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Core Curriculum Participants Info Page

Abel Alvarado

LYRICS / BOOK

Hello! My name is Abel Alvarado. I work as a Costume Designer in the Los Angeles area and even designed a show for ANMT a few years ago, "It Happened In Roswell". I am a graduate of the Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy where I studied Costume Design. Currently, I am Resident Designer at CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights where I also am a producer for the "Brown and Out Theater Festival". I am back in school at L.A. City College in the Music program majoring in Music Composition. I wrote a musical "ARENA: A HOUSE MUSIC-al"and it was set for a workshop production this past April, but due to COVID, it has been postponed until further notice. I had written a few short plays that were staged but writing a musical was a big feat. Having more experience in lyric writing and composition would have been a GREAT help and that's why I am here. Gracias!

Look forward to hearing from you soon! Gracias!

VIA VIDEO

Los Angeles   CA

Kim Bixler

BOOK

Cornell University, BA '91 Political Science
Author, Public Speaker, Playwright, Storyteller

After publishing my latest book Growing Up in a Frank Lloyd Wright House, I began traveling the country doing speaking engagements and educational seminars about American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I have also written and/or edited five other books.
In August 2020 I did a staged reading (via Zoom) at Berkeley Rep of my latest full-length play Growing Up Wright - about the intertwining stories of two women growing up in the same Frank Lloyd Wright House, seventy years apart.
A different, two-woman play i wrote had readings in NY and CA- before then the world shut down.
A member of the Dramatists Guild, I recently attended their Musical Theater Intensive program at Northwestern outside Chicago and participated in a playwriting program at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa.
Musicals are my true passion. I need a new composer (and lyricist or co-lyricist).

VIA VIDEO

Manhattan Beach   CA

Jackie Brenneman

LYRICS

Storytelling has always been at the heart of everything I do. I started college as a musical theater major but then pivoted to Anthropology to deepen my interest in the impact of culture on personality and behavior. However, I continued my theatrical education at NYU in a number of ways including: taking part in the CAP21 musical theater summer intensive; performing and directing shows at NYU; and participating in a number of choirs. I also wrote lyrics for NYU’s parody show, FNYU, that are still done today (one was a parody of If I Were a Rich Man titled If I Were a Tisch Man; another was set to Do-Re-Mi and was titled Floor Meeting).

I have a day job that I am very proud of as the General Counsel & Director of Industry Relations of the National Association of Theatre Owners, which has meant I had to innovate to keep theater and creativity as a significant part of my life. To that end, I established Conundrum Theatre Company in 2014 along with a number of other working professionals to bring high-quality theater to those with the scheduling constraints of a typical day job. In my role with Conundrum Theatre Company, I have been a producer, director, writer, and/or performer in over a dozen productions ranging from original musicals, staged readings, and a large full-scale professional production of Funny Girl. Conundrum is dedicated to doing modern interpretations of classic musicals or rarely-done productions. In each production a focus on the connection between lyric, music, character, plot and themes is key to my approach.

As a lyricist, I have written two mini-musicals - Covid Baking Competition: The Musical (20 minutes) and Quarantine Breakup (10 minutes), both centered around problems unique to the current Coronavirus situation in the world and how people deal with it. I have also been working on a full-length musical since 2019 titled The Escapist, which is based on Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Nope! I cannot wait to learn from your incredible experts.

VIA VIDEO

Burbank   CA

Orlando Byron (He/him)

MUSIC

I graduated in January with honours from a masters degree course in Musical Theatre Composition at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I am now an Associate Lecturer for the BA Musical Theatre course, teaching music theory and rep. Prior to that course, I studied Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London, where I specialised in Japanese music. Before that, I studied composition with David Knotts at the Junior Royal Academy of Music. As a child, I was head chorister to the Queen at the Chapels Royal, St. James Palace.
In addition to lecturing, I work as a freelance pianist and MD while holding a position as Head of Music at New London Performing Arts Centre, where I teach piano, singing and musical theatre to students from beginners to West End professionals.
Last year, I composed the music for a show put on at the Tristan Bates theatre in the West End called Last Minutes with Anglo-Canadian playwright Deborah Vogt.

VIA VIDEO

London   England

Anton Chesnokov

MUSIC

Master's degree at Lomonosov Moscow State University
Faculty of Composition and Arrangement at Moscow College of Improvised Music (currently studying - 3rd term)
I am occupied as both analyst and musical teacher. Also I have experience of writing my own original musical and music takes the majority of my time

I am a really motivated writer and surely will apply all my talent and creativity to the assignments and collaborative process. I hope the need for using online mediums of communication won't be the wall between me and Core Curriculum.

VIA VIDEO

Moscow

Mercedes Hesselroth

LYRICS

VIA VIDEO

Pittsburgh   PA

Benjamin Emory Larson

MUSIC / LYRICS

Benjamin Emory Larson is a multi-disciplinarian in music, theater, and film. Nationally, he has composed commercial film scores for The International Justice Mission, World Relief, and The Justice Conference. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts (emphasis in playwriting) from Portland State University. His work has been nominated for three Portland Area Musical Theater Awards and performed by A Little New Music, Nautilus Music-Theater, Reno Pops Orchestra, Kitsap Fringe Opera, Opera Bend, Rosetown Playhouse, Under the Arch Incubator, Cascades Theatrical Company, The Central Oregon Youth Orchestra, Phoenix Theater, and 2nd Street Theater.

Us Against Us, a punk rock musical he is writing with Katherine Glover, was a semifinalist for the 2019 National Music Theater Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut. Several of his musicals premiered recently: Thomasina Sawyer premiered at Rosetown Playhouse in Minnesota in 2019; Five Minutes premiered at Theatre Elision in 2020; and The Wheel premiered at The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival in 2020.

I have family in L.A., and I might be able to occasionally commute to L.A. for the sessions.

Thank you for your consideration!

Ben 🙂

VIA VIDEO

Minneapolis   MN

Chie-Hoon Lee (he/him)

LYRICS / BOOK

Produced credits include the short plays "For the Living" and “Half Life”. I have worked in non-creative capacities for the renowned Belvoir and Griffin theatre companies in Sydney, and helped launch Kookaburra: the National Musical Theatre Company, and the Sydney Fringe Festival. By day I'm a self-employed management consultant, putting my MBA (from the Australian Graduate School of Management) to use in the world of suits, ties and hard hats. During these Covid downtimes I'm working on expanding my creative skillset and am currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at UTS, Sydney.

I can provide samples of musical theatre lyric writing, book writing and straight plays if required. I'm based in Sydney, Australia and would participate remotely. I'm exceedingly camera and microphone shy.

VIA VIDEO

Pyrmont   New South Wales

Aizhou Liu

MUSIC

IN PERSON

Laser Sidney Malena-Webber (they/them)

LYRICS

I don't come from a musical theatre or acting background. I have a BA in International Politics from a liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon called Lewis & Clark.

My professional history with the performing arts started just after college when I started a YouTube band with my sister. The Doubleclicks became a (cult) hit online with a specific group of nerds, and we've toured the US, Europe and Australia. We've released 4 Billboard chart-topping indie-folk albums and crowdfunded over $400,000 for our music. In early 2020 we are writing a musical about robots, love, and trans rights.

I have some UCB and Second City training in screenwriting, improv, and comedy. My profession is band member and fundraising consultant.

I've always wanted to create musicals and I'm really, really excited about this!

VIA VIDEO

North Hollywood   CA

Makena Metz

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North Hollywood   CA

Michael Vegas Mussman

MUSIC

VIA VIDEO

San Diego   CALIFORNIA

D. Michael O'Dell

MUSIC / LYRICS

I have a Bachelor of Music Degree from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music (piano and voice minor). https://www.bw.edu/academics/undergraduate/music-composition/

I have an Advance Certificate from The Recording Workshop. https://recordingworkshop.com/

I am currently a Interdisciplinary Major (English & Film and Media Studies) at Arizona State University.

Please consider my bio: https://www.modjazzmo.com/i-am

For more information about me, please visit modjazzmo.com

Thanks!

Michael

VIA VIDEO

Columbus   Ohio

Nathan Douglas Scalise (he/him)

MUSIC

I’m an early-career composer with experience in both concert music and musical theater. I’m currently a DMA student in composition at the Hartt School of music (Hartford, CT), where I also hold a teaching fellowship in Music Theory. I’ve previously earned an MM in Composition from Binghamton University, where I subsequently taught on the faculty, and a BA in Music from Swarthmore College.

I have averaged approximately a premiere a month since January of 2016 (counting virtual premieres during the pandemic). For the last two years, most of that output has been vocal music that blends art song, opera, and musical theater. I am comfortable writing my own lyrics or collaborating with someone else, and generally do whichever better suits the project in question. In July, I completed Really Spicy Opera’s Aria Institute, Soprano Edition, in which I wrote a new aria with a new librettist every week. In 2019, I won the NYC SongSLAM Competition (art song, I wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics), and in 2017, I placed in Eventide Arts New England Songwriting Contest (pop song, I wrote the music and the lyrics). Before that, I wrote music for two musicals at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (Wellfleet, MA), for which I was also the pianist/music director, and a student production of Twelfth Night at Swarthmore College. I’ve also won awards for my concert music from Dolce Suono Trio, Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame, and the International Trombone Festival.

In addition to composing, I perform frequently as a pianist, trombonist, and drummer, and less frequently as a bass guitarist and singer.

VIA VIDEO

Cheshire   Connecticut

Lisa Maria Sedares (She/her)

MUSIC

Hi! My name is Lisa Sedares and I'm a trained classical pianist turned music director/composer. After many years at the piano alone, I realized I love playing in large groups. I started by accompanying choirs, then became involved in chamber music, and finally decided I loved musical theater and wanted to broaden my experience there. By day, I'm an aerospace engineer at NASA. I met someone at work who was writing the book to a musical about rocket science and I HAD to get in on it. We've been working on it since 2018 and are about half way through. I'm very new to composing, but I like some of the things I've written and I want to improve my skills through this program. My notation skills are very strong and I have a good foundation in music theory which helps me write counterpoint, harmony, and modulations. Thank you for considering me for this program!

I want to be as safe as possible! While I would prefer in person and I am local, I want to be sure that it's safe to meet that way in September. Very excited!

VIA VIDEO

Pasadena   CA

Elizabeth I Simko

LYRICS

I am a middle school science teacher in Richmond, VA. I have a B. S. in Natural Resources Conservation from Virginia Tech and a M. A. Ed. in Science Education from the College of William and Mary. I am active in community theater in Richmond.

VIA VIDEO

Richmond   VIRGINIA

Michael Steven Turnblom

MUSIC

I am happy to participate in person as possible, since I am in Los Angeles. Otherwise by video (considering, especially, the pandemic), and my collaborator is not in Los Angeles.

VIA VIDEO

Los Angeles   CA

Sissy Van Dyke

Pocono Lake   PA

Celeste Wolfe

BOOK

I am working on a feature project with rap artist Ruby Ibarra. I have also written a TV Pilot, PUNKERS.

I wanted to take this to understand how to put together an idea for a musical called TRANSCONTINENTAL.

VIA VIDEO

Los Angeles   CA

Davern Wright

BOOK

Davern Wright is a writer, composer, lyricist, director, and actor native to Berkeley, CA and currently living in Los Angeles. Writing credits include “Cratchit” (Best of Playground SF; Playground SF People’s Choice Award), “Would You Like the Can, Sir?” (Playground SF People’s Choice Award), “The Measure of Oakland,” (2016 performance in San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Midnight Shakespeare program), “New World University” (performance in PianoFight’s ShortLived 2016), “Something’s Wrong with Peter” (2011 Santa Fe Film Festival Official Selection), "Non-Sequitur" (performance at the Williams Summer Theatre Lab), and co-writing “Through the Wall” for Ragged Wing Ensemble (performance at The Flight Deck, 2015). He is a Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellowship Finalist, a Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist, and a Writer’s Digest Annual Competition Award Winner. He was a Playground SF Resident Playwright, winner of their Emerging Playwright Award, and a Resident of the Berkshire Fringe Festival Earlystages Program with Laura Maria Censabella. His acting credits include productions at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Marin Shakespeare Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Golden Thread Productions, 42nd St. Moon, and many others. He has an M.F.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Theatre from Williams College, and is the Assistant Department Director of Media Arts at STAR Inc. in Los Angeles.

VIA VIDEO

Los Angeles   CA

David Harry Yoon

LYRICS / BOOK

I'm a New Jersey bred, Los Angeles based writer who has earned his B.F.A. at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. My film education extended beyond a degree as I've worked for different departments on notable film and TV productions, including HBO's "Girls," Amazon's "Chemical Hearts," "Amazing Spiderman 2," among many others. I was a 2015 Film Independent Project Involve screenwriting fellow where the short I wrote, “Fractured,” was produced and screened at LA Film Festival. I was also a 2019 Film Independent Episodic Lab Fellow with my pilot project “Oh Country.” I'm primarily a screenwriter but I have been dabbling with musical content, having created, wrote the lyrics for, and filmed a small web series called "One Song Glory." Currently, I work as a post producer on commercial campaigns for brands such as Google, Apple, and Carl's Jr.

VIA VIDEO

West Hollywood   CA