Back in April, Gordon and I started scheming about how we could go about our business of making musical theatre while staying safely separate. We chose to focus on our show REB+VoDKa+ME, a piece inspired by a real-life community seeking connection on the internet. We wanted to make something that felt collaborative, un-constrained, and true to the spirit of the show. Six months later, I'm so excited to share these three videos, conceived, rehearsed, recorded, mixed, edited, and now viewed entirely remotely: https://www.rebvodka.me/
Big thanks to the Dramatist Guild Foundation and Iris Dart, Janis Purins of the Thom Thomas Award Committee, whose support made this project possible, and to the inspiring humans we worked with, who make the difficult look easy:
director annie tippe
video editor ryan mazer
audio engineer andrew zinsmeister
violin saki uetsuhara
cello brian sanders
performers ally bonino, sam heldt, minji kim, adam lawrence, david merino, elexis morton, jeanna phillips, emily walton, tatiana wechsler
Gordon and I recently posted an interview on 10glo in which we talk about writing unlikeable characters, the inspiration behind some of our work, and collaborating during a pandemic. You can also find some of our favorite videos on our 10glo artists page!
In this brave new world of remote collaboration, Gordon and I are thrilled that the intrepid musical theatre students at Penn State are workshop-ing REB+VoDKa+ME as part of their fall curriculum, under the fearless leadership of director John Simpkins and music director Jennifer Peacock. You haven't really lived until you've watched a cast rehearse 7-part harmony in 3 distinct locations.
I was going a bit stir crazy, so I put together some remote demo recordings for Elevator Heart!
Putting everything together one remote piece at a time was challenging, but luckily the preternaturally insightful Andy Zinsmeister made everything sounds as if it Wasn't recorded in 11 different closets using 11 different microphones.
Audio Mixer, and Guitar, and Bass on two songs, and general genius: Andy Zinsmeister
Piano: Katya Stanislavskaya
Bass (on the other 4 songs): Eric Day
Drum Arrangements: Jeremy Yaddaw
Cello: Brian Sanders
After spending no less than [redacted] number of hours agonizing over the perfect set of videos to share, Gordon and I are proud to unveil our new Broadway On Demand channel. This is a very cool website, collecting content from a slew of exciting writing teams (not that I'm biased), and we're thrilled to be a part of it!
Gordon and I were excited to kick of the Weston Playhouse Songs for Today series with our new song, I Remember Summer. You can find our "liner notes" for the song here. Coming up later in the series are Kirsten Childs, Joe Iconis, Tidtaya Sinutoke & Isabella Dawis, Jenny Giering & Sean Barry, Adam Gwon, and Adam Guettel -- mighty fine company to be in! We feel lucky to count The Weston Playhouse as an artistic home, and can't wait to get back there again soon!
You'd best believe that I put on a sparkly dress and opened a bottle of champagne just to celebratorially drink one glass while watching the Dramatists Guild Annual Awards Night, in collaboration with the Lilly Awards and the Dramatists Guild Foundation. It was an honor to be up there amidst this year's inspiring slate of winners.
Time Does Not Bring Relief, my 2005 setting of an Edna St Vincent Millay poem (part of my grad school application!) was included as part of Project 2020, a conference showcasing work by under-represented groups. I had the pleasure of being on a Q&A panel for the event as well, alongside some extremely rad composers. Thanks to Jennifer Sgroe for including me!
I'm over the moon excited to be one of the 2020 Thom Thomas award recipients for Gordon and my show REB+VoDKa+ME!
Since 2016, DGF has awarded the Thom Thomas Award to an alumnus of the Fellows program and commemorates playwright Thom Thomas’s endless passion for nurturing the next generation of dramatists and his appreciation of DGF’s support of writers. Traditionally, the Award is granted to one writer for $10,000. In response to the current global crisis and state of the theater industry, DGF and the Awards committee chose to honor three recipients this year with a grant of $4,000 each. The 2020 Thom Thomas Awards are made possible through the generous support of Iris Rainer Dart and Janis Purins.
Check out the Broadway World article!
Pregnancy Pact was scheduled to receive a workshop production, directed by Catie Davis and music directed by Mark Evans, at NYU's New Studio on Broadway running from 3/29-4/5. Needless to say, this did not happen, but Gordon and I still got all the benefit of working with this fabulous cast and amazing creative team. It was inspiring to see a group of students put their marks on this material, and see the ways in which it still resonated eight years (whoa) after we wrote it.