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Jacob Daniel Combs, New Voices Project 2015

“NMI’s New Voices Project is such a great experience for a young writer to take part in.  To have your work performed not just once, but several times–in different settings, with different actors–is hugely educating, and really challenges you to look at your writing from a new perspective.”

Jacob Combs

New Voices Finalist 2015

Jacob Daniel Combs is a writer and composer/lyricist based in the Bay Area.  He is currently developing two original musicals: Selling Out, for which he is writing book, music and lyrics, and Legends & Lore, for which he is writing the book in collaboration with composer/lyricist Madeline Myers.  Legends & Lore has been featured in readings and workshops at the New York Theatre Barn, the Musical Theatre Factory, the Fingerlakes Musical Theater Festival and ASCAP, and most recently was a winner of the NMI New Voices Project, through which it received two presentations in Los Angeles in the summer of 2015.

In addition to creating musical theater, Jacob is also an avid screenwriter, playwright and poet, and has worked in several capacities in the entertainment business, both in film and theater.  He currently works at Pixar Animation Studios, assisting director Brian Fee on the production of Cars 3, and also spent two years in the story department at the 3D animation studio Blue Sky Studios, where he worked on the development of several feature films, including “Epic,” directed by Chris Wedge, “Rio 2,” directed by Carlos Saldanha and “The Peanuts Movie,” directed by Steve Martino.  In the fall of 2011, Jacob worked on the Off-Broadway premiere of the original musical The Blue Flower at Second Stage Theatre as the assistant to Jim Bauer, the show’s composer/lyricist and co-book writer, and Dominick Amendum, its music director.  Jacob has also worked for producer Todd Black at Escape Artists, as well as the writing staff of the Golden Globe-winning ABC dramedy “Ugly Betty.”

As a freelance writer and editor, Jacob has contributed to Indiewire, EqualityOnTrial, the Huffington Post, and HuddleTV on matters ranging from the arts to law to politics.  His past interview subjects include Pedro Almodóvar, Kevin Spacey, Harry Dean Stanton, Jared Leto, Bret McKenzie and Morgan Neville.  In March 2013, Jacob covered oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of U.S. v. Windsor, which struck down the federal Defense of Marriage act as unconstitutional.

Jacob attended Brown University, where he studied literature and music and spent most of his waking hours working on student theater productions as a composer/lyricist, director, producer, music director and member of the Brownbrokers board.  At Brown, he wrote music and lyrics for Palin! The MusicalUnraveling and Falling Apart, Coming Together. He has also studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Musical Theatre Writing Program.