature film Moana, earning him an Oscar nomination and Grammy Award for the original song, “How Far I’ll Go.”
Mr. Miranda played Charlie Kringas in the 2012 City Center Encores! production of Merrily We Roll Along and can be heard on the 2012 Cast Recording released by PS Classics. He also appeared in the 2014 City Center Encores! Off-Center production of tick, tick… BOOM! as Jonathan.
Mr. Miranda is a recipient of the National Arts Club Medal of Honor and the ASCAP Foundation’s Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. He serves as a Council Member of The Dramatists Guild and was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to New York City’s Theater Subdistrict Council in 2015. On July 8. 2016, Mr. Miranda and Jennifer Lopez released the charity single, “Love Make The World Go Round” as a tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. He has continued to respond to tragedy with music, teaming with composers Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and Tony Winner Ben Platt for “Found/Tonight” supporting the March For Our Lives Initiative.
Mr. Miranda has actively supported the relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017, creating the benefit single, “Almost Like Praying” as well as releasing its Salsa Remix, benefitting the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Fund, helping relief and recovery efforts on the island. Mr. Miranda is a co-founder and member of Freestyle Love Supreme, a hip-hop improv group that has toured the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as the Aspen, Melbourne and Montreal Comedy Festivals and now performs in NYC. The group’s eponymous television series premiered on Pivot TV in 2014.
Mr. Miranda has lent his voice to the audiobook recordings of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saen. TV/Film credits: The Electric Company, Sesame Street, The Sopranos, House, Modern Family, Polar Bears, Do No Harm, Smash, How I Met Your Mother, Inside Amy Schumer, Difficult People, Hamilton’s America, Saturday Night Live (2017 Emmy nominaton. Guest Actor), Drunk History, DuckTales, BoJack Horseman, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Odd Life of Timothy Green,200 Cartas, Speech and Debate and Moana. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2002. He lives in NYC with his wife, sons and dog. www.linmanuel.com
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriters, are best known for their work on Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and The Greatest Showman. Their songs “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land (with collaborator Justin Hurwitz) were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and “City of Stars” garnered both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. Pasek & Paul won the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, which was also nominated for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Original Song and most recently for the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Upcoming projects include the live-action movie musicals Aladdin and Snow White at Disney, and an original animated musical at Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios.
On Broadway they composed the score for the six-time Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen, their highly acclaimed original musical for which they received an Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award, and the Tony Award for Best Score. Their albums for Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and The Greatest Showman appeared in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, the latter of which held the #1 spot for multiple weeks in a row. The Dear Evan Hansen Original Broadway Cast Recording won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and The Greatest Showman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which was recently nominated for the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, is certified Platinum in over a dozen countries, including Double Platinum in the US, Australia, and Taiwan, Triple Platinum in Ireland and Singapore, and Quadruple Platinum in the UK and Korea.
Pasek & Paul had their Broadway debut in 2012 with their Tony-nominated score for the Broadway musical A Christmas Story, an adaptation of the classic holiday film, further adapted into a live telecast for FOX in 2017. Their new song written for the telecast, “In the Market for a Miracle,” was nominated for the 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. In 2013, they contributed several songs to NBC’s Smash, and received great acclaim for their musical Dogfight which was awarded Off-Broadway’s highest honor, the Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Musical. Their earlier theater credits include the children’s musical James and the Giant Peach and the popular song cycle Edges. Pasek and Paul went on to receive a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Special Class – Short Format Daytime Program for the song “Unlimited,” featured in an Old Navy YouTube campaign. In 2017, the songwriting duo composed a song for the CW’s musical episode of The Flash, and also wrote “Get Back Up Again” for the DreamWorks animated film Trolls. Among their numerous honors, in 2007 they became the youngest winners ever of the famed Jonathan Larson Award for most promising musical theater songwriters.
Both are graduates of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program and currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Dramatists Guild Foundation. www.pasekandpaul.com
Paul Gordon composed the music and lyrics for the stage musical Jane Eyre which ran on Broadway in 2000–2001, for which he received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Original Score. The musical was later produced by TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts in Mountain View, California, in 2003. Of this production, the talkinbroadway.com reviewer wrote: “The music of Paul Gordon fits this production like a glove, with unbroken strings of music and lyrics that give the audience the mood of the story.” The Wall Street Journal noted the musical has “a lyrical score”. His musical Emma played an engagement at the Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, California) in 2011. The stage musical The Front, for which Gordon wrote the music and lyrics with Jay Gruska, had a reading at the Manhattan Theatre Club in April 2007, and private industry readings in 2008.
He composed the music and lyrics for the stage musical Daddy Long Legs with the book and direction by John Caird, which premiered at the Rubicon Theatre Company, Ventura, California in October 2009 and then had an engagement with TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts from January through February 2010. In progress is a musical entitled Little Miss Scrooge, which had a workshop production at the Rubicon Theatre in 2013.
A concert of Gordon’s music played at Joe’s Pub (New York City) in 2007, and featured his works from stage musicals performed by Marla Schaffel, Brian D’Arcy James and others. Gordon has written popular songs, including the “#1 songs: “Next Time I Fall” recorded by Peter Cetera and Amy Grant, and “Friends and Lovers,” which was #1 on both pop and country charts.” He has also written for films (including Ghostbusters II) and television. As of 2018 Gordon’s new musical adaptation of Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice is scheduled to have a workshop production in August presented by TheatreWorks at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto, California. www.paulgordonmusic.com
Peter Mills is a composer/lyricist whose musicals include ILLYRIA, GOLDEN BOY OF THE BLUE RIDGE, THE FLOOD, and THE TAXI CABARET. Peter received the 2011 Cole Porter Award, the 2010 Kleban Award for lyrics, the 2007 Fred Ebb Award for emerging songwriters, 2006 Drama Desk Award nominations for his show THE PURSUIT OF PERSEPHONE (Best Music and Best Orchestrations), the 2003 Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and a 2002 grant from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation.
Most recently, Peter won the 2014 Donna Perret Rosen Award, administered by Second Stage Theatre, for excellence in musical theater. Peter holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theater Writing from New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts and a degree in English/Dramatic Literature from Princeton University. He is a founding member of Prospect Theater Company.
He is currently writing lyrics for a Broadway-aimed musical, THE HONEYMOONERS. www.pcmills.com
Scott Frankel is a musical theatre composer whose most recent work, WAR PAINT(starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole), enjoyed a run on Broadway following a record-breaking engagement at the Goodman Theatre. Other works include GREY GARDENS (Tony nomination), FAR FROM HEAVEN (Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theatre Festival), HAPPINESS (Lincoln Center Theater), DOLL (Ravinia Festival) and MEET MISTER FUTURE (Winner, Global Search for New Musicals). Frankel is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation New Horizons Richard Rodgers Award and the Frederick Loewe Award. He is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and a graduate of Yale University.
Stephen Sondheim, in full Stephen Joshua Sondheim, (born March 22, 1930, New York City, New York, U.S.), American composer and lyricist whose brilliance in matching words and music in dramatic situations broke new ground for Broadway musical theatre.
Precocious as a child, Sondheim showed an early musical aptitude among other wide-ranging interests. He studied piano and organ, and at age 15 he wrote a musical at George School in Buckscounty, Pennsylvania. Under the tutelage of a family friend, Oscar Hammerstein II, he studied musical theatre. He also studied music at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and wrote college shows there. When he graduated in 1950, he received the Hutchinson Prize for composition, a fellowship. He then studied further in New York City with the composer Milton Babbitt.
In the early 1950s Sondheim wrote scripts in Hollywood for the television series Topper. After returning to New York City, he wrote incidental music for the play The Girls of Summer (1956). He made his first significant mark on Broadway, though, as the lyricist for Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, which opened in 1957. He then wrote the lyrics for Gypsy (1959; music by Jule Styne).
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum—based on comedies by the Roman playwright Plautus—opened on Broadway in 1962, with music and lyrics by Sondheim. It ran for 964 performances and won the Tony Award for best musical. Two years later, however, his Anyone Can Whistle closed after only nine performances.
After contributing lyrics to Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965; music by Richard Rodgers), Sondheim focused solely on shows in which he wrote both music and lyrics. He won Tony Awards for best score for Company (1970), on contemporary marriage and bachelorhood; Follies (1971), a tribute to early 20th-century Broadway that includes many pastiche songs; A Little Night Music (1973; film 1977), based on Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles of a Summer Night (1955); and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979; film 2007), a macabre tale set in Victorian-era London. All were either produced or directed by Harold Prince, as were Pacific Overtures (1976), in which Sondheim looked to Japanese Kabuki theatre for stylized effects, and Merrily We Roll Along (1981), adapted from a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.
Sondheim next collaborated with playwright-director James Lapine to create Sunday in the Park with George (1984), a musical inspired by the painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatteby pointillist Georges Seurat. Sondheim and Lapine paired again for Into the Woods (1987; film 2014), which deconstructs and interweaves the plots of familiar fairy tales, and Passion (1994), a melodramatic romance based on the Italian film Passione d’amore (1981). Both shows won the Tony Award for best score. Assassins (1990) explores the lives of nine historical characters, such as John Wilkes Booth, who either assassinated U.S. presidents or attempted to do so. Later Sondheim works include Bounce (2003; retitled Road Show in 2008), about the colourful adventures of a pair of early 20th-century American entrepreneurs.
Sondheim’s acerbic lyrics hit responsive chords with many theatregoers. Most critics agree that his work marked a break from more traditional and sentimental musical comedies of the earlier decades of the century. Several revues of his work were staged, among them Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Putting It Together (1992), and Sondheim on Sondheim (2010). In 2000 he received the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for theatre/film, and in 2008 he was honoured with a special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theatre. The book Finishing the Hat (2010) is a collection of Sondheim’s lyrics, with his own commentaries on them.
Sondheim, an enthusiast for games and puzzles, cowrote two nonmusical mysteries: the film The Last of Sheila (1973), with Anthony Perkins, and the play Getting Away with Murder (1996), with George Furth. He also notably wrote five songs for the movie Dick Tracy (1990), winning an Academy Award for “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man).” The HBO documentary Six by Sondheim (2013) chronicled his life and artistic process. In 2015 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty burst onto the New York theater scene in 1988 with the comic musical Lucky Stiff, and their partnership in words and music has flourished ever since.
Ahrens and Flaherty have received theater, film and music’s highest honors – the Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Olivier Award and Gold Record; as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and three Grammys. They serve on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America and founded the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. In 2014 they received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 2015 they were inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. www.ahrensandflaherty.com
Jeanine Tesori , American musical theatre composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor (b. 1961, known earlier in her career as Jeanine Levenson), has been thrice nominated for Tony Awards® for her Broadway scores: Twelfth Night(1998) at Lincoln Center, Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002) at the Marquis, and Caroline, or Change (2004) at the Eugene O’Neill. Her first musical, Violet, produced off-Broadway in 1997, was nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding New Musical and won the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and a Special Obie Citation for Tesori’s music. In the field of film, she has composed new songs for The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove (2005), Wrestling With Angels (the 2006 documentary about Tony Kushner), Shrek the Third (2007), and three animated Disney DVDs (Mulan II, Lilo and Stitch II, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning). She also wrote the scores for Show Business: The Road to Broadway (2007) and Nights in Rodanthe (2008).
Tesori grew up in Port Washington, Long Island, her father a doctor, her mother a nurse. Although she played the piano from the age of three, she went to Barnard College in the full expectation of training for the medical profession, and had little interest in the theatre. “I thought Gypsy was a musical about Eastern Europe,” Tesori recalls, but after two summers coaching at a kids’ theatre camp in the Catskills, she changed her major to music.
After graduation, Tesori spent the better part of a decade working in New York as a pianist, arranger, and conductor in musical theatre on- and off-Broadway. Substituting in the orchestra pit for the 1989 revival of Gypsy with Tyne Daly, she met her husband, musical director Michael Rafter. She was associate conductor for The Secret Garden (1991) and The Who’s Tommy (1993), also playing keyboards, and made dance arrangements for the former show and several others, including the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Finally she took the bit in her teeth, holed up for a year, and wrote her own musical, Violet, with book and lyrics by Brian Crawley. At Playwrights Horizons in the spring of 1997, this challenging fable about a disfigured girl from North Carolina on a bus to Oklahoma in search of healing opened many doors for Tesori. She was given the commission for incidental music to the historic 1998 Lincoln Center production of Twelfth Night with Paul Rudd and Helen Hunt (unrecorded, and televised but once), which won her the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play and a Tony® nomination.
A much more formidable task, and the one for which Tesori is now best known – adapting Thoroughly Modern Millie for the stage from the film original – involved supplementing the score with eleven new songs and four old ones from the 1920s. This number is only a small fraction of the quantity of songs that Tesori and librettist Dick Scanlan created and considered during the show’s agonizing development; nonetheless, Millie ran for 903 performances on Broadway and earned Tesori a second Tony® nomination in 2002.
Before Millie closed in 2004, the innovative Caroline, or Change, with book and lyrics by Tony Kushner and music by Jeanine Tesori, opened, making Tesori the first woman composer in history to have two original musicals running concurrently on Broadway. Though Caroline was rather more of an opera than a musical “comedy,” it won, besides a Tony® nomination for the score, the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. The National Theatre production in London’s West End received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
Tesori and Kushner, now close friends, collaborated again in 2006 on a new translation and adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, with Meryl Streep, produced as a part of the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park series. Tesori’s biggest project yet is the multimillion-dollar stage adaptation of the animated film Shrek (2001), Shrek the Musical, which opened in December 2008. Although the film was itself a musical, the Broadway show has all new music, with lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire.
Tesori, a member of the Dramatists Guild, lives in Manhattan with Rafter and their daughter Siena. She has a multiplicity of projects in the offing: songs for Rapunzel, a new animated film from Disney, a small musical with playwright Lisa Kron, and with Tony Kushner an original opera commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera under the management of Peter Gelb.
Lisa Kron has been writing and performing theater since coming to New York from Michigan in 1984. Her work has been widely produced in New York, regionally, and internationally. Her plays include the musical Fun Home, a musical written with composer Jeanine Tesori and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel; The Ver**zon Play, which premiered 2012 Humana Festival; In The Wake which received Lortel and GLAAD Media Award nominations, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, named a “Best Play of 2010” by TimeOut and Backstage, and was included in the Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2010-2011; Well, which premiered at the Public Theater, was named a “Best Play of 2004” by the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Newark Star Ledger, Backstage, and the Advocate, included in the Best Plays Theater Yearbook of 2003-2004, and moved to Broadway where both she and Jayne Houdyshell received Tony nominations for their performances. 2.5 Minute Ride, which had its New York premiere at the Public Theater, received OBIE, L.A. Drama-Logue, New York Press, and GLAAD Media Awards, and continues to be performed by Lisa and others all over the world; 101 Humiliating Stories, which received a Drama Desk nomination for its PS122 premiere andwas a part of Lincoln Center’s 1993 “Serious Fun!” performance series.
Lisa is a founding member of the legendary OBIE and Bessie Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers whose plays, Oedipus at Palm Springs, Brave Smiles, Brides of the Moon and The Secretaries have all been produced by their theatrical home, New York Theater Workshop, and have been performed widely throughout the country both by the Brothers and by other companies. Their plays are published by T.C.G. in the anthology, “Five Lesbian Brothers/Four Plays” and also by Samuel French.
Lisa has received playwriting fellowships from the Lortel and Guggenheim Foundations, Sundance Theater Lab, the Lark Play Development Center, and the MacDowell Colony, the Cal Arts/Alpert Award, a Helen Merrill Award, and grants from the Creative Capital Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts. She was a resident playwright at the American Voices New Play Initiative at Arena Stage.
As an actor, Lisa’s professional career as began in 1983 when Michael Kahn chose her as member of the ANTA Company, which toured three plays in rep for a season. Since then she has acted in her own plays and the plays of the Five Lesbian Brothers, and also seen in such productions as the Foundry’s Good Person of Szechwan at LaMama, The Normal Heart at the Public Theater, Spain at M.C.C., and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, at NYTW. Lisa has hosted and emceed benefits, galas, variety nights, rent parties, talent shows, pig roasts, bingo nights, awards ceremonies, bar mitzvahs, brisses and birthday parties too numerous to mention. Lisa is a member of Actors Equity and serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America.
William Finn is the writer and composer of Falsettos, for which he received two Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical (with James Lapine) and Best Original Score. A revival of Falsettos directed by James Lapine, is slated for Spring 2016. He has also written and composed In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, two Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Lucille Lortel Award and Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting). Falsettos will have a Broadway revival in the Fall of 2016. He wrote music and lyrics and co-wrote book with James Lapine for A New Brain, which was produced at Lincoln Center and also a part of the 2015 Encores! Off-Center season. Mr. Finn wrote the lyrics to Graciela Daniele’s Tango Apasionado (music by the great Astor Piazzolla) and, with Michael Starobin, the music to Lapine’s version of The Winter’s Tale. His musical Romance in Hard Times which was presented at The Public Theater had a production with a reimagined book by Rachel Sheinkin at Barrington Stage in Summer of 2014. Mr. Finn wrote Painting You (one segment of the eight-part Love’s Fire), a piece commissioned and performed by the Acting Company, based on Shakspeare’s sonnets. His Songs of Innocence and Experience, commissioned by Williams College for the 2005 opening of its ‘62 Center for Theater and Dance, had it’s New York premiere at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room in 2012. For television, Mr. Finn provided the music and lyrics for the Ace Award-winning HBO cartoon Ira Sleeps Over, Tom Thumb and Thumbelina, Pokey Little Puppy’s First Christmas and, with Ellen Fitzhugh, two Brave Little Toaster cartoons. Mr. Finn has written for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The New Yorker. A graduate of Williams College, where he was awarded the Hutchinson Fellowship for Musical Composition, Finn now teaches a weekly master class at the NYU Tisch Graduate Program in Musical Theatre Writing. His most recent projects include Elegies, A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which had a three-year run on Broadway and has been produced nationally and all over the world, and Little Miss Sunshine with James Lapine which received a production at Second Stage in 2013. For the past 9 years he has been the Artistic Head of the Musical Theatre Lab at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.