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your new voices project submission



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Elijah Best

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 30, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

PLEASE CONTACT ME HERE

elijahbest@vetboss.life

the email slot doesn’t accept (.life)


BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:  

 

⭐️ Every year 200,000 veterans get out of the service.

⭐️ 9% of all adults experiencing homelessness in the United States are Veterans of the U.S. military.

⭐️ That means on any given day, an estimated 40,056 Veterans experience homelessness in America.

Let’s stop this problem! 🔥

Through my story I inspire and educate transitioning veterans to build their own LLC. through a life coaching business because they are the leaders of our beautiful country and it’s a HUGE online opportunity.

We add about +400 veterans to the following each month

www.facebook.com/groups/vetboss 🎯

SOURCE:   Yes

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TITLE:   Someone posted on my Facebook wall saying she would love to see my story on here

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CONTACT NAME:   Shawn Miller

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 24, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

New Year’s Eve December 31st, 2005 Fort Lewis Washington.

My unit the 133rd engineer company, Wyoming army national guard (Laramie Wy), had spent the last 2 months training for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The company had just got back from a 3-day pass to Wy to visit family for Christmas. The visit was pretty awesome as the Gov of Wyoming at the time approved three C130’s to shuttle us home and back. All the soldiers were in good spirits and moral was high. We just finished final preparations for deployment and the unit was shuttled to McChord Air Force Base for our long trip to Iraq. The process takes quite a few hours because your showtime (time to be at the airport) is usually 6 to 12 hours before the flight leaves. Finally, we board our flight around 7am with 250 plus soldiers entering the plane. Everyone was jovial, talking and sharing last minute thoughts as our plane begins to taxi to our runway. One of our soldiers was a Jonny Cash fan and as we were wheels up he starting to sing…..”love is a burning thing….and it makes a fiery ring….Bound by wild desire….I fell into a ring of fire”…. the soldiers around him begin to join in….”I fell in to a burning ring of fire….I went down down down…and the flames went higher”…now the whole plane is singing…”and it burns burns burns..the ring of fire!…the ring of fire!” The stewardesses were all crying….. Imagine a full plane of soldiers all singing “ring of fire” as they go off to war for the next 365 days……


BIOGRAPHIES:  

My name is Shawn Eric Miller and I am a retired US Army soldier. I served in the US Army and Army National Guard for over 20 years with most of that time being with the unit in Laramie, Wyoming, 133rd Engineer Company. I am married to my wonderful wife Kathy and have three daughters, Eddy, Jessica and Madison, ages 33, 30 and 20 years. I currently live in Cheyenne Wy and work the Department of Veterans Affairs as a program manager. I also work when I can in the entertainment industry and have done extra work for multiple productions.


COMMENTS:  

I want to tell my story so all can hear and understand the camaraderie and closeness within those who go to war and the friendships and brotherhood that happen within the military. I have only told a few people this story as its one of my greatest memories I have with all the fellow soldiers I served with! This is for sure on my top 5 memories of all time in my military career. I want to share this special moment with others so they can feel what I feel and experience my memories.

SOURCE:   yes

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CONTACT NAME:   Liberty Naud

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 23, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

There are many stories we don’t tell. We’re silent.

Not in the tens, or hundreds, or thousands but in HUNDREDS of thousands of stories wrapped up in their tidy three letter acronym: MST.

Military. Sexual. Trauma.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Seventeen off to see the world. I served on Active Duty from 1998 to 2004. During that time I was tortured, raped, and brutalized for years by the very soldiers assigned to lead me to be “All That I Could Be.”

In spite of that, I became a powerhouse in Southern California an advocate for STEM education (2008). I founded a company, hobnobed with congressman, and changed lives of thousands of kids.

 

In 2014 I tried to end my life because all of the horrible things I thought I had risen above crashed into me like a freight train.

 

I have two amazing kids and two amazing husbands. We’re polyamorous family not quite traditional at all but every bit wonderful. And they do everything they can to support me well I try to pull the pieces of my life back together.

Again.


COMMENTS:  

Six years ago, I heard the term military sexual trauma for the very first time. My life had been perfect oh, and I had been wholly unprepared to be slapped in the face with PTSD resulting for my time in the service due to MST.

 

I had to exhaustive research to understand why it was happening so many years later. Well apparently that’s quite common to have these types of trauma surface over a decade later.

 

I was alone then and I felt alone again and I don’t ever want another young lady or young man to be in that position.

 

It’s incredibly ugly side to an incredible Institution. And people need to know. And they need to know that you can survive. And that the rest of us will be here to catch them.

SOURCE:   Oh goodness I'm entirely too verbose for that. I think.

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20201123_210707.mp4


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TITLE:   California women leadership project Facebook page

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CONTACT NAME:   Tessie Wilmot

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 20, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

A female from New Orleans, LA, approaching her first naval vessel in dry dock, being shocked at the size of the ship. She tackles the newness and learns her job as she is approached by many male sailors who believe females doesn’t belong on a ship. She makes it her goal to learn her job as a seaman, and volunteers for all of the hard jobs, which previously performed by her male counterparts. She finds herself being lowered on side of the ship, to moore up a submarine along side the ship, and using the mooring lines to secure the submarine to the ship. As she dangles from the ship, she is worried about falling in the water, if the sailors would be able to pull her back up, can she perform the task and or will she scream for help. Without lack of sweat, hard work and the enthusiasm of being able to show she can perform the task, she completes the mooring of the submarine and is pulled back up to the deck of the ship, without any mishap. Besides being a female in a male dominant world, she is a “Caucasian” with an “African American” shape and a loud mouth Cajun speaking sailor. She finds herself in controversy as her male  senior chief curses her out and expects her to follow orders, quietly and without any response. However, she responds using the same language spoken to her and she speaks so loudly that she demands respect, as the other sailors clap her courage as they have all been victim of that senior chief’s verbal abuse.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am a woman veteran, born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I am first generation of five generations to serve the Navy and graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree. I was raised by a single mother who worked hard to provide for two children. I served almost seven years and decided not to re-enlist and be a wife and mother, without the worry of being separated from my family. I met my husband at my first command, in Italy and we traveled the world together. We also made four beautiful children, which we named after our journey in Europe and our Navy career. I am now a Navy dependent.


COMMENTS:  

I believe so many women veterans can benefit from my story to have more belief and confidence in themselves and believe in what they’re serving for. It would also be an awakening for so many males to understand and be ok with females serving along side of them and being able to carry their weight to accomplish the mission. It’s also a sign to show regardless of sex, someone can do a job if taught properly and can work together and respect each other. It’s also about respect and not tolerating disrespect from anyone, regardless of their sex and or position. It’s more so about courage, motivation, respect, self-confidence, self-esteem and determination in anything someone sets out to achieve!

SOURCE:   No

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CONTACT NAME:   Shannon Corbeil

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 20, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

During my first year of Air Force training, there was an elite jump school with a very competitive acceptance rate — and I was determined to get in. It’s the only military program in the country that involves pulling your own rip chord on your first jump. I trained for months to build the upper body strength required to attend and finally the announcement arrived: I was in.

I’ll never forget my first jump. I was the first cadet from my plane to stand in the door. After weeks of training, I felt no fear. Right hand. Right foot. Left hand. Left foot. Freefall.

After a ten-second delay, I pulled my chute and drifted under a proud canopy, listening to my excited breaths and the wind whistling past in the wild blue yonder.

After five unassisted skydives, we earned our parajumper wings. They remind me that I can achieve anything if I’m willing to work for it.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I always knew I wanted to be an actor. I sang and performed my whole life — but when 9/11 happened, I put my creative career on hold and joined the United States Air Force. I served with the A-10s in South Korea and I did Cyber Threat Analysis at the NSA. It was my honor to do so.

After the military, I returned to my home in Los Angeles to pursue a professional career as an actor and writer.


COMMENTS:  

Many people are surprised to learn that I’m a veteran. I think our country still thinks of military troops mostly as men. I’m proof that anything is possible. Discipline and teamwork and leadership are attainable for anyone with the will and drive to work for them. Any of our dreams are possible — even flight!

SOURCE:   I would love to help write. I am not a Composer, but I sing and play instruments so I would love to work with and learn from my composer!

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TITLE:   Word of mouth through the Writers Guild Foundation Veterans Writing Program.

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CONTACT NAME:   Joan Enguita Willingham

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 20, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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NMI Alumni: bookwriter and co-lyricist for a full length musical. "Peter Ibbetson" an adaptation of the George DuMaurier book. Bookwriter, co-lyricist for a 15 minute musical, Green Thumb.
I am a singer songwriter and have an independent record company that has produced five albums. A collection of Los Angeles women's songs raised funds for women's shelters.
I live in Palmdale, CA, north of Los Angeles.
661-618-0964 Cell phone

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TITLE:   From Scott Guy

CONTEXT:  

My father was a veteran and I wrote a song about his service in WWII as a musician marching in victory parades, getting a 50 year anniversary medal from the Fench Consolate in Denver, and his military funeral in a national cemetery. I have included that song, A FITTING TRIBUTE, in Selection 2 sound file. I come from a long line of veterans including my grandfather in the Spanish American War and my great grandfather in the Pennsylvania regulars during the Civil War. I visited Gettysburg and found surviving relatives on the Pennsylvania memorial. I have a cousin on the Vietnam Memorial who was 18 when he died in a helicopter crash. And my nephew was in Afghanistan.

BOOK FILE:  

Green-Thumb-Integrated-Script.doc

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Nothing-Adds-Up-Anymore.mp3


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CONTEXT:  

I work with several recording studios in the Los Angeles area.
The website, womenonthemovetrio.com shows several songs written by me:
Heading for Shore, and My Turn and That's What Love Is.
I am showing those so you can see the quality of the recording done on those songs.

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01-A-Fitting-Tribute-Acoustic-Joan-Enguita.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   www.womenonthemovetrio.com

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Cherissa Jackson

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 20, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I’m a woman veteran who completed 23 years of active duty Air Force service.  I survived 4 deployments (3 combat deployments in Iraq & Afghanistan).  My story is one of triumph overcoming the challenges of being a single mother to twin daughters, financial ruins from a divorce, bankruptcy, domestic violence, verbal abuse and post traumatic stress from my deployments.  I’m a survivor and advocate for other women veterans to know their strength.  My passion to encourage, motivate and inspire others has allowed me to be the voice to the voiceless and let everyone know about the SHEROES we are.  I’m the 5th of 6th children who chose the military at the young age of 17 to relieve my parents of the financial burden of paying for my college.  I saw them struggle putting 3 of my sisters through college.  I was determined to get my degree while on active duty.  I completed by Bachelors Degree in Nursing while working for the Air Force at night, going to Nursing School in the daytime, and taking care of my daughters as a single mother. Often times women veterans aren’t given opportunities like this and I would use it to empower other women veterans.  We are Warriors, Superwomen, Heroes and the world needs to see it. I am a person of service which is why I chose nursing and after I retired, I continued to serve by advocating for the Veteran community.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Being deployed changed me.  I still recall the injuries that I saw including amputations, gun shot wounds, burnt bodies in body bags, the sounds of soldiers in pain, multiple system injuries and death.  Prior to my deployments, I coped with the challenges of being a single mother, relocations, and divorce using my spirituality and fitness as my escape.  I used these same techniques with my diagnosis of PTSD but I would never be the same person I was before.  I had to stop chasing that person and become comfortable with the person I am now.  After episodes of depression, anxiety and hopelessness, I knew I had to rebound.  That’s where my advocacy began.  I wanted Veterans to know that PTSD would not define me and that they could still live their best lives.  I wrote a book titled “At Peace Not in Pieces” as a self-help book to help veterans suffering in isolation.  Today, I’m blessed beyond measure knowing that everyday I get to impact the lives of Veterans in some way.  Once I told my story to the world, the feedback encouraged to give hope to the hopeless.  I was no longer afraid and I could share my experiences because it could help others.


COMMENTS:  

ALL Veterans can benefit from my story. The WORLD can benefit from my story.  As the hardships of life were thrown at me, I survived them all.  If I can do it, anyone can is my message.  I might be bruised but not broken is my slogan.  My core audience that I speak to are Women Veterans.  Often times we are forgotten or misunderstood in the community.  We aren’t considered Veterans to some and even some women veterans don’t consider themselves veterans.  I want to change that narrative.  Women Veterans should know their value to this world.  Women Veterans’ stories should be heard.  The Women Veteran community is waiting for that spoke person to give them permission to “Not be Ok”.  It’s life changing when you allow a person’s vulnerabilities to show and not be judged because of it.

SOURCE:   Sure, which ever you think is best for the messaging.

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TITLE:   someone sent me the post on Facebook

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CONTACT NAME:   Connie Gail Baptiste

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 20, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was a young black girl from the deep south, who lived in a world that was black and white and segregation was still very real.  I grew up with a family legacy of military service, and I knew that I had to who answered the call to arms. From a young girl, I never fit in, until I put on my uniform.  My military brothers and sister became my family.  I went through the heartbreak of loving a military man and left the military with my Son.  I soon realized that I couldn’t find my place in the civilian world and soon returned to the military.  I chose to embrace my non-traditional side and took on jobs that were “male” careers and excelled, but also felt the sting of racism, and sexism, discrimination in it’s purest form.   The military was and still is my family, and it showed my sons that the world was bigger than one town, one state, one nation.  When I think back I choose to look at the happy moments and now that I am retired, I advocate on behalf of women veterans.  I wrote a song about it, I have included the link to it.  I co-wrote and performed on the recording also.

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am a 20 year Air Force veteran.  I am the mother of 2 sons and one grandson.  I served in the Air National Guard and Air Reserves two of the most underrated branches of the service.  I won 2 small businesses and actively serve in veteran organizations, Women Veteran Social Justice, and Warrior Songs.  I am still about serving.


COMMENTS:  

I watch and listen to a lot of veteran stories, and most have a tragic feel.  I want to be able to show that even with the sad stories there are stories of success and joy.  The media tends to not show people who look like me.  I want to show that there are also African American veterans that have served and continue to serve.  I want to show that our story (African American) is one of resilience and love for our country that didn’t always want us or respect us, but still, we answered the call.  I know I represent a population of Black men and women veterans who are often overlooked and forgotten.  We have volunteered to serve from the first war to the current times.  I am here to tell their stories, my story.  I am here because of the units they don’t talk about, the 6888, Hell Fighters, 555, and more.   When they tell of America’s war history our story is often left out.

SOURCE:   I can assist, but not to write it on my own.

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VIDEO LINK:   https://warriorsongs.org/track/1564084/always-on-top



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CONTACT NAME:   Anitra Lane

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Retired US Airforce SMSgt (E-8).  Thriver of Military Sexual Trauma.  I have attached a sound/audio file.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am retired and an entrepreneur.  I also am the founder of the Unmasked Warrior Project an online community for Women who have been victims of Military Sexual Trauma.  I describe myself as a Thriver of Military Sexual Trauma because I am living the life I was meant to live.  I’m able to do it on my own terms.  This is in the audio file as well


COMMENTS:  

I have added this to the audio file

SOURCE:   I'm not sure how good I'll be but I'm willing to try.

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TITLE:   A Facebook Post in one my military groups

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CONTACT NAME:   Diarra McCormick

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was stationed at the worst base in the Air Force. Columbus Air Force Base was the black hole of the Air Force. When people got there, they got divorced, got kicked out, retired early, separated after one term, like myself, failed undergrad pilot training school and lost all of their common sense. I worked in Financial Management, the most undesirable department to work in. I also had the worst job in Finance, collecting debts from service members who owed the Air Force. I was like the villain of the base. The commanders that I had were both female and horrible.  But the worst part of the whole experience is that I didn’t go anywhere, I didn’t see anything but live armadillo, deer, skunks, and roadkill. I didn’t do any special training that required me to leave the base. The only time I left the country was when I went to Barbados on my own. Even though it was hell getting there, it felt good to take myself to see the world. If I hadn’t ventured out on my own, the dirt roads of Mississippi and roadkill was all I would have experienced. How exciting!


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am the ninth child of 13 children born to the same parents. I do not come from a military family. In fact, I was the only one that joined and followed through. I come from a family of visual artists, writers, dancers, models, poets and musicians. I hail from New Orleans and hold a bachelors degree in Mass Communication/Creative Writing from Xavier University of LA. I have a masters degree in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. I was raised Catholic but I am more spiritual these days than religious. I am single with no children and I live with my sister, the 11th child. I am a playwright and screenwriter. I look forward to getting back into production for my play “Black People Problems” in which COVID interrupted. I served four years in the Air Force. I am a proud Alumni of the 2018-2019 WGF Vet Writing Project.


COMMENTS:  

It is important that my story be told because people think the Air Force is an easy branch and that my time in the service was a breeze when it wasn’t. There’s nothing easy about the military. Another thing is people think that because I was in the Air Force, I’ve been stationed all over the world and have had the pleasure of experiencing beautiful locations and enjoying deployments. I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing any of that. Besides two months in basic training and three months in technical school, I spent my entire career at Columbus Air Force base and didn’t have the opportunity to go anywhere. To escape Columbus, you literally had to volunteer to go to Korea for a year just to get an assignment somewhere else.

People who would like a different perspective of the Air Force or the military in general would benefit from hearing this story. When civilians think military, they immediately think about war. But there’s more to the military than war even though our primary job is to fight and defend. My mother still doesn’t understand that I worked a regular job in Finance and if I got deployed, I would have done the same thing. She just can’t seem to comprehend it.

SOURCE:   Yes

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TITLE:   From the WGF Vet Writing Project Alumni Group

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CONTACT NAME:   John Lopez

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

 

The basic premise of my story focuses on the selfish kid who had no respect for military people.  Irony of life that kid is now an Office.  I’ve been in 17 years and have had a roller coaster of a career.

2001 – Kicked out of Air Force ROTC (University of Miami)

2002 – Joined the Air Force (Enlisted)

2005 – Joined the Army (Officer)

2008 – Deployed to Iraq

2009 – Transferred to Army Reserve

I spent a great deal of high school surrounded by military folks.  I always had a quip or rebuttal to tell them.  I just never understood the dynamic of being “OK” with being told what to do.  Once life hit me, I found myself at Air Force basic training.  Every single time I would progress I would get close to being kicked out.  It wasn’t until I went to Officer Candidate School for the Army that I grew into a Leader.  I’m somewhat humorous so many would tell you I’m kind of an ass when I do stuff.  I think it’s that candid side of me that has made me so successful during the hardest parts of my service.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

My name is John Lopez and I’m from Brandon, FL; only a stone’s throw from Tampa.  I was originally born in Brooklyn, NY but raised for the most part in Kissimmee, FL.  I just turned 40 in September and am a single dad to two teenage kids.

Growing up in two different areas gave me a unique perspective on culture, economy and life overall.  I struggled early on, dealing with sexual abuse, toxic parents and bullying.

I’m a fan of sci-fi, comic books, and just good ol’ fashion storytelling.

I went to school at the University of Miami and received a Bachelors in Psychology along with a Masters in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University.  I’m finishing up my Doctorate and even though I’m a little older, will be pursuing film school afterwards.

I love to run.  It’s one of the most influential passions of my life.  There’s nothing more challenging and satisfying to me than finishing a marathon or mud run.

Currently I’m an engineer for Special Operations Command in Tampa, FL.  I’ve been in the military 17 years as an Army Officer and will be set to retire from the Army Reserves in a little over 2 years.


COMMENTS:  

I want to share my story because I took the military for granted early on.  I was the kid in high school and college that thought the military was a joke, poking fun at the ROTC Cadets and not truly understanding what it meant to serve.

I joined Air Force ROTC my senior year of college after numerous attempts at righting wrongs and was kicked out.  I didn’t finish my degree and was left with no options.

As a last-ditch effort, I Enlisted in the Air Force and wound up at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho.  I had to look on a map to even find where it was.  It was cold, small and nothing like the cities I grew up in.

Now I can’t imagine doing anything different.  The military has given so much to me; education, leadership and amazing friendships.  I want others to share in that experience and hopefully push them to truly understand the sacrifices so many people make for this nation.

SOURCE:   No

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TITLE:   I attended the virtual vets entertainment summit a few weeks ago.

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CONTACT NAME:   Stephanie Kline

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

My story is a darkly comedic look at how the bonds of military service shape relationships, even failed ones. Jake and Sam, former Marines and spouses, tackle unfinished business after a horrific injury brings them back together. Their short time together in a VA hospital room brings unresolved issues to the surface, such as Jake’s mental health issues, Sam’s insecurity as a female Marine, and why their marriage was doomed. While this piece is somewhat autobiographical, I took experiences from several of my fellow female Marines whose marriages and careers were tested by trying to be perfect at both. Amid the snarky dialogue, this play is both a love note and Dear John letter to my experience as a Marine wife.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Defense is in my blood. I grew up in the Air Force, studied military range sustainment in grad school, and worked at the Pentagon before commissioning in the Marine Corps. After separating in 2011, I ran a veteran workforce program for the Department of Energy, wrote operational energy policy for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and currently direct large-scale energy projects for the Army.

I’ve been exploring the link between my service and art since 2016, and routinely perform stand-up across the country, write for the Duffel Blog, and produce short comedic films with my creative partner and fellow Marine. My jokes were featured in an Amazon Audible audiobook with Rob Riggle, and the National Endowment for the Arts interviewed me for its podcast last year. Moderating a Smithsonian conference panel on the role of art in preserving military women’s history is one of the highlights of my arts career and I jump at every chance to advocate for greater resources for veteran art therapy.


COMMENTS:  

My story is the culmination of years of trying to process my divorce and my heart break over leaving the Marine Corps. This story allowed me to dive into how messy it can be to truly divorce yourself of caring for another human being even when you want to strangle them. It also helped me explore just how much the military, and the Marine Corps especially, permeates romantic relationships.

This story should be told because it is ultimately about how hard it is for people to completely break from a toxic relationship. Most people can relate to that in some capacity whether or not they were in the military, which is why I think this story has broad appeal. I asked several friends, both military and civilian to review this piece, and each person took away something different, so I believe many people would benefit from a slightly dark yet slightly serious discussion on love and mental health.

SOURCE:   Yes

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TITLE:   From a friend and fellow veteran submitter!

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CONTACT NAME:   Anne Barlieb

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was adopted as an infant - grew up a tomboy; turbulent childhood drove me to uncompromising control and perfectionism.  14 year Army career - 6 years flying helicopters; left Aviation to be with service member husband in a new branch, Psychological Operations. Divorced 2 months later, got very sick with pituitary tumor/surgery more delicate than brain surgery. Violent suicide attempt led to 3 years of intense therapy/rehab and medical retirement. Self-forgiveness, acceptance, and surrender.  Medical treatment and a very belligerent  doctor led to reunion with my biological family - 3 sisters who knew about me and were waiting/hoping I’d reach out. Reunion has opened up fascinating discoveries about nature vs nurture, personal narrative, fate & free will, and life after death as I know things about our birth mother that I shouldn’t be able to know as confirmed and validated by my sisters.    Our mother died in 1996 and when I was in college I stretched unknowingly by her headstone during my runs several times a week…the cemetery is next to my college campus.  When I was forced to retire, I thought my life was ending - it was just beginning and often times I feel like perhaps my “real” life hasn’t even started yet.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Former Officer and female combat helicopter pilot medically retired from the Army after 14 years of service due to multiple complex medical conditions and violent suicide attempt.  The transition process lead to reuniting with three biological sisters who were hoping I’d someday reach out.  My oldest sister Nicole kept a box of artifacts for me since our mother’s death in 1996.  In retirement, I spend a lot of time writing, storytelling, maintaining medical treatment and personal wellness, and mentoring service members going through the medical board process.


COMMENTS:  

My story is one that explores surrendering to unexpected circumstances and learning to trust what life has in store for us.  At a time when so much feels out of control and uncertain, my story can offer some validation that trauma is something we all have in common, we are not alone.  Also, much needed reassurance that we all have the capacity to cope and overcome what challenges us most on the way to becoming our best selves and realizing our deepest heart felt desires.  Anyone who needs a miracle will benefit from my story and I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t need at least one miracle.

SOURCE:   I’m not sure. Perhaps, I have a lot of written autobiographical material, it depends on what would be required.

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xRCNhiLQiKM


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CONTACT NAME:   Debra Flax

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

My father, Lt. Col. (ret.) Ira Flax, was not your average soldier. A yeshiva (an Orthodox Jewish school) boy from Long Island, he always had dreams to be a rabbi, but running a congregation was never his desired destination. He told his father that he wanted to join the Air Force and my grandfather said no. He was afraid for his wild child. But my father persisted and joined the Air Force active reserves when he was in college, “signing on the dotted line,” as he says, in 1982. He went active duty after finishing his education, marrying my mother in May of 1989. He whisked her off to his first post in Biloxi, Miss., where I was born. From there, we moved to Turkey, Germany (where my brother was born), Colorado Springs, Colo., Omaha, Neb., San Antonio, Texas, and Birmingham, Ala. My father’s last post he did alone back in Wichita Falls, Texas, before he retired in 2008. Being a Jew in the military, particularly a religious Jew, was not always easy, but Chaplain Flax was a respected officer and true friend to everyone he met. During his 26 years of service, my father endured times of war, including his involvement in the hospital aftermath of the Black Hawk Down incident during his time in Ramstein, Germany as well as his deployments to Saudi Arabia. He saw times of camaraderie in developing programming between the faiths throughout the U.S.A.F system and being there through every branch following 9/11. During his last years in service, my father dealt with the shock of a severe back injury that was ultimately worsened by scar tissue caused by the surgery to fix it. But this is not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his story, though. And I cannot wait for you all to scratch that surface.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Ira Flax was born in 1961, second son to Enid and Wallace Flax. He and his family lived in Borough Park, Brooklyn until 1967 when they moved to Plainview, New York. Though Conservative through practice, both my uncle and my father attended Jewish day schools for their early educations. (My grandfather, a criminal defense attorney, used to joke “I’m a lawyer, which is why both of my sons are rabbis.) My father graduated high school in 1978 and did his undergraduate work at Hofstra University. His rabbinic education brought him to Philadelphia where he met Vicki Loigman, my mother, in 1985. The two married in 1989 and their honeymoon was a long road trip to Biloxi, Miss., where my father had established his active duty career the year before. My father’s love/friendship language has always been humor and he definitely used that to his advantage during his time in the military, winning several morale awards along side his many merits of service. My father was injured in 1999 during a training exercise at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb. The injury and subsequent surgery did a number on him, but he was dedicated to the service and his chaplaincy career. He ultimately retired at the age of 47 in 2008 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Following his service, he owned a cigar store for a number of years in Birmingham, Ala., before returning to the Philadelphia area to be a congregational rabbi. His favorite stories to tell are of his time in the military.


COMMENTS:  

I think my father’s story deserves to be told through any and every means necessary. I know I’m biased, but the truth is my father is a shining example of being able to do anything if you put your mind to it. Against all odds, it doesn’t matter what you are or what you believe in. What matters is the heart that you put into it. Truth be told, my father may not have been a model soldier, but he was always a model example of what it looked like to be dedicated to country, to military, and to your fellow man. His first boss said it best: “Give Ira enough leash and he will never disappoint you.”

SOURCE:   Sure (but I'm also more than happy to see someone else bring his story to life)

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TITLE:   Facebook - The call for submissions was shared in a group that I follow

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CONTACT NAME:   Nicholas M Garcia

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

My deployment was most memorable to me. We went for 160 days without seeing land. Then once we hit boots on ground, people committing suicide due to what they were seeing. Witnessing the violence of Somali pirates. Being abused and hazed in many ways. Crying but keeping emotions inside, because that is what real ‘men’ do, or did, shall I say. I never called reached out to my family because of all types of fears. Bullets, knives and simply thoughts. The worst part was even when I was reaching out, I was left alone by those whose job was to help me. Turned a blind eye to. The rainbow to my story, i’ve overcome all of this. Went on to gain a degree in engineering. At the time working two jobs while going to school full-time and volunteering for veterans. The thoughts of deployment never go away, instead I use that energy and transform it into bettering myself and my career. My most recent mission was working for Covid-19, and I am happy I didn’t let the fear stop me. I shall continue to show up and serve.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

After winning the visa lottery, my single mother decided to pick up everything and take me with her, moving to a country because she wanted a better future for her child. We had no money to afford for shoes, so I used plastic bags over my socks to not get sick during the cold winters. Studying day and night but deep inside knowing I couldn’t go to college. Eventually, I spoke to my guidance counselor who was also my soccer coach and a warrant officer in the Navy about joining the service. I was Seventeen years old when I started boot camp. Afraid of how intense everyone was, yet always learning and paying attention. My roommate helped me gain confidence, which in turn lead me to asking out a girl for the first time in my life. Here we are, ten years later. A deployment under my belt, PTSD, an Engineering degree, as well as serving many missions and being in leadership positions. Soon to be an officer for the Coast Guard. Blessed and proud to serve our country.


COMMENTS:  

On my most recent mission, I was called up by the State of New York. The opportunity given to me was to work directly with congressmen in the executive chamber.  This job was all mathematics and stress. Crying in the bathroom and afraid of the deaths. I was a part of the Javits center engineering team. I ended up contracting COVID-19, not knowing and passing out. After getting better, I was moved to South beach Psychiatric Center, first covid hospital in the United States, and put in charge as the  only engineer on site. The most important reason I am telling this story, one of them at least, is because I was able to see the first patient released and had an overwhelming feeling of love and joy in my heart. Once I was able to return home, I immediately hugged my mother telling her how this was all because of her. I am most grateful to have been given this opportunity. Thank you.

SOURCE:   No thank you.

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TITLE:   A fellow shipmate - Christina Bobrowsky (NAVY)

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CONTACT NAME:   Marcus Blevins

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 19, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

The Jesus Nut

The main rotor retaining nut secures the main rotor hub and blade assembly to the helicopter’s mast. If the nut fails in-flight the main rotor would detach from the mast, causing a catastrophic event where the only hope for crew and passenger would be to “Pray to Jesus.” And this is why its called the Jesus Nut.

As a Vietnam era veteran, I rose to the top of my profession on earning my wings as a crew chief on a UH-1H (Huey) helicopter. After discharging from the army, the ups-and-downs of flight mirrored my tumultuous civilian lifestyle. America’s inner-cities were flooded with massive amounts of crack-cocaine. For a time, I was once again scaling euphoric heights and cavernous lows. I almost crashed into an inescapable realm of despair. While battling addiction and the rigors of incarceration, I regained my sanity through worship, self-help programming, and the fraternity of veterans and support staff at the Veterans Transition Center of Monterey County.

My rise and fall from grace and my miraculous recovery wasn’t the result of a singular effort, it literally took a village. In the end my prayer was answered—I lived to tell the story how my Jesus Nut held firm.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I was recently released after serving 25 years of continuous incarceration under the three strikes law. When I write I like to capture the essence of an object or experience through introspection and by shaping it into my own narrative based on these observations. I began my writing career while taking English courses at Patten College at San Quentin State Prison in January of 2018. My first published writings were featured in The Beat Within, a workshop for the intersection of the arts. I had an article published in the San Francisco Bay View, entitled, Dancing Tears And The Ancestral Plain. I was recently awarded a scholarship by the Prison Journalism Project. I have an op-ed that was currently accepted for publication in The San Francisco Chronicle on November 17, 2020. And now I am delighted to enter this new phase of literature coupled with the mediums of music and the stage. This just goes to show how the worst moment in your life can be the stepping stone to success if you just hold your head up long enough to keep your mind focused on the future. I am a Muslim and I love reading the Qur’an and playing Scrabble. I currently reside at the Monterey County Veterans Transition Center, in Marina, CA.


COMMENTS:  

I am certain there are veterans that suffer from mental health issues, including the disease of addiction, who are in dire need of assistance. The medium of print, stage, and music are vehicles that have seldom been used as agents for change. Because of the ability to reach mass audiences and generate wealth, these have been utilized for the most part as instruments of profit. The message of recovery and redemption is most effective when it is sincere and authentic and not commercialized. This platform gives us an opportunity to do our part to change the narrative from that of commodification to one of love, for thy neighbor, or the veteran who has fallen on hard times. The importance of my story highlights the need for people endowed with the means to do so, to not be afraid to lend a helping hand. But the recipients of that charity should also not be afraid to accept or earn a benefit to the degree to which they are capable of helping themselves. This way everyone departs with soul erect. Were it not for kind and heartfelt assistance, my Jesus Nut would certainly have become unraveled long ago.

SOURCE:   No. I do not have that experience

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TITLE:   The staff at the Veterans Transition Center of Monterey County

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CONTACT NAME:   Brian N. Duchaney

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 18, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Something happens as a reservist when you’re called to active duty. There’s a change, internally, that is felt. It swells from an unknown place. When I got the call, I was at home. My brother was on the computer down the hall. I was 23, in college, expecting nothing. The call was simple: “Where are you?” I had no idea I was activated. It was a one-sided conversation. When I hung up the phone, listless and unsure of what to expect, my brother called out from down the hallway: “Who was that?” I wasn’t sure what to tell him. I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I said was, “I need to start packing.” Despite getting an emergency four-day leave (having yet to report), I knew things were different after that phone call. I just wouldn’t know exactly what until I reported to duty at Ft. Drum.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Brian Duchaney is a freelance editor and writer. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Bridgewater State University and an M.A. in Editorial Studies from Boston University. A ten year veteran of the U.S. Army, his memoir about his military service, published by the journal War, Literature, & the Arts, was nominated for inclusion in the Best American Essays of 2014 and will be included in the forthcoming anthology: Quagmire:  Personal Responses to Iraq and Afghanistan (University of Nebraska Press). He is the author of The Spark of Fear and co-editor of the forthcoming collection Animated Mischief: 30 Years of Cartoon Subversiveness, both published by McFarland. He currently teaches at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA.


COMMENTS:  

This is a story that is seldom told. We often hear stories of the war hero, the veteran that has struggled against the odds. My story is different, yet much more common for those that served in part-time service, ready to heed the call when ready. This is an emotional change for the citizen-soldier, one where planning and preparation rarely gets explored, where the reality of soldiers, of those at-the-ready, get called to serve.

SOURCE:   Yes, please!

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TITLE:   Melissa Milich

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CONTACT NAME:   John Garofolo

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 18, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

While deployed to the Middle East, I wrote a journal capturing my thoughts and observations.  Here are some excerpts to give you an idea of the tone of my writing.

UNFAMILIAR BEAUTY July 12, 2003

Today there were two disturbing revelations. One is: there is beauty in the industrial desolation that surrounds us. There is nowhere in the LSA that is reminiscent of the kind of aesthetic that we normally associate with beautiful. It is the magnificent desolation of the truly bleak. There is nothing awe-inspiring or awesome about this place, yet there are awesome views and awe-inspiring moments that one can’t escape. Perhaps it is desolation borne out of necessity. The area around Ash Shuaybah is nothing but oil refineries, chemical plants and a cement factory. The rest are oil and chlorine storage tanks, large open areas that we now use as equipment and vehicle marshalling yards.   There is sand and dust everywhere. Occasionally a small plant breaks out of the sand, daring one to challenge its right to exist.

At night, if it is clear enough, the moon is bright and the only beacon visible because there are too many generator-charged lights in the camp. The particulate matter spewing into the air every day and every night make for spectacular sunrises and sunsets, but mask the stars. The swirling sand filters the moonlight and causes one to pause and recognize it’s own inescapable dark beauty.

Perhaps the unfamiliar beauty we recognize is a fiction, something we create for ourselves when presented with no other choice. Perhaps it is because we desperately seek an aesthetic that reminds us of our humanity. Perhaps it is because we have no choice but to recognize beauty in all its forms. Regardless, even in this most desolate of places, things are not all bad, because we still have the capacity to recognize beauty when it is presented to us. We are blessed to be in Kuwait, even the most toxic part. Because in Iraq right now, I suspect that there are a lot of soldiers who are on patrol and have no capacity to recognize any beauty whatsoever, except possibly the beauty of their own continued existence.

The other disturbing revelation is that YN1 Tony Barajas, a short, squat, middle aged man from Texas is a lady killer.

INADEQUATE (July 13, 2003)

Tonight I confirmed for myself, my long held suspicion that whatever I write will be inadequate to fully describe the experiences, observations and occurrences of this deployment. When I walked out from the D-FAC tent tonight the full, or near-full moon was still rising. It was rising above a sky painted orange by the flames of one of the industrial stacks that ring this position. The flames spout out like a giant roman candle casting an orange glow over a large area of sky, silhouetting cranes in the foreground and making its hellish presence felt.   When Ridley Scott imagined the nightmarish industrial landscape of the future for his film Blade Runner, he must have been using the Shuaybah Industrial area of Kuwait as his starting point.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I started out working in the mailroom and in seven years I was a Vice President at 20th Century Fox.  When I turned 30, I found myself unfufilled (probably because what I really wanted to was write) and decided to open up my own business, go to grad school and join a military reserve component.  The business lasted four years, I joined the Coast Guard Reserve and finished a Ph.D. at USC.  When done with all that I’d finally be able to focus on my writing.   Unfortunately, 9/11 changed those plans with several involuntary recalls to active duty for the Iraq War.   I’ve kept writing for all these years, ended up staying in the Coast Guard and recently retired, but managed to get a book published during my time in the CG (Dickey Chapelle Under Fire:  Photographs by the First American Female War Correspondent Killed in Action).  I received a grant from the Brico Fund through the Milwaukee Press Club to fund the initial writing of Chapelle play.  I’m an alumni of the Writers Guild Foundation Veterans Writing Program.


COMMENTS:  

The interesting thing about the military is that the most fundamental underpinnings are rooted in the proposition of  giving up one’s individuality in service of the team.  While this is, most certainly, a necessity, the military is still a collective of countless individual stories that tend to reinforce some common themes (sacrifice, bravery, brotherhood, valor, etc.).   It’s not for me to say whether my personal story has any greater significance than anyone else’s, but I will say that almost any Veteran’s story is worth hearing given we’re at the lowest percentage of U.S. citizens who are responsible for national defense than any time in our history (less than 1/2%).  With the civil-military divide wider than every, I would say why not tell my story?  I think it’s in the telling that might resonate, which, I leave to you to decide.  Thank You.  Sincerely,  John Garofolo (Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired.)

SOURCE:   I'd be open to discussing this.

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TITLE:   One of my colleagues in the Writers Guild Foundation Veterans Writing Program

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CONTACT NAME:   Takosha Swan

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 17, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

For the last 20 years, I have sung the National Anthem for Servicemembers to inspire them whenever I had the opportunity. In 2019 for the first time in my life another Anthem began to play in my head, “The Veteran Anthem.” As a composer and Singer, I ran downstairs to my studio and grabbed a pen and paper, and listened as the Lyrics began to flow through my mind. Give me a mission, give me a purpose, give me my assignment, I’m still worth it, came to me and I wrote it! In February “The Veteran Anthem” was born. The National Anthem salutes the flag and now we have The Veteran Anthem that salutes the actual Servicemembers and Veterans.  As I write this story, I just left a live symphony recording of The Veteran Anthem, that I plan to share with the over 18 million Veterans and over 2 million Servicemembers. With that, I have already gotten started. I am attaching the video that I produced after meeting the Secretary of Benefits  Dr. Lawrence. He asked me for The Veteran Anthem video to play in the Headquarters of the Veteran Affairs Office.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am a Governor appointed public official for Veterans in Georgia. I served in the Regular Army during the Iraqi Freedom war in 2003 in Kuwait, Iraq and Fort Benning. I also served in the Georgia National Guard during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I am now a military spouse as my husband is still serving on his 23rd year. I am also currently on the Governor’s Suicide Prevention team for Servicemembers, Veterans and their families. I am the Founder of VeteransDoor.com, a chat site created for Veterans and Servicemembers to help each other transition from the military and provide new missions for their lives. I am currently raising funds to support my Worldwide Suicide  Prevention Tour. I plan to travel to 50 military posts in our country and 13 posts abroad. I am a mother of 3 wonderful school aged children.


COMMENTS:  

The entire country stands to benefit from hearing the story of The Veteran Anthem.  There is a message in The Veteran Anthem for our whole country. The Veteran Anthem salutes veterans and Servicemembers, they need to know that a national anthem has been written for them. I plan to take it to U.S Congress to make it the official National Anthem for Veterans and Servicemembers in America. There is a message in the lyrics for our country, meaning friends, co-workers and family members, telling them what to do, when their Veteran or Servicemember seems to be down, especially in these times. The message is also for the actual Servicemembers and Veterans to hear an answer and a remedy for their lives, while we are all being inspired by patriotic music with a specific intention to save lives.

SOURCE:   Yes

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TITLE:   The Georgia Military Women Facebook Group

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CONTACT NAME:   Cody Mower

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 17, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

After being medically retired from the Marine Corps, I lost everything. My wife, son, and sense of self worth. I spent 9 months living as alcoholic waiting in my grandma’s attic waiting to die. At the end of the 9 months she had convinced me to go to university, and attempt to move on.

I ended up moving to Portland, ME sharing a studio with my brother. I was still an alcoholic nihilist though. It wasn’t until after a hard look in the mirror I stumbled into a gym owned by a fellow Veteran. He introduced me to the idea of community, and over time helped me find out that, even I was worth saving.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I was medically retired in 2016 from the Marine Corps with a TBI. It changed me in ways that broke my family apart. When I got out, alone and dejected I spent a long time trying to die.

In 2017, my Gram convinced me to go to school. I went to USM to study English. In 2019, I graduated with honors, and was accepted into my MFA program at Stonecoast.

Now, I spend my time helping veterans learn to tell their own stories through teaching a combination of writing workshops and book clubs.


COMMENTS:  

I think my story appeals to any Veteran whose sense of self worth has been destoryed. Those who have made mistakes and think, “This is who am I now, a blackhole.” That they are nothing more than a disability and a waste of space.

I want to show people, no one is so far gone they can’t get help. Can’t ask for help. No life is the sum of its scars. You’re worth it saving.

SOURCE:   I'm not much of a script writer.

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TITLE:   Dr. Amy Stevens

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CONTACT NAME:   Joshua Keller Katz

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 17, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

A veteran walks into a psychiatrists office. The patient is dismissive; doesn’t want to be there, but is nervous as well.

The doctor asks him question and the veteran answers honestly. He tells the doctor about a battle. Other people died, but the veteran survived without a scratch. He still sleeps with a gun under his pillow, has to make sure all of the doors are locked, and must know where the exit is whenever he enters a building.

 

The doctor asks questions upon questions. The veteran’s nervousness crescendos. He’s ready to walk right out of the room. But, the doctor has asked the last question. He thanks the veteran for coming in and they say goodbye.

At home, the veteran receives a letter from the VA. He opens it, reads it, and breaks down in tears. His wife comforts him and reads the letter. The veteran has been rated 100% disabled for PTSD by the VA. He’ll get paid compensation every month, and access to the VA healthcare system

The veteran feels guilty about surviving without physical injury. But, he is willing to get the mental help he needs.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

JOSHUA KELLER KATZ is an actor and screenwriter in Los Angeles, CA. He was first published as a young teen freelance writer for a newspaper. Upon completing high school, he served in the United States Navy as a Gunner’s Mate where he became an expert in firearms tactics and the handling of explosives. He also received special training to become a VLS Missile Technician and deployed to New York City and D.C. on 9/11 as a first military responder. He was among the first to deploy for Operation Enduring Freedom.

After the military, Katz graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in electronic media. While taking classes, he trained with a young Kayla Harrison in judo, helping her prepare to win two gold medals in the Olympics. He moved to Los Angeles in 2013, where he began to pursue screenwriting.

Joshua continues to work in film and television, most recently including a recurring co-star role on all three seasons of Code Black on CBS and working as a military advisor on several major Hollywood productions. Katz is a graduate and paid coordinator for the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project, a year-long screenwriting mentorship. Since graduating, he has written a commercial for Under Armor and had screenplays optioned by various producers. His original screenplays have placed in competitions ranging from New York to Hollywood.


COMMENTS:  

There are veterans who are either afraid to get healthcare through the VA, think they are undeserving of such help, or are in denial that they need help.

I waited 16 years to file with the VA. My wife, also a veteran, recognized signs of PTSD and asked me to talk to someone. I did, and it’s been one of the best things I’ve done in my life after my military service.

I hope to inspire other veterans to get the help they need and deserve.

SOURCE:   Consider for script, but ultimately I want whatever is best for the project.

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CONTACT NAME:   brenda garcia

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 17, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

1A.  I was a US Navy photographer/videographer and stationed at the White House during George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s presidencies.  I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in a predominately Latino community so working at the White House did not happen to folks like me.  In fact, no one believed me when I told them.  My mom even called the local paper to let them know and they hung up on her.  When my father died, flowers from the White House were delivered to the mortuary and the flower delivery guy thought it was a joke.

I took video of the presidents for their libraries and national archives.  It was so surreal to be with them in the Oval Office, around the West Wing and the Mansion, and fly all over the country and the world aboard Air Force One.  I had never flown first class before –you get real linen and china! Bush and Clinton were so different – Bush was very punctual.  Clinton was always late – he’ll be late to his own funeral.  Clinton mentioned he wanted me to work for him after I got out of the Navy.  WOW!  Only in America can a girl from Los Angeles with no political background/interest end up working at the White House and having the President of the United States call you by name.  What a country!   OR

1B.  As a US Navy videographer, I worked at the White House under the Bush (41) and Clinton administrations, documenting their activities for the presidential libraries and national archives.  I traveled nationally and internationally aboard Air Force One. My partner and I shared a radio to hear presidential movements.  She outranked me so she held it, which meant I always had to stay close by.  We and the rest of the press corps waited in a very large holding room at a convention center.  Clinton was at a private event and about two hours late in departing to the airport to fly to Tokyo.  I had to go to the bathroom so I went without telling my partner.  I’m a big girl.  A pool reporter was there so I knew I was safe - Air Force One would take off without me, but not her.   When we walked back,  I felt like I was in the middle of a TWILIGHT ZONE episode – the holding area was empty!  I heard a loud cry, THE MOTORCADE is LEAVING!  We ran so fast!  Not fast enough - we saw the last car leave the garage.  We were in big trouble.  We immediately found a ride to the airport.  You know what happens during a presidential motorcade?  TRAFFIC STOPS!  We found a police officer to turn on his siren and escort us to the airport.   My heart was pounding.  We arrived at the airport. What exit?  We couldn’t go to the ‘departures’ area.  We had one chance to get this right!  And there in the distance was Air Force One.  When we drove to the tarmac, Air Force One was taxing off…..they really did it – they left without the pool reporter….. and us.  Air Force 2 was nearby and we boarded.  Once we took off, I calmed down and looked around.  Well, what do you know…. It REALLY does look like Air Force One.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I grew up outside of Los Angeles an always wanted a career in entertainment.  I went to college, couldn’t find a job and TOP GUN, the movie was a huge hit.  So, I did it, I joined the US Navy which gave me a camera instead of a gun to shoot.   I joined the video production team in Washington, DC that produced the Navy’s internal training films.  Ironically, I joined the Navy to work on movie sets.  I was then stationed at the White House – the greatest experience ever.  I then received my commission and became a Navy Public Affairs Officer supporting high profile events like ship commissionings and Fleet Week New York City.I worked at the top daytime drama THE YOUNG and the RESTLESS for six years and currently pursuing my performing career based in Los Angeles and wrote a book, BROWN GIRL, WHITE HOUSE about my adventures and challenges of working at the White House.   I also worked on two presidential campaigns.


COMMENTS:  

I want to tell this story because I want people to have hope – I want people who don’t come from affluent backgrounds, or small towns where they feel their big dreams and wishes are limited because of their surroundings….. I want them to know this is. A great country…. And in no other country can a girl, a Latinx, from a small suburb of Los Angeles, who grew up in a modest household with no political interests can be launched into working at the White House, witnessing history first hand under two presidents and traveling throughout the country and all over the world, and that includes being a passenger aboard Air Force One.  Where else can that happen but in America.   She made such a good impression that one of them even wanted her to work for him after her military tour was over.  We live in a great country – where the American dream is still alive.

Who should hear my story?  Anyone with a dream for a better life.

 

SOURCE:   I am an actress and singer (alto) and have experience in the musical theater genre. (If Jake Anthony still works there, I was ensemble in a musical, DREAMLAND, where he was the musical director)

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CONTACT NAME:   Joy Mosley

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 17, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I am an Air Force Veteran. I was honorably discharged after 9/11. My transition from the military was chaotic. I was a new mom when I separated from the military suffering from PTSD and Post-Partum Depression. I had many jobs after my separation but none them seemed to “fit me.” I had an identity crisis. I desperately wanted to fit in somewhere. So, I went on a personal discovery journey to find myself and to find God. I enrolled in a Lutheran seminary as an Ecumenical student. Seminary was supposed to give me a “new start” in life, but I quickly discovered “life happens” behind the walls of a seminary. There is no escape from the real world. As for my seminary experience, it was bat shit crazy. I did not fit into the “normal” student population. I made friends with “the campus misfits.” We were rebel rousers who explored our sexuality, wrestled with addictions, attempted desperately to find true love, manage mental illness, struggled as single parents and sometimes had - sex in the seminary. I found myself and God. I learned it takes more than simply reading the Bible to become the next generation of spiritual leaders.

 

 

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am a proud Air Force Veteran with 9.5 years of Active Duty Service. I separated from the military shortly after 9/11. I am a freelance COVID-19 Compliance Officer and an Alumni Screenwriter of Writers Guild. Foundation Veterans Writing Project. I am currently working within the entertainment industry to provide COVID-19 compliance consultation services for film, television, music videos and commercial sets to ensure safe working conditions for cast and crews. I have 20 years of experience as a Health and Safety Professional. I worked as a Federal Contractor for the National Transportation Safety Board and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. My most recent accomplishment is becoming a freelance Covid-19 Health & Safety Consultant for Sony Pictures Entertainment. I reside in Washington DC. I host screenwriting workshops for Veterans who are interested in using writing as a therapeutic tool to manage PTSD. I am a graduate of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. I have a master’s degree in urban ministry. I’m not a Pastor or a Saint. I am a Writer. I wrote my first screenplay as a participant in the Writers Guild Foundations Veterans Writing Project and I am finishing a manuscript for my first book.


COMMENTS:  

It is important that my story be told because it provides the public with insight about how challenging the transition from the military into the civilian world can be for a Veteran; and the journey we privately take to make sense of our new reality. This is a story about a shared universal human experience: self-discovery. It not a religious story. This story is a Dramedy, both comedy and drama intended to inform, inspire and enlighten audience while making them laugh and self-reflect at the same time. I think everyone should hear my story. It is story that crosses the boundaries of religion, race, gender, age and branches of military. The theme of self-discovery and probing the question of “Why am I here?” is an experience that military and civilians can relate to.

SOURCE:   Yes

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TITLE:   WGF Veterans Writing Project Alumni FB page and VME

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CONTACT NAME:   Cedrick Matthew Terrell

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 16, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was homeless with my 4 year old son living in a homeless shelter in Glendale California with (36) other families. I decided to change my life around and go to college on the wishes of my deceased father.  I began by studying in the shelter bathrooms late at night when everyone was asleep because that was the only place their was enough light. I did that for a year and not only did I pass the entrance requirements to get into USC. But, I kept the fire going and ended up graduating with my B.S. from USC, My MA from Columbia University and being admitted to Columbias EdD program- all while being a single-father.

Here is a short video 20,000 views:

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

 

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0855817/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


COMMENTS:  

every single- parent family household that is struggling right now and is in danger of losing their housing and looking for strength, hope and encouragement. Looking for an alternative

SOURCE:   YES

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CONTACT NAME:   Jackie ‘Jax’ Meyer

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 16, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was a gender non-conforming lesbian serving in the Marine Corps during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I had no real problems until my first duty station. I was the only female in a homophobic shop with a SSgt that convinced my command that I was trouble. All I wanted was to be accepted as a Marine.

I heard degrading anti-gay comments and slurs throughout the day. My coworkers said they hated gays and if their kids ended up gay they’d disown them. I couldn’t speak up. 

I was walking to my car and heard someone say, “Get a haircut Marine.” I then heard them call me “he/she” as I opened my trunk. I couldn’t speak up.

When we had training on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Capt. Campbell stated that homosexuality is incompatible with Marine Corps’ values. After the training there were a lot of anti-gay jokes by the guys. I couldn’t speak up.

I listened to Garth Brooks’ Do What You Gotta Do every day as I spoke up, quietly, to out myself and save my honorable service. The impact remains potent 20 years later, but now I speak up loudly.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I grew up in rural Wisconsin, an undiagnosed autistic girl with undiagnosed ADHD. I was an athlete and musician, playing bass in the school musicals, show choir and jazz bands, as well as being first chair percussion in concert band and marching band. I’ve never been a composer, though I do dabble with lyrics now.

I joined the Marine Corps after getting bored my first semester of college. I survived 1 year, 10 months, and 10 days, my dream crushed. 

I returned to college, eventually earning a master’s degree in physics. I found my dream job training astronauts at NASA. I did that for 2 years until realizing I couldn’t handle listening to multiple people talk at the same time in headphones. 

I took my not-dream job processing seismic data for oil and gas companies from 2010-2016. I now co-own a solar company.

Everything changed in 2018 when I awoke from a dream that lingered. Within a few days I was writing my first novel as Jax Meyer. I’ve since written 5 novels, most incorporating aspects of my experiences under DADT. I’m in the Writer’s Guild Foundation’s Veteran’s Writing Project this year and am receiving incredible feedback on my movie.


COMMENTS:  

I realized I was gay when Ellen Degeneres came out my senior year. Two years ago I realized I was on the asexual spectrum because of a book. I accepted my autism and ADHD because of people on Twitter sharing their experiences. 

In my novels I wrote an autistic character who I based on my experiences. Readers thanked me for showing them a form of autism they related to. Some finally saw themselves on the spectrum. 

In another novel, one of the characters is demisexual. Once again, readers emailed to say they finally understood themselves or their partners.

I will never underestimate the value of representation. 

There are a large number of people, veterans and civilians alike, who have no understanding of life under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. They don’t understand why those who served under it are still scarred. If I don’t share my story, they can’t know. As hard as it is to revisit those memories, it is important to keep this history alive. It also has direct parallels to the transgender ban currently in place with our military. 

People need to understand that creating policy with bigotry is damaging. And that is incompatible with Marine Corps values.

SOURCE:   I’m not sure I’m good enough, but I’d like to be a co-writer if possible. It’s difficult for me to find the right focus and narrative distance, so I’d like to see this from another person’s perspective.

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CONTACT NAME:   Addison Williams

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 16, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Christmas Eve in Afghanistan. All I want for Christmas is a holiday dinner just like back home.

We have only one chef, but he sucks. Boss mentions how he burned the turkey at Thanksgiving.

Care packages arrive last minute with some delicious treats and gifts. Everyone misses their families.

Boss assigns infantrymen to help cook and leaves them to prep while we patrol for IEDs.

We find IEDs while the locals look at us like they hate us. We put the IED parts in the boss’s rucksack, which later explodes. We think he’s dead, but it was just the detonators. The bombs didn’t go off. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Christmas morning, boss punishes everyone for his near-death experience by making us train safety measures to prevent future exploding rucksacks.

The cook burns the dinner rolls, so I send a local with $20 to buy homemade bread.

The baker drives back with $20 of fresh bread, which in their economy fills an entire car from trunk to front windshield.

The generosity moves everyone’s hearts, so people pitch in their own treats from care packages and some of the cook’s food turns out edible. We laugh and eat.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I’m Addison Blu Williams, and I write as Addison Blu.

I got my undergrad in Creative Writing while playing professional video games.

After losing my copywriting job in the 2008 economic crash, I became a bartender, a job where I met my wife and eloped four weeks later.

Right after that, I joined the Army in the Special Forces program. After getting selected for SF, I quit that program and switched to Psychological Operations, where I was selected again and passed the program.

I deployed right away to Afghanistan. The youngest guy in my company died, my wife miscarried, I saw combat and war crimes, and I did a really good job at PSYOP.

After realizing I couldn’t stay in the Army, I decided to change my direction in life and became a writer at Duffel Blog. I started freelance writing in the marketing industry until I eventually bought the agency I worked for.

Last year, I got Lyme disease from a tick and had to close my agency, but decided to use that negative experience to channel into screenwriting. I sold and produced two TV scripts with VetTV, a small streaming service.


COMMENTS:  

This story is for the people who think that the military experience is just like the movies or TV, with nothing but perfect patriotic heroes constantly shooting machine guns at evil enemies. I want to tell this story so civilians can be exposed to the idea that the military is not only as complex as real life, it’s actually even more complicated. Also, I just want to make people laugh and feel things, and I think a singing monologue would be the best medium for this little tale.

SOURCE:   Yes, I'm a professional screenwriter with an MFA and produced writing credits.

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CONTACT NAME:   Jennifer Marshall

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 16, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I joined the Navy at 17, full of vim, vigor and a pocket full of dreams. Within six months, I was meritoriously promoted and within a year, was Junior Sailor of the Quarter. I was the epitome of “Jane Navy.” I loved serving and the Navy loved me. Until March 17th of 2001 when I was sexually assaulted by another sailor with whom I served. Almost overnight, I went from being a sailor who others emulated to “that girl.” An untouchable. When I walked into the galley for lunch, a hush took over and furtive glances were thrown my way. I felt like Hester Prynne, but with a scarlet R, for rape. Clearly, it must have been my fault…why couldn’t I have protected myself? Fortunately, my command (as terrible as it was) didn’t have the last say. I may have left with a broken heart and a broken spirit, but I didn’t give up. I knew once I went to my next command, no one had to know what I went through. I was free to reinvent myself as Jane Navy once again. And I did. Petty Officer Jennifer Marshall served this country proudly for three more years and honorably separated.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I grew up rather poor in Colorado…at times, I didn’t have a TV, a phone, or a car. We stood in lines at the food bank and clothes bank for assistance. Growing up, I knew not everyone was poor and there had to be a way out of it! But how? I saw the military as my chance to escape the life given to me and forge my own path. I went from being a poor, skinny, cold and sick kid to owning my own home, having a graduate degree and an amazing job - all thanks to the opportunities provided to me by Uncle Sam.


COMMENTS:  

I think the various stories that I have to tell are important because they offer a different perspective. Most of the military is male and often times, the female perspective is not heard. Additionally, while traumatic things may have happened to me in the military, I don’t see my service as negative. I see it as overwhelmingly positive and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

SOURCE:   I do have a script written but it's rather lengthy. I'm happy to provide it and have an editor cut it down or have someone else write it.

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CONTACT NAME:   Paulo Jorge Machado Dias Gonçalves

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 16, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Nowadays, whenever I see children amusingly coming from school and playing on the streets, I smile and think how fortunate they are to live in a peaceful and secure environment.

As a peacekeeper veteran, it’s inevitable to recall my UN mission during the war in Bosnia. One day, while patrolling Sarajevo’s streets, I saw some children playing hide and seek among the ruins of their neighboring houses. That was the only possible game they could play out in the open, because there were snipers in the vicinity.

When they saw that I was observing them they stopped playing. The youngest gazed at me and, recognizing that I was a foreigner soldier, approached me.

This child, who was about 5 years old, looked at me and with the most innocent smile, asked something I could not understand. A young man passing by translated it – “He’s asking how is the war in your country?

What a punch in the stomach, to think that this was the only reality he knew…

I often wonder if today’s parents realize that peace and security are not granted things. We all must strive to maintain them. We owe it to the next generations.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Paulo Gonçalves is a retired Colonel from the Portuguese Air. He joined the military at the age of 19, in 1991, and served for 39 years. He specialized in Air Traffic Control, having executed commanding tasks of both national and international units.

Throughout his military career, he operated in 25 countries, including several peace support operations, serving the Portugal, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. He witnessed three civil wars on three different continents: 1992 Angola – Africa; 1995 Bosnia and Herzegovina – Europe, 2012-14 Afghanistan – Asia.

He is the author of several technical manuals and analytical studies, for the Portuguese Air Force, the United Nations, the Atlantic Alliance and the European Union Military Forces.

In addition to his specialization as an air traffic controller, Colonel Paulo Gonçalves was also an instructor at the Air Force Academy and in instruction flight squadrons. He obtained qualifications in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense; Military Information; Public Relations, Military Protocol and Strategic Communication.

He is also the author of the (Amazon – eBook and print on demand) book “Bosnia 95 – Peacekeeping in a War Zone”, sharing his experience during the last year of war in the Former Yugoslavia.


COMMENTS:  

People living in peaceful and developed countries, do not always realize the privileged life they have. A life standard they must strive to maintain otherwise their children  will not benefit from the same conditions. My short testimony tries to be a wake up call to the common western citizen, as it was an eye opening experience to me.

SOURCE:   Yes

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CONTACT NAME:   Richard Cordeiro

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 15, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I proudly joined the service as a 18 yo kid freshly out of HS and after completing basic training & AIT went hm for a 30 day leave. For personal reasons I went AWOL for 2 weeks. I turned myself in at Charleston Air Force Base ready to accept & face my consequences. That night before my hearing frightened & wondering what would happen to me a Staff Sgt. in uniform approaches me in the TV room and offers me a beer at NCO club that was the last thing I remember of that night.

I awake the next morning to find that same Sgt. in my bed & we both naked & I have no memory of what, why or when was happening. That moment in time had such a impact on my life & who I was to become moving forward.

So this is what it all comes down too:

The VA has diagnosed me with PTSD/MST (military sexual trauma)/with polysubstance use disorder and alcohol use disorder, Because a man of power drugged & raped a “kid” for personal pleasure.

For 40 yrs I never told a living soul about this & lived in shame & confusion with no self respect  .


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Imagen what this did to a young kid still developing in mind & body. Fucked me up is what it did. I had to question everything I thought I knew about me & my life. Was I gay and didn’t know it, should I have kids & raise a family. How will I be treated as a gay man by society am I gay?  What about my religious beliefs and will I now go to Hell for what I did (keep in mind I thought it was my fault this happened) what will my family & friends think & say, am I bisexual cause I still want women, why do I feel shame & guilt about this, who am I, what should I do? The only answer I could find were drugs and alcohol and they did “help” but at a cost of losing everything!


COMMENTS:  

At first I was shocked on how many men had been sexually abused in our Military but mostly I’m angry that this happened not only to ME but others. This is wrong on so many levels and it needs to stop. It happens in our Catholics Churches, in Boy Scouts & by men in power. So I found the courage to stand up and say hey “I was drugged & raped by another man and that’s not ok”.  Its hard for a man to say something like this for fear of being judged a fag, sissy and so much more. I’m doing this cause its wrong and this shit needs to stop!

SOURCE:   Yes?

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CONTACT NAME:   Diane M. Williamson

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 15, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I’ve been told that I wasn’t supposed to be here. At 6 weeks old, I developed pneumonia. December in Pittsburgh was freezing. My father said it was touch and go; they weren’t sure if I’d make it. I’ve heard this story all my life, but it was my father who was the only one allowed to tell it. 

I’m not sure how long I was in the incubator. At some point, I recovered. Dad fed, cleaned and cared for me for next few months. My mother was absolutely terrified to touch me. This chain of events shaped my life. As number 3 of 4 kids, I learned to take refuge in myself. I always felt like I was in the eye of a storm. I read a lot, was good in school, I drew, I sang, I danced and played with my dog, Gup. I even had my own sets of logic and thought processes that kept me out of a whole lot of trouble by and with my siblings. Many times, I was an unwilling witness to situations and was ultimately granted immunity by my parents. 

“She’s the sickly one,” the sibs said. “Don’t mess with her,” they said. 

So, why am I here? There must be a reason.  Suffice it to say, grade school to high school, college, the U.S. Army, wife, single mother, homelessness, ALL the way to The Veteran Community Media Network, the threads are still there. 

These threads helped shaped discipline while in the military. Perseverance and hardship fleshed out the focus, and creation of my nonprofit. Find out what you need to know, then apply it. Know better to do better; AND It will be challenging, being in that eye of the storm. 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Diane Williamson was born in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. She joined the Army in the summer of 1976, becoming a Nuclear Weapons Maintenance Specialist. Diane came home to complete her A. S. in Graphic Design. She and her daughter moved to Oakland CA, where she continued working for the government until the base closures in 1997. Continuing her education, received a certificate of completion from Silicon Valley College in Computer Graphic Design and 3 certificates from City College of San Francisco in Video Production and Broadcasting. She graduated in May of 2014 from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. She became a disabled veteran in 2004 and decided to put in a claim. It took 8 years and a bout with homelessness before the VA approved her disability.

How can she give back, pay it forward? She decided to create a nonprofit helping vets get their benefits. Diane did not want any vet to go through what she did in applying for her claim. This is the catalyst for THE VETERANS COMMUNITY MEDIA NETWORK.


COMMENTS:  

As a woman in the military, I knew I had to be the best at what I knew to do. My father instilled that philosophy in me. He did what was necessary to provide for our family. He did it with dignity and pride. I was proud of him and he of me, especially when I went into the service. I didn’t know until later that he was also in the service, as was his younger brothers and sister. So, there is a legacy of service in my family at a time when it was difficult for African Americans to serve their country. Even though he enlisted during another generation, he knew the risks I was taking, as his daughter, as a female and as an African American. He continued to cheer me on and kept reminding me finish school. To finish. To persevere. To accomplish something. The U. S. Army echoed that sentiment also. I had to work harder, and do it better and I’ll never forget my time in the service.

SOURCE:   yes

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CONTACT NAME:   Allison Churchill

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Picture it! FOB Delta, Iraq, Sept. 6, 2008. It was my 30th birthday. Friends had surprised me with cake, and then drove me over to our mailroom because I had packages to pick up. One contained a fancy new hair color I had ordered. After opening everything, I headed over to the shower trailer to do my hair. Another soldier was already in the shower, we chatted a bit while I got the dye ready.

Then we felt a bump. Like when the T-Rex arrives in “Jurassic Park.” The other soldier and I tried to figure out what it was. One of the Georgians’ vehicles backfiring? That seemed plausible. She dried off and went back to her CHU.

I carried on. A few minutes later heard “ALL CLEAR.” Oh, so it wasn’t clear before? Usually those bumps, if they were mortars, were announced with “INCOMING.”

Fortunately the people who fired at us–that night, and on New Year’s Eve, and after Blackstreet performed–had bad aim, and didn’t hit anyone. But I would like “My 30s started with a bang” to have a less literal meaning.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. Caught the writing bug early, and had a poem about pizza make the school district compilation at 5. Thought that pursuing fashion journalism would get me close to Johnny Depp; even dropped a history of war correspondence class in undergrad because it didn’t seem relevant. After realizing my first newspaper job wasn’t going to get me to New York, I enlisted in the Army so I could use my journalism skills in public affairs, get laser eye surgery and G.I. Bill money.

Did all those things! And learned to salsa and bachata at Camp Slayer Saturday Salsa Nights.

Came to New York for a master’s, and stayed to write stories that make people happy.


COMMENTS:  

I thought I handled the transition back to the civilian world after my Army service pretty well. Even though I spent more than two years total in Iraq, my brigade didn’t lose any soldiers on either deployment, I hadn’t been asked to make any decisions in the heat of battle, and I rarely left the wire.

But in the last couple years, when I’ve told this story, friends (both civilians and in the military community) have pointed out that my life was still at risk. And I think there are other people who don’t have the kind of deployments that movies get made about, who felt generally safe, but who downplay their service and their feelings about it.

I think this could help them change their perspective.

SOURCE:   I haven't written a script since elementary school, so I'm happy to let an expert handle this.

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TITLE:   Through the "Service: Women Who Serve" Facebook group

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CONTACT NAME:   Gabriel Griffin

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

In 2016 I decided to join Officer Candidate School. The group started out fairly diverse but as time went on the black individuals seemed to always be at the bottom of the totem pole when it came to leadership evaluations. From my perspective I noticed no difference except that the people that where put at the top seemed to look a lot like your typical army leaders in the movies. Chiseled jawline, male, but perhaps most unique amongst them all is that they were white. From my perspective people of color were being picked off one by one in rapid succession. I, a black male officer candidate at one point gained the opportunity to discuss what I saw as a bias towards my black female and male brethren and I believe my voice was heard as things quieted down shortly thereafter.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am a 26 year old United States Army veteran. I have been serving in the military since 2012 and I started as an e1 private. I am now a First Lieutenant and care very much for diversity and inclusion both in the reserves as well as in my civilian professions. I own a coaching company called WCCS and I am a Sr. Principal Systems Engineer. I am an Actor and producer and athlete as well. I participated in the US Olympic Trials for table tennis and am a US Open Bronze medalist for table tennis.


COMMENTS:  

I think that this story if told correctly is quite intense and will tell a story that hasn’t been heard before now. This experience was unique in many ways that 200 words does not truly allow for. But, I believe that the continued struggle and the perseverance and determination of people of color in systems that may not be designed for them and their ability to overcome adversity is in an important story.

SOURCE:   I would like to be a co-writer

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TITLE:   Through Melissa Milich

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CONTACT NAME:   James Sarli

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 13, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

In 1994 I left for Boot Camp , Parris Island South Carolina to join America’s finest fighting force the United States Marine Corps. After transitioning in 1998 to civil life I found myself in the financial industry working for a mutual fund company on the 41st floor or 7 World Trade Center. After the events of 9/11 and having watched my building fall I felt a burning desire to serve my community and joined the next police academy of the NYPD in 2002 leaving my financial job behind and never looking back. This upcoming year of 2021 will be 20yrs since that day . A day that changing the world and my life forever.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Joined the Marines at 21. Served 4 years and transitioned to civil life. Landed a great financial job with a mutual fund company. I was on top of the world literally working on the 41st floor of 7 World Trade Center..after the building fell and having weeks to contemplate my future I decided to satisfy my burning desire to “do something” and joined the NYPD in 2002 to once again put on a uniform to hopefully make a difference. After 18 years I truly feel I have done so much good for my community and being a veteran on Veterans Day and wearing my police uniform every 9/11 anniversary I feel both proud and blessed.


COMMENTS:  

My story is important because I think it really shows people that just because a chapter is over in your life and you may feel an opportunity had past you by, there is always a way to turn the page to the next chapter of your life and discover the amazing opportunities before you and to take advantage of them. Life is short, do something that makes you proud.

SOURCE:   No

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trim.D91D31C8-EACD-42AE-BDC7-990D252A62AE.mov


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TITLE:   Veterans in media and entertainment

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CONTACT NAME:   John Antonov

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 13, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Secret’s Last Declaration:  It’s about a transgendered attorney that commits suicide by hari-kari. She’s cremated, mostly turned to ash, except for the silicone implants that remain intact and glowing at 1400 degrees Celsius inside a cremation furnace. I want it to be a musical.  It attempts to answer the question why would anyone go through all the pain and expense of a perfect breast implant surgery and then commit suicide.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I was in the Marine Corps from 1996 to 2004 and I had a little reserve time after that. I’m a proud long haired hippy now and trying to make that work. I was born in upstate New York. I live in San Diego.  I was a chemist for 16 years. That’s why I know about the thermal properties of silicone.  The really hard part now is turning that into a musical without getting bogged down in technical. Silicone is fun. . . I’ll save the fun for later when we hopefully can get to know each other.  I have an 11 page, 20 minute script that I wrote over the summer. I participated in virtual veteran’s writer’s workshop at the La Jolla playhouse and that’s what I got out of it. It’s my second script since I turned my life around. I continuously work to turn my life around and at times I must appear like a dog and his tail.


COMMENTS:  

I was in the Marine Corps from 1996 to 2004 and I had a little reserve time after that. I’m a proud long haired hippy now and trying to make that work. I was born in upstate New York. I live in San Diego.  I was a chemist for 16 years. That’s why I know about the thermal properties of silicone.  The really hard part now is turning that into a musical without getting bogged down in technical. Silicone is fun. . . I’ll save the fun for later when we hopefully can get to know each other.  I have an 11 page, 20 minute script that I wrote over the summer. I participated in virtual veteran’s writer’s workshop at the La Jolla playhouse and that’s what I got out of it. It’s my second script since I turned my life around. I continuously work to turn my life around and at times I must appear like a dog and his tail.

SOURCE:   looking for collaboration of any sort i consider myself more of a script writer

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TITLE:   vwg sd county email from ron pickett

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CONTACT NAME:   Dave Cartwright

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 12, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

My story is how I live with a physical disability and PTSD due to my career in the British Army as a Combat Medical Technician serving for just under 20yrs various tours of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq and how this has now affected my life, how because of my PTSD and my physical disabilities my marriage has broken down, the isolation and loneliness I feel daily, going from a confident outgoing man to a shell of who I was and my battles every day with suicidal thoughts, depression, nightmares and the constant struggle of how I’ve let my family down, as a new father I am not their for my twin boys and how I’ve let my best friend down, my wife who unfortunately could not deal with both my physical disabilities and my mental health issues. I loved being a soldier and I always will but I cannot shift the thought that if it wasn’t for my career I wouldn’t be in this situation now but then if I hadn’t have joined the Army I wouldn’t have done and seen the things I seen. It’s a conflict of how I hate that the Army has done this to the Army made me the person I was and I need to be him again. There are so many others living like this I wonder if it was addressed in its rawest form it may help someone get the help they need to deal with their personal experiences.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Joined the Army 1999, as a combat medical technician, deployed to Kosovo, Afghanistan 2 tours and Iraq 3 tours, worked on the frontline with various units and also in the hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan to working in the rehabilitation Center in the UK trying to help soldiers rebuild their lives. I was blown up in 2010 in Afghanistan which started a multitude of events that ended my career with a spinal injury and severe PTSD. Although my wife of 3 years knew what I was going through and I suppose was my carer she just couldn’t deal with how I would let her down with the physical disabilities, not being the husband she deserved and my PTSD, depression and anxieties affected more than I could see at the time. Now I live alone try to work but struggling daily with suicidal thoughts, thoughts that those around me would be better if I wasn’t around and the constant struggle that It would have been better if on the day I was blown up I was killed so my family could move on remembering who I was instead of who I am now.


COMMENTS:  

There are so many veterans and serving personnel who are dealing with very similar issues like mine but either don’t want to accept it or are not able to recognise it, I would hope that my story could help even 1 person face reality and get the help out there before it’s too late, I wonder if I had recognised what was happening with me and my marriage I’d have sought the right help and my story would be a happier one rather than the story I’m living now.

SOURCE:   Yes please

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TITLE:   Help for Heroes veterans Facebook page

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CONTACT NAME:   Tamara Lawrence

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 8, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

My dream was to fly airplanes but that never came about. My beginning of my military career started in high school where I ended up taking the Asvab more than a few times. Each time, my score got lower and lower. Instead of going into the Air Force, I ended up going into the Army. Getting to basic training was tough because I had to make a pit stop into a program because I wasn’t able to do a correct pushup. I fought through the program to go on to basic training and onward to my career. After finishing basic and advanced training, I arrived to my first duty station where I occurred my first knee injury that would continue throughout my career. At every step of my career, I have had challenges but at every challenge, I perserviered and I had a career over seven years, many medals and accomplishments. I did many things I never thought I could do. I  a winner. I am a veteran. I am a survivor.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

COMMENTS:  

I want to tell my story because I am a daughter, a mother, a sister and a friend. I feel I have much more to give because I wasn’t able to fulfill my career like I had planned. I want to be an inspiration to future women vets

SOURCE:   No

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TITLE:   Facebook

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CONTACT NAME:   Alex Krol

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 8, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Alex’s story give’s a dramatic insight into the highs and lows of dealing with a serve spinal injury. His story will showcase how he use’s sport as a recovery tool to aid both his mental and physical wellbeing. Alex’s journey takes you all the way to the final of the wheelchair tennis at the Orlando Invictus Games 2016 and the 2017 Toronto Games. There are some dark times tho were he battles back from a bad case of septicaemia. Without the love and support of his wife Jayne and son Xander, Alex wouldn’t be as strong as he is today. This story is ultimately a love story. It has pain, triumph and desperation.  


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Alex is a former Royal Marines Commando who manage to win gold at the Invictus Games after overcoming his spinal injury. Alex’s career was short lived when he was involved in a road traffic accident which left him paralysed resulting in him being a fulltime wheelchair user with limited use of his body. 
  

This hasn’t stopped Alex from gaining his Private Pilot’s License, being a member of the Armed Forces Para Snowsports Team whilst managing his family responsibilities to his wife Jayne and their newest addition to the family Xander. 
  

With 5 wheelchair bungee jumps to his name Alex’s disability doesn’t hold him back. His work for different charities has seen him providing wheelchair skills sessions and delivering his story and workshops in schools and prisons on overcoming adversity. 
  His story revolves around the power of sports recovery, the importance of resilience and the need to embrace your inner passion for what you do.  

 

Alex’s future sees him developing a disabled aviation hub within the North West, based out of RAF Woodvale.  He’s also part of Bader’s Bus Company. The UK’s first disabled flying formation team. 


COMMENTS:  

I feel I have a powerful story that needs sharing. To help, to educate and to create an awareness that if look deep down in your soul, we all have a pot of reliance that we can access at anytime, anywhere.  My job now is to go into schools and prisons sharing my story. This musical is another avenue to spread my message to a wider audience. I feel my story is the resemblance of the modern-day roller coaster of life. The day of accident was my 1st step onto that roller coaster of living with a Spinal Injury. Since then, my highs have been euphoric, and my lows have been gut wrenchingly low. 

SOURCE:   yes

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TITLE:   Invictus Games Foundation

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CONTACT NAME:   Shawn Eric Miller

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 3, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

New Year’s Eve December 31st, 2005 Fort Lewis Washington.

My unit the 133rd engineer company, Wyoming army national guard (Laramie Wy), had spent the last 2 months training for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The company had just got back from a 3-day pass to Wy to visit family for Christmas. The visit was pretty awesome as the Gov of Wyoming at the time approved three C130’s to shuttle us home and back. All the soldiers were in good spirits and moral was high. We just finished final preparations for deployment and the unit was shuttled to McChord Air Force Base for our long trip to Iraq. The process takes quite a few hours because your showtime (time to be at the airport) is usually 6 to 12 hours before the flight leaves. Finally, we board our flight around 7am with 250 plus soldiers entering the plane. Everyone was jovial, talking and sharing last minute thoughts as our plane begins to taxi to our runway. One of our soldiers was a Jonny Cash fan and as we were wheels up he starting to sing…..”love is a burning thing….and it makes a fiery ring….Bound by wild desire….I fell into a ring of fire”…. the soldiers around him begin to join in….”I fell in to a burning ring of fire….I went down down down…and the flames went higher”…now the whole plane is singing…”and it burns burns burns..the ring of fire!…the ring of fire!” The stewardesses were all crying….. Imagine a full plane of soldiers all singing “ring of fire” as they go off to war for the next 365 days……


BIOGRAPHIES:  

My name is Shawn Eric Miller and I am a retired US Army soldier. I served in the US Army and Army National Guard for over 20 years with most of that time being with the unit in Laramie, Wyoming, 133rd Engineer Company. I am married to my wonderful wife Kathy and have three daughters, Eddy, Jessica and Madison, ages 33, 30 and 20 years. I currently live in Cheyenne Wy and work the Department of Veterans Affairs as a program manager. I also work when I can in the entertainment industry and have done extra work for multiple productions.


COMMENTS:  

I want to tell my story so all can hear and understand the camaraderie and closeness within those who go to war and the friendships and brotherhood that happen within the military. I have only told a few people this story as its one of my greatest memories I have with all the fellow soldiers I served with! This is for sure on my top 5 memories of all time in my military career. I want to share this special moment with others so they can feel what I feel and experience my memories.

SOURCE:   Script Writer

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TITLE:   VME, Veterans in Media & Entertainment

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CONTACT NAME:   Natalie Rebecca Lovejoy

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 2, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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CONTEXT:  

I am a composer/lyricist/librettist, alumni of the BMI Workshop and NYU graduate (M.Mus. in Composition). My musical Home/Front, inspired by my experiences married to an Iraq war veteran, premiered off-off Broadway in 2014, and was a semi-finalist in the NY New Work Festival. Additionally I have written songs for Muse Match (54 Below), the Raw Impressions Musical Theater Marathon, the Veteran’s Artist Program, the Veteran’s Voices Project (Poetic Theater Productions), and A Little Night Music (L.A. Venues), to name a few. I am listed in The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers at Contemporary Musical Theater.com.

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TITLE:   I saw someone had liked Home/Front’s Facebook page. Out of curiosity, I looked at her profile, and she had posted at the top a link the NMI’s Veteran's Project, which I followed.

CONTEXT:  

I was very excited to hear about this project because I have a long history of working with veterans and telling their stories. I was an Army wife for seven years, and my then-husband served a deployment to Iraq during that time. The idea for my musical Home/Front was sparked by my desire to tell not only my story but the stories of the service members I met, which I felt were not being told with the depth they deserved in musical theater. “Daddy Was a Soldier” was inspired by my former sister-in-law, an ex-marine, and “I Don’t Expect a Miracle” was inspired by my former brother-in-law, an airman.

Additionally, I gained experience taking someone’s story and turning it into a musical piece while writing for Muse Match. For those concerts, songwriters are paired with actors whom the songwriters interview and then create a song based on what they say. The process seems to be very similar to the one for this project, as described in the video on the submission page. I wrote “Put on a Smile” for Ally Bonino and “How to Read a Room” for Lucy Horton. You can watch both pieces as well as listen to many songs from Home/Front on my website natalierebeccalovejoy.com.

In terms of writing internet/script songs, I have written the libretto to three musicals (two full-length) and have recorded many songs for my website and YouTube channel.

In summary I would love to be involved in this project because not only is writing musical monologues one of my fortes, but I have a long history of working with veterans and telling their stories from an insider’s perspective with sensitivity, empathy, and nuance.

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Daddy-Was-a-Soldier-Home-Front-libretto-excerpt.pdf

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Daddy-Was-a-Soldier-SCORE.pdf

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27_Daddy-Was-a-Soldier-Demo.mp3


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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I can make recordings using sample instruments and/or live piano.

BOOK FILE:  

I-Dont-Expect-a-Miracle-Home-Front-libretto-excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

I-Dont-Expect-a-Miracle-SCORE.mus_.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

30_I-Dont-Expect-a-Miracle-HOME-FRONT-Lovejoy.mp3


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CONTACT NAME:   Peter Borreggine

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 2, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was part of the US Navy Band in Guam. We were tasked with going to the island of Peleliu aboard the USS Peleliu is a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy, named for the Battle of Peleliu of World War II.  U.S. Marines of the 1st Marine Division, and later soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 81st Infantry Division, fought to capture an airstrip on the small coral island of Peleliu. This battle was part of a larger offensive campaign known as Operation Forager, which ran from June to November 1944, in the Pacific Theater.

I was part of the Navy Band and we played music to commemorate that battle with ADM Crowe then CINCPACFLT. A taps bugler climbed to the top of Bloody Nose Ridge.  The 5th Marines suffered over 3300 causalities. I’m writing a movie about this.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Pete Borreggine is a proud, former member of the US Navy, a service-connected disabled veteran of the pre-Gulf War era. His current projects include his debut science fiction novel under his pen name: Patrick Donovan, called: FUTURECAST. He writes reviews for the Hollywood Times that include films and documentaries from HBO Films, CBS/ALL ACCESS, ESPN Films 30 for 30, PBS.org, ID Discovery, shorts and foreign films as well as interviews with actors, producers and writers.  He’s a great storyteller and visionary. He brings his wealth of knowledge of how to piece together the stories, arcs, and characters into great stories.


COMMENTS:  

He loves creating stories with meaning and hope. For Pete, it’s about Honor, Integrity, Truth and Family.  He gets the job done, is not afraid to meet and speak to total strangers and believes in networking.  He’s a great personal guy with a big heart and understands the art of creating value for a product.  Pete is the driving force behind and the creator of Project Abaddon and the founder of WebParity.net (A WGA Signatory company).  Links to Pete’s Sites:

www.projectabaddon.com

www.webparity.net

www.peterborreggine.us

www.slated.com/films/198733/team

Who stands to benefit from my stories as with my new movie I’m working on called: The Sacred Oath, are many because to make a difference, you need to reach a wide reach to make that difference. If I just change one person’s life for the better, I’ve done my job.

SOURCE:   Yes, I'm a professional musician 50 years on the Trumpet and a screenwriter, novelist and journalist

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CONTACT NAME:   Penny Lee Deere

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 1, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

SHE IS STILL STANDING, I am Still Standing

She is still standing ~ though she has so many wounds

 ~ damage that just cannot be seen with the naked eye.  It’s all so complex: her Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD). There are the  multiple personal traumas, the combat related trauma and then there is the Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

She has endured several types of abuse; mental, emotional, physical, sexual, and child abuse which left deep scars within. She has suffered the loss of failed marriages.   She grieves for her son who died in a horrible accident that she envisions over and over in her mind. Her losses to herself and those she loves are many; illness from toxins and other unknown sources ravage her body, cancers, deadly streptococcal bacteria septic bodies, and near death experiences.

Her body has failed her. It has turned against her with all her physical issues as well as the mental illness and lapses that plaque her.

She tried coping by using alcohol but misused it she made bad choices in her relationships with partners. She acted out with bad temperament and became severely co-dependent, enabling  more mistreatment.  She has faced repeated, potentially lethal blows and has been knocked down, knocked down hard.

But… she is still standing!

Because she now has a firm foundation, she had to reach the very bottom but knew she wanted to climb up and out. So she found herself (she dug deep and found herself), she found help mentally, physically, and spiritually from many different people and places.  She started over and is not looking back.

She stays positive. She is helpful to others.  She gives back. She sustains gratefulness. She is an activist. She is constructive-not destructive. She is strong willed and spirited. She is a force to deal with. She is tough. She has ambition(or she is ambitious) . She is resourceful. She is resilient and committed. She is determined. She refuses to be stagnant. She is durable. She is secure and independent. She is incredibly creative. She is versatile and willing to work toward a greater good. She tries to remain mindful and to be thankful for “what she does have”.  She tries to be in the here and now and not dwell elsewhere.

She has built a firm foundation…and she is still standing.

I am still standing


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Iam retired Army, SFC (E7)

Started off in Woman’s Army Corps in 1975

Postal Clerk

right at the end of Vietnam era

served through Cold War

served in desert storm/desert shield , military Intelligence VII Corps, G2

became a veteran in 1995 - totally services connected disabled

 

Currently run/facilitate (Volenteer) Support Our Troops Committee/ Art4vets (community Outreach Program Zaloga Post American Legion Albany NY 12205

we are very active - find us on facebook

(607)437-1732


COMMENTS:  

I was silent for the longest time, I finally found my voice. I have a story to tell. This is help other veterans as well my self.

SOURCE:   Yes please

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CONTACT NAME:   Lord Vidar Fagerholt

DATE SUBMITTED:       November 1, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Lord

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

When I returned from North ( Serbia )  till south Mitrovica ( Kosovo ) on the Ibar Bridge we were driving in a composition between 2 ethnesitis. 2 different worlds. Only a short bridge. Still  unforegible memories and moments. My wound is still on my shoulder. I look in the mirror. Yes. I was there. And participated in rescuing lives.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

My story regards many. Not at least though   who came ” home ” but never came home.

 


COMMENTS:  

In the aftermath of the reason why I am a wounded veteran. All the medical conclusions  are being neglected by the norwegian state ( the Minister of Defense ) .

SOURCE:   Yes

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CONTACT NAME:   David Forster

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 29, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

it was 11 June 99 just a normal boy from the tyne  I  came out of training fighting fit on to my regiment chest held high not question the reason why off to war I was told to go to a land far away kosovo I heard them say  I packed my bags and said goodbye I couldn’t look my mum in the eye as a 19 year old geordie guy it was my time to go duty calls chest puffed out proud im a coldstream guardsman for crying out loud I borded the plane and my eyes filled with pride I diddnt know if I would survive but heart full of soul and filled with joy the thought of parading my medals back on guard when my duties dismissed the silver medals riding on my chest I march in the guardroom and say seargent I done my best the horrors of kosovo will stay with me  until rest but when I see what we done I can be proud we stood up to be counted and  and Pristina is now sound the people back in there homes the business are thriving and if I got the call I’d do it all again


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I

 

I’m a 41 year old veteren coldstream guards I havnt a clue about wrighting music to be honest I’m from a town called gateshead  just outside Newcastle UK I diddnt have much of an education when I left school so I left at 15 no qualifications then I served 3  years painting and decorating but wanted to see a bit of the world so joined the coldstream guards trained for 6 months learning infantry and ceremonial drills passed out of training and then in my regiment 2 weeks and was told the Irish guards were undermaned in Germany I was told I was going over to make the numbers up so I went to Germany in March 99 done extensive training then when to Macedonia in April  trained there then rolled over the border 11th June in a warrior tank never ever will have emotions like that day we went straight through to Pristina ana secured it for a 6 month tour then came back and back to my regiment then I posted to motor platoon and doing ceremonial duties in-between live fire exercises in 2000 I was posted to londonderry 2 year posting northen Ireland  i left army jan 2003 and have been diagnosed with ptsd from my active service I am now doing security and have been since 2003 working in jobcenter in gateshead


COMMENTS:  

Its just a story of a young lad getting sent to war from a poor area and just wanting to be proud make my family proud trying to make something of his life and show that you can have good times to out way the bad times and without going into detail seen a lot of bad things at the time I was  there but its what I chose to do and will always be proud of that its a brother hood and I hope other people can relate to what I am trying to express thank you for taking the time to read my story  probly would be able to write it better with a little guidance 😆

SOURCE:   Yes

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CONTACT NAME:   J. Scott Price

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 29, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

My personal story is mundane and unremarkable in every way—I was a normal Soldier who did his job to the best of his abilities, just like all the others–but I have found myself needing to tell certain deployment related stories through my poetry.

I think a couple of my published and unpublished poems can tell these stories far better than I can, and I hope you’ll consider them for this worthwhile project.  Naturally, the songwriters would not be compelled to stick exactly with my words as written, but hopefully could use them as inspiration for their own form of art.

I’ll provide links to my work that I think is best suited for this project below.  They’re all quick reads.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

After my 24-year infantryman career ended with back injury surgery complications, I was physically, mentally, and spiritually depleted, so I turned to writing as a source of growth and renewed purpose.  I plan to be a life-long apprentice in the craft of creative writing and to use my ponderings and subsequent writing as a guiderail for my continued evolution, and to humbly share what I learn along the way with others who might have interest, so that I can continue to be of service to others.


COMMENTS:  

Most of what I write about involving my military service tends to revolve around the odd, unexpected things that can happen in a war zone, and not the to-be-expected occurrences so many anticipate hearing about.  Here is a link to two such short poems that were published by the online journal The Wrath Bearing Tree

I also have written about the veteran experience, and think this short piece and poem could serve this project well.

Finally, if previously published material is for some reason not allowed for this project, I have similar unpublished poems for your consideration.

Thank you all so very much for what you’re doing with the So Proudly We Hailed Initiative.

SOURCE:   Sure, I love collaboration, but fully understand a professional would most likely be far more suited to such a task. 😊

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TITLE:   Warrior Writers October 2020 Newsletter

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CONTACT NAME:   Billie Estes

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 29, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

2005:Mobilized to Camp Airfgian Kuwait with Fleet Hospital XX 1 out of Dallas

2006: Mobilized to Camp Alisulim Kuwait, with US Navy Customs

2009: Mobilized to Haiti on the US hospital ship Comfort, hurricane relief

2010: Mobilized to Kandahar Afghanistan with NATO Role lll medical unit. Taking care of wounded from the surge off the battle field.

2011-2012: Moblized to Landstuhl Germany, LPO of medical clinic and writing orders to send wounded back state side.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I published a poem

COT

Blood ran down the cot

not one drop but a lot

bright red or dark pooled on the deck

Cannot wash the odor of blood off the cot

brother, father

sister, mother

who was last?

on the cot.

I’ve seen a lot in my life. As a mother wife ,nurse and a Navy Corpsman. Bilaterally ampetee’s, legs look like crushed hamburger meat. Putting lipstick on your lips and perfume and a  smile on your face not showing the pain and dismay of battle injuries.

Handing the phone ,to them so they can call their families, and hear them saying ,mom ,dad, wife I’m fine.  Putting on the strong voice,when in reality they are missing limbs,sight, but their fine strong men and women fighting for our freedom.

Then standing at attention, with a deceased soldier in a body bag,being sent to the morgue. Then in a flag covered casket in route on an enrap,to the C130 headed back state side.

The old lady looking towards Haiti wanting to stay on the ship and not go back to the destruction of her island from the hurricane.

NATO Role lll, we were a awsome and decorated unit, from the surgeon’s  nurses,corpsman logistics.  Taking care of ours and theirs children ,animals. Memories we shall never forget. And especially all the blood every where. Pooling on the deck and cots

 


COMMENTS:  

I joined the Navy just before my husband died. I was 35, I had 5 children but had lost a baby girl. I knew I would stay in the Navy and retire. And I did. Have been a LPN from 1984 to present.  My heart goes out to the sick. My mother left me when I was 2. I was abused as a child. This just made me a stronger person. If we will focus on others and not on ourselves we can make it.

This is what I have done all my life. Lost a 29 year old daughter to suicide. I want to tell my story to let evey one you too can make it. Believe in God Country and yourself!

 

SOURCE:   Not sure

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CONTACT NAME:   Frank Taylor

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 29, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  

Army Veteran 1966-68. Purple Heart Vietnam


COMMENTS:  

Current medical journey.

SOURCE:   Yes

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Mass-at-Skull-Base.mp3


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CONTACT NAME:   Mia Rivera

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 28, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Hi There!  My name is Mia Rivera (a/k/a Mia Garitano-Rivera) and I am proud U.S. Army Veteran who now happens to be a filmmaker, however I’ve been writing songs for many, many years…  My story is already in the form of a song, and I’m singing it…  It’s called, “Be All I Can Be” and I’m attaching the MP3 and lyrics here:

“Be All I Can Be”

©Mia Garitano-Rivera 

cell: (818)523-2980 / home: (805)485-2123

 

VERSE 1:       I always was a shy girl

                        Afraid to dream out loud

                        I was told, “Baby, it’s a man’s world”

                        “So you better keep your feet on the ground”

BUILD:           But these dreams they keep me up at night

                        If they’re so wrong, why’s it feel so right

                        To wanna set my sights up high?

                        Don’t know how far I’ll get, but I’ll never know till I try, to-

CHORUS:       Be All I Can Be

                        Give it everything I’ve got

                        Forget the doubts in me

                        When it’s time I take my shot, to

                        Be All I Can Be

                        I’m gonna show ‘em what I’m made of

                        Forever ain’t long enough to make me give up

                        ‘Cause my destiny says to me

                        Be All I Can Be, Be All I Can Be

VERSE 2:       I know in times of trouble

                        There’s one thing I can hold on to

                        It’s that little voice deep inside me

                        Sayin’, “Don’t you  dare give up, you owe it to you”

BUILD:           So I pick myself up and I go on

                        Gotta keep moving ‘cause the road is long

                        What’s a little blood, sweat and tears

                        On my journey to conquer all of my fears, to-

CHORUS

BRIDGE:        The next time that I find myself feelin’

                        Locked up in a room with a glass ceilin’

                        I think I’ll think outside of the box

            Until I find a way, until I find a way to break that lock and believe that I can

CHORUS, CHORUS


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am a survivor, thriver, veteran, student, teacher, champion, creative and so many other things…


COMMENTS:  

I think that people may relate to this song, this story, because we’re all striving to do or be something greater than we are and there are always obstacles unfortunately…  This song talks about not knowing how far I’ll get, but being willing to give it everything I have to “Be All I Can Be” which just so happens to be one of the Army’s old slogans…

SOURCE:   Yes

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CONTACT NAME:   Jeffrey Golden

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 28, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

So, I’m a two-time graduate of the Jungle Operations Training Course back when it was at Ft. Sherman in Panama.  The first time I went, I fell asleep on a cutter ant trail, and woke up covered in ant bites because these little bastards were trying to get me to move.  The second time I went, I was on a demo range (wearing gloves) when my hands felt like they were on fire, because (somehow) I was attacked by fire ants.  I had to scream at my platoon to get the fuck out of there because I could’ve blown them up.  Anyway… me, ants, lots of problems.  That’s my story.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I’m an introvert who joined the US Army Airborne in an attempt to become Rambo, and then I realized just how friggin’ becoming Rambo is, so I stopped at Airborne.


COMMENTS:  

It’s a quirky story that most people (including veterans and active duty) wouldn’t expect.  I mean, WHO ACCOUNTS FOR ANTS IN TRAINING???  It’ll make people laugh, and veterans need to laugh.

SOURCE:   Yes, but if someone's better than I am, I have no problems stepping aside.

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CONTACT NAME:   Elliott McKenzie

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 27, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

USMC Iraq War Veteran who struggled with severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD after leaving service. Ended up homeless and suicidal with zero direction in life. Was sleeping in my car then went to transitional housing. Ended up getting therapy, getting my life back in order, and even graduating from college with my BA after dropping out. Using music as therapy, I have been able to save my own life. Now, I’m a globally known recording artist, college graduate, and successful Veteran inspiring others to change their lives as well.

www.elliottmckenzie.com


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I was born addicted to drugs & alcohol because my birth mother was a drug addict and alcoholic. She was found unfit to mother and I was taken from her at birth. I was adopted at 8 months old from foster care and raised by an amazing single mother who also adopted 2 other children, making me the youngest of 3. Struggled with ADHD during childhood. Failed multiple classes in high school and nearly didn’t graduate. Joined the Marines five days after graduation. Served in Presidential Support, the infantry, and infantry operations. Deployed to Iraq and Japan.

www.elliottmckenzie.com


COMMENTS:  

My story can be used as a source of inspiration for others who also might be struggling. I went from suicidal, homeless, lost, and feeling like I had no chance in life to being college educated, successful, and having my own apartment for 10 years now, all through the power of music therapy. I was able to use my talents in music to overcome PTSD and depression and find my way out of the dark tunnel I was in. From sleeping in my car to sleeping in my own bed and financially stable for 10  years now while also being able to continue to use music as therapy not only for myself but also for others.

www.elliottmckenzie.com

SOURCE:   I would like to collaborate with your songwriters to create mine. Yes, I could do it on my own but I enjoy working with other musicians and think it would be unique to collaborate for this.

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CONTACT NAME:   Steve Bingley

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 27, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

COMBAT STRESS POEM, my name is Steve Bing

I was diagnosed with PTSD

3 years ago at a point in my life where I had lost the person I was and the person you see now.

I wrote This when encouraged to do so on an intensive treatment programme for PTSD at Combat Stress..

Come on! “PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER ” Is the standard army cry

If you don’t do it this way then in battle you will die. 

Every military lesson has a beginning middle and end.

Starting with an intro with “that”clear message for you my friend.

You’ll learn tactics, Technics and procedures for every possible event. From the use of bayonets in mine fields to sucking chest wounds that need to vent.

You do it this way in the jungle and that way in the street which ever way you’ll do it you’ll need to watch where you put your feet.

You’ll be highly vigilant in spotting the parts IED,s,

Finger searching ground sign with a bayonet on your knees. 

It doesn’t matter where you are, the training is all the same,

You’re told “Do it right” or get a projectile through your brain.

Falklands, Belfast, Vitez, Bagdad, Basra, Kjaki and Sangin. 

War for me got real at the prime age of 13.

My brother  Gaz was killed by an Argie machine gunner.

At 16  joined up Just as 10  TA were smashed up in the back of a four tonner, 

Not long after Stranglers  driver was squashed in an upturned fox.

Then a Duke was crushed by two tanks like a nut between two rocks. 

Shirty took a hit In Belfast, I was so glad it wasn’t me,

Two Dogs were ran over by police men ,  something They didn’t need to do and At 18 I didn’t need to see. 

Nobby got it in the face with a shotgun at 10ft.

A coffee jar bomb just missed us and at the time thought that it was neat.

Spottiswood hung himself, 

It was not a pretty sight and Carny Put a bullet in his own face in the  in the middle of the night. 

The medic was hit in Bosnia he lost his leg above the knee.

The blast smacked me in the face and for a moment, 

I couldn’t see.

My mouth was filled with blood and soil and i looked to find some cover.

I fled through the minefield like an injured child looking for his mother.

Iraq had its share of bombs , ambush and rocket attacks.

Hoping they landed somewhere else  belly down exposing our vulnerable backs.

Luck ran out for Mac one day as a projectile cut through the front.

Mr Ali lost his hand and now shakes  with a rounded stump.

Young Simpson , only 18, died that day, which made it really hard for all bare,

I relive this  incident through my friend Mac, although this time I was not there. 


Afghan was the worst of all with an enemy hard to see.

I had a team of soldiers all looking up to me.

I Promised I would get them home  with past knowledge I had learned.

But spending 6 months in that place,  you can’t help but get guys burned. 


Our second patrol was hit real hard , but injuries were few. 

But on that day Taff succumbed  to combat shock and eventually homeward bound he flew.


When the COs  group got took down, others too were in the blast.

It’s no surprise with news this big that rumours travel fast.  


We sat around the radio waiting for news it wasn’t true,

I was hard to hold the team together and make them believe it wont happen to me or you.

Every PB had its hits and in.  these few days it was our turn , a full on enemy attack and our lives we had to earn.


A Five man sniper team targets us and attacks were getting more. 

We were lucky over several weeks , but now casualties had reached  4.

Three of our afghan troops were downed, hit  in the neck and in the head.

A suicide bomber got through the lines and our Afghan commander wound up dead.

Victim operated booby traps were regular as stepping out of the front door, 

We got numb to the possibility of getting hit once more.

 6 hard months passed, the focus was on getting out and the snipers thought they’d won.

He’d caused us to much damage and for them we were not done.


The only way to deal with this was to give a target for them to shoot,

Finally get them spotted , send in the apache guns and give these guys the boot.

I could not give the job of decoy to my member of my team 

So i did the job myself although, i was not keen. 

The tactic worked and hell rained down on men , that are no more,

I felt good to imagine the look on their face  at the last thing  that they saw.

Our Patrol base neighbours got hit real bad in the few weeks still to go, 

,but for us it was a quite patch, just an ambush and an device that didn’t blow.

Ginger Simmo, volunteered to stay and put his demons back to bed , but lost his legs and his arm, they said he was lucky he wasn’t dead!!!!

My time was done, but was asked to help the next lot train and prepare. 

But my soul cracked as six were killed  - and I wished that I was there.

Then news came through that my friend Gaz got a bullet in the back,

from the  Afghan policeman he was helping to get his county back on track.

These are just the ones I knew, there are lots more that I’m aware. 

None of them are any less important and it’s not that I don’t care. 

I didn’t know the others and have no fond memory to reflect,

But that doesn’t stop the feeling inside that I owe them all a massive debt.

The struggle and the fight today is not from what we’ve done, 

But in the  lingering sickness and legacy and of what I

have become.

I cant listen to those whinging souls who think their life is so bad , I tire of them  complaining that our great country makes them sad.

When you live in places that war has touched and see those live in horror and blind panic , I putt my head into my hands cos their selfish values make me sick. 


To you this is a story, it’s  sounds like a fant-asy , 

but to me these are my memories my journey it’s all part of me.


I don’t deserve your thanks or gratitude and  don’t need for you to pay , for I am not a hero I was just made to be this way. 

I’m not trained to express emotions, sadness, sympathy or vulnerability, 

These are feelings I need none, 

It’s  more useful 

To deal with anger as it suppresses and gets the job done.

It’s not that I’m tough or that I have lost sight,

I just can’t help but get stressed and anxious as I go into fight or flight. 

All I would humbly ask of you,  is that you try to understand , 

As I look you in the eyes when I hold or shake your hand. 


It is me that must apologise and humbly ask for you to try, 

Just dismiss the foolish soldier that gets angry instead of you seeing him cry.

Steve Bing 2017 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

25 years adult service 1987-2012

Sniper instructor

Tactics instructor

Counter insurgence advisor

infantry weapons instructor

recruit trainer

iraq army mentor

Afghan army mentor Yours

Northern Ireland Belfast x2

Bosnia

Siera Leonne

Iraq

afghanistan x2


COMMENTS:  

A story of coming from a tough poor background at school I learned to fight because we were a poor family and bullied. School records show  that I was never going to be anyone. I am now a self employed builder working and living well with a beautiful lady by my side,  we are both working hard overcome the injurys suffered from my past , to better ourselves for a future dream of a small holding piece of land away from the city crowds and the noise of life .

SOURCE:   Why the hell not , it would be just another adventure

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CONTACT NAME:   Michael Lockwood

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 26, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

The beginning of our relationship:
In the fall of 1990, I attended the Transportation Officer Basic Course in Fort Eustis, Virginia. This is where I met my wife to be. My first impression during the classroom introductions is that she was stuck up. I later found out that her first impression of me was that I was too ‘Gung Ho”. Just before Christmas, I was in the holiday spirit and came into class in a good mood. As I passed Kim’s chair, I impulsively put my arm around her and sang “Merry Christmas darling” and then moved on to take my seat, which was in the front of the class on the right. Little did I know that this act was a catalyst for our future relationship.
I took several days off during the Christmas holiday and visited a friend in New Jersey, arriving back at base on New Years’ Eve Day. It wasn’t long, I guess, that Kim had found out that I was back from my leave, and she knocked on my barracks door. She invited me to a New Year’s Eve party at the Officer’s Club on base. She was on a mission to get her New Years’ Eve Kiss (which she got).
After graduation, Kim received orders to Fort Polk, LA. Since I was in the Washington National Guard at he time, I did not have to return home immediately, and I took a road trip with her to get her settled in, stopping at Helen, GA, New Orleans, and Houma, LA, along the way. I asked her to marry me that spring with a future date to be determined. I returned to WA because I still had an obligation to my National Guard Unit. Throughout the spring and summer of 1990, I made several trips back to Fort Polk to visit using the Military Space-A program to get free flights into Alexandria and Barksdale, LA. On one of my trips there, Kim informed me that her unit would be deployed to Saudi Arabia to support Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Her unit was a light-medium truck company. I decided then that I would return to LA permanently, and I would transfer to a Louisiana National Guard Unit. This would allow me to set up a household for us while she was away. Unbeknownst to me, the Unit I transferred to was also scheduled to deploy to Saudi Arabia.
Potential Story 1: The Marriage:
We decided to get married before her unit departed and so found a Justice of the peace from the LaSalle Parish list. We chose one close to the base’s back in a little town called Pitkin and made an appointment.
We arrived at about 10:00, on the 31st of Aug 1990, with Kim’s mom, brother, and sister in tow, along with several unit members, including her company commander (in uniform). The house was a rundown single-story house hidden directly behind a local country bar near the national forest, with no other surrounding buildings in sight. We knocked on the door; an old man answered the door and greeted us with a hacking cough. He promptly ushered us into a dark living room with old furniture and a single chair to the right-angled in front of a short hallway leading to the rest of the house. The old man left us standing in the living room and went to the kitchen off to the left, where we could see that he was checking biscuits that were cooking in the oven while he continued to cough.
While we were waiting, Kim’s brother was crawling around on the dusty hardwood floor. Kim’s mom, asked what he was doing. It turns out he had dropped the ring and was now trying to find it. Kim’s company commander had sat down on the only chair.
Kim’s brother (Doug) found the ring just as an old woman entered the living room from the hallway and, noticing Kim’s boss sitting in the chair abruptly informed him that it was her chair and that he needed to get out of it. CPT Minzer stood up and she slowly sat down.
“Who’s getting married?” she asked. Kim and I indicated we were as handed her the license.
She looks at us, and unceremoniously asks, “You wanna be married to her?” “Yes”, I said “You wanna be married to him?” “Yes”, Kim said. “Okay sign here”. Kim and I signed the certificate as well as she, and then she says, “Okay, ya’ll are married, you want me to read something from the bible for you?” Kim and I say sure.
The old woman takes a large tome of a bible she had on her lap, fans the pages with her thumb, and states, “I can’t find anything right now, but ya’ll come back and I will read you something later”.

Potential Story 2: Finding my bride:
After we were wed, and a short honeymoon in New Orleans, It was back to work for Kim. She finally departed for Saudi Arabia in September. Being newlyweds we of course called each other and sent letters to each other quite frequently. My unit deployed in November. I was on the advance party and arrived before the main portion of the company, I was actually on a large cargo plane during thanksgiving having a boxed meal for my thanksgiving dinner. I prepared for the main body’s arrival by getting assigned sleeping arrangements settled at the Daharan airport. Once the mainbody arrived, and I got them settled in and with our equipment not expected to arrive for another two weeks, were going to have some down time. So, I looked at my company commander and matter of factly stated “See you later Sir, I am going to find my wife”. I saluted and walked out to the main road and stuck my thumb out for a ride. Not, long a small white Toyota truck stops and I crowd in the front with two Saudi soldiers from an artillery unit, and tell them to “just take me to where there are more americans” after about 30 minutes they drop me off in front of the gate of another compound and I ask the gate guard if this was “cement city” which is where my wifes unit was assigned. He said no and pointed to another compound across a long barren field stating that it was that way. I caught a ride in the back of a 21/2 ton truck. I walked into the compound asking where the 603rd truck company was, and ended up walking into their motorpool. Talking to one of the soldiers, my wife walks up behind me and she has tears in her eyes because she was so happy to see me and I was really happy to see her. I didn’t show back up to my unit for two day😊

Potential story 3: Midnight at the oasis – or- An international incident (almost)
After the actual 3 day war, things settled into a routine. Kims unit was back in Daharan and mine was in King Kaled Military City. Just before easter I decided to surprise Kim and drove the 6 hours to Daharan and approached her company commander asking if I could take Kim away for the Easter holiday. With a frown he agreed, and I found Kim and told her what was going on. So we went to a really ritzy hotel in Dammam. While expensive, it was well secured. It seemed like there was an armed Saudi Soldier on every floor. I rented a small white Toyota during this time period also. I often tell folks that we had our honeymoon in Saudi arabia. However, the hotel was really expensive and as second-lieutenants we didn’t have a lot of money. So after three nights in the hotel, with great food and lots of time in the room😊. I decide we should check out and spend our last evening somewhere in the desert clearly away from the city and anybody else for that matter. The desert was beautiful at night. Surrounded by palm trees and huge expansive starlit skies I laid a couple of blankets down in the sand. It wasn’t long that we had set uniforms aside and began to enjoy one another as young lovers do. We were definitely not in a position to welcome visitors if you get my drift. However, during our engagement a car drove by our car, spotting it it stopped backed up and came closer shining its headlights on our car then backing up shined its headlights directly on us. It was a good thing that we had a blanket on top of us😉.
Both doors of the vehicle opened and to figures emerged with pistols drawn. I recall the pistols seemed to be of a revolver type with a long skinny barrel. The two figures we perfectly silhouetted in the headlights as were their pistols. One of the figures began to walk towards us, Kim began panic frantically whispering to me several times…” you gotta get me out of this”. I remember saying okay, okay. As the figure approached I called out “hello”. He stopped: “Oh, you are Americans?”
I said “Yes, this is my wife”.
He ordered: “Get up and come here”
I responded from my prone position “You go over there (I waved towards his vehicle), I will get up and get dressed and come over”. He retreated to the car and waited while I got dressed ensuring that Kims form remained obsucured by the blanket. I approached the two men in who I now saw were in some sort of security or police uniform. The one who spoke the first time, spoke again. You stupid Americans, many Saudis come here and why did you say this was your wife. This is not your wife!
I countered as respectfully as I could for a cocky young man. “Yes she is my wife”. I called to Kim and told her bring me her ID so I could show him (she had already gotten dressed except for her uniform top). After a minute of searching, Kim called back frantically, “I can’t find it, I must have left it back at the compound”. I could hear the continued panic in her voice. So I told her to bring me her uniform top so that he could compare the two last names in hopes that he could read English. The officer glanced down quickly as if to say “whatever”. Then began to tell me. “Do you realize you could be flogged for this or your hand removed”.
I decided to take the humble approach, “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t realize many Saudis came here” as I glanced around a the predominantly open expanse of desert and not another single vehicle or camel in sight😊.
He holstered his pistol as did the other man and looked at me and said: Don’t be sorry me…be sorry for you. ( I think there was a translation issue with the word sorry here). Do not tell anyone I let you go. They got in their car and left and Kim and I packed up and headed to her compound. It was not till later that I realized which that these were the Saudi religious police or “Mutaween” who are responsible for maintain the public adherence to religious Islamic principles. Needless to say, Kim and I kept any further escapades to the hidden corners or vehicles on the safe space of the American compounds😊


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I joined that Army in July of 1980 and served for almost 40 years. I started as a private and retired as a Colonel. If you need more bio info I can send it along.
My wife was also in the military are served for 10 years as an officer. Finally, getting out to homeschool our two boys in 1998. Both of us are Desert Storm veterans. Attached are some snippets from how we met and a couple of stories that lead up to our “Honeymoon in Desert Storm”. If you have specific questions or need other details, feel free to reach out.


COMMENTS:  

Hello. I am Retired Colonel Michael Lockwood. I retired from the Army about a year and a half ago. I saw your facebook message looking for stories you might like to turn into short musicals. I have always been a musical fan. I even did some theater in college as well as in my local community theater. I thought this would be a fun project and thought I might have something that might be of interest to you. While I am not sure exactly what kind of stories you are looking for. I thought you might want something a little lighter.

SOURCE:   Sure, why not

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CONTACT NAME:   Morgan John Dally

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 26, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I am a Royal Air Force veteran from the UK. In 2012, the day after normal PT duty, i woke up with crippling back pain that left me on two crutches and medically discharged from the RAF addicted to opioid medication. During the 2 year process of my medical discharge I also found out that my wife had been cheating on my whilst she was deployed in the middle east with the RAF. 2014 became the worst year of my life. Since then, I have managed to come off all my medication despite the daily pain and start a successful career as an IT Manager in a large corporate veterinary company, have 2 wonderful children with a wonderful partner and a finally starting to enjoy life again for the first time in 8 years. I take part in the Invictus games and am still hoping to become part of the team one year, I have taken up skiing thanks to two amazing veteran charities (Supporting Wounded Veterans and Help for Heroes) and I gained a silver medal at the British Indoor Rowing Championships in 2019.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Born in 1984, my mother was from an RAF family and my father was in the Merchant Navy. I quit college in 2003 and joined the RAF in 2004. I served 10 years including a tour at Al Udeid USAF base in Qatar and in Khandahar, Afghanistan. My back injury occurred in 2012 and has left me with multi-level disc bulging, nerve damage, nerve compression and sciatica.

I have two children, an 8 year old who is my step-daughter named Allana and my 3 year old named Olivia. I share my children with my partner Emma.

 


COMMENTS:  

I would be honoured if this story was chosen as speaking about what happened to me has helped my mental health improve every day and makes me realise that despite our horrendous low points, life can always improve.

I make a point of speaking to other veterans and not only telling my story but listening to theirs. The veteran community has become such a huge part of my life and if my story can help anyone realise that even at their lowest, life can always get better then I class myself as lucky to have suffered my injury and overcoming it to the best of my ability.

Life is what we make it, every day. Despite setbacks, despite horrendous things happening to us, we must focus on the future and fight to make it better, not just for ourselves but for everyone.

SOURCE:   No thank you.

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TITLE:   Through the Invictus Games app.

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CONTACT NAME:   Jennifer Figueroa

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 25, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Hello, 

My name is Jennifer Figueroa. I am USAF Veteran. My story has gone unnoticed and hidden and shameful for years, many, many years. I feel that know everyone knows about PTSD, and other Mental problems Veterans go through, they often have endured, MST- Military Sexual Trauma. ( I didn’t even know their was a name for it either.)

But I was young, overseas, gave my heart and left everything to start a new life in the Military. A few months into my journey, I was lost, raped by two Captains and thrown into a ditch, woke up, wet, alone, scared and afraid. I went home to my apartment and took a shower in bleach. I went to counseling, I told the Doctor, he said it would be best I didn’t share this with anyone and we could out- process me. I really had no idea what was going on. I became a downward spiral and began self harming myself in Alcohol. It was normal over in Germany . My story is tell, don’t be afraid, don’t suffer in silence, I tried to kill myself, until one day I received help from a Angel at the VA hospital, 15 years later, I self harmed, stayed in bad relationships and beat myself up mentally. I am now no longer ashamed of me, I am a proud USAF disabled female Veteran.

Thank you for allowing me to tell my story as we should no longer be ashamed, I am worthy and I will help others.

Jenn Figueroa


BIOGRAPHIES:  

USAF- Jan. 17-2000- March 19,2002

I was also in during 911

I am now in the DAV, Disabled American Veterans

Womans Veterans Organization in NorthEast Ohio

Austintown-Veteran of Foreign Wars

Member- Amvets Struthers, Ohio

Mother of 2 Children, wife

College graduate- Youngstown State University Bachelors Degree


COMMENTS:  

For others not be ashamed anymore, to get the help you need, to keep advocating for yourself because no one will do it better than ourselves.

SOURCE:   yes

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CONTACT NAME:   Carol Thompson

DATE SUBMITTED:       October 21, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I enlisted in the days where it was transitional from WAC to regular Army. I was in the Engineer Corps. Not very many women. It was very very hard. I was sexually harassed and abused but I was not going to let that stop me!  I made Soldier of the quarter- got to to East Berlin while still a divided country. Made Sgt E -5 in two years. Not an easy task but I wanted to be a soldier!  I was 17 when I enlisted and had to get my grandparents to sign. Graduated high on Friday was on bus to process on Monday!  It was this small town farm girls first time on plane!  And away from home!  What an adjustment


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Small town farm girl. Raised by grandparents. We were dairy farmers. Farm has been in family over 100 years!  My best friends were my pets because we lived so far away from someone else. Party line on phone. Had chores to do before and after school


COMMENTS:  

Many have forgotten where women veterans started from!  I bet you have no idea what a WAC, WAVE or WAF is?  It’s our history. When I was in women had NOONE to go to for help with sexual assault. We got even more abuse is we reported. Or even discharged!

SOURCE:   Nope absolutely not

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CONTACT NAME:   Victor Hurtado

DATE SUBMITTED:       August 9, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I joined the Army and used my music and acting to entertain my fellow Soldiers and later became a cast member in the U.S. Army Soldier Show which allowed me to expand to entertaining Soldiers around the world.  I got out of the Army and ten years later I was called to direct and write the Soldier Show.  My life has been dedicated to helping military members in as many ways as possible with the Arts.  Carrying on Irving Berlin’s legacy (He created the Soldier Show) has not been a heavy burden.  I have found solace in the similarities of situations in the military at different times valuable in how I am able to help.  I’ve sat with an Infantry Soldier when he’s received deployment orders and doesn’t flinch.  I’ve also witnessed that same Soldier have to be comforted when I let him know he was no longer in a scene or doing a song.  Exploring the differences and similarities that exist between artistic courage and bravery is fascinating.  Being able to tell stories has helped me with my own PTSD and Military Sexual Trauma.  The story would center around a passionate group of veterans who connect through creativity.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Victor Hurtado is a first generation Mexican American Gay Disabled Veteran who has always used music and theatre arts to bring people a message of hope.  He enlisted in the Army in 1984 and was stationed in an artillery unit.  While in that unit, Victor not only did his job as a Soldier, but was often asked to put together music for the unit and the battalion both on base and in the field.  He served for 6 years and moved back to California to go to school.  While there he worked on various musical projects including The Sounds Of Christmas Unity with Kenny Loggins.  In 2001 he was called to be the Artistic Director for Army Entertainment and the United States Army Soldier Show, a touring show started by SGT Irving Berlin in 1918 that provided “Entertainment by the Soldier, For the Soldier.  Most recently he produced “The Blue Print Specials” presenting shows written by then PFC Frank Loesser with Waterwell and the Public Theatre in New York and is currently on the Secretary of the Army’s Staff.  He created the American Military Spouses Choir as well as the group 4TROOPS for Sony Music.  Victor has a passion for cultivating generosity in both his performance and those that he directs.  This desire to help others is what has kept him alive through the difficult process of healing from complex PTSD.


COMMENTS:  

Anyone that is struggling or has struggled with consistent trauma, I believe, will find strength in the fact that I am still on this earth.  They can see themselves as a beautiful miracle that has overcome the damage others have imposed.  I believe there is a parallel between the dedication that it takes to be an artist, face rejection, and keep going and surviving trauma.  Illustrate the value of art beyond entertainment.  The ripples that happen when other Veterans experience your art.  Being able to create and perform are the anchors that have kept me here and have helped me keep going and staying alive.  Maybe the stories of what Veterans leave with that I have no idea I’ve given them and the difference it makes in their lives and their sense of faith and hope.

SOURCE:   Yes

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TITLE:   From Justin Hudnall in a Veterans playwriting workshop with La Jolla Playhouse

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CONTACT NAME:   Katie Brady submitting on behalf of David Ramsey

DATE SUBMITTED:       August 1, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Note: This couple is in their 90s.  I tried to get all the requirements to submit, but it was tough during covid to get a recording.  If they are chosen I will get one.  Also, I know this is longer than 200 words, but it is two stories combined: that of the veteran and that of his spouse who in my opinion is just as much a veteran.

Love Language

Both in their nineties, Admiral David Ramsey and his wife Nancy have maintained their contagious senses of humor and their love for each other.  Nothing has pulled them apart, not countless navy relocations, not all of David’s many deployments, not even the two wars he fought in.  And that love is pleasantly apparent as I sit down to ask them about David’s climb from Ensign to Admiral.  But it’s hard to get any information from this decorated hero.  He just humbly turns the attention back to his wife.  “She was a concert pianist before I took her into a life of boredom,” he tells you in his wonderful Virginia drawl.  Then he’ll tell you how great Nancy is at making friends and how Nancy even became an honorary member of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra when they were stationed there.

 

As Nancy chimes in slight additions or corrections to the story here and there, David will tell how Nancy befriended a talented young viola player named JiaoYu and the rest of the Beijing Symphony.  Nancy and David had just moved to Beijing for his new position: Defense Attaché.  They were walking into a department store and JiaoYu was walking out.   The only thing that drew Nancy’s attention to him from the hundreds of other Chinese people was the viola case he was carrying.  “So, in true Nancy fashion,” David says, smiling. “She struck up a conversation with him.”  Nancy and David, both Virginia-born and bred, had learned Mandarin in advance of this relocation and Nancy was fluent enough to hold her own.  Before you knew it, JiaoYu had introduced Nancy to the entire orchestra. They became instant friends.  She would have them over and they would play and she would feed them.  They even held a special seat for her at their performances.  David jests that one time he came home to find members of the orchestra filling their apartment and Nancy shooed him away telling him he needed to come back later because he didn’t fit in with the crowd.  “Where’d you go?,” I asked.  “The library,” answered David.

And after this wonderful story, Admiral David Ramsey will get around to telling you that he has fought in two wars – Vietnam and Korea. That he’s commanded ships and been responsible for thousands of soldiers’ lives.  You’ll also learn that David had the scariest fifteen minutes of his life as a commander of a battleship in Vietnam. In fact, David can still tell you exactly how many men were on board that battleship (name of battleship?) – 278. He knows this because that’s how many men he would have lost that awful day as an electrical fire broke out in a compartment near some white phosphorus shells, a very powerful explosive.  But he won’t dwell on that.  David loved his time working on ships.  I asked if he would ever want to take a cruise.  “I don’t want to be a passenger; I want to work on the ship.  I’d still be in the navy if they’d have me,” he said.  In fact, since joining in 1948, David has worked every job on a ship except doctor and supply manager.  His favorite jobs? Chief engineer and navigator. As navigator, David learned how to ‘shoot the stars’ which means taking the coordinates of the stars throughout the day to stay on course. He also learned that a course is never just a straight line, it’s a curve with little straight lines in between each point. I like the image of Dave and Nancy’s life being like a big, smiling curve with hard working little straight lines connecting the dots.

 

 

 

 

 

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Born and raised on a farm in Penhook, Virginia, David Goggin Ramsey saw his first naval vessel docked in Norfolk and fell in love with ships. Graduating from high school at fifteen, he began hauling cordwood, but his passion for ships led him and a close friend to enlist in the Navy. His father disapproved, believing he was throwing his life away on a dream. From that, a gauntlet had been thrown down.

A week later Ramsey was disallowed to “join up” due to underage. He subsequently enrolled in Lynchburg College and, upon turning seventeen, again enlisted in the Navy. Invited to join the “V6 Program,” Ramsey, unfamiliar with the program, inquired about its merits. The answer: the program would allow him to complete his education, earn a little money, eat good chow, and become an officer in the Navy. He immediately agreed.

Still opposed to his son joining the navy, Ramsey’s father opined that he would be lucky to make Chief. History was to prove just how much a father underestimated his son’s true character.

Commissioned an Ensign in June 1951, his junior officer experience included service in destroyers and amphibious ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. During these years he served in the Gunnery, Engineering, and Operations Departments. While on sea duty, Ramsey was informed that if he attended post graduate school and graduated in the top 10 percent, he could receive orders as Assistance Naval Attaché in Hong Kong. Decision made and excelling in graduate school, Ramsey subsequently became the Assistant Naval Attaché.

He then served as Executive Officer USS Brush (DD-745) before assuming command of USS Preston (DD-795) in 1967. Under his command, Preston completed two combat deployments and saved numerous Vietnamese and Southeast Asian war refugees. Following service as Plans Officer for the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon, Ramsey became Assistant Chief of Staff for UN Command/US Forces Korea.

Returning to sea, he advanced from Commanding Officer of USS Vancouver (LPD-2) to Commodore Amphibious Squadron Five/Three, and upon promotion to Rear Admiral in 1979, command of Amphibious Group Eastern Pacific. This was followed by assignment as Defense Attaché, Beijing, China.

Ramsey culminated his career as Deputy Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet. His awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Navy Commendation Medal, the latter two with Combat “V.”

Upon retiring in 1989, Ramsey founded Marine Safety International San Diego, taught ship handling for 17 years, and volunteered to provide transitional housing for San Diego’s homeless population. Ramsey and his wife of 66 years, Nancy, have two children—Lynne and Richmond, four grandchildren, and one great grandson. Lynne, a graduate of the Julliard School of music, is presently First Assistant Principal Violist with The Cleveland Orchestra. Richmond graduated from UCLA engineering and is currently Vice President of Portfolio Strategy for Siemens.

People were always the Admiral’s first priority—a mindset underpinning his success as a naval officer and in everyday life. (again, sorry it’s so long, I pulled it from his bio for the Avenue of Heroes in Coronado)


COMMENTS:  

This couple is an inspiration.  They still take care of their own yard, still watch people’s dogs when they go on vacation and still laugh constantly even as they experience the maladies of age.  They befriend everyone who enters their neighborhood and treats them like old friends.  I believe that the military formed them into who they are.  We know so many stories of people who have been somehow damaged by their military experience (understandably) but I thought it might be nice to also see the positive power of a formative experience.  The submission process was too involved for them to do it on their own (not that they couldn’t have, they just wouldn’t have), so thank you for letting me submit on their behalf.  I’ll happily give you their contact info if you need it.

 

 

SOURCE:   They would not like to be the script writer or composer.

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CONTACT NAME:   Jean Noel Ruhland

DATE SUBMITTED:       August 1, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Five foot five and I weighed a buck twenty five, blond hair, blue gray eyes and female all day long.

“Do you have one of those in your backyard?” the drill sergeant asked when I got out of the fox hole after firing the M60. The M60 is a massive machine gun that the trigger should only be held down on for shortish bursts so the barrel doesn’t overheat and/or burn your hands. All the other soldiers were taking very, very short bursts not holding down the trigger at all. I observed this as I was waiting my turn in full muddy MOPP gear as it was raining on the range. I slowly climbed into the cozily dug hole and held down that trigger for as long as I wanted. I godda admit, it was fun. I knew my chances of having my hands on a weapon like that again were probably zero, so that was my chance. Aiming at the cinder block wall was not hard. What was difficult was wiping the giant grin off my face when my drill sergeant asked me “you got one of those in you backyard?” No, no I don’t drill sergeant.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

200 words to describe one’s personal history. Yikes. Born in Madison, Wisconsin. Parents split when I was three. Had the best of both worlds: Mom’s house was in the city; Dad’s house was a farm. I played and played and played outside for hours and hours and hours. Skinned knees while riding bicycles or climbing trees. It didn’t matter which, I wore each scar as a badge of honor. I was an Olympic caliber gymnast until one of my fingers got caught in a car door on the way to the State Meet. I had been working all my life towards that, at the ripe age of 13 and nothing was the same afterwards. I was a soccer playing beast for a couple of years and then my Mom got a job in Durango, Colorado and again, my life was never the same again. I took theater to waive the speech and debate High School requirement and got slightly bit by “the bug” although I never wanted to admit it. I’ve always been quite shy. I lived in New York City for 12 years. I’ve been a Chinook Helicopter Mechanic in the Army. I’m starting Graduate school in Creative Writing.


COMMENTS:  

I want people to truly not judge a book by its cover.

I had always been called “cute” up through at least my late twenties if not early thirties. It has been constant annoyance to me because from day one I have always felt like a bad ass inside. My family has infinitely treated me like I could do anything and they admired me for it.
I was a toe-headed tomboy who loved purple and pink and wore dresses while climbing trees. I can see how outsiders saw me as “cute” but they were mistaken if they tried to reduce me to just that. I was never trying to prove myself or prove anything. I was just being me and doing whatever I wanted to do.

I was even called “cute” while in full Army uniform and MOPP gear with a weapon in my hands. I hated it. No one deserves to be subjugated like that. I want to tell this story to show that even “cute” on the outside can equal badass on the inside. Soldiers come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes we look like teddy bears but can annihilate you with one look like Chucky.

SOURCE:   Sure, for script writing.

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VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/yDMID-8ChQ8



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TITLE:   Keith Jeffereys from USVAA

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CONTACT NAME:   David Hernandez

DATE SUBMITTED:       August 1, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

1970, the central highlands of Vietnam: A night visitation or should I say paralyzing experience that I kept to myself  ̶  inside my box of crazy shit. At firebase Gladiator, before dawn, the presence of a body pressed against my chest wakes me up. The face I see is shocking, the black pupils in the faint colored eyes are searching me, studying me, face to face an inch apart and all I can do is lie unresponsive. The measuring silence between us feeds my fear. My single thought is be still, don’t breathe and don’t blink. Under my poncho, I slowly try to reach my 16 or my hatchet but both of my arms are too heavy, I cant move them. All I can do is hold my breath and stare back in silence . . . Years, after the war, at a stateside VA therapy session, I learned the actuality of that night. Apparently I wasn’t the only combat veteran that reported experiencing a spirit encounter. As confirmed by Vietnamese mountain tribes, the spirit is a female succubus that sits on the chest of her victims and draws out their life  ̶  leaving them dead.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Sorry, I’m at a loss here. I can’t give you a BIO, somehow it feels silly at this point in time.


COMMENTS:  

I write about my experiences because it helps me to document and work things. As for who should read it; I have no idea.

This is not a story about heroic acts in the time of war, this is about everyday life, the pain, the laughter, the mundane, and the brotherhood formed in the chaos of insanity created by men at war. One minute we’re happy and smoking grass because we’re not going to the bush, the next, we’re stunned by the immediate news that someone we knew just blew his brains out with his own weapon. A suicide the Army will not expound on, instead it maintains honor and pride by documenting it as a KIA and ships it home with medals and insurance money. Which brings me back to other matters the Army doesn’t alk about; like the Vietcong slipping under the wire and past the heavily armed guards. The choice is yours; I’m alive because of dumb luck or it really was a ghost.

SOURCE:   Yes

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TITLE:   Email by way of a veterans writing group.

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CONTACT NAME:   Stephen Nolly

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 31, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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CONTEXT:  

Stephen Nolly is a Japanese-Jewish Air Force brat, graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and former resident artist at TriBeCa’s Flea Theater (Drama Desk, OBIE Award). His stories have advanced at the Austin Film Festival, Sundance Episodic Lab, NYU Production Lab, and his feature “Guernica” has been optioned twice. Stephen serves as Creative Director at Old Factory Films, a digital media agency specializing in Food & Beverage, been featured on No Film School, and hosted the Improve Photography podcast with over one million followers. Stephen enjoys high-concept stories which focus on the perspective of the “Other”, and he is an amazing cook.

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TITLE:   From Scott and Elise!

CONTEXT:  

This project appeals to me because working with my father on his memoirs has allowed me to understand him through a completely different lens. His stories often stick closely to the facts and are laden with lots of esoteric patois that is thrilling to the specialist but confusing to the layman. I worked with him on the dramatization of his novel Hamfist Over the Trail which would become Hamfist during the Writer’s Guild Foundation Veterans’ Writing Program. By sharing with him tenets of the format, he was able to use the constraints of the medium to leverage a more emotionally enthralling tale about his time during the Vietnam War. Growing up in the military leads to a certain shorthand, and I also produced the audiobook version of Hamifst Over the Trail, as well as serving as a consulting producer on his podcast, Ready for Takeoff. I’ve been writing in what is now considered “New Media” since 2009, after winning the Tisch Writer’s Lab West Webseries fellowship, and have just finished my first year of the Core Curriculum at NMI as a Bookwriter and a Lyricist. Every format and medium has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. One of the tenets of Asymmetrical Warfare is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of opposing forces. Working within the constraints of a new medium allows me to find a novel expression within that format and exploit it to its full potential. This is what I would like to do with my father’s story.

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Cuba-Libre.pdf

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Chilmark.pdf

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CONTACT NAME:   George Nolly

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 31, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

It was my second tour in Vietnam. I’m flying an F-4 over Laos and I get a call over the radio from a FAC that says he’s got a prime target on the Ho Cho Minh Trail. Says there’s a truck park down there, somewhere. He tries to point it out to me: Says there’s a bend in the river - looks like two big tits; truck park is right in the cleavage. Normally he marks the target with smoke, but he was all out, so I couldn’t see the truck park. But I DO have laser-guided bombs, and he says he can guide them in with his laser if I just point ‘em in the right direction. So I look down and I see the cleavage, then I climb up and make a dive to get as much speed on these bombs as I could, and then let ‘em go. But when I level out and look down at the cleavage - no joy. It was bust. Then I hear over the radio, “Great job! Right on target!”Then I look about a MILE ahead, and I see the explosions on another bend in the river. The bombs tracked on to his laser over a mile and found the right target. So the moral of the story is: speed is like money in the bank for a laser-guided bomb, and when you’re away from home for long enough, EVERY bend in the river looks like tits.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

George Nolly graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1967 at the top of his class and was immediately sent over for combat in Vietnam. During his first tour, he flew as a FAC (Forward Air Controller), commanding air strikes over the Ho Ch Minh Trail, and on his second tour, he returned as a combat aviator in the F-4 Phantom fighter jet. George was the last pilot to complete 100 missions over North Vietnam, earned three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 24 Air Medals, and before he left the Air Force, was awarded Tactical Air Command Instructor Pilot of the Year. This sparked his love of teaching, leading to the creation of the first home-video based aviation ground school, Nolly Productions.

George’s aviation career continued at United Airlines, flying equipment such as the B-727 and B-737 domestically, and B-777 worldwide. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a Check Captain, while also serving as an armed Federal Flight Deck Officer. After United, Captain Nolly continued to fly internationally and began instructing for Omni Air International and Boeing. He then returned to United to teach as a Fleet Technical Instructor, as well as a lecturer at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and would create the Ready For Takeoff Podcast for pilots looking to start their career in Aviation, which now has over a million downloads.

George has a Bachelor’s degree from the USAFA, completed two Master’s programs at USC, and holds a Doctorate in Homeland Security from Northcentral University.
His novel series, The Adventures of Hamfist Hancock (based on George’s combat experiences), have been rated #1 on the Amazon best-seller list, with Hamfist Over the Trail now available to listen to on Audible.


COMMENTS:  

When you’re in combat, every moment could be your last, and polite conversation becomes inadequate. Good communication can be the difference between life and death, and rapport at the gut level is necessary to cut through the fog of war. In my many years of teaching aviation, the clasroom demographic has changed, with more emphasis on safety and professional commications. While these values hold you in good stead in commercial aviation, in the military environment it is a different beast altogether.

This is a story I would tell to other combat pilots, but it never seemed appropriate in the commercial sector. There is a vast difference between flying with a SAM missile on your tail, and flying a plane with dinner service for 200. This story is for veterans that long for the days when there were good guys and bad guys, and your job was to blow shit up.

SOURCE:   I would prefer for my son, Stephen Nolly, to be my script writer. He produced my audiobook, developed my podcast concept, and assisted me in crafting my screenplay for the WGA Veterans Writing Program.

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VIDEO LINK:   https://vimeo.com/443564183/7c0480a96d



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TITLE:   I heard from my son, Stephen Nolly.

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CONTACT NAME:   J.A. Moad II

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 31, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Defying the odds, I became an Air Force Pilot. Inspired by a Vietnam Vet father and gaining inspiration through the love of Broadway Musicals, I pushed myself both physically and mentally as a kid to attend the United States Air Force Academy. Despite never being on an airplane before, I didn’t let that deter me. I also pushed past the doubt and fear of not being the proper “Military type” to pursue a dream of flying and a dream of escaping from a dying steel and seeing the world. This excerpt is compiled from a larger piece I’ve written, called Waiting to Crash - The Making of An American Military Pilot.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

A former Air Force C-130 pilot with over a hundred combat sorties. I served as an English Professor at the United States Air Force Academy and continues to serve as an editor for their international journal, War, Literature & the Arts (WLA). My short stories, poetry and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, and I’m the recipient of the Consequence Magazine Fiction Award. In addition to writing, I’ve performed on stage at the Library of Congress and at The Guthrie Theater as part of The Telling Project - Giving Voice to the Veteran Experience. My award winning play, Outside Paducah - the Wars at Home, had its New York debut at the Wild Project Theater in 2017 where I was nominated for Outstanding Solo Performance by the New York Innovative Theater Awards (NYIT). In 2020, I was finalist for the McKnight Fellowship in playwriting and currently reside in Northfield, MN, where I flies the Delta Airlines and continues to write.


COMMENTS:  

Having performed in my play Outside Paducah - the Wars at Home, in New York for three weeks and regularly engaging in Veterans Voices staged events, I’ve realized the power of Veterans’ stories to help shape the narrative on what it means to serve. This is crucial as our society begins to recognize the cost of war on both the personal and societal level. I’d like to continue writing in that lane and pursuing the mission of engaging civilians with provocative, engaging entertaining work.

I’ve found there to be an interesting intersection in my military themed writing that captures the disconnect not only between communities of poverty, but communities of color, as well. My writing explores this intersection. I have a vision of collaborating on writing a musical that would be the third play of mine that takes place in the same region. The second play, A Burning Good helped me to become a McKnight playwriting finalist in 2020. The musical would tell the stories of some of the characters from the two other plays–characters earlier in their life. Considering I’ve written them later in life, I know them quite well. I’ve begun collecting notes on the work, already.

SOURCE:   Yes... script writer

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TITLE:   Veteran Writing Colleagues

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CONTACT NAME:   Jeff McCarley

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 31, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I’m submitting a story called Who are he said am crazy. This is a short, humorous, autobiographic essay that portrays the kind of bias that many in our society have toward those who suffer from mental illness. Veterans deal with discrimination for having mental health issues, and many veterans commit suicide as a result of their disease. In Who are he said am crazy, I turn the table around on a judgmental prick by showing how his assumptions of me caused him to act like a lunatic because he thought that I was crazy.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in the ‘80s and ‘90s. I enlisted in the Marine Corps at the start of my senior year and shipped out as soon as I graduated, serving from ’98 to ’03. While in the Corps I married my awesome wife of nineteen years and our wonderful daughter was born. Although I’ve written off and on throughout my life, I have recently found my voice as a writer and self-published three books in the past few years.


COMMENTS:  

I have suffered from bipolar disorder for twenty-two years, but was only diagnosed two years ago. I know well the pain of mental illness and I have seen first-hand the kind of damage that it can cause to a person’s life. Who are he said am crazy is the first experience I’ve had with discrimination, the first time I was treated differently because of my disease, and as a result I am reluctant to share this fact with others. I hope others can see that those who suffer from mental illnesses are still people, and deserve to be treated as such. I think that everyone should read this story about the flip side of the stereotype.

SOURCE:   no

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TITLE:   Written by Veterans writers group CSUSB

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CONTACT NAME:   Melissa Renee Milich

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 31, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was part of a joint field unit overseas, with our “tent city” co-located next to the Marines of the host country when tensions suddenly boiled over with their neighbors across the border.

Yet, every night,  I was escorted to the tent of the foreign General.  He wanted to learn about American literature even as his country remained on the brink of war.   The General’s dinners wound through several courses with silverware, which I hadn’t seen in weeks and “real food” as opposed to the MREs that constituted our limited cuisine on the American side of the camp. With tea served, my escort, a senior U.S. Intelligence officer, nodded at me to begin.

The foreign General demanded story arcs and character development. Thousands of miles away from home, I relaxed in my cammies inspired by the exotic atmosphere and became Scheherazade.

As the campfire burned low, I recounted the Joads’ journey from Oklahoma and Rose of Sharon, saving the starving man. Ed Ricketts and his marine biology laboratory on Cannery Row, and The Red Pony that died. My preference for The Old Man and the Sea over The Sun Also Rises. Raymond Carver drawing a Cathedral with a blind man.

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Melissa had already published two children’s books and several magazine articles by the time she joined the Navy.  She was gunning for a cushy job in Public Affairs, but the Detailer barked back,  “It’s Intelligence or nothing!”  a new career track that Melissa found a strange but comfortable fit.

She was the first female to graduate from the USMC Interrogation Course at Damneck, Virginia.  After September 11, she became a technical liaison to foreign militaries for the Office of Naval Intelligence.  Yet, Melissa says she will never forget that one particular overseas deployment when the military pressed her literary background into service,  the basis of her submission to So Proudly We Hailed.

Melissa’s essays and articles have been published in Newsweek, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Stars and Stripes.  Her diverse background also includes a stint training sea lions at a Marine lab off the coast of California.


COMMENTS:  

In College, people always chided me that you couldn’t do anything with an English major.  So I joined the Navy, and during one deployment overseas, when two foreign countries almost went to war, the military pressed my literary background into service.

At the time, I was living in a tent, co-located with the foreign Marines of our host country.  How many English majors, I wondered,  end up in tents?

SCUD missiles rolled into position, and CNN reported from the field.  Yet, despite the saber-rattling, on most nights, I was summoned — always with an escort — to the tent of the foreign General, the office-in-charge.  As tensions mounted between his forces and the somewhat furious country on the other side of the border,  we sat in the General’s tent and discussed The Grapes of Wrath and what Steinbeck’s novels meant to me.

It didn’t matter that I was junior enlisted, a female in a Muslim world, or that SCUD missiles pointed at us from just across the border.  Stories transcended cultural and military differences and lifted us momentarily above this no man’s land.

SOURCE:   Script Writer. In addition to a strong narrative writing background (children's books, short stories, and essays), I completed the 2019-2020 Writer's Guild Veterans Writing Project and my first feature length screenplay. I'm currently in the USVAA Writer's workshop, and I'm a USVAA Literature coordinator. In addition to my children's books, my essays and articles have been published in Newsweek, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Stars and Stripes.

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Melissa-Milich-Recording.m4a


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TITLE:   Through an email announcement sent out by USVAA Executive Director Keith Jeffreys

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CONTACT NAME:   RYAN A. CONKLIN

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 30, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

My story is about a process on how I got myself mentally capable to do my job in a world that was a never-ending game of chance. One could dub it Iraqi Roulette. Conducting combat patrols, daily and nightly, there were several methods of surprise attacks that always loomed for us “outside the wire.” How did we not all lose our minds? Well, I can’t say none of us did. For me, it was a mental space I had to get to, and it wasn’t entirely healthy but it was helpful. I.E.Ds, suicide bombers, V.B.I.E.Ds, drive-by shootings, potshots, they all occurred to my company at random. Never knew when they’d happen. But living in fear was too taxing, mentally. Was I scared? Yes, at first, but that was because I thought I would eventually survive my tour. I had to re-wire my logic and give in to the fact that my fate was already sealed. Believing I was a “dead man walking” erased the fear. My thoughts on patrol were clear. But the dark place I was in was hard to claw back out of when I eventually did make it back home.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I joined the U.S. Army as soon as I was legally allowed. I enlisted with my parents’ permission when I was 17. I was a junior in high school when 9/11 occurred, and it was this inciting incident which spurred me in the direction to join, ambitiously vowing revenge. A war with Iraq was not on the table then, but that’s where I was sent. Twice. I served in the 101st Airborne Division as an infantryman from 2003-2006. My first tour in Iraq was a 12-month deployment from 2005-2006. Coming home, part of my own personal therapy was writing about my combat experiences. The more I wrote, the less I thought about it. This memoir of mine was published in 2010, titled An Angel From Hell: Real Life on the Front Lines. Two years after my Honorable Discharge, I was shocked to learn that I was involuntarily recalled back to service. This recall system hadn’t been utilized since Vietnam, just to hint at how surprised I was to be called back. But I am a man of my word, and an oath is an oath, so I went back for another year in Iraq in 2009.


COMMENTS:  

The readjustment at home for veterans is known to be tumultuous for some, and it’s true that everyone is different, but I believe that a common thread you’ll see amongst those “transitioning” are dealing with “re-wiring” issues that I mentioned above. The “dark place” I was in was not an exclusive habit of mine. I saw many live in it. But when we got home and separated, I couldn’t see others get out of it. I had a time getting out of the dark space myself. Some of my comrades committed suicide, so I know they struggled with the transition. I think that if there’s others out there, confused with mentally re-wiring themselves to find that purpose to live again, the dark space might allow some light in.

SOURCE:   Interested, sure, but I trust other people's creativity.

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TITLE:   Email

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CONTACT NAME:   Travis Deyoung

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 30, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

After returning from an 11 month, I realized that I was having some trouble. I felt anxious, irritable, and was having difficulty communicating with my spouse.  I noticed that a friend of mine, Derek, was also having difficulty following the deployment. He was experiencing a lot depression. I had a house off base and asked Derek to come live me.

Derek helped to relieve some of the pressure I was feeling in my relationship and my spouse and I were able to help Derek to manage his depression. This worked for a while, but eventually Derek’s depression got worse. He started to seek counselling and went on anti-depressant medication. Unfortunately, the medication had the opposite effect and Derek got worse. One day my spouse and I came home after a trip to the mall and Derek had a strange look in his eyes. I questioned him on what was wrong and then he asked me “Would you mind if I die in your house tonight?” I soon found out that Derek had taken and entire bottle of pills.

My wife and I took Derek to the hospital. Fortunately, they were able to pump his stomach and he made a full recovery. The experience had a profound effect on me. I can hardly imagine how much pain and suffering I would have experienced if my spouse and I had not intervened.

This experience stuck with me and years later I put a lot of effort toward raising the awareness of the veteran suicide rate. I helped to start a project called Journey for Change in 2015. The project started as 200-mile walk from Santa Cruz to Sacramento (16 days and 200+miles). Journey for Change has continued to evolve into several events aimed at raising awareness of the veteran suicide rate and spreading information about the resources available.

https://www.vets4vetssantacruz.org/journeyforchange


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I was born in Illinois and joined the Marine Corps when I was 18 years old. I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 2011. Following my enlistment, I moved from North Carolina to California. I attended school at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA and earned an associate degree. Unsure of what I wanted to major in I looked for an employment.

I found a part time position as a Benefits Outreach Representative for the Veteran Services Office. In 2017, I moved into a full-time position as the Veteran Advocate for Santa Cruz County. I found a lot of fulfillment in working with Veterans, especially those struggling with mental health conditions, homelessness, and incarceration.

I continued my education online and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in April of 2020. I intend to continue my education to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. While working as the Veteran Advocate I have had the opportunity to be involved with a number projects that help veterans including Journey for Change (raising awareness of veteran suicide), the Veterans Art Program, and Vets 4 Vets (organization of veteran volunteers that help other veterans in Santa Cruz County).

https://www.vets4vetssantacruz.org/home

https://www.vets4vetssantacruz.org/art


COMMENTS:  

I want to tell this story because I think it could help to raise awareness of the suicide rate among active duty military members and veterans.  I think this story could help to contribute to cultural shift from one that ignores and suppress emotions to a culture that accepts and supports those who are struggling. I think anyone who was in the military or has had friends and family in the military should hear this story.

SOURCE:   I would be interested in helping to create the script. I do not have the skill set to help compose.

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TITLE:   A veteran friend sent me a flyer

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CONTACT NAME:   Michael O’Dell

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 27, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
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Michael O'Dell is a jazz pianist, composer, lyricist, and playwright who has served as music director for a plethora of equity shows in Los Angeles, NYC, and San Francisco, including the In the Mood National Tour, The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, and George Furth and Doug Katsaros’ new musical, The End.

Michael's musical The Velocity of Arrows (formally known as Waiting…) was an official selection to The Boulder International Fringe Festival and The NYC Fringe Festival.

He attended Berklee College of Music (Jazz Studies) and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music (B.M. in Music Composition), and is a 2017 Recording Workshop graduate.

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CONTEXT:  

Veterans seem to have a history in the past as soldiers and servicemen and service women who have dedicated their lives to serving their country in the name of freedom. But I feel it is sometimes difficult for America to notice them in the present, and individually. It would be an honor to bring even just one story to the forefront, showing the real person and their real experience behind the the title our country has given them as a vet.

When I was music director/conductor for In the Mood LIVE (a big band jazz revue featuring the music and dances of the 1940s), most of our audiences who came to see the show were veterans. To witness their faces as they remembered the music of the time when they served was very moving. As a company, we loved our jobs because we know we were bring joy to many who had served.

Creating content for this project would be extremely easy for me. Due to Covid-19, I do most of my work via the internet right now. I work with other artists, usually by text, phone, and Zoom to create and fine-tune their projects. I find success in this process because I try to listen and then play with different ideas to find the best one that will work. Collaboration is fun and rewarding. I find that working via the internet is actually faster and easier. To work on the veterans project would be an honor.

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I am a graduate of The Recording Workshop where I became proficient in recording music projects using Logic Pro X and Pro Tools. Most recently - in January 2020, I wrote and recorded my 10-minute musical Maxton Fink, Extraordinaire in three days at my home studio. It's very easy for me to record different genres and then mix and master them for a professional sound. As a jazz pianist, I am well-versed on playing everything from classical, jazz, pop, rock, to soul and R&B. If needed, I can also produce notated sheet music for scores in Finale.

Please check out these two projects I recorded:

https://soundcloud.com/user-624335285/maxton-fink-extraodinare

https://soundcloud.com/user-624335285/om-mani-padne-hum

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CONTACT NAME:   Nancy Coombs

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 27, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

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Nancy Coombs is an American writer based in Toronto, the daughter of a US Air Force veteran. Her fiction and poetry have been published in the USA and Canada. Her literary specialty is exploring life in extremis while conveying hope. She holds degrees from Harvard and Northwestern.

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TITLE:   Through The Aiming Circle, a resource for military-themed writers.

CONTEXT:  

“So Proudly We Hailed” resonates with me as I grew up with my veteran dad telling me wartime tales, funny and sad. Also, I experienced my extended family’s tragedy yet resilience as one close relative had been a prisoner-of-war and another one died in military service.

Pain and loss not addressed can sometimes hold people hostage. It’s one of the reasons I became a writer – to explore things unseen and unspoken yet very present and, always, there is the promise of joy, higher purpose and redemption in my writing. I believe these are the same goals and dreams for this web series.

In other words, this project is real to me. Bringing veterans’ experiences to light - liberating their souls and celebrating their journeys - would be exhilarating! Turning their vision into a written story and internet script to be accompanied by music would be my forte.

My studies – in literature and history – give me a solid grounding with which to bring both story and setting to life accurately and in vivid detail. My ties to the US military would allow me to be a sensitive and compassionate collaborator.

I’m a musician too (flutist) which would be a plus in understanding how my writing could be interpreted musically. Also. as I write both fiction and poetry, perhaps one of the music videos could be a “spoken word” one, contemporary poetry to a backdrop of music.

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CONTACT NAME:   Rosalie Cooper

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 26, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

when into adulthood I had grown

I ventured out upon my own

I joined the US military

Battle combat I did not see

I met a man I loved with all my heart

Together, a family we did start

After we were wed and our son was born

The love between us became torn

The place we once called home

was now our private battle zone

There was yelling, screaming, and a gun

Being beaten was not fun

The battle finally came to an end

The man I once loved, no longer a friend

He took all I had and even more

He took my heart that he tore

I kept from him all he did love

He went to the lord above

I won the battle, he won the war

for when he died he took my heart and even more

with him went my soul he tore

someday together again we will be

so he can be he and I can be me.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Upon discharge from active duty, I continued my education, and obtained an Associates Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, and an Associates Degree in Computer Science.  I had several jobs , but my most recent was an Electronics and Computer Teacher in 2000 - 2001.  I was unable to work as I started to have flashbacks.   I ended up in the VA Psychiatric ward in 2001 and approximately 8 more times until 2009.  I have been in recovery for 19 years.  I have a 37 year old son currently serving in the US Army as a recruiter.  I am very active in the VFW Auxiliary and was recently nominated and elected as conductress for the Department of New York.  I try to spend my spare time helping other veterans in my same situation.  I was also  a Peer Specialist for several years helping others with Mental illnesses.  I write poetry  and have self published 4 books under the pen name of Bridgette Rose.   I like to do crafts


COMMENTS:  

There are many men and women who have suffered in silence for far too long and the information has to get out.  Even though one may not see combat, they may be in a battle zone of their own and do not have a way out nor anyone to help them (have their six) as they say.    Post Traumatic Stress disorder is as real for those who have dealt with Military Sexual Trauma as it is for a Combat Veteran.  The traumas are very different but the symptoms are the same.   Any Men or Women that are currently serving in the Military or those that would like to serve need to be aware of the dangers they face.  Fore warned is Fore armed.  I dont want to discourage anyone, but they need to know that they are in danger no matter what they do in the service.  I was in during peace time, yet have PTSD from the military sexual trauma I endured.

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CONTACT NAME:   Ting Du

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 25, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I wrote two poems to sum up my journey in the service. The first one is called: A happy hobbling cat. It’s about how a crippled cat chasing after her dream and being blessed and immersed among the beauty of nature.

“I saw a happy hopping hobbling orange cat, 

chasing after a monarch butterfly, 

weaving through the sun-kissing morning green river-bank.”

I see myself often as that crippled little cat. I believe that as spirit creature-beings, we are all created equal under our grand-creator’s eye. There’s no need for anyone to pick on another one.. we are all like little kittens chasing each around, chasing for the most sparkling sun-shine landing upon our forehead, after the most beautiful dreamy butterfly that our heart desires, and after the most magnificent light we see within each’s heart and spirit.  And that’s exactly the kind of spirit that I see in everyone around me while I was in the service. I’m deeply grateful for all the beautiful souls who had encouraged me walking through the most difficult time in my life. Thank you for seeing me as your equal opponent, and an enabled body, an interesting soul, rather than a malfunction machine part.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

This is my second poem that sums up my rebirth through my entire service in the Navy.

“I had a dream…

The three year-old me squatting down among her pals in a pile of sand pit, juggling sand, dirt, little pebbles that would take a pair of insightful innocent hearts to 

decipher the most hidden codes written beneath ordinary nature’s facades;

“Who’s orange peel is that?” 

A pudgy finger pointed at a wrinkly dry-piece of orangey thingy,

by my “future” feet..

“Oh, that’s my Garrison Cap. Tomorrow is my last day in the Naval Base Hospital,

you guys are all welcomed to my departure ceremony.”

Dusting off the golden uniform, putting on that folded military cap… 

Despite my dark blue T-shirt inside, not 

uniform-code coordinated with my golden peanut-butter dress… 

I am all set, smart-looking and sun-shinny,

like a smiley proud sun-flower ready for a last uniform-inspection.

But for now, let’s just focus on the work in the hands, of 

three year old us,

constructing our magnificent sand-castle,

baby-sitting a fluffy white Llama—

such a gifted tidy nifty sharp-shooter, leaving no mess behind,

squirting out straight lines of pee, or spit..

aiming only at that far-reaching drainage pipe hole; and 

an amazing talented painter,

farting out trail of rainbow bridge,

lightening the evening sky with rounds of applause,

sparkling glitter, bubbles, and dreamy fire-works.”


COMMENTS:  

It was a long journey before I came to a self-realization that everything happened for a reason. All my past seemingly lonely struggles were there for a reason too, they made me appreciate life, people around me, and joy of the present moment even more. If I love the present me, I shall certainly appreciate many previous moments “me” who brought me to the present me as well. 

My stories are for those, who were injured, wounded or feeling lost, whether they were in the service or out of the service. I want to tell them that: I was there before, I feel you, I am with you. Please Keep up with your good work, and keep your faith strong. You are heading towards the right track, and the right direction, and you are making a big difference to everyone’s life around you. Some time, we may not see God’s plan laid out for us right away, until one day we finally get there. However, in some mysterious ways, we all are taken on our own destined mission that could be so challenging and mysterious, and would take only the most courageous heart to walk through our own earthly path.

SOURCE:   No.

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CONTACT NAME:   Matthew T. Miller

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 24, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

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Matthew T. Miller was born and raised in La Quinta, CA. He joined the Army when he was
seventeen-years-old and served six years with the 82nd Airborne Division. He accomplished two tours in Iraq and went to college. He volunteers as a math tutor for local schools to share a love of math with elementary children. He is currently working towards becoming a writer, cartoonist, illustrator, as well as an author of children’s books and thrilling ghost stories for adults.

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TITLE:   From a friend in my Veterans Writing Group.

CONTEXT:  

I am a current member of the WrittenByVeterans Group from the Cal State Univ. San Bernadino Veterans Success Center in California. Our goal is to share our creative stories and personal experiences with the public by publishing them while giving all the proceeds to veteran students at CSUSB. We also believe that all veterans can join our group to learn creative writing and to instill therapeutic creative writing to relieve stress or any post traumatic stress.

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CONTACT NAME:   Elaine Little

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 23, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in 2004-2005 as an interrogator. In a small booth with a glass window I talked to suspected terrorists in shackles, while a bored MP stood guard.

Some were terrorists, I guess. But many were picked up in sweeps where quantity over quality was the rule.

One time I spoke to the only woman prisoner at the facility. Her bio made her sound like an Afghan Mati Hari. A member of a terrorist cell, who had asked probing, suspicious questions to a Special Forces Team.

I brought her local food. Cookies. Bitter tea.

She wore a baggy orange jumpsuit and men’s size 9 black slip-on sneakers. She knew maybe a few words of English. An interpreter translated while she ate the cookies and didn’t drink the shitty tea.

The verdict? Not a terrorist. But for Afghanistan her behavior was unorthodox. Walking around without a male escort. Speaking to American soldiers.

A kind woman whose eagerness to repeat American phrases was interpreted as fluency. Her guilelessness as an elaborate deception technique masking her actual identity as a spy.

They were letting her go. A high value target they had seen fit to keep for 400+ days.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Elaine Little served several years in the active duty Army. Then transferred to the Reserves and the National Guard, where she was deployed to Guantanamo, Bosnia and Afghanistan, while raining three children. She has published extensively. She was a first place winner at the 2019 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival for her essay, “Now It’s You,” and was a Baker Veteran Scholar at the Seaside Writer’s Festival in 2018. Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as “Cooweescoowee,” “The Bryant Literary Review,” and most recently “The Tupelo Quarterly.” Her essay, “Edit and Spin,” about her experiences during a deployment to Afghanistan, was published in the acclaimed literary anthology: “Powder, Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq.”
After many years of working at jobs she hated, she drove to California with two cats in the back seat, during the height of the pandemic to transfer to the Los Angeles VA, where she now works as a Veterans Outreach Coordinator, a job she definitely doesn’t hate. Since she especially enjoys writing television specs and original television pilots, she thinks Los Angeles is the place for her. It is her hope that she can someday write for television.

 


COMMENTS:  

I want to see more women’s stories about military life. The down and dirty stuff. The funny moments. There are a few military women’s memoirs out there. But not nearly enough. And some of the depictions are dreadfully earnest. When I was deployed, I was always fascinated by the people in the countries where I was stationed. In Cuba, I met the Balseros, or boat people, who had risked their lives trying to escape Cuba. In Bosnia, I met women who had witnessed atrocities. Then I returned every night to a barracks where the international NATO force partied all night, got drunk and cheated on their wives/husbands or significant others. In Afghanistan, I  traveled outside the “wire” or post and was invited into the women’s quarters. Most members of the military I know are not heroes and don’t want to be referred to that way. They’re ordinary people who have been thrust into extraordinary circumstances. If more people hear stories that are truthful about the military, it will hopefully cause civilians to see them as people. Not as idealized “symbols,” or objects of pity.

SOURCE:   Yes

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CONTACT NAME:   Ron Capps

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 23, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

When the phone rang, I jumped—startled—and nearly shot myself. This would have been somewhat ironic, because I was sitting in a truck, about to kill myself and was already holding the pistol in my hand. But I would have pulled the trigger while the pistol was pointed at my foot rather than my head. After all the crying and shaking, the moralizing and justifying, the calming of hands and nerves, the intense focusing on the immediate act of charging the weapon to put a bullet into the firing chamber, and then taking off the safety and preparing to put the barrel in my mouth, the ringing phone broke the spell, and pulled me back from the brink.

That was 2006. I was on mission in Darfur, and I came that close to killing myself. I had gone to five wars in ten years; from Rwanda to Kosovo to Afghanistan to Iraq, and finally, to Darfur. Since that day I have worked to show others that there is a better way. I went public about my health issues in personal essays and interviews, I wrote a memoir, an EP of songs, and I founded a non-profit that provides creative writing and songwriting workshops for veterans and their families. We have worked in 24 states, in VA hospitals, and at the DoD’s premier research and treatment facility for PTSD and TBI. We have reached thousands of veterans. We have changed lives.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I grew up in Virginia Beach, the son of a Navy chief and a bookkeeper. All the men on both sides of my family going back generations served in the military. Most were draftees in big wars, but my dad made the Navy a career. I did the same as a soldier. I spent 25 years in the Army. In the early part of my career I was in Cold War Germany along the East German border, in South Korea on the DMZ, in Latin America as part of George HW Bush’s War on Drugs. Later in my career, I served in Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Darfur. For most of my service I was a case officer—an intelligence operator trained to conduct clandestine intelligence collection operations against hard targets using recruited agents—running operations against the Taliban and Al Qaida, the Interahamwe, and the Janajweit. Back to back operational deployments took a significant toll on me and following a failed suicide attempt I was medevac’d home. In time my top secret security clearance was stripped from me and I was forced into retirement. Since then I have written and spoken out against the stigma of asking for health care for PTSD and depression. I’ve written a book, numerous personal essays and articles, and most recently, a collection of songs released as an EP. I founded and direct the non-profit Veterans Writing Project.


COMMENTS:  

My story is important only if it reaches others. It is compelling only if the second half of the story—what I did after the suicide attempt—is told. It makes sense only if the first half—what got me to that point in the desert where I was ready to kill myself—is told. There are veterans and non-veterans alike who are struggling with health issues and who wrongly believe that they cannot ask for help. They are afraid they will lose their jobs. They are afraid people will laugh at them. They are afraid the state will take their kids away from them. We stigmatize aspects of health care by referring to it differently—mental health care. We stigmatize those who seek health care as weak. Treatment saves lives, but we can’t treat people who won’t ask for help. Maybe this story can help convince people who are struggling that it’s OK to ask for help.

SOURCE:   Well, yes I’d like you to let me tell this story, at least in part. My memoir (Seriously Not All Right: Five Wars in Ten Years; 2014 Schaffner Press) and essays detail much of my personal history. I’d be happy to use those as the foundation for the larger story. My songs tell stories that are at once unique and universal: A soldier’s daughter doesn’t understand why her father has to go to war again and again; living with substance abuse; survivor’s guilt and sleepless nights; the fine art of living in two places at once while trying to catch amnesia. I’d very much like to use the memoir and the songs as vehicles to tell the story, but I’d also be happy to have someone else write, direct, and film the finished product. I just want the story told. You can listen to some of my songs at RonCappsMusic.com or roncapps.bandcamp.com/releases.

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CONTACT NAME:   Ron Barnett

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 22, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

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Ron Barnett is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glendale. Full length musicals, as composer: Manson's Girls with book by Scott Guy, lyrics by Mitch Glaser, When Butter Churns to Gold with book by Peter Welkin and lyrics by Randi Wolfe, and A Christmas Carol with book by Barry Kornhauser, published in 2013 by Dramatic Publishing Company. With lyricist Greg Edwards, Ron was a finalist for the 2010 and 2012 Fred Ebb Prize.

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Most veterans, if they were asked to tell their stories, would probably think they didn’t do much. Their stories may not warrant a Saving Private Ryan treatment but, if they served during wartime, especially in a forward location, they have a story to tell. Stories of heroism that led to a Medal of Honor or a Silver Star or a Purple Heart are fascinating, but it is equally fascinating, and important, to hear the stories of everyday life during wartime.

My father served in the Navy during WWII and was in the South Pacific on a cargo ship. He was very small, just 5'4" and weighed about 150 pounds, big enough to schlep boxes or swab the deck or look out for weather. I don't know if he ever saw battle, he never wanted to talk about it. He had horrible nightmares when I was a kid and it seemed he just wanted to put it behind him. When his guard was down, he'd relate some innocuous detail like attending an open-air church service with a sailor playing a small portable reed organ, or how the rations were lousy, or when he had diarrhea and the ship's toilet seat was freezing cold. Nothing about kamikaze pilots or typhoons or storming beaches. But I wish I had pressed him for more stories before he passed over 30 years ago.

Capturing stories from veterans not only helps to preserve their memory, but also serves to help shed light on the important role these men and woman played in our history. Musicalizing a story heightens it and can broaden its impact.

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I have Logic Pro X and am getting better at using it.

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CONTACT NAME:   Kelly Damann

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 12, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

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Kelly Damann is a composer/lyricist from Illinois. Kelly is a staple of the Greater St. Louis theatre community, and has performed in the pit orchestra for dozens of productions. When not performing with the St. Louis Brass Band or the No-Name Chorale, he often serves as an educator and clinician in the area. He is currently completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at McKendree University.

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This project intrigues me mostly for the fact that my father is an Air Force Veteran who recently retired with 100% Disability status after over 20 years of service. I have lived on Air Force bases a majority of my life, and have always been around active duty and veteran service members. While this country has a fair share of issues to work through, especially at the moment, I am extremely proud and grateful that my father fought to defend this country and persevered through countless life or death situations to do so. For his service, he was awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Medal of Honor.

I do not have any prior experience in writing songs specifically for the internet, but I have been writing songs since age 9. I have always been in some sort of musical endeavor as long as I can remember, and often times had to compose for them.

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While at the moment I do not have access to the equipment to do so, I will most likely have the necessary equipment to do so again by mid-August. I have experience using various DAW's, and am a multi-instrumentalist capable of creating a high quality recording given access to said equipment.

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CONTACT NAME:   Joshua H. Cohen

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 12, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

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Joshua H. Cohen’s honors include a Jonathan Larson Grant, the Anna Zornio Children’s Theatre Playwriting Award (lyrics, Keep On Walkin’), and a MAC Award nomination for his cult cabaret hit “The Sacrifice of Love” (a.k.a. the waxing song). Productions include play The Thirteenth Commandment (Libra Theater, 7 NY Innovative Theater Award nominations, 2 wins), musical Tamar of the River (Prospect Theatre, 2 Drama Desk nominations, world premiere recording from Yellow Sound Label), and children’s musical Flight School (Vital Theatre, OCR available, national and international tour). Many other productions, readings, and workshops across the country; for more details visit www.JoshuaHCohen.com.

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My father served in Vietnam with the Marines during the Tet offensive in 1968-69. One of his favorite stories to tell about his service was that on his discharge, his commanding officer wrote a report that he was a fine doctor, but disrespectful of military procedure. As an officer, he was required to submit a response to this negative report. He folded the report into a paper airplane, and mailed it back.

His war stories, such as they were, were like this one: jocular and surface-level. Like something that might have been pitched in the M*A*S*H writers’ room. He occasionally hinted that there was more to what he had seen, what he had done. But he passed when I was eighteen, and I never got to ask him about it grown-up to grown-up.

One of my favorite things to do now as a writer is to write songs in the voices of real people who have entrusted me with their stories. (I'm applying as a scriptwriter and composer/lyricist.) The two works I’ve submitted here are in that vein. “You Got to Move” is from MY MOM IS A SEXT THERAPIST, an autobiographical one-woman musical that I created with and for its performer and subject, Lola Maltz. "Briar Rose" is a short play inspired by an actual case study, from a cycle of plays responding to recent scientific discoveries.

I would be honored to be given the chance to combine these two interests by working on “So Proudly We Hailed.” Thank you for your consideration.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

You-Got-to-Move-arranged-P-V.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/hjQdcU7oUQA



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CONTEXT:  

I'm reasonably skilled on GarageBand, and lately, I've been treating it as an instrument in its own right, and composing directly for it. I would be able to create a track for the episode.

BOOK FILE:  

Briar-Rose.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Rollin Jewett

DATE SUBMITTED:       July 1, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Rollin Jewett is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, singer/songwriter, poet, and photographer. His screenwriting credits include Laws of Deception and American Vampire. His work has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, and his plays have been produced all over the world.

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VIDEO LINK:  



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I am a patriot of this country and have a deep and abiding respect for our troops. My father,brother and grandfather all served in different wars and it's part of our family history. In addition, I have already written several songs (please listen to links above) regarding veterans and have created videos of these songs. I would love to share in this important program for our veterans.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.broadjam.com/songs/rollin/what-did-you-do-in-the-war-daddy



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CONTEXT:  

I would be happy to contribute the songs above or try to create something new for the program.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.broadjam.com/songs/rollin/in-my-country

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Katie Brady

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 30, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Katie Brady is an award-winning composer, playwright and singer/songwriter. Her debut musical comedy - The Test - won "Most Outstanding Musical" at the San Diego International Fringe Festival 2016. Her songs Hear You In The Wind, My Pet Rock, And Love (co-written with John and Ken Burton) and Dusty Stone Floor (co-written with Debbie Ladas) have received song awards in multiple competitions. Ms. Brady completed the NMI Core Curriculum as both a composer and lyricist and has had two songs selected as trunk songs for NMI. She currently resides in San Diego, CA.

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VIDEO LINK:  



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There are two reasons I would like to be involved with this project and both stem from a desire to learn.

Looking forward, I would like to be considered for this project because I am currently involved with NMI in a virtual production and I’m finding this process to be a fascinating discovery of a new/old art form. We are reworking a stage piece I wrote for the postponed 2020 Hollywood Fringe Festival and the technology of what’s possible is mind-blowing. I feel that NMI is on the cutting edge of a new creative expression. I want to be in on the ground floor of this movement and learn as much as possible.

I also love to learn people’s stories and humbly attempt to translate those stories to art. I love to try to learn what makes people tick. What makes people like my neighbor Dave - an endearing, 90-year-old, retired five-star admiral - stay present to his neighbors with a ready smile on his sun-beaten face. How did my friend Kelle - a petite, retired navy doctor - handle being away from her two children for eight-month stints? How have the spouses and children of veterans handled the long separations and constant uprootings? How did my friend Bill – a larger-than-life, retired marine helicopter pilot - find a way to take his combative energy and redirect it productively once he was no longer in battle? I want to explore what makes Dave and Kelle and Bill get up in the morning and stay productively and creatively engaged in the world. And then I want to express and share their humanness through lyrics and music.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

who-would-want-to-live-here-by-Brady.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

piano-who-would-want-to-live-here-core-2-11_17_18-2.07-PM.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uQFyLXgAfA



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CONTEXT:  

I would be able to create piano tracks and possibly guitar tracks.

BOOK FILE:  

sample-of-book-writing-from-Musical-Fly-Fly-Fly.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

15-Girl-Like-Me.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

a-girl-like-me-demo-11_21_16-8.12-AM-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Eric C. Jones

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 26, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Eric Jones (Composer, Lyricist & Librettist) is a Medford, Massachusetts born, Minnesota &
Texas raised artist. Mr. Jones is a graduate of Texas Southern University; B.S. Pharmacy. He has
been involved with the Christian theater circuit since 1995 as a writer, actor, director and
composer. Writing credits includes: Children of the Passage, Three Crosses, Postcard Journeys
though Christmas, Hallelujah Follies, Sweet Freedom, American Skin Freedom Quilt, Liberators
and Fired! The Musical, American Rifle at the Fade to Black Theater Festival, & Audition at the
Fragmentation IV; Acting credits include: The Elder in Children of the Passage, Rev. Tuck in
Three Crosses, Seward in Winter Garden, Mr. Gable in Postcard Journeys though Christmas.
Film Credits; Mortal Love for the 48 Hour Film Project Houston 2011 (Screenwriter & Actor),
Curveball for the 48 Hour Film Project 2012(Story Writer, Actor & Producer) winner of 5
awards for Best of Film ceremony Dreamland Murders (Story & Co-Scriptwriter, Actor &
Producer); winner of 6 Awards for Best of Film including Best Screenplay Nomination.
Dreamland Murders also won the 2015 Silver REMI Award at the 2015 World Fest Houston
Film Festival for Best Dark Comedy. Directing credits include: Children of the Passage, Miracle
at Nativity Park & Co-directed Liberators a New Musical. Currently Emancipation will be
premiering at the Atlanta Black Theater Festival, The Underachieving Adulterer written by
Devan Wade. . “I would like to thank God, my family, WRCF church and the Ensemble Theater
for supporting us over the years

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I so appreciate the service and bravery of our men and women in uniform. I am the son of an Air Force Physician and Officer. I grew up half of my life on Air Force bases throughout the US. I'm so honored that this project is honoring this service people for their dedication and sacrifice. This would be my very first time writing an internet song/ script for the this particular project. I enjoy a challenge and I want to write with respect and reverence to these service men and women and I do believe that their stories must be told and told properly.

BOOK FILE:  

WAR-LETTERS-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/the-motor-ballet/wartime-lullaby-1?in=the-motor-ballet/sets/war-letters-completed



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CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:  

LiberatorsLASTCut.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Two-Fronts-Jan-16-2018.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Copy-of-12-Two-Fronts.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Anita Prestdige

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 22, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Anita Prestidge uses collaboration and self-aware sensory input as a means to draw out multiple perspectives and tell stories that create opportunities for meaningful acknowledgment of characters and new dialogues. Anita earned her Bachelor of Arts in both Theater and Music from the University of St. Catherine. For the past three years Anita has collaborated with her partner composer/sound researcher Mike von der Nahmer on storytelling that is personal, timely and transformative.

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VIDEO LINK:  



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As a granddaughter/niece/sister of veterans representing the army, air force, navy from WW2 through Desert Storm and modern operations around the world I am eager to be part of a project that would honor the veteran experience with a nuanced sensibility of their humanity.
Through my collaboration with Mike von der Nahmer I have had the privilege of working with immigrants, youth and seniors to transform their stories and often their own words into lyrics and theater pieces. I was co-librettist for Blue Hum, part of an international song cycle exploring the refugee/immigrant experience of escape/journey/arrival delving into universal themes with a specific arc developed from stories collected from interviews with immigrants which premiered in Toronto, Canada (July 2018). Growing Wise in New Ulm, MN (August 2018) was a youth project developed by Mike von der Nahmer to foster a connection between scientific exploration and storytelling through music and text over the course of a week long day camp. Most relevant was my experience as co-librettist and director for Growing Young: “I’m a Story Myself” with Marianna Mott Newirth and Mike von der Nahmer, which premiered Queens, NY (June 2018), where interviews with seniors were transformed into theater pieces performed by young actors for the seniors with their friends and family. This project was a wholly satisfying process of developing relationships, teasing out the essence of characters and distilling words into the authentic coherence of theatrical pieces.
The opportunity to continue that work of looking at our humanity through specific and universal experiences with a demographic that has too often been represented in starkly simplistic terms - either glorifying or demonizing - is exciting and necessary in order to truly honor their stories and the truths they contain.

BOOK FILE:  

2018-6-20-Growing-Young-Speck-on-a-Speck.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  



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CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:  

BLUEHUMExcerpts.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2eA3AbrlVc

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Cris Eli Blak

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 18, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Cris Eli Blak is a playwright, screenwriter, performer and theater practitioner. He wrote and co-produced the short film "The Brother's Survivor" which won an award at the Worldfest Houston International Film and Video Festival. He is also a two-time poetry slam champion and was commissioned by the Louisville Arts Network to write "HOPE: Living as a Black Man in America." His work has been performed by Roaming Theatre Collaborative, Illuminate Theatre, Next Generation Stage Directors, Here We Go Productions and Earworm Audio Theatre Podcast, among others.

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This project appeals to me because I come from a long line of veterans and servicemen. My uncle was a soldier in Vietnam and is still dealing with the effects of it, both good and bad. I have always wanted to tell his stories, the stories he has so long kept inside of him, the stories he sometimes tells with great pleasure and other times with great pain. I want to tell someone else's uncle's story. I want people to know and see these veterans as who they are: heroes, no matter what personal feelings you might have. I have written scripts for several internet productions for theaters throughout the country, especially in recent times.

BOOK FILE:  

HANDS-FROM-THE-FIRE-by-CRIS-ELI-BLAK.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://anchor.fm/earworm/episodes/Episode-3-Hands-From-the-Fire-edi1b9



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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:  

THE-BARTENDER-by-Cris-Eli-Blak.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.instagram.com/p/CALnNMxF01u/

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Brad Beaver

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 8, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Brad Beaver – LYRICIST

Brad is a long-term member of the NMI and the Dramatists’ Guild. He won a VATEA grant for the musical Computer Games, performed at Genesee Community College. Musicals for which he has written book and/or lyrics include The Magical Wind, For Fun and Profit, Killing Time, My Last Halloween, Searching for the Rabbit Prince, Swiss Family Robinson, Wild Space a Go-Go, Wind in the Willows (winner of the Theatre for Youth class of the Chameleon Theatre Circle’s New Play Contest and Honorable Mention in the Jackie White Memorial National Children’s Playwriting Contest), Wild Space a Go-Go and Upon a Winter Road.

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VIDEO LINK:  



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VISION STATEMENT

What appeals to me about the project is that you are looking “compelling personal stories to tell.” Such stories form the heart of theatre, and I believe veterans’ experiences to be a rich area to mine them. I’m a veteran myself, and, though I do not tout anything any tale from my personal military career, in my four years in the air force I often worked with men who had some, including a one who received a silver star for heroism in combat (he eventually became a two-star general) and another who spent six years as a prisoner in the “Hanoi Hilton.” But it’s not these I’m trying to promote; people should tell their own stories, and I’m a writer, not a hero. They are interesting stories, though, and I would be happy (and honored) to be associated with the telling of some of them.

As for my background in writing internet scripts/songs, it is non-existent, but I have extensive experience in writing for live theatre. May I venture to suggest that the two may be somewhat related? (For what it’s worth, a twenty-minute play for which I wrote lyrics was performed in the Hollywood Fringe Festival, filmed and resides on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=hUEpXm1Oee8)

Incidentally, though I consider myself predominately a lyricist, I have written book for several musicals, and could help out in that area if necessary.

Further samples of my work are available on request.

BOOK FILE:  

I-Guess-I-Got-the-Man-Wrong_Lyric.docx

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

06-I-Guess-I-Got-The-Man-Wrong.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

N/A

BOOK FILE:  

The-Viper-8000-Scarlet-Scorpion-Streak_Lyric.docx

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

011-The-Viper-8000-Scarlet-Scorpion-Streak_7_29_11.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Stephanie Carlin

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 7, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Stephanie L. Carlin is a composer, performer, writer, producer and music arranger. She graduated Summa Cum Laude at Berklee College of Music with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production with a minor in Musical Theatre Writing. Stephanie has composed music and lyrics for numerous musical theatre productions, including Children of the Decree (2016), Big, Loud (2020), and undecided (2020). Her songs were featured at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in The 2016 SLP Concert and The 2019 Songwriting Workshop with Ben Bonnema and Joe Iconis. Currently, she is a composer in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She is always willing to discover and write new music and stories, bringing it to as many people as possible.

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I feel like people misunderstand the experience of veterans. My grandfather served in the military during the Korean War and he was drafted so he was forced to stop his entire life just to go fight for reasons that were unknown to him. That is terrifying within itself but, despite not doing that anymore, the US still manages to have the one of the largest armies in world filled with volunteers and that to me speaks to the bravery of this country. The fact that there are people willing to sacrifice their time with family and friends to protect them is honorable. I want to know their experiences and honor them because they deserve the utmost respect. As for my experience in writing internet songs, I have dabbled but not as much experience as I would hope.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

4.-Red-Star-Full-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Red-Star-orchestrated.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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CONTEXT:  

I can mix and master in Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Ableton Live so I'm confident I can produce a track.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

2.-In-Between-Matthew.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

In-Between-8-8-2019.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Alexander Craven

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 5, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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I am a composer and lyricist that has been writing for the musical theatre for three years. I've done a cabaret of my original songs in Manhattan, and I graduated from Vassar College with a bachelor's degree in Drama and Music this year. Now, I am ready to ardently pursue my craft full-time.

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Both my great uncle and grandfather were veterans (serving in World War II and Korea respectively), so I know that the stories veterans tell touch upon many distinct aspects of life, from brotherhood and honor to the unspeakable horrors of war. Such subjects, clothed in the green and tan of military garb, unquestionably make for interesting and meaningful drama. And if it makes for good drama, I can find a way to effectively musicalize it.

I've written songs that I have thereafter recorded and uploaded to Dropbox and Facebook. I found the process to be intuitive and a natural extension of how I disseminate my work.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

The-Things-You-See.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

The-Things-You-See.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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I can, with one hundred percent certainty, guarantee that I will be able to make a track for the episode. I write my piano/vocal scores in Musescore, which allows me to export my work to an mp3 file at the click of a button. I can make a track with both the vocals and accompaniment and also make a track with accompaniment only, so any singer will easily be able to learn and record my song.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

You-Wish.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

You-Wish.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Mike von der Nahmer

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 4, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
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Mike von der Nahmer is a composer, sound researcher, music psychotherapist and creator and artistic director of MuTaDra (Music – Theater – Drama) home of transformative music theater. His American/German/Cuban heritage influences the questions of identity, complexity, and transcendent connection that shape his music. He has written over 30 works for stage and over 100 works for concert and film; many have received national/international awards and been performed around the world.

Mike holds a B.A. in composition from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich. In May 2015, he received an M.F.A. in Musical Theater Writing from New York University, where he held a Tisch School of the Arts Departmental Fellowship and studied with composers Mel Marvin, Fred Carl and Randall Eng. He also studied Film Scoring at UCLA where he studied with Lee Sanders and Craig Stuart Garfinkle. He also holds an M.A. in Music Therapy from the University of Augsburg and a certificate in Music-Imaginative Pain Treatment from the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

Mike’s barrier-breaking, eclectic background explains his passion for music both as artistic expression and as a means to connect disparate cultures. His desire to be an agent of radical connection – to literally create harmony out of apparent dissonance – is his defining motivation.

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My work in musical theater tells stories that address existential questions: Who and why are we? How does one fit into society? What makes fitting such an uncertain, mysterious journey? I envision musical theater in which each audience member feels the impact of these questions, and is moved towards personal reflection.
I create theater from stories that offer multiple perspectives on life in society.
Especially in the last couple of years I was commissioned numerous pieces that were developed pieces based on interviews that my team and I transformed into songs or song cycles. Among those pieces is the attached song “Night After Night” for a benefit gala against stigmatizing mental disorders which was inspired by a short essay. Other pieces include the song cycle “Blue Hum” about the refugee crises which was based on several interviews I lead with refugees, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2eA3AbrlVc&app=desktop, the project “Growing Young”
For which I received funding from McKnight and in Queens New York the SU-CASA residency where I worked on retelling where I retold the time of seniors when they were young https://growingyoung.mutadra.com/growing-young/queens-2018/
Most recently I was selected by White Snake Projects for their “Sing out Stong: DeColonized Voices” project https://www.classical-scene.com/2020/05/17/decolonized-vocies/.
This spring was also the premiere of the large scale choir cantata “Nia Wa Ja Shu – Make the World New” about the world wide Greta Thunberg movement with over 260 kids singing for their future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WkwT-s4YuU
These are just a couple of pieces show my ongoing interested in pieces with important issues and questions. For me it`s about the human behind the stories and so I am very intrigued about this project as well as it lines up perfectly with life`s work of giving voice to those important stories and even more that is created in way that I worked now for several years in transforming interviews into meaning full and dramatic songs and stories. Other works of mine include the musical WELCOME TO HELL, commissioned by the Neuköllner Opera in Berlin about the horrific G20 protests in Hamburg which was nominated as the most popular new musical in Germany in 2018 from which I have attached one song as well.

I am also currently working on several filmed music theater projects. Among them is an opera project called WHEN FALLING...DIVE with New York writer and producer Marianna Newirth.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

No.-1-OPENING-WELCOME-TO-HELL-Alle-2018-03-18-Score-copy.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

02-Welcome-to-Hell-copy.m4a


VIDEO LINK:   https://en.hdhod.com/After-the-G20-riots-in-Hamburg-now-the-musical-Welcome-to-Hell_a18421.html



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CONTEXT:  

I am a professional and trained composer for music theater and film and I am able to create any kind of track with or without click track, only electronic or hybrid scores with one ore more recorded instruments.

Here is another example of mine, TIGHTROPE with electronic and two vocalists.
https://soundcloud.com/peter-michael-von-der-nahmer/tightrope-an-electropera

Here is very recent film score I wrote for a short documentary about the important Jewish leader Hugh Pollack, past president of the Town and Village Synagogue in New York. This tracks is a hybrid score. We recorded one cello and the rest is all me with samples. Jump to 2:54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Sa1liqb0I

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

2018-10-04-Night-After-Night-Partitur.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfBFwN_w2JE

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 4, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm has had over 300 productions of his plays and musicals staged in five countries. Three of his plays and musicals have been published by Beat by Beat Press, which also released recordings of his shows SALLY SELLS SEASHELLS and GIANTS IN THE SKY. His play WOUNDED premiered Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse and is currently under option to be adapted into a feature film. His play E-SCAPE just toured Minnesota as part of Climb Theatre's 2019-2020 season. He’s won and placed in over two dozen playwriting competitions, including being a Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. For more info, please visit www.kerrykaz.com

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I wrote a play titled WOUNDED that played Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse that explored the experience of veterans and caregivers; since then, I've felt very compelled to try to tell stories that use theatrical elements to convey the many experiences that veterans go through after they come home.

I wrote an audio drama for the La Jolla Playhouse's "Without Walls" podcast series (the episode will be released June 15th) that incorporates original songs (for which I co-wrote the lyrics) in a diegetic manner. That script, titled APART TOGETHER, is attached as my first sample.

I also wrote lyrics for a song for the "On Hope" Song Cycle, produced by The Other Palace. The song, titled CAN'T WAIT, was conceived and produced as a music video - and is the second sample I've attached.

Along with those online projects, I have a couple other musical podcasts currently in development and am also in the process of developing a children's musical TV pilot.

BOOK FILE:  

Apart-Together-5_20.pdf

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VIDEO LINK:  



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CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bVuH2lm-Wo&t=6s

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Leland Frankel

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 4, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I am an award-winning lyricist and playwright based in Los Angeles, CA. My stage projects have been produced around the world, from New York to London to Rome. In partnership with composer Mina Bloom, my short musicals have been performed at the Boston Theater Marathon, Harvard Signet Society, Festival for New American Musicals, and more. Our first full-length song cycle, "We Three Sisters," premiered with Method & Madness Theater Company in 2019. I am also writing a horror concept album with Israeli composer Stav Drieman, as well as original songs for a virtual reality experience with Parisian studio DV.

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VIDEO LINK:  



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CONTEXT:  

I am drawn to stories about the extremes of humanity, and nothing is more extreme than the act of war. Infinite chaos, bloodshed, and trauma...and all for what? This project is a terrific opportunity to explore one-of-a-kind perspectives on the darkest moments of our species and (hopefully) uncover a glimmer of hope, of beauty, in the bleakness. Because at the end of the day, I am an optimist. I want to believe the best of people, and to highlight the qualities that make the world a better place: Grace, compassion, and self-sacrifice. Additionally, I am a huge fan of documentary theatre, and would love the chance to explore true stories through the lens of a musical; my ambition is to constantly push the musical form further, and this subject will let me experiment with new modes of song-driven storytelling.

I have written songs for the internet several times in the past. Most recently, I worked with a channel called Musicals and the Real World to write a comedic video called "Student Debt: The Musical." I am also creating original songs for the #1 musical theater channel on Twitch, Pixel Playhouse, which will be streamed live online.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Killing-Time_Demo.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii_KHOMXdSw

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Annabelle Revak

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 4, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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CONTEXT:  

Annabelle Revak originally from Spooner, Wisconsin.n She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago (BA Music Composition & BA Musical Theatre) Her first full-length original musical, Notes and Letters, will be premiered at Underscore Theatre Company in 2021. MD: The King's Legacy (Bristol Valley Theatre), Scandusical!-A Musical Parody (Emerging Artist's New Works Festival, TADA Theatre), The Ballad of Lefty and Crabbe (Underscore Theatre Company, AMD) Murderous Innocent; Notes and Letters (CMTF 2018), Lysistrata Jones (Refuge Theatre Project), Abduction! The Musical (Locked Door Productions), and [title of show]; Make Me Bad, High Fidelity, (Columbia College Chicago). Orchestrations/arrangements: Proxy, (Alexander Sage Oyen), Make Me Bad (Drew Gasparini), Wife Material (Underscore Theatre Company), and TAKE ME (Strawdog Theatre Company).

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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

The script and score sample I've provided are from my show 'Notes & Letters', which is a musical based on my great-great-grandfather's immigration to Chicago from the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia/Bohemia) during WWI. In the show, I cover his serving in the US Army. Fictionally, his best friend in the show dies in battle. I have learned so much by documenting my great-great-grandfather's experiences, which I have record of via the letters his family sent to him, which were kept by my grandmother. I would love to do an exploration and musicalization of someone else's experience, as I believe these stories are so important to tell, and are strangely relevant, for being in a 'peaceful' (PLEASE note the quotation marks) time in our country's history. I believe as an artist I have the power to both display the world of the past, reflect the world we live in now, and inspire the world that comes next. Getting to know a veteran's story would be an honor and something I would be very excited to musicalize.

BOOK FILE:  

NOTES-AND-LETTERS-3252020.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.annabelleleerevak.com/shows



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I have a mic and a piano at home, and while not professional grade, I can produce a high-quality track/demo/recording with it.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

09.-Picking-Up-Pieces-NL-2020-PianoVocal.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqG2MHPXFfQ&feature=emb_logo

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   R. D. (Rick) Rhobajt

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 4, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

R. D. Rhobajt is a writer of several musicals and plays which have been workshopped or produced at Festival 56, The Minnesota Fringe Festival, New Musicals Inc., The Playwrights’ Center, Nautilus Music Theatre, Highlands Elementary School, Renegade Theatre Company, and at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where he received a degree in music. He has also written numerous video scripts and articles on songwriting and music theory for PBS.org, Soundfly.com, Tonaltrends.com, and Proaudiomasterclasses.com, and has recorded many albums of original music and played guitar and banjo on many record albums with various groups.

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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

The first 2-act musical I wrote was called "Heavens' Soldiers." (Elise actually did a script 30-minute audio review for me on it, man time flies.) I have since changed the name to "Peace Charge" as people kept thinking it was some kind of Christian thing and they didn't get the apostrophe placement. Anyhow, I like writing about soldiers. My dad, grandpas, and uncle were soldiers. Hey you know, my dad is currently working on his memoir. I should rope him into submitting to project. I’ll send him the link. I’d say my own personal bend is to treat material more “Slaughterhouse Five” than “Saving Private Ryan,” but if selected and paired with a veteran more on the patriotic side I would endeavor to write what they want me to write and not what I would want to write. My experience writing for the internet is limited to the workshop I did with Scott like two years ago, I wrote book and lyrics for “Happy Landings,” (the one with the particles in the sky.)

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

HeavensSoldiersSong03ThePledge.mp3


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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I record my own demos, usually just voice/piano/guitar. Here's a link to my media reel, on the left are all my soundcloud tracks if you'd like to here more of what they sound like than just the two uploaded demos. Thanks.
https://www.rhobajt.com/media-reel

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

1-Ever-Happily-Songs-for-a-Climate-Changed-World-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Filip Holacky

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 4, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

Filip Holacky is a Czech composer, writer, lyricist, and orchestrator based in Glasgow, UK. He studied viola at the Brno Conservatory, Czech Republic, and performed in many countries around Europe and the USA. He's currently finishing his studies in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Among many other successes, in 2019, his opera "The Orangery" won the Edinburgh Studio Opera Composition Award for the Best New Opera.

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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

Coming from the country that was heavily affected by WW2, I've been always interested in the topic of war, concentration camps, the effect of war on human mind, pacifism.

Recently, I have written an opera "Auschwitz Lovers" based on the story presented in NYTimes for the project Opera Harmony - this opera is being performed online (in the form of pre-recorded audios) in upcoming weeks.

While I have no other experience with internet scripts or songs, I have worked remotely with other creatives as composer, arranger, and orchestrator, and I'm aware of the limits of online performances. I have created musical theatre scores that were performed as radio plays (which have very similar limitations), and I quickly adapt to new conditions of all kinds.

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VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPkuQgN-zuM



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I am used to creating backing tracks on my computer - for example, you can check out the sound quality of one of my latest songs recorded during the lockdown here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qkMdmZZO8Y - and while I'm not a singer myself, I know a lot of professional performers who are always willing to participate in new exciting projects and could help me to create the track.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

HOLACKY_Mapping-Out-the-World.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpUx1cDkFuU

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Christine Croyden

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 3, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

Christine Croyden is a Melbourne-based playwright, independent producer, lyricist and novelist. Her plays are licensed and published by Australian plays.org https://australianplays.org/playwright/ASC-3983. She writes character-based drama, and storytelling is her passion.
In 2011 Croyden was selected for the Inaugural Stage and Screen Residency at Varuna. In 2012 she was the recipient of a Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) Scholarship and was mentored by lyricist, Jack Robinson in Paris and MMD (Mercury Musical Developments) in London. She completed a six-month playwriting residency at the Cartoucherie, a French theatre company in Paris in 2017.
Her most recent play UNDERGROUND, inspired by the adventures of Nancy Wake – a WW2 special agent, was produced at Gasworks Arts Park in March 2019 and toured various Melbourne theatres. Her new play, JOY will be performed at Heide Museum of Modern Art together with the Joy Hester exhibition in May 2020.
She is also the author of two novels for young adults, The Painted Portal and The Memory Thief, many short stories and articles in journals and newspapers. Christine currently works as a tutor at the University of Melbourne and for NIDA Open.
For further information please visit Christine’s website www.christinecroyden.com

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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I am a playwright and lyricist based in Melbourne Australia, I spent many years working on a musical (book and lyrics) about an Australian WW2 veteran Nancy Wake titled, 'The white mouse musical' with composer Drew Lane. I was granted a 'Saluting their service' grant from Veteran's affairs to help develop this work. It had several showings, including one at the Caulfield RSL as part of ANZAC celebrations in 2016. I have also written a play about Wake UNDERGROUND produced and published in 2019, it then toured Melbourne. I have an ongoing interest in veterans and their stories of bravery and adventure and my special interest is WW2. I was granted a playwriting residency in Paris in 2017 and spent many months researching the stories of women of the French resistance. I have also collaborated on writing stories of nurses during war and in disaster zones. My website has a list of my plays and songs and most of them centre around the theme of survival.

BOOK FILE:  

ASC_UNDERGROUND_AVAILABLE.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   www.christinecroyden.com



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I love working with people and telling their stories. I also enjoy research, my next play which will be produced once the COVID 19 restrictions are lifted, is about Joy Hester, an Australian artist who survived many things. It will be produced at Heide Museum of Modern Art alongside a survey exhibition of her work as it is the centenary of her birth. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to tell veteran's stories through lyrics or in the form of a play. My work and lyrics can be viewed on my website www.christinecroyden.com

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

I_cannot_say-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktmUva0JVpM

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Jeff Dunne

DATE SUBMITTED:       June 3, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

While I have been writing a wide variety of prose and music over the past forty-five years, my playwriting activities began only in 2017. Over the past few years I have written approximately eighty scripts, split fairly evenly between comedies and dramas, but always with an underlying message of some kind. I particularly enjoying writing to prompts and finding ways to share stories. In terms of recognition, I've received several dozen awards over the past three years, and had plays produced across the country.

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SELECTION #2


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I think the mission of this project is critical - people need to hear the stories of veterans, to understand the sacrifices we ask of them and the prices they have paid in defending us and our society. While I have not been enlisted in the armed forces, I have a great many friends who have, and I did serve as a civilian as part of the admiral's staff on an aircraft carrier for several months (which was just enough to appreciate how much I don't know).

I have written several scripts recently that were intended specifically for sharing over the internet, and have composed roughly 175 songs over the past thirty years.

(Note: the two scripts that I included were not written specifically for the internet. I chose those two because they were extremely different in nature/character.)

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   http://www.bearcreations.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Moving-On.pdf



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I am primarily interested in writing scripts and stories, although I could possibly do something musical if necessary. I have Mixcraft Pro for composing music, and have a basic fluency with Davinci Resolve.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   http://www.bearcreations.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Words-Are-Uselss.pdf

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Ogden Rime

DATE SUBMITTED:       May 23, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

bat cat fat lax

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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

My vision's not so good.

BOOK FILE:  

Submission-Info-For-Marketing.docx

SCORE FILE:  

CAC_VIA_2019-20_GrantListings.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

I have an 8-track

BOOK FILE:  

salute-the-sunset.jpg

SCORE FILE:  

CAC-logo-1.png

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Stephen Green

DATE SUBMITTED:       May 23, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   WRITER

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

This is my brief bio.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #2


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

This is my vision statement

BOOK FILE:  

3LoveMyTexas.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

5Lemonade2.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

5Lemonade2.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/JDJQo6BkOLk



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:  

Nope - can't do it.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/JDJQo6BkOLk

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Sgt. Elise Green

DATE SUBMITTED:       May 23, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   VETERAN

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

This is a brief description of my story.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

This is my brief bio.


COMMENTS:  

This is my vision statement.

SOURCE:   No - please find me a writer.

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

2TheAmericanWayAccOnly.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/JDJQo6BkOLk



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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
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TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Olivia Popp

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Olivia Popp

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Musical theatre is an unrestricted ground for narrative exploration and where longstanding tropes are meant to be broken. With nearly every performative tool at its disposal, musical theatre is the ultimate form for creative discovery.

But the areas where musical theatre has not tread before is perhaps what is most intriguing— outrage over form and function exists in straight plays, so why isn’t musical theatre being utilized in the same fashion? Contemporary plays are permitted — and even expected — to be absurd and larger than life, so why doesn’t musical theatre have the same reputation?

It’s a question that I constantly ask myself. Even with musicals that don’t stick to a formulaic structure — such as those that don’t proceed chronologically, those that don’t have dialogue, or those that are more conceptual than plot-driven — feel as if they remain bound to an expectation to simply delight the audience with a combination of song, dance, and insightful dialogue.

Yet, this is not merely a criticism of the musical theatre form — the form does not have to exist in any specific style, and yet, we stick to what we know because it works. Iconic, emotional, and powerful works have been derived from a formula or simple twists to a classic story. But the potential for exploration is what makes the form interesting. There’s still so much to discover, which makes it incredibly compelling.

Musical theatre is also a collaborative process in the best ways. Built from the ground up, it can resemble any number of different mediums — opera, cinema, plays, concerts, dance, showcase, and more. Crafting a musical theatre production — in whatever state or form — requires a variety of skillsets that come together for one cohesive work. Unlike so many forms, one can pick and choose what areas to focus on, what areas to emphasis, what areas to toss off to the side — the possibilities are nearly endless.

The musical theatre form itself is clearly beyond the scope of our everyday existence, yet we all still believe in it. We cry over the relationships, we laugh over the story, we grow angry over the characters, we grow frustrated over the human struggles that we see. Thus, it’s no surprise that musical theatre is the perfect medium for exploring the most personal of stories, which may seem counterintuitive — yet that estrangement from life is what makes the form so compelling.

Sometimes, we need to take a step back from our own lives to actually examine them, and musical theatre does just that. By adding an “unrealistic” element of song but still firmly rooting it in stories and person-to-person interactions that we can recognize, we can more thoroughly explore the lives and journeys of characters just like us.

Musical theatre is most interesting when stretched beyond its limits in genre and style. I am particularly drawn to camp, which reveals the honesty and absurdity in our own lives.  With camp musicals, there are two estranging elements: song and larger-than-life humor — and oftentimes more, like breaking the fourth wall and extending beyond the world of the production. Through musical numbers coupled with comedy that clearly exceeds the reality that we live in, we are able to draw parallels to our own lives and experience what is truly real.

It’s not a fight to remain traditional or a fight to break free — it’s the artists’ choice to pick and choose, find an appropriate balance of convention and innovation. What really defines musical theatre? It’s an impossible question to answer, but one that is perhaps best described not simply by a description of content, but by an understanding of the temporal landscape of the form. It really is the child of a combination of many types of performance, taking on different identities through time. Musical theatre is what its creators want it to be, servicing a story or intention at hand.

When it comes down to it, everyone can find something they enjoy in musical theatre. A work might not delight every person, and it certainly should not be expected to — but the breadth of possibilities is also what makes the form so versatile. However, the options are there — from musical genre to style, from tone to structure, from movement to staging — it doesn’t have to be a fight for what’s truly the best kind of musical theatre, but a collective uplifting of the form for the betterment of art, community, and the world at large.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Olivia Popp is a writer and artist based in the Bay Area and a student at Stanford University. With creative beginnings as a multi-instrumentalist and musician, she loves original work and enjoys writing for theater with a passion for Asian American, queer, absurdist, and science fiction stories. Olivia studies with Straight White Men playwright Young Jean Lee and her work has been performed at The Kennedy Center in DC. Her new science fiction musical Double Vision is currently running at the 2020 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival after a workshop in the Bay Area in 2019. Olivia previously served as the artistic director of the Stanford Asian American Theater Project, co-founded by playwright David Henry Hwang. Beyond theater, she also makes films and works as a freelance writer and critic. Olivia is a vegetarian, has perfect pitch, and really, really loves science fiction. itsoliviapopp.com


COMMENTS:  

The following selections all come from Double Vision, a new science fiction musical with rock and camp comedy influences currently running at the 2020 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. The sound files and scores of selections provided contain abridged versions of the book (as if they were recorded for a cast album). Please see the book files for the full versions including lyrics and dialogue.

SOURCE:   I know Ryan Martin, a winner of the New Voices Project last year--both of our shows were also selected for the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival (his last year, mine this year)

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:   The Pressure

CONTEXT:  

Talented but hesitant astrophysics PhD student Luke has just been questioned by his ambitious grad school rival Marty, who begins to heavily drill Luke about his project in an attempt to pry information. At the same time, diligent but struggling writer Sam receives news from her sister Vanessa that her TV pilot concept was eerily copied. Again reminded and concerned about her ability to succeed in a competitive industry, she goes into a panic about her upcoming meetings with television executives.

However, both Luke and Sam are momentarily stopped in their tracks by an unknown force — fate, destiny, science, or otherwise — that pulls them towards each other. What they discover, later in the show, is that they are the same “person” — but in different parallel universes. This selection also introduces the triplet wormhole theme near the end of the song, which repeats as a motif throughout the larger work.

BOOK FILE:  

The-Pressure.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

3.-The-Pressure.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

The-Pressure.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Literal Space Opera

CONTEXT:  

In this selection including a character song, quirky and benevolent interdimensional being Kirk River (masquerading as a physics professor and an eccentric dad) interrupts a crucial moment in the story and reveals himself to the audience, right in the middle of the protagonists’ speculation. This is the first time the audience is privy to River’s status as an interdimensional being and the moment when he first breaks the fourth wall, transcends the reality of the story, and brings in an element of complete absurdity.

BOOK FILE:  

Literal-Space-Opera.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

12-Literal-Space-Opera.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

LIteral-Space-Opera.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Dark Matter

CONTEXT:  

Dark Matter takes place at the climax of the show, in which the characters are split between two literal parallel universes within a larger multiverse. Luke and Vanessa have previously switched parallel universes by passing through a wormhole via a machine that Lukebuilt. In this selection that covers the entire session from initial idea to discovery, characters in both universes simultaneously brainstorm and mull over their main personal conflicts as music bridges and overlaps time between the two worlds.

Using each of their life experiences, the groups each discover what they need to build the wormhole, together. With their own manic energy, passage of time, and facing potential disaster, each character begins to draw from and ponder their plights — Sam (writing her own TV pilot), Luke (his partially completed astrophysics thesis), Vanessa (her recently ended relationship), Marty (his guilt over pushing Luke through the wormhole), and Sierra (doubting her own intelligence and emotional strength).

BOOK FILE:  

Dark-Matter.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

16-Dark-Matter.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Dark-Matter.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Clayton Daniel Briggs

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book & Lyrics by Molly Reisman, Book & Music by Clayton Daniel Briggs

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

We are musical storytellers who devise pieces based on hidden true to life stories that stretch the bounds of what engaging musical theatre can be. We fell in love with each other’s work four years ago and each other shortly after, and have been creating musicals together ever since. Musical theatre is what we love most in this world, and our pursuit to create fresh, exciting, interesting, and dynamic pieces of musical theatre is our life’s goal.

We began our collaboration while completing our MFA’s at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, and since then, we have had pieces commissioned by California’s Pepperdine University, New York’s La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and the Brooklyn School of Music. As a team, we are drawn to stories where fact is stranger than fiction. Our work aims to adapt real events and characters and allow them to slip into the bonds of the theatrically fantastical. We aim to entertain our audiences with true stories that can be conveyed through the spectacular, which engages our audiences and allows them to take a journey, walking a tightrope between this reality and the worlds we create.

Our work draws inspiration from the creative team of Laurence O’ Keefe and Nell Benjamin who are masters of “campy” musical theatre, and also happen to be married. We are drawn to working with tactile visual elements such as puppetry, as we have with our last commissioned piece at La MaMa Experimental Theatre, The Three Dolls, and with our musical Electric Circus, which features puppetry and live dramatic science experiments. We find that using these tools allows our audiences to connect directly with our story on an aural and visual level, and allows us to expand the realm of how imaginatively impactful our work can be.

Our goal is to create musicals that are dazzlingly engaging, fun to listen to and stunning to look at. We do this by constantly challenging ourselves to absorb as much as we can from this world so that we may tell the most fascinating untold stories to the utmost of our abilities, and engage as many audiences as humanly possible, so that we can enrich our theatrical landscape with stories that are part of our human history.

Many view musical theatre as an escapist art form. As a team, we work relentlessly to craft stories that transport audiences into the strange and true histories of humanity. We create art that allows us to escape into ourselves, and explore the wonder, joy, and excitement of humanity while having a damn good night at the theatre.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

MOLLY REISMAN is a Canadian lyricist and librettist who is endlessly curious about how humans connect, empathize and interact with the world around them. She holds a B.F.A in acting with a business entrepreneurship minor from Ryerson University and an M.F.A from NYU Tisch’s  Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. Molly was recently awarded the inaugural Eric H. Weinberger award for Emerging Librettist for her piece “Keaton and The Whale” from New York’s Amas Musical Theater, and she has served as an artist in residence at the Fingerlakes Musical Theater PiTCH Festival. Credits include: “Three Dolls” (LaMaMa Children’s Festival), “Electric Circus” (Pepperdine University Commission), “Heartbeat” (NYU Tisch 2019), “Keaton and The Whale” (NYU Tisch 2019) “TedQuest” (LaMaMa Puppet Festival), “WE WROTE THIS” (Ryerson New Voices Festival & Winner of Best of Atlantic Fringe Festival 2014). www.mollyreisman.com

CLAYTON DANIEL BRIGGS is a musical theater writer based in Brooklyn, New York. He has been featured Off-Broadway and internationally as both a writer and performer. His most recent musical Electric Circus, written with Molly Reisman, received its first staged reading at Pepperdine University in April 2019. Clayton also works as a copyist and orchestrator specializing in music for the stage, working with MTI (Music Theater International), Disney Theatrical Group, and various other institutions.
Originally from Fresno, California, Clayton was born into a family of musicians and actors, and he has been performing in musicals for over a decade as both an actor and an instrumentalist. Clayton received his MFA from NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program and his BA in Music Theory and Composition from Pepperdine University, where he also studied vocal performance. www.claytonbriggs.com


COMMENTS:  

“Electric Circus” is a chamber rock musical based on the real life Dr. Frankenstein, Giovanni Aldini. The nephew of disgraced scientist Luigi Galvani, Aldini will do anything to reclaim his family name, including bringing the dead back to life.

For additional context, we have created a teaser video for our musical: https://youtu.be/VZ-SNiIf4LE

Additional information about cast size and orchestration can be found at www.electriccircusmusical.com

SOURCE:   Clayton is an alumni of ANMT - 2016.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   “What Do I Know?”

CONTEXT:  

This is the second song in “Electric Circus”. It is London in the late 1790’s and the streets are full of snake oil salesmen, fortune tellers, and alchemists. In this moment, GIOVANNI ALDINI, a professor of physics at the nearby university, runs into MARY KATHERINE, as they both heckle the street performers.

BOOK FILE:  

What-Do-I-Know-Scene-Song.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

02-What-Do-I-Know.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

What-Do-I-Know.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/nUtQnr4qDdY



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   “Stay”

CONTEXT:  

Midway through “Electric Circus”. In this moment, After having surprising success in healing MARY KATHERINE of her ailment with his brand new methods of electroshock therapy, GIOVANNI ALDINI suggests that he and MARY KATHERINE should team up to create a brand new type of street performance: scientific demonstration.

BOOK FILE:  

Stay-Scene-Song.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

05-Stay.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Stay.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/ca0D-1WBAjM



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   “Loose Cannon”

CONTEXT:  

In “Electric Circus”, GIOVANNI ALDINI and MARY KATHERINE are finding success in their street scientific demonstrations. Immediately after their first successful experiment making frogs dance, GIOVANNI ALDINI and MARY KATHERINE are introduced to their very first competitor.

BOOK FILE:  

Loose-Cannon-Scene-Song.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

07-Loose-Cannon.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Loose-Cannon.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Emma Lockwood

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz and Emma Lockwood

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

We’ve been writing musical theatre together for almost five years, and we always say that musical theatre is our way of connecting with and understanding the world. Musical theatre has helped us both in our lives be reminded that we are not alone. A writer can put their truth into a song and touch a hundred lives without even knowing it, and we think that is the most bananas amazing thing in the world. We can only hope to make others feel connected musical theatre has uplifted and inspired us in our lives.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz and Emma Lockwood have been writing musical theatre at 2 in the morning since 2015. Their work was most recently featured in Taylor Louderman’s “Write Out Loud” concert at 54 Below and in The Passing Show at Pershing Square Signature Theatre, debuting music from their latest song cycle. They have also workshopped and staged three versions of their first full-length original musical, “My Brother, Walt” at Muhlenberg College. They sound kind of like if Billy Joel had married Nathan Lane (Disclaimer: they know that Nathan Lane is not a composer).

Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz is a composer, performer, and Disney enthusiast. At age ten he picked up the piano (not literally) and has since composed music for many original theatrical works. He has co-written the score to four “PATAsphere” productions, composed several student-written musicals at Muhlenberg College, and created his first full-length original musical with Emma Lockwood in 2015. He is currently a Walt Disney Imagineer, working as a Project Coordinator for Voice Casting and Disney Parks Live Entertainment.

Emma Lockwood is a writer, director, and performer from New York. At age 12 she wrote a terrible Christmas song and has since gone onto write some pretty cool musical theatre. In college she wrote/staged readings of over six original plays, and one full-length musical (WOO!) that she wrote with her partner Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz. She has recently presented work at the New York Musical Festival. By day, she is a contributing journalist for American Theatre magazine and is on a bad-ass all female producing team of a national tour. She is aware that she does too many things, and needs to get more sleep.


COMMENTS:  

We are submitting three songs from our song cycle “Unread Messages: Anxieties of Overworked and Under-Slept Actors of the 21st Century.” It is indeed, a song cycle, meant to be listened to and presented in concert form. But it can also be produced and staged as a full musical. Almost all of our character songs can be sung by any person, regardless of gender. There are 15 songs in the song cycle, please contact us if you’d like to hear more!

Synopsis:

“Making it” in show business in the 21st century is different than it used to be. Social media has made the world smaller and there is increasing competition and pressure for artists to make their work “relevant.” Performers are coming out of ritzy theater schools with BFAs, massive student debt, and shiny dreams of success in a world that doesn’t have room for all of them.

Unread Messages traces a group of young actors as they graduate college and enter the modern entertainment world. Through a series of vignettes, we follow them through major stages and challenges in their career, and get to hear them vent about their anxieties in a rapidly changing world. We watch as them navigate financial struggles, rejection, adversity, mental health, relationships, world crisis, and more. But don’t worry- it’s also funny!

It’s kind of what would happen if the characters from A Chorus Line had Twitter. It is written by young artists, for young artists, and expresses our generation’s angst and ambition. We want to say out loud the anxieties that go through young people’s heads and say “it’s okay- we hear you. We feel this too.” This funny and touching musical odyssey explores failure, friendship, and finding your way in the world as a young artist and as a person.

SOURCE:   We follow New Musicals Inc.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Booked and Blessed

CONTEXT:  

Booked and Blessed: The second song in the show. Minutes after graduation, Ryland is packing up their dorm room, excited about their new life ahead. Optimistic, up-tempo. Male or Female.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

Booked_and_Blessed_Piano_Vocal-1.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

BOOKED-and-BLESSED-MIX.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXOF2n9eSNw



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Perpetual Babyface

CONTEXT:  

Perpetual Babyface: Mid-show song. Emma lets everyone know her feelings about constantly being cast as a child at the age of 27, and belittled by people in power. Up-tempo, vaudeville. Female.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

Perpetual_Baby_Face_in_F.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Perpetual-Baby-Face.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Coming Home

CONTEXT:  

Coming Home: The second to last song in the show. Seven years after trying to make it in New York as a performer, Matt returns home with literal and emotional baggage. They reflect upon their former life and the life they are coming back to. Melancholy ballad. Male or Female.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

NOAH-SUNDAY-LEFKOWITZ-COMING-HOME-©2018.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Celine Snippe

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book and Lyrics by Celine Snippe, Music by Justin Gates

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

We, Gates and Snippe, have been collaborating for roughly a year and a half, since we were paired together to write our thesis in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. We, as writers, are mostly interested in finding the places where different art forms and where different genres collide. Musical theatre is the art form that seems to always give us the most freedom to experiment. The stories that we want to write, the characters that we want to see and identify with, and the music that’s always in our (mostly Justin’s) heads: all of it seems to fall into place when put our ideas into a musical theatre mold. The story we ended up creating in our final year at NYU, and the show that is the basis of our collaboration and our mutual love for musical theatre, is “The Place Between,” our first full-length horror musical. When we initially began our collaboration, we worked hard to find what inspired and suited both of our strengths and interests. We are both attracted to intricacy, to science and futurism, and our natural draw to the macabre led us on the hunt for something scary. We became invested in finding the place where music and horror coincide. In musical theatre, horror is a genre that has long been skirted, perhaps because of the genre’s seeming incompatibility with the art form (bloody jazz hands not being very appealing to most). This seemed to us to be a challenge as well as an oversight; we believe that dark narratives can illuminate the complexities of human nature. This is also the reason why we were compelled to write “The Place Between” now: we want to explore human nature in this day and age, and we want to use the untapped horror genre to tell stories that haven’t yet been told. When we discovered the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, we realized we’d struck the right combination of suspense, wit, and dread to set the scene. It is important to note, too, that Lovecraft is in many ways a problematic figure; because of the dichotomy between the importance of his work and the issue of his politics, we realized that we’d found material that we could converse with and improve in its themes and representation. We used his universe, populated it with characters inspired by his themes but crafted from our modern world, and found the music by making those characters struggle to build their lives in opposition to Lovecraft’s signature sense of existential dread: a family trying to come together, in spite of the horrors trying to tear them apart.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Justin Gates is a Brooklyn-based songwriter, librettist, dramaturg, and performer. A graduate of NYU Tisch’s Musical Theatre Writing Program, Gates continues to work as the composer on both his thesis musicals: the New England beach dramedy Sawyer Thompson with Colin Gallagher (receiving a reading and workshop with the Tisch New Musical Theatre Workshop in April 2020), and the Lovecraftian horror story The Place Between with Celine Snippe. Other current works-in-progress include Unintentional, a new musical webseries created in collaboration with Colin Gallagher and Sarah Mickey, and The City Below: A New Noir Podcast with Celine Snippe, in association with the Podcast Academy at the NYU Production Lab. Gates holds his Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, and his theatre work has been selected for the Curtain Up Musical Theatre Festival in Boston, the New and Newer Festival in Seattle, and the Duplex NYC’s “In the Works” Series.

Celine Snippe is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist, born and raised in The Netherlands. Celine holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing (NYU), an MA in Musical Theatre (Goldsmiths College, London), and she’s a lyricist in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Recent works include The Place Between, 29-hour Equity Reading (NYU Tisch, April 2019), ‘A Thousand Wonders’ and ‘Colour and Oil’ featured in the Curtain Up Festival (Berklee College of Music, April 2019, April 2020), ‘What Is Out There’ featured in Collaborative Cabaret with the Touring Cast of Wicked (Under the Arch Incubator in St. Louis, MO, December 2019); Free Solo, Camden Fringe Festival (Hen and Chickens Theatre, July 2017), Take Note Festival (Tristan Bates Theatre, September 2017), Drayton Arms Theatre (Production, April – May 2018), BEAM Showcase (Pitch, Theatre Royal Stratford East, March 2018); Enough, performed at the Dramatists Guild and Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater.


COMMENTS:  

The demo tracks only include the sung material, they don’t include the book scenes before or after the songs.

Our work samples are all from the same musical, “The Place Between,” for which we will include a short synopsis here:

Dr. Eve Whateley has just moved her family from San Francisco to her grandparent’s ancestral estate in Dunwich, MA. It’s a place lost in her childhood, somewhere she’d nearly forgotten about until receiving the call to come sort through the mass of antiquities bequeathed to her. But as she goes through the strange New England manse, with the help of an eccentric librarian from Miskatonic University, Eve finds herself pulled back into the past by the memories she uncovers… and, trapped in their secluded new home, her husband and children feel the tentacles of isolation begin to pull them apart.

 

SOURCE:   Dramatist Guild Resource Directory

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Middle of Nowhere

CONTEXT:  

The family has just arrived at their new secluded home for the summer, but Thomas (Eve's son) is already trying to engage Phillip (Howard's son) in a tirade against their parents.

BOOK FILE:  

The-Place-Between-New-Voices-Project-Selection-1-Book-and-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

The-Place-Between-New-Voices-Project-Selection-1-Music.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   The Time Between I / Night I

CONTEXT:  

The children and Howard have just had a fight, but Eve has been staring at the front door the entire time, wondering how Sonia (Eve and Howard's daughter) was able to get out of the house before while the door was locked. The kids have gone to bed, and Eve and Howard are debating whether or not they made the right choice by moving here. When the Night falls upon the house, the family is plagued by strange dreams and nightmares.

BOOK FILE:  

The-Place-Between-New-Voices-Project-Selection-2-Book-and-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

The-Place-Between-New-Voices-Project-Selection-2-Music.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   A Thousand Wonders

CONTEXT:  

Sonia is exploring the woods around the new House with Thomas and Phillip, when they suddenly stumble upon a barn Sonia swears she saw in her dreams. Meanwhile, Eve and Professor Armitage are rummaging through old belongings of Eve's ancestors.

BOOK FILE:  

The-Place-Between-New-Voices-Project-Selection-3-Book-and-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

The-Place-Between-New-Voices-Project-Selection-3-Music.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Rachel Covey

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music & Lyrics

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I don’t think there’s a more honest way to tell a story than through human beings in a room. In a world of instant media, there are a thousand arguments against the theatre, and only one for it: people connect to people. In musical theatre specifically, I see a form of storytelling which is capable of matching the pace and honesty of life, while using music to say what words often cannot. This medium, where stories are grounded in realism while tipping slightly beyond it, places audiences just between a the brains and the hearts of the characters they follow. It is in this medium that I believe theatre does what it does best: use human connection to ask questions about the human experience.

Much of my work surrounds unresolved stories. I’ve found that there is so much to mine in that which is unresolved, if we don’t shy away from the discomfort these moments may bring. In the unresolved, we often find more questions than answers, but the more we learn to sit in these unfinished moments, the more beauty we learn to find in them.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Rae Covey is a playwright, composer, and a current senior at Northwestern University. Combining a love of theatre and a background in music, she wrote the book, music, & lyrics for Painting Faye Salvez, a musical about an artist who interviews the family and friends of a girl who’s gone missing in an attempt to truthfully capture her in a family portrait. Painting Faye Salvez received a reading at the 2017 New York Musical Festival (NYMF), and has since been developed at the Library at the Public Theater and the New Works Festival at Tuacahn Theatre in Saint George, Utah. For her senior thesis, she’s developing a piece which explores the bounds of predictive medicine through the lens of fate and free will. When she’s not writing, Rae can be found music directing in the New York and Chicagoland areas, and is proud to represent Maestra Music Directors in the pit!


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   REPAIR from PAINTING FAYE SALVEZ

CONTEXT:  

Three years after Faye Salvez went missing, her family and friends still have no closure. When a young artist promises he can capture Faye’s essence in a family portrait by speaking with her loved ones, Faye’s friends and family gather for a series of interviews over the course of one day. As tensions build, memories clash, and truths are challenged, we are faced with the question: Is it the responsibility of an artist to present the truth, even if it’s not what an audience wants to see?

Here, we see Blake, Faye's father, organizing some of Faye's belongings after being scolded by his wife for moving them.

**PASSWORD FOR THE VIMEO LINK IS " PaintingFayeSalvezbyRachelCovey " ***

BOOK FILE:  

Painting-Faye-Salvez-by-Rachel-Covey-Sample-2-.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Sheet-Music-for-NMI-Submission-REPAIR-from-Painting-Faye-Salvez-by-Rachel-Covey.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://vimeo.com/391636800



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   FOCUS ON YOUR HANDS from an untitled project!

CONTEXT:  

When Dr. Kenton began conducting a study on a college campus, she thought she was on
the brink of a biomedical breakthrough. Today, she appears before a jury. Elsewhere, an unlikely friendship between two college students takes a bitter turn. As these stories unfold and begin to echo one another, lines blur between the past as we remember it, and the future as we fear it. This original (untitled!) contemporary musical investigates themes of Fate and Free Will through the lens of modern medicine.

This song comes at a saturation point in this story. We’ve watched Dr. Kenton’s fixation on a young man participating in her study intensify, as she crosses lines with increasingly serious repercussions -- even placing him on a drug trial for which he is not eligible. Bubbling up throughout the narrative, we’ve seen glimpses of Madeline and Drew, whose friendship began with a jump in the lake. An unsettled quality has clouded their last few scenes together. By the time the severity of the situation clicks for Madeline, it’s too late. This song follows Madeline’s processing of a tragedy for which she missed every warning sign.

BOOK FILE:  

Untitled-Piece-SAMPLE-by-Rachel-Covey-.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Sheet-Music-for-NMI-Submission-FOCUS-ON-YOUR-HANDS-by-Rachel-Covey-.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

NMI-Submission-Focus-on-Your-Hands-by-Rachel-Covey.m4a


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   I KNOW I DID from PAINTING FAYE SALVEZ

CONTEXT:  

Three years after Faye Salvez went missing, her family and friends still have no closure. When a young artist promises he can capture Faye’s essence in a family portrait by speaking with her loved ones, Faye’s friends and family gather for a series of interviews over the course of one day. As tensions build, memories clash, and truths are challenged, we are faced with the question: Is it the responsibility of an artist to present the truth, even if it’s not what an audience wants to see?

This song is sung by Aidan, Faye's boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, at the end of an interview with the artist.

BOOK FILE:  

Painting-Faye-Salvez-by-Rachel-Covey-Sample-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Sheet-Music-for-NMI-Submission-I-Know-I-Did-from-Painting-Faye-Salvez-by-Rachel-Covey-.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

NMI-Submission-I-Know-I-Did-by-Rachel-Covey-.m4a


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.dropbox.com/sh/y62y496i63n6rdu/AAALQTLufRa_mHDgsm4df2qTa?dl=0

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Jared Goudsmit

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Libretto by Jared Goudsmit, Music by Max Reinert.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Musical theatre requires an audience to suspend a truly insane level of disbelief. Spontaneous song? Crowds rhythmically chanting in unison? Dance? In theory, none of this nonsense should work!

But the absurdity of the format is what gives musical theatre the power to resonate so well. When we separate the rules of the play from the rules of our own world, we’re able to experience the show as an allegory. The stakes feel so much higher in a musical than in the average straight play because the audience has been given, more often than not, symbols to connect with in the form of characters.

In this sense, musicals have become the modern form of the epic: Broad in scope, with constant motion, and the undeniable feeling that a Grand Truth is ever so subtly being imparted (at least, if the show is good). We challenged ourselves to encapsulate all these sweeping characteristics into a 20-minute show. With a minimal set and one piano. Set in a makeshift PTA boardroom.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Jared Goudsmit is a 19-year-old playwright and librettist with a particular love for wacky comedies. He is a two-time YPF (Blank Theatre) winner and a 2020 winner and finalist for Film at YoungArts. His Western comedy, Derailed, was published by Samuel French in 2019. He really enjoys The Arsonists by Max Frisch and referring to himself in the third person. He thanks you for your consideration!

Max Reinert is an 18-year-old composer. He just released his first EP with his band, The Advisors. His personal style centers around 70s R&B and soul, but he chose to incorporate some rhythm section funk into this musical. He wishes you a good day!


COMMENTS:  

The footage in the YouTube video is from a 2019 workshop. Wherever there’s a discrepancy between the script and video, the script has it right!

SOURCE:   The Dramatists Guild newsletter!

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Wrath of the PTA

CONTEXT:  

Beth, the ruthless committee chair of the Joseph McCarthy Elementary School PTA, rules with an iron fist. But with a looming election, a pompous challenger, and a backstabbing vice-chair at her throat, her days of running bake sales and trivia nights may be numbered.

BOOK FILE:  

FINALPTASCRIPT.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

FINALPTASCORE.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/9VwwVU9Q8_Y



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Martin Gold

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Martin Gold

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I think right now is the definitive moment to create musical theatre, and it’s Spotify’s fault. And not just because everyone can listen to Raul Esparza sing Tick Tick Boom whenever they want.

Music streaming gave me confidence in my musical tastes, my taste for musicals included. The accessibility of music let me develop a musical palette so much more eclectic than “the CDs my parents own, plus what was playing on the radio when I was eight”. (I think that’s how that would otherwise develop?) I think musical theatre is finally beginning to catch up to the landscape of streaming sites, where orchestral ensembles, pop-punk, and mumble rap are literally a click away from each other. I don’t think the contemporary MT canon is there yet, but it certainly feels like new stylistic conceits aren’t being purity tested like they were decades ago.

Rather than a set of rules, the “musical theatre form” feels like a betting game now: I bet, that with this one artistic toolset and with this story idea, I can elicit a given reaction. Song and story develop alongside each other in a seamless and open-ended conversation with no leader. But that still requires care and attention! There is just as much craft in telling the story of Nikola Tesla in hyperactive dubstep, for instance, as there is in South Pacific. The former just *exists* as an option now, because music has been made accessible to the masses and theatre gets to reap the rewards.

…AND I can listen to Raul Esparza sing Tick Tick Boom whenever I want.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Martin Gold is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University, where he spent his time writing a handful of original musicals as well as writing for Northwestern’s Waa-Mu Show for four years. He currently resides in Chicago, working as a music director at Storycatchers Theatre, a nonprofit developing new musical theatre with incarcerated and court-involved youth across northern Illinois.


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:   Word of mouth through Northwestern University

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   "The Window"

CONTEXT:  

Desperate to find a hookup for Adderall, and after trying several of her closest friends with no luck, Charlie agrees to sit down with Hunter, a friend of a friend of hers, over coffee, to see if he might be able to help her.

BOOK FILE:  

The-Window.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

The-Window-NMI.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

XR-The-Window.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "Long Walk Home"

CONTEXT:  

Later in the show, Charlie has gotten a hold of Adderall and has used it as a study crutch to the point where it's losing its effectiveness. Sleep-deprived and anxious, she's in the basement of the Yale library, trying to work on several final projects all at once.

BOOK FILE:  

Long-Walk-Home.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Long-Walk-Home-NMI.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

XR-Long-Walk-Home.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   "Six Page Letter"

CONTEXT:  

Ryan has invited someone into his home to collect the detritus of his most recent failed relationship.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

Six-Page-Letter-NMI.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Six-Page-Letter-MG.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Nicholas Duarte

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book and Lyrics by Nicholas Duarte, Music and Lyrics by Shreya Jha

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

As writers, we are driven by a love for experimentation. We like to challenge ourselves creatively and believe that if a project is easy, then it’s not worth doing. New challenges fuel creative solutions and learning opportunities. Our passion for musical theatre stems from this desire to create, entertain and inform.

We enjoy and appreciate the collaborative nature of musical theatre. With experiences writing for the screen and writing classical music, we were used to working largely on our own. The respective writing processes often involved solo efforts for large periods of time before working with other artists.

Nicholas is drawn to the closeness and the raw energy one can only get from live theatre. His first experience working in musical theatre came the summer before he began university. Having been an active member of his high school’s theatre department, his friend asked him to be a stage manager for a production of The Wizard of Oz. At the time he had no idea what he was getting himself into, but it turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. To this day, those three hour rehearsals, in the middle of summer, crammed into a small theatre in Markham, Ontario, are some of his fondest memories. From that point on he always dreamed of writing his own musical, but he knew that he couldn’t write one alone. Hence, he reached out to Shreya in search of a writing partner. He quickly fell in love with the teamwork-based writing process of musical theatre. It allows his imagination to run wild, and provides so many unique outlets for storytelling. He has since begun work on 2 more projects. 

In October 2019, after the premiere of her first musical Statistics and with the premiere of her second musical Connections fast approaching, Shreya found herself faced with the seemingly impossible task of orchestrating an entire two-act musical in mere weeks. After many sleepless nights, she managed it, and upon looking back she realized that not once did she stop loving the craft of bringing emotion and narrative to life with instruments through all the exhaustion and near-breakdowns. It was then that she thought - perhaps there is something here for her.

When we began writing musical theatre, we were excited by the opportunity to write and develop our works not only with each other, but with a director, actors and dramaturg from start to finish. We believe that the best route to artistic success is through cooperation with other artists. Theatre is one of the few forms of entertainment in which the audience, cast and crew all inhabit the same space during a performance. When we develop a musical we try to go beyond just telling a story, we understand that we are crafting a shared experience. 

Moving forward, we want to continue to explore works that provide social commentary, and draw upon influences from both the past and the present to develop our voice. We are both interested in history and much of our work examines how historical events have impacted the world we live in today. 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Nicholas Duarte is a librettist and lyricist from Toronto, Canada. His work focuses on the blending of comedy and drama, exploring how these two genres, which are often considered opposites, can be used in conjunction to elevate a work. He is interested in topics such as media, technology, history, fantasy, and family. His most recent work, LUV, explores the impact that technology has on modern relationships. LUV is set to premiere at the Assembly Theatre in Toronto, Canada in March 2020. He is currently working on two more shows: Feed The cat, a musical - comedy about blended families, acceptance, and teenage responsibility. As well as Lost and Found, a fantasy-musical about the pitfalls of ambition, and the importance of patience. 

Shreya Jha is a Toronto-based composer, lyricist, playwright, and educator presently studying composition and neuroscience at the University of Toronto. Her first musical Statistics, originated at the University of Toronto Drama Festival 2019, went on to win the Adams Prize for Musical Theatre and will be remounted at the 2020 Fringe Festival. She has had two other musicals programmed and premiered at the University of Toronto – Connections in November 2019 and LUV, written as a collaboration with Nicholas Duarte, to be premiered in March 2020. The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra has commissioned Shreya for multiple pieces since 2016. In March 2017 and 2018, the Gryphon Trio premiered her pieces at their Trinity College coffeehouse. Shreya has also written incidental music for numerous plays around University of Toronto theatre. Shreya is keenly interested in the intersections between music and neuroscience and hopes to investigate the impact of music on the brain and human health, particularly in the context of education.


COMMENTS:  

Please note that the song recordings do not feature the full songs. Unfortunately, we were unable to get all of the actors to attend a recording session.

The Thrill of First Text recording features the first half of the song.

All of Validation is included in the recording, but you will notice in the script and score that it transitions into a second part called Comments 1. This is not featured in the recording.

Some of the book selections begin/end with lines from previous scenes/ songs. Please disregard these additional lines. The submitted scenes/ lyrics are labeled with headings in the script.

Thank you for taking the time to review our submission.

SOURCE:   Through a post on Facebook.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Thrill of First Text

CONTEXT:  

LUV follows 4 main characters as they attempt to navigate the world of modern love: Taylor and her best friend Brooke, and Philip and his best friend Jason.

Taylor recently got out of a long-term relationship, and Brooke is trying desperately to get her to move on. Her solution: Hit it and quit it. Just have fun, go on dates, forget about relationships. This goes against everything Taylor believes in.

Philip on the other hand, has no problem going on dates. The only issue: he can never seem to get a second date with anyone. He’s a perfectionist who is constantly looking for approval from his peers. No one he dates can ever live up to his expectations. Jason has grown tired of Philip ending relationships prematurely.

Jason is hopeless when it comes to dating. He’s in love with Brooke despite having never talked to her before. Philip wants Jason to move on from Brooke. This prompts the two of them to make a deal: If Jason goes on a date with a girl other than Brooke, then Philip will go on at least two dates with the next girl he meets.

Jason decides to go on a date with Taylor … Brooke’s best friend. (spoiler: it goes terribly) Meanwhile, Philip ends his next date in the first ten minutes when he finds out that she doesn’t like the same Bachelor contestant as him.

Feeling bad about their date, Jason tries to make it up to Taylor by offering to set her up with Philip. Taylor is not thrilled by the offer, but Brooke steps in and accepts it for her. Like Taylor, Philip is also not happy with Jason’s plan, especially since he never ran it by him first. Jason begs Philip to give it a shot, fearing that if Philip turns Taylor down it will make him look bad in the eyes of Brooke. Philip reluctantly agrees.

In Thrill of First Text we find Taylor and Philip pleasantly surprised by how much they like each other. Jason begins texting a new co-worker, Jules. For the first time in the show he’s thinking about someone other than Brooke.

BOOK FILE:  

LUV-_Thrill-Of-First-Text-_-NMI-2020.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

The-Thrill-of-First-Text-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

THRILL-OF-FIRST-TEXT-.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Validation

CONTEXT:  

Philip and Taylor’s relationship gets off to a rocky start. During their first date, their friend’s constant meddling spoils the romance. The first act ends with Taylor and Philip finally brushing off their friends' advice as they make a vow to go on a second date.

The second date is awkward and uncomfortable. It’s clear that the two of them are out of sync, but they push through it in an attempt to recapture the initial spark they felt when they began texting (in Thrill of First Text). They find themselves making up excuses for why the relationship isn’t going as planned: these things take time, it’s our friend’s fault for getting involved, I’m still coming to terms with the death of my dog … y’know, the usual stuff. The song validation finds Philip in a unique spot. He is able to recognize the tumultuous parts of the relationship, but he is also trying desperately to convince himself that there’s something there to hold onto.

Enter: Social Media. In the scene leading up to Validation, Philip is shocked to find that a photo he posted of him and Taylor has blown up online. The reviews are in, and people are loving them as a couple. Philip tends to be vain and a perfectionist when it comes to relationships. He’s focused more on perception than emotional connection. As a result, the validation he gets from social media is exactly what he needs to move forward with Taylor. After all, if people love them this much, they must be doing something right …

BOOK FILE:  

LUV-_Validation_NMI-2020.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Validation-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Validation-.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   LUV - Act 2 Scene 10

CONTEXT:  

This scene occurs near the end of the show. It leads into the second last song, Ghost busters, in which Brooke and Taylor let out their frustrations with their failed relationships.

Throughout the first act Brooke is seen as confident and determined. She has plenty of experience with dating, and is constantly pushing Taylor to put herself out there. She is Taylor’s rock when things go awry, and is her biggest cheerleader when things go right. She means well, but she can be a bit overbearing at times. By the end of the first act, Brooke has given up on dating men in real life. Instead, she has decided to get with the times and only date online.

At the start of the second act Brooke has a new love interest, Damian. Although they never meet in person, Brooke falls for him. She decides that, for the first time, she is going to try having a serious relationship. With Jason’s help she opens up to Damian, but he eventually stops responding to her (“ghosts” her). Brooke blames herself, thinking that she pushed him away by opening up.

Taylor, on the other hand, has just finished breaking up with Philip. She comes out of it hurt, but with a new found confidence. She knows that she made the right decision.

In this scene, Brooke is at her lowest. She continues to hold onto the hope that Damian might text her back even though she knows, deep down, that he’s long gone. We see a reversal in character roles. Whereas Brooke was the confident friend who was there for Taylor when she was at her lowest in the opening scenes of the show, Taylor is now using her new-found confidence to lift Brooke out of her slump.

BOOK FILE:  

LUV-_Act-2-Scene-10_-NMI-2020.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Sean Ullmer

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Music, Lyrics and Book by Sean Ullmer

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I surround myself with musical theatre because it is diverse yet universal. From a creator’s perspective, the possibilities are endless yet also very structured. It’s a total spectrum where you will find rock musicals, operettas, linear plots, vignettes, black box productions, full-blown productions in concert halls, and so much more. Yet all musicals share a loosely common form that excites audiences and unites those who study and love it. For me, Rita, the Cleaning Lady represents all of this because while it contains songs that you would expect to be in a musical, it also has lots of experimental elements that I am very proud of.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Sean Ullmer is a composer and theatre artist currently studying at
Mason Gross School of the Arts. His music is inspired by popular
music of various eras, jazz, and romantic/20th century music. Sean has a passion for new theatre and
has written, musically directed, produced, and/or performed in several new musicals and plays
around the NYC area. He recently served as a performer, arranger, and music director for a new play,
Bride of the Gulf, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He produced and wrote the music,
lyrics and book for an original musical, Rita, the Cleaning Lady, contributed music to the new musical Fall Risk, and has participated in the NYMF
Musical Songwriting Workshop and coLAB Arts 48 Hour Musicals. He loves working in other media
as well; he is currently co-scoring an upcoming Mason Gross documentary about Paul Robeson and
has written music for several Mason Gross dance productions. Finally, Sean currently teaches music and English in
schools, in private lessons, and online.


COMMENTS:  

Rita, the Cleaning Lady, for which I wrote music, lyrics, and book, is based on a story by my uncle Steven Ullmer. Set in central New Jersey, it focuses on a recently remarried suburban cleaning lady named Rita. She needs decent money for herself and her family, and she ends up getting it. She just has to clean up murder scenes and bury the bodies!

SOURCE:   I was referred to NMI by Ross Plotkin, and to this project by a Facebook link shared by my friend Nick Kaminski!

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Bills

CONTEXT:  

Rita and Charlie Lurem, a newly married couple, are each starting their second marriage and building a family with their adolescent children. However, alimony payments on Charlie’s end, lack of alimony on Rita’s, and every financial hurdle imaginable have created severe financial hardship. Bills have become a family activity for the Lurem family — and Charlie’s daughter Marty just brought in a fresh stack from the mailbox. It's time for the three of them plus Rita's son Milo to tackle them.

BOOK FILE:  

Ullmer:Bills BOOK.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Ullmer:Bills SCORE.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Ullmer:Bills SOUND.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   What I Do

CONTEXT:  

Rita is a cleaning lady from the suburbs of New Jersey, and she needs to make ends meet. Her pal Toni just hooked her up with a high-paying job. The catch? She needs to clean up a murder scene and bury the dead body. Toni has just left the building, and Rita is now stuck with nothing but the corpse and her cleaning supplies.

BOOK FILE:  

Ullmer:What I Do BOOK.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Ullmer:What I Do SCORE.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Ullmer:What I Do SOUND.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   In Control

CONTEXT:  

Todd Lynch is the most aggressive criminal lawyer you’ve ever seen, and he will work tirelessly to see that things are done his way. HIs bombastic introduction comes halfway through "Rita, the Cleaning Lady", and as you can probably guess, everything was going just fine until he showed up.

BOOK FILE:  

Ullmer:In Control BOOK.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Ullmer:In Control SCORE.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Ullmer:In Control SOUND.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   David Quang Pham

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by D. Q. Pham

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

“Universally, physics majors don’t end up physicists,” my thermodynamics professor said as I timidly showed Tour. As my graduation loomed, I questioned my return to an old hobby. I had a lifelong love for theatre and the knack for music theory during high school and summer fine arts camp. During that senior year in college, my sister revealed that my calculus teacher had been annually sharing my integral musical project. This blend of nostalgic composing and scientific training led to my pursuit to build a tether between unearthly art and earthly science.

In 2015, the story was conceived at Fermilab. I later reunited with their coder for electrostatics projects. While meeting with our advisor, the climatic atom smashing accident was brought up. Since starting this musical at the end of 2017, it has changed dynamically from its dramaturgical meetings at my alma mater, compositional resources at the University of Michigan, and especially the meeting with Reg E. Gaines of DUAF. Afterwards, the theme is molecular compared to its primordial identity. Tour now has four characters but is matter-ful. Beyond Kalamazoo’s upcoming reading of the seventh song (“Super Collide”) and Dramatist Guild’s “End of Play” communal initiative, the particle physics musical will continue its tour.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

David Quang Pham is the dramatist of a variety of musicals: Tour, a particle physics drama, Pistil Quips, a play with music revolving around dialogues between a hummingbird and a flower, and shorts, such as Verify, an introspection on passing through reCAPTCHA, and √(1+𝑡𝑎𝑛²𝐶), a majestic look at fundamental identities in trigonometry. Tour was a finalist for the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. His work, such as an abridged Pistil Quips, has been performed at The Comedy Project in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a member of ΣΠΣ, ASCAP, and the Dramatist Guild. He attained a theatre minor with an astrophysics degree at Michigan State University.


COMMENTS:  

The sound files are synthesized music. The linked videos are playbacks of the scores. This syncs lyrics to the instruments. The vocal parts are distinguishable in the right ear, while the instrumental parts are distinguishable in the left ear. Demos were attempted at Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre. Due to this spring season’s switch to musical’s first and play’s second, the newly installed recording studio had been thoroughly booked.

“Centration”: As a trombonist, I composed with the instrument during the beginning of musical development. Over time, the symphonic pit was transcribed for an ensemble of a pianist, a drummer, a guitarist, and a bassist. There is currently no alternative that has the quality tone of a trombone for this song, but it is sought.

SOURCE:   Daily BroadwayWorld reading on the second day of the decade.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Super Collide

CONTEXT:  

Quark has been taken under Лептоны's (leptonia's) wing as her doctoral candidate. This aspiring physicist has found herself in a desert to complete her dissertation, thanks to this advisor. What lies underneath Quark and Лептоны is the Desertron with its particles and their ensemble of engineers.

BOOK FILE:  

tour-28-32-super_collide.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

7-super_collide.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

7-super_collide.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://vimeo.com/384139498



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Preon

CONTEXT:  

After the Desertron got underfunded and deserted, Quark settled for work in a magnet factory. She is left alone after another miserable shift. Лептоны checks up on her soon-to-be doctorate, Quark.

BOOK FILE:  

tour-42-44-preon.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

10-preon.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

10-preon.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://vimeo.com/388855841



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Centration

CONTEXT:  

Quark has rejected Boson's proposal to be his permanent collaborator. To add anti-matter to the matter (rub salt in the wound), she claims electromagnetic field lines should never be crossed. However, Boson is still professor and has an ensemble of research assistants at his disposal. He will do all he can to repel Quark from a magnetic livelihood.

BOOK FILE:  

tour-19-22-centration.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

4-centration.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

4-centration.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://vimeo.com/384139018

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Francesco Redica

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Kira Mepham, Music & Lyrics by Francesco Redica and Joe Archer, additional lyrics by Daniel Walford

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

As a team, we share the opinion that musical theatre has a unique way of conveying feelings and telling stories. Stories and songs on their own can be compelling, but often neglect some of our senses, and don’t allow us to experience the full power of the message. Musical theatre allows us to bring together multiple art forms to deliver ideas and feelings in a way that feels more intense and fulfilling. As writers, we are able to explore a larger variety of techniques to evoke an emotional connection and reaction to our works.

Alongside this, as musicians we have found that a lot of pop music and modern songwriting is becoming increasingly more bland and repetitive, and often feel limited in this genre. In musical theatre we feel freer to express our ideas in different and interesting ways.

Finally, one of our favourite aspects of the musical theatre world is its focus on inclusivity, there is such a diverse variety of unique people working in the industry, both on and off stage, leading what feels like a movement towards positive change in the world; also producing a vast amount of unique shows that highlight the struggles that each group of individuals face on a daily basis that call for change.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Francesco Redica - Francesco moved to England in 2013 to try and chase his passion for music. He studied at Seahaven Academy where he played piano for a number of school productions, concerts and talent shows. He joined East Sussex Academy of Muisc in 2016 where he met Joe. The pair enjoyed writing four-hand piano duets and then went on to write their first musical - Driven. Francesco is now studying Music Composition at the London College of Music, and is working alongside the others on their American debut of Driven.

Kira Mepham - Kira began studying Performing Arts and Music at the East Sussex School of Performing Arts from the age of 5, and focused more towards writing and composing when joining Bexhill Academy. She met Joe and Francesco studying at the East Sussex Academy of Music in 2017 and had a vital role crafting the story and characters of Driven around the ideas they had to begin with, as well as helping with additional lyric work and orchestrations. She is now studying Philosophy at the University of Roeahmpton and continuing her work on Driven.

Daniel Walford - At the time of the first production of Driven, Daniel was fresh out of college, and since finishing his A Levels the year before, had worked as a character and parade performer at Disneyland Paris and as an elf for Santa’s Lapland in Finland. His numerous  collation of roles included ones such Marius in Les Misèrables, Franz in Rock of Ages, Evan Goldman in 13 the Musical, Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical, Corny Collins in Hairspray, Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mr Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, and Stevens in Dogfight, and has since continued to grow. Daniel began his studies at Mountview on their Foundation Musical Theatre course in September 2019. He’s loved playing Ben, and being a part of the creative process for Driven, aiding in co-writing a selection of songs, and hopes to continue working on the project as it grows.


COMMENTS:  

We started this project in 2017, and it has been growing ever since. As students we have managed to create a promising and well received musical, whilst also focusing on our studies. The show tackles issues with metal health, sexuality, and the idea of pushing yourself too far, through the use of three individual characters with equal importance to our interweaving narrative. Through our social media presence and networking skills, we have managed to arrange a performance of our musical in St Louis, MI, without the help of an agent. These showings will take place in early May.

The musical was fully scored for the 2019 show we performed, although due to rewrites and the additions of new songs, most of the score has changed and we do not have any PDFs ready at this time.

SOURCE:   Facebook

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Always Me

CONTEXT:  

The opening number. Jess and Ben sing about how tired they are of their way of life, whilst Eddie is excited about the opportunity of a lifetime and his dreams coming true.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Always-Me-2.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Hide

CONTEXT:  

Ben's power ballad. Ben opens up to the audience about his struggles with his sexuality and how he's always kept it hidden in fear of not being accepted by the people around him, when in reality he's struggling to accept himself.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Hide-2.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Here You Are

CONTEXT:  

The Love Song. The development of Jess and Ben's relationship and dates. Jess' feelings are genuine, whilst Ben is faking it but has to keep pretending.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Here-You-Are-2.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Zev Burrows

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 13, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book & Lyrics by Mark Evan Chimsky, Music by Zev Burrows

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Collaborative team: Zev Burrows (music) and Mark Evan Chimsky (book and lyrics)
The visionary producer and director Harold Prince once said that musicals should be
“dangerous,” and we feel that is especially true in today’s times. It’s why we’ve tackled such
themes as xenophobia, fraternity violence, toxic masculinity, and homophobia in the musicals
we’ve written so far.
In A Broken Play, we focus on what happens when a closeted bisexual, high school
quarterback’s secret relationship with a male student is outed. Our musical (completed in
September 2019) is at an early stage of development, and we have not yet had an initial reading
or workshop of the script.
We are dedicated to tackling sophisticated themes as we develop our high school characters –
respecting their angst and showing the universality of their issues of nonconformity, betrayal,
and self-acceptance. Having the opportunity to work collaboratively with NMI would help us
take A Broken Play to the next level for future workshops and productions.
The staged readings of our previous musical, The Pledge, taught us the importance of
collaborating with actors and a professional director to develop and extensively revise a project.
If we are fortunate enough to collaborate with NMI, we would want to concentrate on “going
under the hood” of the script to further refine the motivations for each character’s actions and
identify how to make the musical as dramatic as possible. We’ll give specific attention to the
overall narrative arc as well as each character’s arc, as expressed in dialogue and song.
We would welcome the opportunity to learn from the feedback and insights of the NMI
professionals as we prepare A Broken Play for a possible online readings and live workshop.
Our intent is to create a more polished and powerful draft of A Broken Play that will look deeply
at relationships and celebrate our shared humanity.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Mark Evan Chimsky - Librettist/Lyricist

Mark Evan Chimsky is the head of his own editorial consulting business in Portland, Maine
(markchimskyeditorial.com). In his publishing career, Mark has edited a number of best-selling
books, including Johnny Cash’s memoir, Cash. Mark was editorial director of Harper San
Francisco; director of trade paperbacks at Little, Brown; and editor-in-chief of the trade
paperback division at Macmillan. In addition, he has taught at New York University in New
York and he currently teaches at Emerson College in Boston. Mark has also developed such
original and successful projects as 65 Things to Do When You Retire, which The Wall Street
Journal named “[one of] the year’s best guides to later life,” and Creating a Life You’ll Love,
which won the silver medal in ForeWord’s 2009 Book of the Year Awards. An award-winning
poet, he is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and Thrive Global.
Mark collaborated with Zev Burrows on The Pledge, an original musical that received staged
readings in May 2019 at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts in Harrisonburg, Virginia.as
part of James Madison University’s Madison New Works Lab, and in September 2018 at the
Sitting Shotgun theater company as part of their Fall Reading Series in Brooklyn, New York.
Mark is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Zev Burrows - Composer

Zev Burrows is a composer for film, musical theatre, television, and production music libraries. He received his Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music in 2015, and has composed the scores for many award-winning projects. His recent credits include scores to the theatrical adaptation of “And Then There Were None”, 2019 nominee for Outstanding Revival of A Play at the New York Innovative Theater Awards, and “After Oil“, winner of Best Web Series at the 2018 Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.

Most recently, his new musical “The Pledge” (book & lyrics by Mark Evan Chimsky) has been selected for the Madison New Works Lab at James Madison University for 2019. His theatrical writing debuted in 2018 with the score for the Off-Off-Broadway production of Agatha Christie’s “Appointment With Death” at the Gallery Players in Park Slope. He also regularly composes original music for the production music libraries Velvet Green Music, 4 Elements Music, MIBE Music, and MPATH Music Library.

Zev is a proud member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, and resides in New York City.

 


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:   Word of Mouth

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Brand New Year

CONTEXT:  

In the opening number of A Broken Play, five anxious high school juniors find that getting ready for the first day of the school year isn’t easy. For newly out ETHAN, genius nerd MARSHALL, shy ABBY from India, popular jock HUNTER, and the extroverted, but insecure new girl in school CHARLI, it is the best of times and the worst of times.

BOOK FILE:  

BRAND NEW YEAR context and lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

01 Brand New Year - Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

01 Brand New Year.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Everything Is Riding On Tonight

CONTEXT:  

Struggling with how he’s treated ETHAN, HUNTER makes a midnight call to him to apologize and hatches a plan: he can’t be seen alone with ETHAN but why not have a group date? HUNTER will ask CHARLI out and ETHAN and ABBY could join them.
As the two couples prepare to meet up (“EVERYTHING IS RIDING ON TONIGHT”), MARSHALL feels left out. At the end of the date, HUNTER drops off CHARLI and ABBY and he and ETHAN share an intimate moment in the car. Meanwhile, MARSHALL knows that HUNTER is just using CHARLI and he’s determined to do something about it.

BOOK FILE:  

EVERYTHING IS RIDING ON TONIGHT context and lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

08 Everything\'s Riding On Tonight.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

08 Everything Is Riding On Tonight.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   The Real You/Everything Is Riding On Tonight (Reprise)

CONTEXT:  

After HUNTER and ETHAN's secret relationship is outed, they realize they can play by new rules, and that instead of keeping their hearts "in hiding," it's better to be true to themselves -- and each other.

BOOK FILE:  

THE REAL YOU context and lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

16 The Real You.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

The Real You_Everything Is Riding On Tonight (Reprise).mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Adina Kruskal

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 13, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Adina Kruskal

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Some critics of musical theater as a form complain that it is “unrealistic” for people to burst out into song, but I disagree. I can’t deny that it does go against social norms, but I think there’s a part of the human soul that wants to. When I’m alone, I find myself singing my feelings sometimes, or humming according to my mood, screaming a frustrated song when I spill water, or singing  song to myself in my car to encourage other drivers on the road to “use your turn signal, please!”.

Music is a fundamental, primal human instinct that transcends cultures, customs, and language. It adds another layer to storytelling that can’t be matched in any other way. Simply put, it makes me feel things that no other form of storytelling can, and that’s why I can never stay away from musical theater, no matter how many times I hear outside pressure that it isn’t a “serious” art form.

Music can communicate a specificity of emotion that words alone can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I live for witty wordplay or beautiful imagery in lyrics, but it’s only when they’re paired with music that they can truly unzip my heart and make my feelings spill out, and suddenly I’m crying because a character sang the same motif they’ve been singing for the entire show, but in a new emotional context.

Mostly, I love musical theater because it is a form where the silly and the serious can coexist like no other form. The inherent heightening of reality created by the addition of music allows for a certain elasticity of mood that other forms like movies and television can touch on, but musical theater lives in. It’s Kander and Ebb writing hilarious vaudeville pastiche about murder; it’s Lin-Manuel Miranda putting us in stitches with a diss track between founding fathers that also cuts to the ideals and flaws America was founded upon. When characters are singing their truest thoughts, and doing it in rhyme, it invites a level of honesty that pushes both levity and gravity to their furthest extremes.

Personally, I find that marriage of humor and honesty a necessity when writing about topics that interest me, such as anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and the absolute terror of growing up and leaving one’s friends. All of those are themes that I tackle in Unison, with some laughs packed in along the way to make it relatable and bearable.

But the biggest reason I love to work on musicals is because they are fun, and that’s enough for me.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Adina Kruskal is a writer, composer, and music director from Newton, MA. She studied at Skidmore College and the National Music Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Her first full-length musical, Unison, for which she wrote the book, music, and lyrics, was featured in the 2019 Chicago Musical Theater Festival where it won the award for Best Ensemble. Her work has also been performed as part of the New York Musical Festival Student Leadership Concert. Her one-act plays and musicals include Cheers!, The Maculate Conception, and The Barista and the Banker: This is Not a Fairytale. www.adinakruskal.com


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Tick Tock (from Unison)

CONTEXT:  

Kat, a wood block player who always is cheerfully supporting her friends and seems to be the least stressed of all the seniors in the wind ensemble, reveals, once she is alone, how anxious she is on the inside.

BOOK FILE:  

Tick-Tock-Book-Excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Tick-Tock-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zvTavMaIfw&list=PLaGQBfsZyaDGJAYn1geWWnLRtd4YA2zTa&index=8&t=0s



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Being Ned (from Unison)

CONTEXT:  

Ned is a shy flautist who struggles to get any kind of attention from his peers. After inviting all the other seniors to his house for a party, and everyone leaves without so much as thanking him, he laments how he would do anything in return for friendship.

BOOK FILE:  

Being-Ned-book-excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Being-Ned-score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgt3hCPsRAk



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Alicia's Nightmare (From Unison)

CONTEXT:  

After messing up her audition for her dream conservatory, and then blowing up on her best friend Bailey, Alicia is stressed and has no one left to confide in. She falls asleep in band and is plagued by nightmare-versions of her peers taunting her about all her greatest insecurities, and urging her to give up on her dreams.

BOOK FILE:  

Alicias-Nightmare-book-excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Alicias-Nightmare-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjBMnNID9js&list=PLaGQBfsZyaDGJAYn1geWWnLRtd4YA2zTa&index=11

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Malory Torr

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 13, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Gordon Torr, Music by Malory Torr Lyrics by Malory Torr and Gordon Torr

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Falling in love with the musical

When I was five I acted out whatever my sister did, creating shows and mini musicals out of anything. We would absorb ideas from everywhere, from Barney to Sleeping Beauty. Gradually I began to steal the show & she’s never forgiven me for it. But it wasn’t until I was eleven and playing the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz that I experienced the full magic of the musical. How it could not only entrance an audience but it’s performers too. In my later teen years I was the dentist in the Little Shop of Horrors, this time it was an almost outer-body experience, I was playing a character so insanely different from myself yet I felt as though I had been transported into their body and mind as well as the universe they existed in. Apparently I was so captivating that a girl in school had been asking around who the good looking guy playing the dentist was…

Needless to say, growing up in London and so close to the West End, it wasn’t hard to live and breathe musicals. They have always compelled us with their combination of music and storytelling, transporting an audience into the universe of the musical, transcending reality, speaking to us in ways which words alone cannot. They move us, inform, educate and entertain all in one. Musical theatre can be used as a medium which brings to life stories that may have been buried in history to the masses because of how entertaining relatable and universal the musical theatre form is. The mix of song, dance, performance, design, acting, staging and story also invite creators of every kind to push their imaginations to the fullest extent, allowing space for anything from genre-melding scores to Shakespearean remixes, the possibilities with musicals are truly endless. 

Their appeal spans generations, bridges the gap between people of every class, race, gender, sexuality or political leaning. It is a platform in which no subject is too taboo, no topic too scandalous. It is a truly special form in which any issue can be grappled with and no question too big or small can be asked. With that background, it was only natural that we should find ourselves sooner or later throwing around ideas for a musical that would combine to make the most of our interests and our talents.

 

English Traits

Gordon: I was writing a blog about “Englishness” and the meaning of it in the context of Brexit, and especially with reference to our British colonial heritage as English-speaking South Africans living in London and watching the political discourse being poisoned by notions of English nationalism that we thought had been long ago been consigned to history. Before our eyes, English politics was becoming a parody of its former self. Characters like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg seemed to have stepped unchanged out of the 19th century and into the 21st. They were laughable - but no one was laughing. We were bemoaning the absence of British satire since the demise of Monty Python and Spitting Image when I came across an extraordinary little book called English Traits by one Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

The American author’s observations of English society, manners, politics and attitudes in the 19th century were eerily and hilariously close to what we were seeing unfolding in the political soap opera that was Brexit in the 21st. In times of crisis, the natural English temperament is to default to remakes of Dickens, Sherlock Holmes or Peter Pan, or to resort to epics of old English fare such as The Crown, Downton Abbey or the usual WWI or WW2 nostalgia, as if to reassure themselves that they’re not always as silly as they sometimes look. The popularity of the taboo-breaking musicals such as Book or Mormon and Avenue Q prompted us to wonder why nothing similar was being written from an English perspective. And if Hamilton, about an obscure and complex saga of American history, could bring in the crowds, maybe the time was right for English Traits. The revival of interest in Little Women is also worth noting here. Louisa May Alcott has her own song to sing in English Traits (the musical), and her father Bronson gets his eccentric place in the sun. 

As we began to work on the book it became apparent that very little invention was needed to adapt English Traits to a musical format. Even though it was written as a collection of essays, the narrative arc of his life-long friendship with Thomas Carlyle (read England) and their ultimate falling out is as poignant as it is symbolic of the contemporary Atlantic divide. And Emerson’s commentary on English institutions from The Times to the Church of England to the political products of Eton who are once again centre state, could hardly be less relevant today than it was then. We completed our research by visiting the homes and the landscapes of all the major characters from Concord to Chelsea. Experiencing first hand how the characters lived brought the story to life and really hit home, first of all by revealing how different the 19th Century British experience was from the American, but secondly how little has changed in the ways these two great anglo countries see the world.  

But why a musical?


Emerson’s “voice” is naturally musical. The characters he meets in England, from Coleridge to Carlyle, from Dickens to Darwin, from Wordsworth to all the other great names of 19th English literature and politics, step larger than life from the page to the stage. But they need to sing to be understood. The brevity of verse obliges an economy of thought; ideas that are as heavy as mud on paper can take flight on the wings of a melody. And because English Traits is a collision between American invention and English convention, it offers a unique opportunity to draw on the rich musical heritage of both. This is America singing to England as much as England once sang to America. So “broadside ballads” meet English music-hall; New England folk tunes meet the quadrille; Delta blues meet the songs of the Shakers, football chants, field hollers and the Harmony Society; the contemporary intertwines with the historical; our common roots have sprouted into musical forms almost unrecognisable in their variety - until you hear the echoes of one in the other. It couldn’t be anything other than a musical.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

South African born, south London raised creative, Malory Torr, has primarily worked as a professional singer, songwriter and performer in the music industry since the age of 16. As an artist she has had radio play on Radio2, BBCintroducing, BBC London and XFM to name a few, and continues to be recognised by players across the industry from blogs like Wonderland and The Line of Best Fit to playlist makers on Spotify’s New Music Friday UK. 

Her live accomplishments include supporting George Ezra, performing at Radio2’s Hyde Park festival, The Great Escape Festival and countless gigs across London’s most famous venues including The IndigO2, Ronnie Scotts and The Hard Rock Cafe.  Since releasing her debut album Cornucopia, Malory has had syncs on Love Island, The Hills, Dancing With The Stars and many more. A 2019 UK Production Music Award winner, Malory continues to produce, write and record for Extreme Music as well as other bespoke sync projects internationally.  Alongside music, she has a huge passion for theatre, film and illustration. In her teens she was a member of the UK’s National Youth Theatre programme and in 2018 was music director on Jesus & Lucifer an off-west end satirical comedy. 

 

Ex-Global Creative Director of the ad agency J. Walter Thompson, Gordon Torr is a creativity coach, author, novelist, sometime blogger and part-time brand strategist. He lives in London.   

 


COMMENTS:  

“The book has no equal of its kind. It is the wittiest work of America’s wittiest writer.”

 

 - Mark van Doren on Emerson’s English Traits

 

Notes to the libretto: 

 

If what follows wasn’t rooted in historical fact it wouldn’t be very funny. On the other hand, in the same way that Donald Trump would be a lot funnier if his grubby little fingers didn’t have access to the red button that could obliterate every living organism on the planet in a matter of minutes, English Traits would be a lot funnier if Ralph Waldo Emerson’s observations regarding the character of the English in the mid-19th century weren’t playing themselves out in the high-definition theatrics of BBC Parliament Live. You know something’s wrong when the flesh and blood personage of Jacob Rees-Mogg draped prostrate on the green benches of the House of Commons can make the wafer-thin caricature that is Oscar Wilde’s Algernon Moncrieff of The Importance of Being Earnest appear as rounded, deep and dramatically stirring a theatrical invention as a King Lear. There is no laughter in lampooning politicians when Boris Johnson is more laughable in real life than Steve Bell’s trademark depiction of him as a bum with a blonde mop. The great paradox of our time is that the shadow play of populist demagogues on our endlessly flickering screens seems less absurd than the price we pay to watch it. So much for the light relief.

 

The plot of English Traits, the musical, hinges on the friendship between the American philosopher-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and the British essayist, polemicist and historian Thomas Carlyle, known respectively at the apogee of their fame circa 1855 as the Sage of Concord and the Sage of Chelsea. Among the many things that make it so fascinating is how unlikely it seems in retrospect. What makes it extraordinary is how little known it is. What makes it worthy of our interest now is that these two men, not without the considerable influence of the women closest to their hearts and hearths, sowed the strands of thought that not only seeded the great catastrophes of the twentieth but that continue to whip up the whirlwind of divisiveness the world is reaping today.    

 

Their friendship would seem improbable enough if all we knew of Emerson was that he became the spiritual godfather of the hippy movement and is still the animating influence behind, oddly, both Extinction Rebellion and that fringe of Alt-right libertarians whose bunkers in Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama are stocked with enough military hardware to annex most medium-size countries before breakfast, and who get their news wired directly from the internet into their tin-foil hats - and if all we knew of Carlyle was that his distaste for democracy inspired Hitler’s chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels (by way of Nietzsche by way of Houston Stewart Chamberlain) to believe in the biological superiority of the Aryan race and, oddly, that all the planets in our solar system are covered in ice, that his biography of Frederick the Great comforted Adolf Hitler during his final hours in a Berlin bunker in 1945, and that he is the intellectual progenitor, by way of Nietzsche (again), of the “great man” theory of politics that continues to lend philosophical succour, if not credibility, to the populist excesses of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro, Viktor Orban and their likes the world over. 

 

What makes our neglect of its memory so collectively embarrassing - perhaps even scandalous given the persisting influence of Emerson and Carlyle on contemporary social and political discourse nearly 150 years since their deaths in 1882 and 1883 respectively, is how little known it is outside of a small coterie of Anglophone academics today, how little known Emerson himself is outside of North America and, most significantly, how definitively (some would say deliberately) Carlyle has been airbrushed out of both English and American ideological history. 

 

Some of the ignorance is explicable: it happened a long time ago; history is boring; who cares; is he on Instagram? etc. But when Trump is channelling the Emerson of Self Reliance as a pretext for making American great again when no one remembers when it wasn’t, and when Johnson is channelling Nigel Farage channelling Carlyle the proto-fascist, none of it can be excusable. The English are understandably squeamish about Carlyle’s legacy. If they know him at all they will quickly dismiss him as Scottish, not English. If they remember him with any British pride it will always be for his heroics in rewriting his most famous work, The French Revolution, after the four hundred page handwritten manuscript of the first volume was used by a housemaid to light the kitchen fire in the Keston Heath hideaway of John Stuart Mill’s lover Harriet Taylor (later Mrs Harriet Taylor Mill) after Carlyle had given it to Mill to read and he had carelessly left it lying around in her apartment for her maid to find among their underwear. It will seldom be for his essay On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History. In exquisite contrast, and perhaps even more painfully, when Americans remember Emerson, and they often do, it is invariably in pithily sentimental Hallmark cliches: “The earth laughs in flowers”; “Love, and you shall be loved”; “Every end is a beginning”; and many more familiarly nauseating others. 

 

What makes it bizarre is that Emerson and Carlyle were A-list celebrities between the mid 1830’s and the late 1870’s, as famous in their day, on both sides of the Atlantic, as Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Disraeli, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Edison and Mark Twain were to become in theirs. More peculiar still is that they were the only transatlantic celebrities in the three decades that followed the deaths of Jane Austen, Byron, Jefferson, Keats, Percy and Mary Shelley, Coleridge, Walter Scott, Beau Brummell and Wordsworth, and before the likes of Dickens, Longfellow, Whitman, Poe, Melville, Frederick Douglass, Tennyson, George Eliot, Gladstone, Disraeli, Hardy and the other giants of the century’s latter decades took centre stage.

 

Emerson had crowds numbering in thousands clamouring to attend his lectures in London, Liverpool and Manchester in 1848. In 1852, when the magnificent Boston Public Library was erected in Copley Square, Carlyle’s name was inscribed in pride of place on the facade alongside the names of Addison, Swift, Lamb, Sydney, Defoe, Bunyan, Sydney, Walton, Arnold and Chapman. On the occasion of Carlyle’s 80th birthday in 1875, a letter of tribute to his achievements was signed by Robert Browning, Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Makepeace Thackeray, George Eliot, Harriet Martineau, Anthony Trollope and the scores of other late 19th century English luminaries whose names are better and more fondly remembered than his. 

 

The precipitous decline of their reputations in the 1880’s and 1890’s would be explained, innocently enough at the time, as a consequence of the same fin de siecle tastes and innovations that would soon exchange bangs for buns and the horse for the train. Seen through the lens of fake news and The Great Hack, the extraordinary omission of their century-defining relationship from our historical consciousness now appears much more like an act of wilful forgetting. Neither a Johnson nor Trump would want to be reminded of the debt they owe to Carlyle. Less still would the class of English men and women who have seized upon Brexit as an opportunity to turn the clocks back to the unregulated veniality of the early industrial revolution be inclined to see themselves in the glaring light of Emerson’s unflinching analysis of their manners and mores. 

 

So we should be clear: English Traits, the book, is first and foremost a portrait of the English character observed through Emerson’s idiosyncratically American eyes. Indeed, one opportunistic publisher has recently printed it with the helpful if entirely factitious subtitle, “A Portrait of 19th Century England”, and embellished it with a splendid cover depicting the muddy highstreet of Guildford by an unknown 19th century English oil painter, clearly in the hope of attracting the interest of English readers eager to turn their gaze away from the mess the English have recently made of the English polity in favour, rather, of a sentimental stroll down the fictional lane of memory where English men, women and children of every class and stripe knew and observed their appropriate stations. They will be disappointed. English Traits is largely affectionate. Emerson is a great admirer of English grit, English poesy, most English institutions and the natural readiness of English humour. But it is also acerbic, caustic, biting, satirical, sardonic, hilarious and merciless in its evisceration of English hypocrisy, pomposity, piety, humbug and cant, as revealing today as it was shocking at the time of its publication in 1856 when Emerson was long past caring what the English made of him or thought of him. Mark van Doren, the American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, writer and critic, perhaps himself not familiar enough with the English to know how much it must have hurt, said of it: “The book has no equal of its kind. It is the wittiest work of America’s wittiest writer.”

 

If the plot turns on the faultline that fractured the life-long friendship of our two protagonists at their fateful final meeting amongst the twilit pillars of Stonehenge in 1872, and if the same faultline that divides the populist right from the bewildered left from Budapest to Boulder in 2020 requires precious little explication to contemporary audiences, the flesh and blood of the libretto that clothes the bare bones of its breakdown required precious little invention. When Emerson observes in passing that the entire liturgy of the Anglican Church can be summed up in the words, “By taste are ye saved,” the song writes itself. When he traces the supine acceptance by the English working class of their superiors’ natural right of hegemony to the fagging system in public schools where the most abusive prefects are also the most respected, one hardly needs an invitation to parody. The Emerson of English Traits, the book, is not the anemic Emerson in quotation marks beneath a photoshopped image of a drop of dew on the petal of a daffodil in the foreground of a sunrise over the Lake District. It is the Emerson fighting his way through twenty miles of a wild Massachusetts winter from Concord to Cambridge to push open with freezing fingers the heavy concrete cover of his beloved Ellie’s tomb to take yet another last look at her beautifully putrefying face. It is the Emerson who demolishes the equivocations regarding the abolition of slavery by Daniel Webster, America’s preeminent orator, with cold and calulating fury. It is also the Emerson who recognised and stood by the genius of Walt Whitman when Leaves of Grass was raising a whirlwind of sanctimonious condemnation by all of literary America. 

 

To say we have drawn liberally from Emerson’s well of whimsy in English Traits would be to get in the wrong way found. To read it is to be submerged by it. And to read it from an English perspective is to understand why Emerson would shortly and summarily be expunged from the standard curriculum of English poetry, philosophy and history. 

 

A brief historical background:

History has cast a strange and sinister complexion on a friendship that began in all innocence in 1833 when the recently heart-broken young Ralph (call me Waldo) Emerson knocked on the door of the remote Scottish cottage where the young Carlyle and his young wife Jane were living in dyspeptic and frugal isolation a long, long way from the bright lights of London and New York that would soon be illuminating their respective rises to fame and fortune. 

 

But they were strange times to begin with. Waldo’s grandfather, the Reverend William Emerson Senior, had witnessed the fight at the North Bridge that began the American Revolution from his farm fields while his grandmother and their children watched in horror from the upstairs window of the The Old Manse in Monument Street, Concord. The blade of the guillotine fell to sever the last of the benighted heads from the necks of the French aristocracy only eleven years before Waldo was born. The world was wide awake with the excitement of change, the imminent dissolution of the old order and, more pertinent to our story, the hopes thrilling in every modern breast of brave new utopias waiting breathlessly to take its place.

He was eight when his father died in 1811. He was a boy of twelve, now living with his widowed mother Ruth and his brothers and sisters, none of them spared from the bizarre and radical-Puritan thanatophiliac influence of his live-in Great Aunt Mary Moody when, on the other side of the Atlantic, Mary Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary’s step-sister Claire Clairmont arrived at the Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva to join Lord Byron and John Polidori for the famous summer that produced Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus and The Vampyre. If the atmosphere wasn’t already crackling with expectations of Armageddon, the Second Coming, the Apocalypse or the many other versions of the eschaton predicted variously to be triggered by galvanic experiments, the steam engine or the extension of the franchise to men who didn’t own property or even, God forbid, women, a stratovolcano in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia called Mount Tambora blew its massive top 1n 1815 spewing millions of tons of sulphur into the jetstream, directly killing thousands of locals and indirectly killing hundreds of thousands across Asia and Europe when the so-called “year without summer” of 1816 blighted northern hemisphere crops and caused unprecedented snowfalls as far away as Albany, New York, in the middle of June. 

It is against this backdrop, with the certainties of faiths and institutions of the 18th century swept aside by the French and the American revolutions, and with the unprecedented opportunities, disasters and excitements of the 19th century yet to be enacted, that we find ourselves in Sleepy Hollow, a cemetery in Concord, Mass, in the spring of 1811. 

 

SOURCE:   Online!

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   God's Kingdom A La Carte

CONTEXT:  

The 23 year old Waldo has lost his father, two siblings, his vocation and now his health. Reduced to doing stand-in gigs as a Unitarian preacher to earn his pennies, he travels to Florida on the advice of his physician in the hope that the warmth of its sunshine will clear his lungs. While attending a church service in St. Augustine he hears slaves being auctioned in the town square outside the church windows. He decides to intervene, spending his last precious dollars to buy a slave called Tarbarrel with the intention of setting him free. Waldo confesses his problems to Tarbarrel; Tarbarrel confesses to Waldo that he has been scammed by Tarbarrel’s partner in crime, the so-called Prince of Tallahassee, the eccentric Achille Murat, nephew of Napoleon, now resident in Florida. Waldo wants his money back. Tarbarrel agrees to take Emerson to meet him. They find him naked, waist-deep in a swamp with a mosquito net covering his head. Back at Murat’s plantation, Emerson is treated to some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality, not excluding the consumption of various solids and liquids of dubious provenance, as well as a lecture, in song, by Achille Murat in which he explains to Waldo why he fled from France and how much he loves American democracy, which turns out mainly to be because you can shoot, and kill and eat whatever you like. It is in this psychoactive exchange of views that Waldo learns that nothing in nature is “contemptible”, a realisation that will go on to shape his philosophy of transcendentalism.

BOOK FILE:  

Gods-Kingdom-A-la-Carte.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Gods-Kingdom-A-la-Carte.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Merrie Old England

CONTEXT:  

It is 1833. Waldo has travelled from Massachusetts to England in despair. Not only has his heart recently been broken by the untimely death by consumption of his young bride Ellie, not only has he turned his back on a promising career as a Unitarian preacher in Boston, he is also mourning the abject failure of American writers, poets and thinkers to find an authentic American "voice" that would do intellectual justice to the political achievements of the young republic since it threw off the shackles of British colonial rule a generation ago. America is a cultural desert, constrained, on the one hand, by the chilling moral legacy its Puritan fathers, and stunted, on the other, by an inferiority complex with regard to the extraordinary artistic achievements of the great Augustan and Romantic poets and novelists of 18th century England. He is an American nobody come to drink from the English well.

There are, in particular, three people he is determined to meet: the celebrated poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the fabulous William Wordsworth, and the young Scotsman Thomas Carlyle whose searing criticism of the complacency and privilege of the English establishment has begun to raise eyebrows in the London clubs and the ire of the factory owners in Birmingham and Manchester who fear he is planting the seeds of a workers' revolt that would make the French Revolution pale by comparison.

Carlyle and his wife Jane are living in the bleak Scottish countryside near the remote village of Ecclefechan. He is perpetually angry; she is desperately lonely. He has begun writing The French Revolution, the book that will catapult him into the English intellectual firmament. She is clinging onto her sanity, questioning why she married him, and wondering how she will ever escape from this bleak Scottish prison when there is a very unexpected knock on the door.

BOOK FILE:  

Merrie-Old-England.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Merrie-Old-England.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Transcendentally

CONTEXT:  

The young Charles Dickens, already famous on both sides of the Atlantic for his Pickwick Papers, is visiting Boston with his young wife Catherine. They are greeted at the docks by an adoring crowd. Dickens makes a short speech in which he admits to having heard of Emerson and the “transcendental movement” but that he understands it only so far as he has been led to believe that “whatever is unintelligible is transcendental”. Much laughter ensues. But Catherine is curious to know more. She meets Elizabeth Peabody and is invited to attend one of the transcendental “Conversations” held regularly at the Transcendental Bookstore at Peabody’s home in West Street. Here she is introduced to Harriet Martineau, Caroline Sturgis, Maria White Lowell and, most notably, to the feminist firebrand Margaret Fuller, “the best read person in America” who has recently published her magnum opus, Women in the Nineteenth Century. Catherine is delighted. She is also an author, having recently published What Shall we Have for Dinner? Satisfactorily Answered by Numerous Bills of Fare for from Two to Eighteen Persons. After some rolling of eyeballs, the other women decide to open her eyes, very gently, to a feminist perspective of transcendentalism by way of a song.

BOOK FILE:  

Transcendentally.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Transcendentally_V2.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Stephanie L. Carlin

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 12, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Stephanie L. Carlin

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Stephanie L. Carlin is a composer, performer, writer, producer and music arranger. She graduated Summa Cum Laude at Berklee College of Music with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production with a minor in Musical Theatre Writing. Stephanie has composed music and lyrics for numerous musical theatre productions, including Children of the Decree (2016), Big, Loud (2020), and undecided (2020). Her songs were featured at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in The 2016 SLP Concert and The 2019 Songwriting Workshop with Ben Bonnema and Joe Iconis. Currently, she is a composer in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She is always willing to discover and write new music, bringing it to as many people as possible.


BIOGRAPHIES:  
COMMENTS:   SOURCE:  

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Why Bother from "undecided"

CONTEXT:  

This is the opening number to undecided. The show itself is an allegory for anxiety and depression and the song introduces us to the world in which they interact with each other. In this case, it's a college in Boston. Adam is in his early thirties while everyone else minus the Psychiatrist is between the ages of 18-26. (The Psychiatrist is an ageless, genderless character).

BOOK FILE:  

Why-Bother-scene-and-lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

2.-Why-Bother-Full-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Why-Bother-orchestrated.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "In Between" from Big, Loud

CONTEXT:  

Matthew is a 25-year-old man with high-functioning autism who has been living with his parents since he graduated high school. After his parents have encouraged him to get out into the world and make friends in the opener, Matthew goes to the closest five star rated "hangout spot" he can find online. What he finds is a bar with loud club music, people bumping into him, and he deals with a lot of sensory overload. He runs close to the stairs of the stage and sees a well-dressed woman from behind. He closes his eyes to think of his social worker Miss Claire from elementary school and she appears with advice.

BOOK FILE:  

In-Between-lyrics-and-context.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

2.-In-Between-Matthew.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

In-Between-8-8-2019.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Overwhelming from "undecided."

CONTEXT:  

Adam, a man in his thirties, has been formally diagnosed with depression and has been suffering from panic attacks due to a recent medication change. The second of which he is aware of and he explains the second one while talking to his Psychiatrist. He believes it was caused after he tried to break up with his on-and-off again girlfriend Rose, who herself has un-diagnosed maniac depression.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

10.-Overwhelming-Rose-and-Adam.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Overwhelming-Undecided.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   John M. Waller

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 11, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music and Lyrics by John M. Waller

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Theatre has the power to change people’s minds, opinions and lives, and when layered with complimentary music, becomes an incredible force that can have a powerful impact on those in attendance. So many shows have brought to tears of laughter, of sorrow, or joy, of hope - and it is in this spirit of hope that I have written my first musical in the hope that I, too, might make some small difference in our world by impacting those who attend a performance of Your’re Fired!

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Producer, composer and lyricist, John Waller, has been writing songs all of his life with more than 100 songs/lyrics crafted over the last 30+ years. A software engineer by profession, he co-founded CT Lyric Opera, the state’s leading opera company, in 2003 with Adrian Sylveen, and has produced more than a dozen of the company’s productions. He has adapted Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel for performances for children, and has written and narrated a number of themed musical performances, including The Golden Ages of Opera and Opera on the Lighter Side. You’re Fired! is his first full-length original work for the stage.


COMMENTS:  

The story of the short unhappy political life of Donald Trump is told through the lens of the US Broadcast Network, a middle of the political spectrum cable news outlet, and their two-hour special report on the night that Donald Trump abruptly leaves office. The narrator/host is the well-loved and trusted anchor David Johnstone and his panel of 4 talking heads, representing the far left and right and two moderate political commentators. Throughout the broadcast, David cuts away to reports on the ground across the country to see the reaction of normal Americans; however, most of the show is a retrospective on how we got to this point where for only the second time in 240+ years of our nation, a sitting president resigned before being forced from office by the accumulation of his crimes and actions.

SOURCE:   Through a Google Search

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   You're Fired!

CONTEXT:  

The Oval Office, Donald Trump is surrounded by his cabinet and administration officials

BOOK FILE:  

Youre-Fired.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Youre-Fired-song-Final-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/OJMftQEMcsc



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Someone Get Me Out of Here!

CONTEXT:  

In the private quarters at the White House, Melania Trump sings her sob story

BOOK FILE:  

Someone-Get-Me-Out-of-Here-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Someone-Get-Me-Out-of-Here.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/EWDGCh1hX7k



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   (As the Chorus Grows Louder) Impeach Him!

CONTEXT:  

Nancy Pelosi, bowing to the weight of the public evidence and the growing demands from her caucus accedes to the demands to begin an impeachment inquiry

BOOK FILE:  

Impeach-Him.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Impeach-Him-final.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/ssw40R8PDSQ

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Dylan Schifrin

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 11, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music and Lyrics by Dylan Schifrin

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I believe we are at a critical point in terms of the arts and their function in society. As politics today become increasingly polarized, I believe the core question of any art work created today should be: “why now?” In other words, what relevant issues does the art work respond to? What is the greater intention behind its creation? As an artist, I am driven to address these questions by creating worlds of ideals and exploring how they conflict with reality—a process I believe fits the musical theater form perfectly. In Y2K: A Survivalist Musical, we see a woman desperate to escape the fake news culture of her environment and learn what’s really out there—only to discover that even in the real world, the truth is far shakier than anyone would like to admit.

Musical theater fascinates me because it is a popular form that can be deceptive in its underlying power. The interplay between lyrics, music and dialogue allows for multiple levels of logic and character exploration. Personal depth, social commentary, etc. can be found beneath an accessible exterior; even the lightest and most tuneful numbers can carry important dramatic subtext. It is this combination of deepening the form and broadening its appeal that for me, makes musical theater a compelling medium for what I want to say as an artist.

I believe I have discovered a unique writing process as well. As a composer, book writer, playwright and lyricist, I have always taken a multi-disciplinary approach to storytelling. I am driven to find relationships between character, language, and music, which I seek to develop throughout the piece. As a result, I am compelled to interweave musical material closely with libretto, rather than a patchwork approach of scene–song–scene (etc.).


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Dylan Schifrin is a current senior at Yale University studying musical theater composition within the Yale Undergraduate Music Major and the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater. He has studied dramatic writing under Donald Margulies, Marsha Norman, Scott Frankel and Jeanine Tesori. Dylan has been distinguished as by the Blank Theatre Company, the California Young Playwrights Contest and the National YoungArts Foundation. Dylan is a six-time published author at the publication company YouthPLAYS, Inc, where he works as a script reader.

Dylan’s music has been recognized by the Sunset ChamberFest organization of Los Angeles and the Composers Today State Contest through the Music Teachers’ Association of California. He was a recipient of the combined ASCAP and DreamWorks musical theater scholarship presented by Stephen Schwartz. Dylan’s work was featured in both SHOWSEARCH 2017 and the August 2019 MUSI-CAL through the Foundation for New American Musicals.

At Yale, Dylan has served music directing roles for productions of Company (March 2018), Spring Awakening (November 2018), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (February 2019), and, currently, Y2K: A Survivalist Musical (April 2020).

Dylan currently works as a music assistant on a new musical in development by Stephen Oremus, Jake Shears and Jeffery Self.


COMMENTS:  

I conceived of Y2K as a response to the increasingly apocalyptic rhetoric of climate change coverage today: we have 30 years to live if we change nothing, etc. The show adopts a pro-gun control stance by satirizing the militaristic prepper society (for example, the song “With My AR-15” parodies our readiness to arm even young children). The inability of political extremes to communicate—and how this affects a family—is represented in the relationship of Riley and Michael (who, in “Crazy If You Will,” cannot have an argument without calling each other crazy). The idea of “fake news” and its effects are shown in the bastardized ideas of Y2K (“One Thing’s For Certain”). This is a community that believes a charismatic leader over real evidence. At its core, Y2K is a show about living in a bubble. It maintains that we can’t let fear divide us (against the rhetoric of our current presidency). Instead, an uncertain future can unite us and give us hope. A comedy exploring themes of fake news, uncertainty, and family, Y2K questions how we should communicate with others so different from ourselves in a world where, and at a time when, apocalypse is commonplace and the truth seems increasingly harder to come by. This is what I hope to achieve in my musical, which has proven to be both my most intensive artistic undertaking to date and a prime example of what I am constantly striving for as an artist.

Y2K: A Survivalist Musical was written and developed as a Senior Project in Musical Theater Composition for Dylan Schifrin, Yale Class of 2020.

SOURCE:   Word of mouth

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Scene 2 + "Missing"

CONTEXT:  

Riley, a 20-year-old woman who has spent her entire life within a doomsday prepper colony, has just had her first encounter with society folk: two bumbling Eagle Scouts named Jason and Cody. In her eyes, these are the "sheeple" she has been taught not to trust; however, after bombarding them with questions and realizing they aren't at all threatening, Riley begins to doubt these teachings. Riley's people believe in the imminent arrival of the Y2K apocalypse, but in "Missing," Riley questions her way of life and resolves to learn the truth about what's really out there.

BOOK FILE:  

22Missing22-Book-–-Dylan-Schifrin.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

22Missing22-Score-–-Dylan-Schifrin.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du6blo4ca2Y



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Scene 3 + "What They Tell You'

CONTEXT:  

Shaken by her encounter with the Eagle Scouts, Riley attends a Survivalism class taught by the rugged former-public school teacher Shearman-Hayes. Shearman Hayes and Forsyth, the colony's anti-vaxxer medic, sing about their distrust of modern society. They ironically beseech the colony's youths not to trust authority. Meanwhile, Riley confides in her friend Ben.

BOOK FILE:  

22What-They-Tell-You22-Book---Dylan-Schifrin.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

22What-They-Tell-You22-Score-–-Dylan-Schifrin.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

22What-They-Tell-You22-Sound-File-–-Dylan-Schifrin.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Scene 4 + "Alive"

CONTEXT:  

Riley runs into Jason again at the colony's perimeter. Hesitantly, they begin to get to know each other. With her extensive survival knowledge, Riley helps Jason build a shelter to earn an Eagle Scout badge. Fascinated by each other's way of life, the two begin to fall in love.

BOOK FILE:  

22Alive22-Book-–-Dylan-Schifrin.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

22Alive22-Score-–-Dylan-Schifrin.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

22Alive22-Sound-File-–-Dylan-Schifrin.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Marisa Wexler

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 8, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Marisa Wexler

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

For this submission, I am including two selections from shows that are, at their core, about struggles of identity: In Fixx Me, a closeted transgender boy goes to extreme lengths to hide his identity from his friends and family. In Fire And Fae, the central characters struggle with romantic feelings that their religion teachers are sinful. Both shows draw heavily on my own experiences navigating my identity as a queer person.

I think musical theatre is the perfect format to explore these ideas because song allows for exploration of characters’ deep and sincere emotions – even at times they wouldn’t dare speak them out loud. These shows explore the inner turmoil that can result from being a kind of person that society deems an ‘other’ in a way that simply wouldn’t be possible if the stories were constrained to only dialogue. My hope is that these stories will acknowledge that pain, while still illustrating that, for a person to be happy, they must be true to their own heart.

I hope you will enjoy these selections.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Marisa Wexler is a writer and composer based in Pittsburgh. Musicals she has worked on include Fixx Me, Fire And Fae, Corporate America, Geriatric, and Complete. When not writing musicals, Marisa writes about science for BioNews Services and coaches the University of Pittsburgh fencing club. Marisa also serves as webmaster for Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh.


COMMENTS:  

I was having trouble uploading more than one file per selection. So, instead, I created Google Drive folders that include all relevant files (book, sheet music, and demos) and added the links to those folders in the ‘link’ section. I hope this will not be an issue, but please let me know if it is – I’d be happy to reformat things in whatever way is most convenient for you.

Also: The two songs I’ve included from Fixx Me are both somewhat ballad-y, while the three from Fire And Fae are more upbeat. This is in no way reflective of any musical difference between the shows; it is a result of what demos I had available.

SOURCE:  

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Fixx Me

CONTEXT:  

Fixx Me tells the story of Kyle, a closeted transgender boy, who injects himself with an experimental virus in a desperate attempt to make himself ‘normal.’ “Hating My Reflection” (page 8) is a song about dysphoria that Kyle sings early in the show.

Later on, Kyle realizes that he won’t be happy unless he’s true to himself, so he comes out to those around him, including his boyfriend, Nicko. Although Kyle expects that coming out will be the end of their relationship, Nicko instead embraces him and sings “Here For You” (page 57).

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Q9UOoHZ0kuGCVG-noJgmJ8fU2HeYe2-7



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Fire And Fae

CONTEXT:  

Fire And Fae is a fantasy story set in a world that is inhabited both by humans and by magical beings called Fae. In this world, there is a religious community – the Congregation of the Great Angel – whose religion teaches that the Fae are evil, demonic; even to touch one is to risk damnation. The story follows two young women in the Congregation, Ellyon and Kandra, who find themselves falling in love with two Fae, Azure and Coral, respectively. In “Siren Song” (page 23), Kandra and Coral meet for the first time and are instantly drawn to each other.

While Kandra eagerly begins a secret relationship with Coral, Ellyon struggles with her feelings for Azure, which she believes to be sinful. In “Out Of Mind” (page 41), Kandra and Coral have just spent the night together, and Azure thinks Ellyon doesn’t reciprocate his feelings for her – even though she secretly does.

At the end of the first act, Ellyon gives into temptation and kisses Azure. This leads her to panic, and she spends the start of the second act vehemently denying her feelings, even going so far as to deny the fact that she kissed him at all. Then, Kandra and Coral are caught together, which leads to Kandra being tortured to ‘cure her.’ Ellyon witnesses this. In “My Creator” (page 82), Ellyon goes to her mother’s grave, where she reflects on all that has happened, finally admits her feelings, and decides to be true to herself rather than adhering to her religion’s dogma.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://drive.google.com/open?id=16SzDte8aPybd-ZPg5goynopBb2tyMyH2



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Sam Diedrich

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 5, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Music by Sam Diedrich, Book & Lyrics by Aubrey Lavender and Aidan Mantho

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

We believe that popular art deserves to be taken as seriously as so-called “high art”. We believe that to dismiss all popular art as categorically lacking in value is to invalidate the lived experiences of the millions of people who find solace, wisdom, and empathy in such art. We believe in the value of popular music and musical theater as vehicles for social change, vehicles which are especially powerful due to their mass appeal. We believe in the ability of theater as a collaborative art form to convey not just ideas but a dialogue of ideas. We believe in the power of music to influence not only emotion but emotional expression, and to open pathways of communication and catharsis that would otherwise be impossible. Most fundamentally, we believe that art belongs to everyone, and that everyone deserves to have a voice.

These values are embodied in our musical, TIMBR. TIMBR is the story of an ordinary woman beset by extraordinary circumstances, who is inspired by myth and music to take a stand against impression. The music in the show takes inspiration from popular styles including rock, blues, and American folk music. Many of the musical arrangements for the show contain improvisatory elements, relying on the spontaneity of the actors and band to create an authentic emotional experience. In this way, the show celebrates the spontaneous creation of music by ordinary people. You don’t need to be a virtuoso or have a BA in music to jam on a chord progression or write lyrics. You deserve to have your song be heard.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Sam Diedrich is a singer-songwriter, composer, pianist, and a proud New Englander. His work frequently blends popular American styles including rock, blues, jazz, folk, and country. His music will also be featured in Tolpuddle! The Musical, a show being developed by Walk-on Part Productions in Montgomery, AL.

Aubrey Lavender is a British-American playwright, lyricist and composer. His work often explores political and social issues through humor and fantasy. He is currently finishing a masters in Opera Making at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama, and working on a screenplay about a love triangle between a TV psychic, a sex addict and a delusional suburban housewife.

Aidan Mantho is a Scottish-American librettist and fiction writer based in Glasgow, Scotland. He works to blend fantasy, horror, and folklore into stories that resonate with the uncertainties of modern life.


COMMENTS:  

Some notes on staging:

The libretto for TIMBR frequently uses the terms “screens” and “projections”. For the show, projections on the left and right of the stage serve to suggest locations and special effects.

Furthermore, there should be an acoustic guitar onstage in a visible, easily accessible location. In a pivotal scene in the show, a character takes this acoustic guitar and plays a song.

SOURCE:   Facebook

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Listen Close/Timber!

CONTEXT:  

This is the opening number of the show. We are introduced to legendary folk heroes Paul Bunyan and John Henry, who in turn introduce us to Alex, Sam, and Carmen, the lumberjacks of Illinois Logging.

BOOK FILE:  

Listen-CloseTimber-Libretto.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Listen-CloseTimber-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Listen-Close_Timber.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU8p-j_P3P0&feature=youtu.be



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   TIMBR Scene 4

CONTEXT:  

Jojo, the head lumberjack, is the protagonist of the story. At this point in the show, she is not doing well. She introduced Sam, Alex, and Carmen to Mr. Seeds, the new owner of Illinois Logging, only to discover that Mr. Seeds wants to lay many of them off and replace them with automatic woodcutting machines. During a demonstration, one of the machines malfunctions and severely injures Carmen, who is revealed to be Jojo's girlfriend. Now, Jojo is walking despondently through the forest, unsure of what to do, when suddenly she hears a pair of mysterious male voices...

BOOK FILE:  

TIMBR-Scene-4-Libretto.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

TIMBR-Scene-4-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

TIMBR-Scene-4.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28j6A8PzBpQ&feature=youtu.be



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   TIMBR Scene 5

CONTEXT:  

Paul Bunyan has taken the onstage guitar and given it to Jojo. It is revealed to be Paul's own guitar, from his days in the logging camps. Now, Jojo, inspired by Paul and John's advice, is going to write a protest song and sing it to Sam and Alex to convince them to stand up to Mr. Seeds. Carmen is still recovering in the hospital.

BOOK FILE:  

TIMBR-Scene-5-Libretto.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

TIMBR-Scene-5-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

TIMBR-Scene-5.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-HmpqjSJ1Y&feature=youtu.be

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Eric C. Jones

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 5, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Music by Joshua Davis & Lyrics & Book by Eric C. Jones

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  
Artistic Statement
Great collaboration is the key to determining whether a work of art is going to be successful or it will be
a complete failure. When I started my artistic career as Book-writer and a lyricist, I didn’t really have
any role models that utilized this philosophy. I had to do it all out of necessity. I didn’t go to a top tier
theatre program when I applied to school. So, I didn’t have that many examples of great collaborators. I
was a practicing Pharmacist from Texas who at 25 was asked by my local church to help with a children’s
Christmas program. I have attended many musicals and I took Drama classes in College, but I never
participated in any productions that were done on campus. I also had a huge collection of musical cast
LP’s where I knew many great lyricists like Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Lynn Ahrens and Time Rice.
But in my small Texas church, Broadway or even community theatre was light years away from what the
congregation was used to. But I knew that the material I was working with was subpar. So, I decided to
re-write the script, even though I never wrote one. I read a lot of them. As a practice, I read every Tony
winning Book from every musical that won over the past seven years. I followed the format the best way
I could, and I was able to write my first show. In hindsight, I should have had initial readings of the work
so I could have had proper critique. But I had to learn along the way. At the time I didn’t have a lot of
cooperation from the Church because the level of skill I was present was not what they are used to.
They would rather do the Christmas Pageant with the babies in the bathrobes. I learned over the years
to never knock down humble beginnings. And those were humble beginnings. After the initial success of
that first show I did, I was appointed to be the Drama Director of that ministry. I worked for that church
for seven years and I was able to work with more people. I learned many lessons along the way. I
learned that there is more than one way to produce a positive effect. I learned that less is more. I
learned to trust your vision. But I also had to let things go if it doesn’t work. Those are the lessons you
learn when you have great collaborators. So, after my time with that small Texas Church, I decided to
step out on faith and start to write productions for myself. I knew that I couldn’t write music. I was an
amateur guitarist at best. But I loved words, so I started to seek other composers in my city in Houston. I
joined local writing groups and meet directors and choreographers. I had much success finding and
working with great actors who had performed in my numerous One Act and Ten-Minute Plays. But I had
the hardest time finding great composers who love and respect the Musical Theatre art form. When
they call Texas the Wild Frontier, they are not kidding. It seems that there are not a lot of schools or
institutions that train the next generation of musical theatre writers in Middle America. I felt isolated
and I thought I was the only one who do what I do? From a recommendation of a friend, I joined the
Dramatist Guild in 2013. And I attended their second National Conference in Chicago. And for the for the
first time I met other people from across the country who do what I do. I somehow “found my TRIBE”!
And through suggestions and recommendation, I was able to meet and collaborate with another Texas
based Composer Aaron Alon. When I first pitched an idea for a musical, He told me I don’t have one. He
challenged me by asking. What’s the conflict? Who is the character? Why should I care about this
Journey? He also mentioned that the lyrics I wrote were full of cliques and told me to avoid them like a
plague. When he gave me those questions, I was able to restructure my third musical Liberators. That
show would go on to have three readings, a workshop production at Queensbury Theatre in Houston
and be accepted at the 2018 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. I am very proud of the work that I’ve
done. But I could not be where I am today without the collaborators who “stare down our play” and
covert the piece from being average to being extraordinary.

BIOGRAPHIES:  

Eric Jones (Composer, Lyricist & Librettist) is a Medford, Massachusetts born, Minnesota & Texas raised artist. Mr. Jones is a graduate of Texas Southern University; B.S. Pharmacy. He has been involved with the Christian theater circuit since 1995 as a writer, actor, director and composer. Writing credits includes: Children of the Passage, Three Crosses, Postcard Journeys though Christmas, Hallelujah Follies, Sweet Freedom, American Skin Freedom Quilt, Liberators and Fired! The Musical, American Rifle at the Fade to Black Theater Festival, & Audition at the Fragmentation IV; Acting credits include: The Elder in Children of the Passage, Rev. Tuck in Three Crosses, Seward in Winter Garden, Mr. Gable in Postcard Journeys though Christmas. Film Credits; Mortal Love for the 48 Hour Film Project Houston 2011 (Screenwriter & Actor), Curveball for the 48 Hour Film Project 2012(Story Writer, Actor & Producer) winner of 5 awards for Best of Film ceremony Dreamland Murders (Story & Co-Scriptwriter, Actor & Producer); winner of 6 Awards for Best of Film including Best Screenplay Nomination. Dreamland Murders also won the 2015 Silver REMI Award at the 2015 World Fest Houston Film Festival for Best Dark Comedy. Directing credits include: Children of the Passage, Miracle at Nativity Park & Co-directed Liberators a New Musical. Currently Emancipation will be premiering at the Atlanta Black Theater Festival, The Underachieving Adulterer written by Devan Wade. . “I would like to thank God, my family, WRCF church and the Ensemble Theater for supporting us over the years.

AGE: 52

Joshua “Servel” Davis is a up and coming composer, singer, actor and playwright. A Detroit native, Joshua honed his craft as a singer and composer at the esteemed Detroit High School of Arts, graduating cum laude in June 2010. At DSA, he participated in Vision Male ensemble, vocal jazz, concert choir, and won 1st division ratings at the Michigan Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) solo and ensemble festival. Also, he had the opportunity to sing in the Antia Baker Vocal Jazz program wowing audiences with his renditon of “Fly me to the moon” and “God bless the child . He furthered his education as a music major at Claflin University, where he studied the rudiments of music theory, music history, ear training, and vocal pedagogy. His theatre credits include being apart of The Trutone’s in DSA’s production of “Dreamgirls”, playing the scarecrow in fair share productions of “The Wiz”, Mantanga man and ensemble member in Claflin University’s production of “The Color Purple”, and Chrous Member/Man #1 in T’J hemphills Perilous Times. As a composer, he’s blessed to have Cornerstone Schools Concert Choir perform his arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner” every year at the Be a tiger for kids event at Commerica Park. As a playwright, Cornerstone Schools gives him the platform to write and co-direct his own plays which include “We are the 80’s, a tribute to an amazing decade” (Spring 2015) “Who was Mary” a story based on the mother of Jesus (Christmas 2015) and “Soul Train The Musical” (Spring 2016). Joshua Servel uses his singing gift in the gospel/inspirational group Spiritual Therapy, Creative Pieces a top 40 cover band, and Soulislogy a network of Detroit’s most talented musicians and artist. In the spring of 2017, he hopes to launch a play on his 25th birthday. Joshua Servel is thankful to God for blessing him with many talents, and a heart to love him and all humanity.

AGE: 26

 


COMMENTS:  

N/A

SOURCE:   ONLINE

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   American Skin

CONTEXT:  

PROPOSAL to Create New Musical American Skin & Fired! The Musical I would like to produce two new musicals for the City of Los Angeles that is something is straight from the current political culture. A real honest look at Race in America and the epidemic of murders among people of color whether it’s from the hands of Law Enforcement, Alt-Right Groups and from American Citizens. We would like to spotlight the unemployment crisis and corporate greed on Wall Street. These shows will have its workshop at the Sacred Fools Theatre Company and will provide a home to racially diverse cast and crew of artists. The story of American Skin focuses on Three bigoted white males who after joyriding, crash their car. They come face to face with a dream-like sideshow where the so called “Freaks” are a racially diverse group of individuals who have been murdered because of the color of their skin. Infamous figures like Emmitt Till, Violet Luizzo, Andrew Goodman, Vincent Chin and James Byrd, Jr to name a few. It’s scathing satire on the state of Race in America and our responsibility as citizens to deal with those issues. Its Assassins meets Crash.

BOOK FILE:  

American Skin Sample .pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Riotous Time vocal sample (1).m4a


VIDEO LINK:   https://drive.google.com/open?id=1r6gVV9Xg_tBTG0Gw7hN7POfhNpy3m9-d



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Three Crosses

CONTEXT:  

THREE CROSSES is a soulful Broadway Style musical drama that reinterprets the greatest story ever told and brings into the forefront the racial politics of today. It is a story within a story where a 1940’s white Southern Radio station director hires black actors to perform a passion play about Barabbas & the Two Thieves. A gifted black actress courage is tested to the limits when her brother is killed by the Klan. It deals with the power of forgiveness, racial reconciliation and having courage under Fire .
https://youtu.be/_I-9esNCZSU

BOOK FILE:  

The Three Crosses 2.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

the judgement recording.m4a


VIDEO LINK:   https://drive.google.com/open?id=1n66T1oR25ZbYvEcMNp7Xa1lSSR5Srq92



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Rebecca Murillo

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 5, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Music & Lyrics by Rebecca Murillo

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Ever since I was a child I have had a love for performing and an even greater love for Musical Theater. After seeing my first musical at age five I took to the stage myself, wanting nothing more than to use my own instruments to tell stories to audiences. As time went on, I found that my love for storytelling could extend beyond a single performance as I began to delve into different aspects of theater.

Though originally from sunny California, I am a New York resident who has spent the last four years putting on many hats to fulfill this need to learn all I could about storytelling. I found myself assistant directing two off-broadway shows before I had turned 22, assisted the choreography team for Evita at New York City Center, learned how to be a dramaturg at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and even learned how to convey story with a language barrier when traveling to Japan to perform West Side Story. 

Music has always fascinated me because it comes from nothing but an idea in our heads. When I took up writing and began creating material within my Musical Theater Writing Class at Pace University, I wanted to see what stories those ideas could become. Whether I am performing or writing, I always say that I am first and foremost a storyteller who hopes to use my voice to change the world. 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Rebecca Murillo is a composer, lyricist, and a graduate from the BFA Musical Theatre program at Pace University in New York City. As a composer and lyricist, she is a student of the Musical Theater Writing course taught by Ryan Scott Oliver. Her worked was first showcased at 54 Below last May which included songs from new musicals Credence & Cecilia and Not Quite Extinct (both written with playwright Brandon Adam). Other various musical projects include orchestrating and vocal arranging for university productions.


COMMENTS:  

To clarify, I am submitting myself as a solo artist for New Voices. Because of the many collaborations I have done over the last few years with my most frequent writing partner Brandon Adam, Chad Nowlan, and Jake Simard, I found it easiest to submit myself as a songwriter and lyricist. I am also beginning my first project as a book writer (a song from this show is show is part of my submission) which made it difficult to find any one person to submit with.

SOURCE:   Facebook

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   The Important Things from CREDENCE & CECILIA

CONTEXT:  

Music & Lyrics by Rebecca Murillo
Book by Brandon Adam

Based on the nursery rhyme Jack & Jill, Credence & Cecilia follows a young girl determined to find undiscovered treasures in the Appalachian Mountains. Forced to team up with the arrogant Creedence, the two soon find that there are more important things to be found than treasures on a hill.

This song finds our two heroes facing the consequences of their actions as Cecilia races to find both Credence and the discovered treasure chest. When they discover the prize to be non-existent, the two realize that their incessent bullying has gotten in the way of what could possible a wonderful friendship between to the two of them.

BOOK FILE:  

CC-Excerpt_The-Important-Things.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

The-Important-Things_MF-Duet-Bb-Minor-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

THE-IMPORTANT-THINGS_01-31.wav


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   On We Go from NOT QUITE EXTINCT

CONTEXT:  

Music & Lyrics by Rebecca Murillo
Book by Brandon Adam

When a mysterious object falls from the sky, Astrid, a young dinosaur, and her best friend Brick decide to leave their secluded valley to find it. While the herd's motto has always been to walk tougher, Astrid feels that the world they have sheltered themselves into is much bigger than anyone can be inclined to see. Heartfelt, charming, and epic in scale, Not Quite Extinct is a story about using your brain and following your heart

BOOK FILE:  

NQE-Excerpt_On-We-Go.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

On-We-Go_NEW-ARR_New-Piano.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

On-We-Go.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRDVHkdJFM4



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   The Raft from UNTITLED NEW MUSICAL

CONTEXT:  

Music, Lyrics & Book by Rebecca Murillo

This musical takes a look at the economic and political interferences of the United States in Latin American countries and territories.

In this song, a young Cuban man rushes towards the water front in Cuba. It is 1994 and Fidel Castro has announced that 'whoever wants to leave, can go' prompting thousands, including the young man, to jump aboard a raft and sail to the United States. The young man stops running to glance behind at the country he loves but has come to fear in its political divide.

BOOK FILE:  

The-Raft_Demo-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

THE-RAFT_02-01.wav


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Matthew Shaker

DATE SUBMITTED:       January 22, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music and Lyrics by Matthew Shaker

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

The first theatrical production I ever saw, at about nine years old, was ‘Man Of La Mancha’.

My Mother took me to a matinee at the Riverside Civic Light Opera, Riverside, CA.

Stunned, mesmerized to say the least. The greatest gift she ever gave me.

Now, having just turned a young 59 years old and having performed in theater my entire life,

and having developed my musical composition skills with amazing new technology- I am thriving creatively,

as a composer, songwriter and musical author.

The fact that I have little notoriety, yet, is offset by the immense pleasure my spirit derives in creating.

‘EGYPTOMANIA!’ is my answer to my souls calling, since I became fascinated by all things ancient Egypt,

when I first saw the Tutankhamun tour of 1978 in British Columbia- again, as my Mother’s gift.

Stunned, mesmerized, once again.

I proudly draw inspiration from accomplished musical theater writers, such as Lloyd Weber, Sondheim, and Lucy Simon, (‘The Secret Garden’).

It is my hope to continue on this path and this project, yielding something I can be proud of…


BIOGRAPHIES:  

MATTHEW SHAKER
Matthew Shaker is an Actor (AEA), Singer/Songwriter and Composer. He is at home on stage
in a play or musical- as well as behind it. His credits are numerous and diverse with lead roles
in shows such as, “Kiss Me Kate”, “Singing In The Rain”, “Wait Until Dark”, “Hello Dolly”, “Hair”,
“Into The Woods” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect-Now Change”, to name a few.

Matthew won the 2015 Desert Theater League Award for Best Actor -Comedy (Professional), for his role as Felix Unger in Neil Simon’s ‘The Odd Couple’ (presented at the Indio Performing Arts Center, November, 2014). He has also been nominated and received ‘DTL Best Actor Awards’ for his performances in ‘Proof’ and ‘The Cocktail Hour’.

He has been Musical Director and arranged and recorded soundtracks for dozens of shows as well.

Matthew has spent decades as a Piano Bar Performer in cities such as Palm Springs , Los Angeles and New York. He was a popular pianist for three years at the popular Mile High Cafe, in the town of Idyllwild, CA, until moving to Arizona in 2017.
He has performed on cruise ships in big production shows produced by Emmy award winner, Anita Mann.
He released his original album, ‘Dance Romance!’, winning a finalist prize in the Jazz division of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition for his ballad, ‘Next Time’.

In 2019, Matthew received  Semi-Finalist and a Highly Commended awards for two of his songs in the 2019 UK Songwriting contest.

Matthew has composed music for television, films and commercials and lives in
Prescott Valley, Arizona, with his Husband and two dogs.

He is currently working on an historical full-length Broadway style musical, ‘EGYPTOMANIA!’, which dramatizes the life and legacy of

Howard Carter and the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, almost one hundred years ago.


COMMENTS:  

EGYPTOMANIA!

A New Musical

Book, Music & Lyrics By

Matthew Shaker

(Story Synopsis)

 

It was nearly 100 years ago, in 1922, when the most astounding archaeological find in history was discovered.

The glittering tomb of King Tutankhamen, ‘The Boy King’ was beyond belief.

The circumstances that brought Tutankhamen to this overcrowded tomb have been surrounded by mystery and intrigue.

It would take the dedication and unwavering perseverance of Archaeologist Howard Carter, his financial benefactor,

Lord Carnarvon and Carnarvon’s adventuresome daughter, Lady Evelyn, to keep the dream alive.

When the discovery was revealed, a fever of excitement raced across every continent. From art and fashion to theater and architecture. 

This zeal for all things from the glory of ancient Egypt would forever be known as, ‘EGYPTOMANIA!’

SOURCE:   Internet search for Musical Writer competitions

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:   AY'S Lament (From the Musical, 'EGYPTOMANIA!')

CONTEXT:  

SONG SYNOPSIS
AY’S LAMENT

It was the near end of the 18th Dynasty. The entire country of Egypt was in turmoil. Citizens were starving and facing an uncertain future.

King Akhenaten, the ‘Heretic Pharaoh’, had abolished the worship of many gods in favor of only one god, the ‘Aten’.

Upon his death, his son, Tutankhamen, took the thrown at just nine years of age.
Greed, power struggles and mystery cloud the violent death of King Tutankhamen.

Upon the Kings untimely death, his Royal Vizier, AY, will let nothing stand in the way of taking the throne for himself,
now that the ‘Heretic’ son of Akhenaten is no more…

(Instrumental backing track, available)

BOOK FILE:  

Ays-Lament.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Ays-Lament_Final_3132019.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

1_Ays-Lament_Final_2_4262020_Landr_High-Balanced.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/musicmattps/ays-lament



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SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Imagine Me With You (From the Original Musical, 'EGYPTOMANIA!')

CONTEXT:  

SONG SYNOPSIS
IMAGINE ME WITH YOU

Archaeologist, Howard Carter had one mistress in his life-The sands of Egypt.
Carnarvon’s beautiful and spirited daughter, Lady Evelyn found the hunt for ancient wonders simply exhilarating.

Far from the class divisions and societal manners back home in England, Evelyn began a friendship with the strong willed Carter.
A relationship was in the works. But what could it be?

Carter was a loner, but his heart was moved. Carnarvon could pull funding on all digs if Carter got too close to his daughter.
Imagine…

(Instrumental backing track, available)

BOOK FILE:  

Imagine-Me-With-You.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Imagine-Me-With-You_Bb_Final_Version.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

4_Imagine-Me-With-You_3232019_Final_3-LANDR-High-Balanced_mp3-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/musicmattps/imagine-me-with-you



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Paint and Brush (From the Original Musical, 'EGYPTOMANIA!')

CONTEXT:  

SONG SYNOPSIS
PAINT AND BRUSH

As a child, Howard Carter was awkward, and due to health conditions, did not have a full education.
His father, Samuel Carter, a gifted artist, loved his son and gave him his heart.

Here, in ‘Paint and Brush’ the young boy, Howard Carter receives an art lesson from his father.

But perhaps, it’s really a master class in ‘life’.

(Instrumental backing track, available)

BOOK FILE:  

Paint-and-Brush-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Paint-and-Brush_Duet_5242019.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

3_Paint-and-Brush_Final_2_612019_Landr-High-Balanced_HD24-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/musicmattps/paint-and-brush-from-the-original-musical-egyptomania

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Maggie Ludwig

DATE SUBMITTED:       January 21, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Maggie Ludwig & Kristina Bryan, Music by Maggie Ludwig & Kristina Bryan, Lyrics by Kristina Bryan & Maggie Ludwig

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

We became interested in writing for musical theatre when we were both undergrad BFA students at Ball State. We found ourselves frustrated by the limited roles for the high volume of talented women at our school, let alone roles that portrayed interesting, three dimensional female characters. Taking matters into our own hands, we decided to create a female centric musical that dealt with issues women face today.

Daybreak, the result of our labors, tells the story of a female coal miner and single mother in West Virginia who struggles with sexual harassment in the work place told through country bluegrass music.

Storytelling has always been a major tenet of this particular genre of music — e.g. “Fancy” by Reba McEntire or the traditional bluegrass ballad “Pretty Polly” — and yet we don’t often hear this mode used on stage. For this reason, throughout writing Daybreak we have strived to combine our background in traditional musical theatre with the styles and modes of music from the Country/Bluegrass vein. And of course, with a story that takes place in rural Appalachia, it makes sense to use music that the characters themselves would experience, know, and love. Music in theatre is an expression of plot, emotion, and heightened reality, but can also be a useful tool to communicate setting.

Considering today’s political climate, we’ve enjoyed deepening our understanding of a region in our country that has been ostracized for centuries for being poor, uneducated, and now Trump country. We hope to always find the humanity in others, and we hope to translate that humanity into the characters and stories we write.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Maggie Ludwig is an Appalachian grown artist, recent New York City transplant. She is the proud co-writer of Daybreak: A New Musical, a woman centric piece about a female coal miner’s struggle with sexual harassment in the work place. Daybreak was recently featured in the Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Works Festival and has been selected to partake in the Discovery New Musical Theatre Festival at Ball State University. She is a recent graduate of Ball State’s BFA Musical Theatre program.

Kristina Bryan is a dancer, singer, actor, and writer who hails from Madison, WI. Her favorite performance credits include Babette in Beauty in the Beast (Legacy Theatre), Legend of the Sleepy Hollow (North Carolina), and theme parks Dorney Park, Cedar Point, and Carowinds. She is also a recent graduate of Ball State’s BFA Musical Theatre program.


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:   A colleague suggested I apply

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   "Sweet Sunshine" - Daybreak

CONTEXT:  

Our world of the play song. The coal miners discuss their hardships and hopes.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ENMiHEeiZDUNWFevbGlZfwUkDmNNHISM/view?usp=sharing



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "No Perfect Road" - Daybreak

CONTEXT:  

End of Act II. Dawn, our protagonist female coal miner, decides to pursue legal action against her employer for sexual harassment.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LsWAhunCmCZ-U6OVq09lENSv4RvsDGK3/view?usp=sharing



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Daybreak Script Excerpt

CONTEXT:  

The first 20 pages of the script.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1162uYeNbdiqGNyqr0rzSTOhDua-HU9Hb91BaXsCeXiI/edit?usp=sharing

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Frank Toncar

DATE SUBMITTED:       January 20, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Ben Covello, Music and Lyrics by Frank Toncar

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

As a team, Frank Toncar and Ben Covello write with the goal of relatability in mind.  We seek to address important emotional strife, and discuss mental health in personal ways that others can relate to.  Our writing explores the journey of love and heartbreak that is part of humanity.  While it may seem sad, “Frank. The Musical.” is a perfect representation of our team’s mission to illustrate the realistic hardships faced in everyday life, and contains hues of hope and perseverance, ultimately expressing our belief in the importance of overcoming the adversity we face in life.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Frank Toncar is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter from Youngstown, OH. In addition to performing with internationally touring acts such as Tropidelic and Cosmic Lemons, he has released two solo records since 2019 that he is currently performing and promoting internationally. He also has owned and operated a recording studio called Peace of Mind Productions since 2016. He is just beginning his journey into the world of musical theatre and is excited for what the future holds.

 

Ben Covello is an up and coming music director and pianist based in New York City, NY.  He has played piano for and music directed countless regional, national, and international shows. He is very excited to announce his Off-Broadway debut as Music Director and pianist at the young age of 19.  With prospects of Broadway in his near future, musical theatre has been a huge part of his musical life, and he looks forward to spreading his own stories to the masses.

 


COMMENTS:  

Book files are only the lyrics of the songs, and the score files don’t have the lyrics or melodies, but are currently being worked on. Any other materials, including the script, can be included upon request. We look forward to hearing from you.

SOURCE:   Facebook

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   .jpeg

CONTEXT:  

This song is broken apart, with bits and pieces performed sporadically as it is "written" throughout the show. It is sung by Frank, and the entirety of the song closes the show after a powerful dream sequence, resulting in a very sad, yet inspiring, take on love and depression.

BOOK FILE:  

jpeg Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

.jpeg Lead Sheet.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Frank-Toncar-.jpeg-.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRe9bfhLaLc



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Five Years

CONTEXT:  

After a rough breakup, Haley is on the phone with Frank. Frank is upset that she abruptly moved out while he was out of town for work, leaving their other roommate a mess of an apartment and two cats to take care of. She combats his sad aggression with insinuation that he cheated on her with another woman, and she begins to sing "Five Years" about feeling mistreated in this whole situation with little control of the outcome.

***The recording of this song is a version from Frank Toncar's album 'Avalanche', which does not include a female singing. However, this will be easily translated to a female singer, and the musical version will feature some minor lyric changes from the album, as noted in the book.***

BOOK FILE:  

Five Years Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Five Years Lead Sheet.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Frank-Toncar-Five-Years.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziAmzmU8lvM



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Sunday

CONTEXT:  

Frank and Haley go on their first official date, and Frank sings this song about what a lovely girl he thinks that he just met.

BOOK FILE:  

Sunday Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Sunday Lead Sheet.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Frank-Toncar-Sunday.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://open.spotify.com/track/4YEySt1UQYKpiUWEmRovm9?si=UH0sGz0OQ9KyTTu4_BBQug

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Charlene Tashnizi

DATE SUBMITTED:       January 11, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Charlene Tashnizi, Music by Charlene Tashnizi, Lyrics by Charlene Tashnizi, Additional Lyrics by Isabella Tolentino, Book Edited by Ellen Lu and Isabella Tolentino

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Our friendship has one strong connection: our mutual love of musicals. We are fascinated by the art form and love it so much - it is amazing the way a compelling story and beautiful music can intertwine perfectly to form a musical that can make all different kinds of people from anywhere in the world laugh, cry, or anything in between. Nobody is affected the same way; that is what makes it so unique and special. The idea of live theater with songs, acting, and everything else that may be included is so singular and unmatched. It is a whole other world in comparison to film, television, photography, concerts, and even books. We want to make wonderful, relevant, important theater that will remain timeless for generations to come and will hopefully inspire others or help people understand themselves and cope with life.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Charlene Tashnizi (music, lyrics, book): I’m sixteen years old and in my junior year of high school. I came up with this idea for an original musical in eighth grade. I recently had gotten back into listening to musical theatre, such as the classics like Hello, Dolly and West Side Story, as well as some modern musicals like Hamilton of course and Rent. I have always loved the Disney films (my favorite move of all time is Enchanted) and Alan Menken has always been a huge inspiration for me, so I have lived and breathed musicals since I was very small. Eighth grade was the year I really embraced the art of songwriting - I had been playing classical piano since I was six, but I never truly was passionate about composing until I opened my eyes into the possibilities of musical theatre. I quickly realized that I had a knack for writing musical theatre and pop. I also continuously see a lack of diverse, young female musical theater writers, especially composers, and I strongly feel that I can change that. I can only dream to have a career like Stephen Sondheim, my number one idol, and more recent writers like Anais Mitchell (Hadestown) and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Isabella Tolentino (additional lyrics): Hi, I’m Isabella Tolentino. I’m sixteen and in my junior year of high school. I have always loved literature and writing. One form of literature I’ve continuously had a passion for is poetry. The format of poetry and its impact is what induced me to write lyrics. Lyrics are a great way to express emotions, and bring across a story to those who listen, while being able to express them in a creative way in accordance with the melody. I’ve always had music in my life, which has contributed to my interest in lyrics and musicals. I enjoy listening to the catchy songs as well as read the lyrics, which I believe should speak to the audience. I love musicals because they tell a story in interesting, creative, and catchy ways. They also get a chance to play with stanzas as well as rhymes. Musicals are very original, inspiring, and impactful with their fun lyrics and catchy tunes, which I admire.

Ellen Lu (book editor): I’m Ellen, just your average fifteen year old trying to survive junior year. I’m a lover of unicorns, a corgi enthusiast, and a lover of classics. I’m helped write/edit the book for the musical, Moments. I have always had a huge passion for writing and I aspire to pursue the craft of a writer. Writing has always had a special place in my heart and I love spinning out my own little world and creating a place where anything can happen. Regular sacks of mortal fluff discover mystical isles and anything can become a reality. However, seeing as I still haven’t received my Hogwarts letter nor stumbled through my own closet into Narnia, I suppose I must wait patiently for Gandalf in a few decades. Likewise, I have always adored musicals. It’s like writing, but with much more flair and of course, who could forget, the ability to burst into song at any moment. It’s spontaneous. It’s majestic. My favorite musicals are the Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, the Sound of Music, and Hamilton. It’s lovely to sing their songs in the shower. I hope you enjoy the musical, Moments.


COMMENTS:  

Charlene: This musical, called Moments, is very close to my heart. It is about a girl who simply wants adventure and memories to fill her life with, and she builds herself through her experiences and the people in her life. I came up with this story because I want to write a piece that I relate to and many other people relate to as well. I may be young, but these songs and this script are so genuine and true to the tale I am trying to tell. To convey the idea of Moments, I formatted the musical to have time gaps so it is not completely non-stop to skip to those key moments. No song is long, to show the brevity of a moment, but there are scenes to develop plot and characters well. To give credit to my friends who helped me: out of the nine songs in the musical, Isabella wrote the lyrics for two of them. Ellen helped edit the script I have continuously been working on. I couldn’t have done this without them. It has been my dream for so long to see my musical performed on a stage in front of an audience, and it would mean the world to me if I had this opportunity.

SOURCE:   The Acorn Newspaper

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Chasing the Clouds - From "Moments"

CONTEXT:  

The first song in the musical. Jasmine reflects on herself and what the future may hold. The brevity of the opening song represents how quickly a thought can come and go, just like a little moment in time.

Vocalist: Ava Carver

BOOK FILE:  

Chasing-the-Clouds-Scene-Google-Docs.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Chasing-the-Clouds-score-pdf.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Chasing-the-Clouds.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #2


TITLE:   How to Perform - From "Moments"

CONTEXT:  

Jasmine's older sister Quinn, who is a Broadway star, decides to place her knowledge onto her little sister when they are discussing the realities of being a true performer - like Quinn. Jasmine as no interest in becoming a "star," but is amused while watching Quinn dramatically belt about her star power. Jasmine confirms by the end of the number that she indeed does not what to be a star like her sister, but still enjoys doing a diva moment once in awhile.

Vocalists: Katie Dingle, Ava Carver

BOOK FILE:  

How-to-Perform-Scene-Google-Docs.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

How-to-Perform-Vocal-Part-COPY.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

How-to-Perform.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Capture this Moment - From "Moments"

CONTEXT:  

This is a love song between Jasmine, the protagonist, and her love interest, Matt. This song takes place in a moment after their relationship had ended, but Matt has come back and is trying to rekindle the flame. They had been apart for a year. Jasmine decides she will consider it, only if they can start over in a mature way and live life in the present instead of worrying about the past and future. For this song, I recorded it myself because I currently don't have two vocalists to sing it.

Vocalist: Charlene Tashnizi

BOOK FILE:  

Capture-this-Moment-Scene-Google-Docs.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Capture-this-Moment.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Billy Recce

DATE SUBMITTED:       January 5, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Music and Lyrics by Billy Recce

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I started writing musicals when I was eight years old, sacrificing my attention in 4th grade math lessons so I could work quietly on my latest magnum opus in a spiral bound notebook from AC Moore. I used to average a new musical every two or three months, eventually piling up dozens of musicals in spiral bound notebooks whose songs existed in my head, and whose pages I would thumb through whenever I got lonely, thinking about the possibilities that would arise with one day seeing these shows performed live. Naturally, I didn’t have many friends, but I forced those I DID have to read the scripts with me, and together, we had a little pretend repertory theatre troupe where we would dream of one day staging these pieces for a live audience, and not just an audience of the squirrels and the lunch ladies at recess. 

The first piece where I really felt like I was on the right track was the initial draft of BALLOON BOY THE MUSICAL, which was based on the major news making event of a Colorado father telling the press that his son was stuck in a homemade weather balloon. I wrote the title song with some friends in the cafeteria during our 7th grade lunch period, inspired by the nonsense that was currently taking place. I was drawn to this story, not just because it sung, but because there was something so human about this Mama Rose-ish Father going to great lengths to get a better future for his family—which in his warped mind was via a reality TV show. BALLOON BOY debuted when I was in 8th grade at a children’s theatre in Manhattan, and because I didn’t know how to transcribe music at the time, we ended up using kazoos and slide whistles—thereby dubbing the initial version of the show BALLOON BOY, THE KAZOOSICAL. The performances ended up garnering an average of 12 people in the audience, but working on it with my friends—most of whom were in my recess repertory players—was the first full circle moment of my career, and one that I still cherish. It was this experience, wonky and ridiculous as it was, that has defined the work that I want to make.

1. I strive for familial, community based theatre. At the end of the day, we all started doing theatre because it was FUN, and because of the group of like-minded weirdos we got to spend time with. In everything that I do, whether it be a concert, a musical or a table read, I always strive to make sure that everyone in the room feels comfortable with each other, and that by the end of the process, we will be able to revel in the familial, celebratory feeling of creating theatre with each other, just like I did with my repertory players in 7th grade.

2. I strive to take people that we as a society choose to see, or are led to see, as two dimensional, and create three dimensions through song. I am hugely interested in the concept of the modern history play, and there is nothing I love more than writing a song that humanizes a public figure that we all have a set idea of. Most of my work has been based off of, or inspired by, true events—most of which seem like weird ideas for musicals. I find that I am so drawn to musicalizing real life stories because a song can humanize, without necessarily endorsing, the worst kind of person in a way that simple words cannot. I find that music forces us to listen to people with our hearts and not our minds. I certainly knew, as a queer kid raised in a very catholic household, how it felt to be looked at as one defined thing and never being given the room for those around me to look deeper.

From pieces about the  BALLOON BOY (which eventually premiered at NYMF in 2015, making me the youngest writer ever accepted into the festival at 17), to musicals about Jan Crouch (a 1980s, cotton candy, haired televangelist), the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr, and most recently, Heidi Fleiss, I have always been inspired by the trashiest of the tabloids, because they feature characters that we don’t expect to see fully fleshed out as we thumb through the pages. If I am able to humanize the least likely subjects in a rehearsal room of people I love and admire through song, then I don’t need to make a dollar off of my work. I’ll be doing what makes me happiest, and what made the 7th grade version of myself happiest too.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Billy Recce is a MAC and NEO-Award winning composer/lyricist, singer/songwriter and playwright based in NY. His works include the long-running A Musical About Star Wars (Off-Broadway, Cast Album on Broadway Records), the international headline making Balloon Boy (youngest writer ever selected for NYMF at 17), Dimes (Developed with Theatre C), Duo/Trio (The Motor Company), Off-Broadway’s NEWSical (Additional Musical Material), Wally Weasel’s GOP Jamboree, The Charlatans (Fordham). Media credits include BroadwayWorld’s Rachel Unraveled (Head Writer/Songwriter) and The Birds and the BS with Jordan Roth, co-writing songs for Mandy Patinkin, Titus Burgess, Laura Benanti, and Bernadette Peters. He has sold out 54 Below several times with his Snowflake Songbook series, and additionally, his work has been heard at Irish Rep, The Duplex, Club Cumming, A Little New Music, Ars Nova, Bruno Walter Auditorium, The Tilles Center, The Kennedy Center and beyond. In addition, his social justice-based theatre work has been recognized by the United Nations.

His debut album The Perks of Being A Snowflake is available on all platforms. He is represented by Paradigm, and is currently at work on a new musical with Tony Nominated Director Robert Longbottom. 

Proud member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. Graduate of Fordham University (’19). 


COMMENTS:  
I am the proud recipient of a cease and desist from a family of televangelists.
SOURCE:  

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:   LITTLE BLACK BOOK (from 'Little Black Book: A Rock Concert As Performed By Heidi Fleiss, and Her Birds")

CONTEXT:  

As we filter in, we find ourselves in what seems like the living room and kitchen of any normal, Nevadan recluse whose fifteen minutes have passed. It’s unkempt and filled to the brim with what could either be construed as mementos or trash. What makes this house different is the sound scape; the squawks of over forty parrots are constantly heard throughout the halls and just above our heads. Every now and then, we may even see the shadow of one passing by.

That having been said, as foreign as this all sounds to us, to Heidi—passed out on a reclining chair in the den—this is just ambient noise that she uses to fall asleep.

Three women appear ominously throughout the apartment. Three mic stands rise in the corner of the room, and they seat themselves on stools behind them. Heidi is woken up by a few voicemails: a final turnoff notice from NV Energy, an eviction from her landlord, and finally, a message from a top executive at Simon & Schuster, touching base on an offer for a tell-all book from her that could really keep the lights on. The only catch is that Heidi has to spill the names of her former clients: the hundreds of powerful men of the 1 percent who populate her storied 'little black book.'

With the riff of an electric guitar, Heidi shoots up a spoonful of crystal meth, and WHAM, the lights explode into a strobed frenzy. Suddenly, her apartment transforms into an underground rock concert, and by the time the lights come up, the girls are backup singers, each with a tasteful touch of feather adorning their grungetastic looks. HEIDI reappears as a pseudo-Joan Jett, clutching a mic. She’s high, she’s pissed and she’s ready to fucking do this.

BOOK FILE:  

Little-Black-Book-Excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Little-Black-Book.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Little-Black-Book.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDN-ij4Hi14



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SELECTION #2


TITLE:   PANDERING (from 'Little Black Book: A Rock Concert As Performed By Heidi Fleiss, and Her Birds")

CONTEXT:  

In the form of a raucous, punk rock, one woman show, Heidi leads us through the journey of her life--with the assistance of her 'birds': three backup singing girls who also become different characters from her life at their microphone stands. After dropping out of High School, she moves to LA, and begins dating a pool of older, wealthy men, eventually finding and settling in with Ivan, who obsesses over her. However, they both have different agendas, it seems, when Ivan introduces Heidi to Madame Alex, who pays Ivan a finders fee of $450. The finder's fee stings Heidi, but she decides that she can best achieve her goals of immense wealth and an elite LA lifestyle by learning the ropes from Madame Alex, thus becoming a high end prostitute in Beverly Hills and ending her abusive relationship with Ivan.

Finally, Heidi has gathered enough information on how to do this herself, so she takes all of Alex's girls and starts her own business, making her first million in six months and at only 26. Naturally, this success can’t last, and in 1993, Heidi is arrested for 'pandering' after Madame Alex launches a smear campaign against her in the LA Times.

BOOK FILE:  

Pandering-Little-Black-Book-Excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Pandering-Demo.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   CAGE SONG (from 'Little Black Book: A Rock Concert As Performed By Heidi Fleiss, and Her Birds")

CONTEXT:  

After being released from prison, Heidi can't catch a break; she has lost every friend in Hollywood and every dollar she made. With the clock ticking and the power slowly going out, Heidi begins tweaking and breaking down, lingering on the many people who abandoned her and the world that showed her no sympathy or no forgiveness for the mistakes she has made. Now--with this book deal--the world is offering to listen to her story, but only because of the rich men who populate it. As the lights go out, an embittered Heidi burns her infamous little black book until it's a pile of ashes.

The show, once electric and explosive, has now devolved into something more quiet, pensive and acoustic. As her birds--now in jeopardy because of her bankruptcy--look on, she sings about being put into a cage by the world, being forced to live in claustrophobic reclusion and loneliness, lighting candles around her home for a source of light.

BOOK FILE:  

Cage-Song-Excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

cage-song.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

011.-Cage-Song.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Charli Eglinton

DATE SUBMITTED:       January 2, 2020
TEAM CREDITS:   Concept, Book, Music and Lyrics by Charli Eglinton

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Musical Theatre is an opportunity for escapism which no other form can match.

We transport audiences to other worlds through music, while allowing them to recognise their own stories and problems within the characters on stage and work through them as the characters do.

Music has the power to move people in a way words alone can’t. It transcends language, background and beliefs; it unites and that’s why live musical story telling is so compelling - it’s a unique experience which is never the same twice and affects every person differently.

I believe Musical Theatre has the power to offer complete escapism in troubling times. Audiences want a break from their reality and this form invites them to worlds and stories and characters beyond imagination. It’s a special heightened form which allows for a special heightened experience.

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

I am a 19 year old one woman creative team, devising new, original musical theatre (concept, book, music, lyrics).

- Age 13 Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly chose her original scene, song and new character to be performed by the cast of ‘Matilda the Musical’ at the Cambridge Theatre, as part of a national competition by the RSC, ‘Write Here Write Now’.

- Age 15 she wrote a Disney-esque screenplay, ‘Switched’ (based loosely on the ‘Prince and the Pauper’) with 10 original songs, favourably critiqued by a Disney Theatrical producer in New York.

- Age 17 she wrote an original, anime inspired J-Rock musical, ‘Eternally Yours’.

- Aged 18 she wrote an original Steampunk opera called ‘8’, a sung through show of 41 pieces of music, stylistically blurring the line between opera and musical theatre, while incorporating elements of ballet to help tell the narrative.

She was invited to perform a few songs from the show at the Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln (the largest of its kind in the world) in 2018, which attracted BBC Radio Lincolnshire to interview her and air the show’s music live.

- Age 19 and self producing ‘8’, last February, she held a professional concept album recording of the show at Fiction Studios, Holborn, with an original cast of 5.

Also in February, Charli animated a 5 minute film of ‘8’ which won BEST SHORT FILM and OVERALL WINNER of the 2019 Moving Image Awards, judged by the BFI and industry film critics.

In July, she directed and produced a sold-out run of ‘8’ at the Other Palace Theatre, featuring in the 2019 Tete A Tete Opera Festival.

She was invited to take the same version of ‘8’ to the Asylum Steampunk Festival in August (which also sold out).

In September, she held professional concept album recording for ‘Eternally Yours’ at Soho Sonic Studios, Oxford Circus.

Charli has now also written her next, original, Celtic inspired musical, ‘Colours’ and begun work on her next musical ‘Humanakin’.


COMMENTS:  

I want to revolutionise Musical Theatre by devising new, dynamic original stories and music which offer complete escapism and visual spectacle with strong, larger than life  characters and journeys (steampunk mafia, giant soul eating wolves and mythical Celtic princesses to name a few!)

I want to capture people’s imaginations and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds to engage with theatre and particularly musicals (especially those who may not usually) by stylistically blending forms (Opera and musical theatre / J-Rock and musical theatre / Celtic folk and musical theatre).

 

SOURCE:   Fellow musical theatre writer (too old to enter himself!) heard and let me know!

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   AMERICA (From '8' - A Steampunk Opera')

CONTEXT:  

Ed Leale, the protagonist and reluctant eldest son of the Leale crime family in Sicily, runs away from home when his younger brother is pronounced future Don.
He heads to Palermo, for a ship bound for America, to start a new life and fulfil his lifelong dream to design and build airships.

BOOK FILE:  

8-SCRIPT-EXTRACT.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

America.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

5.-AMERICA.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF-kf1qKt8E



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   HE'S WORKING ON IT (From 'Eternally Yours')

CONTEXT:  

Finn Lehman, assistant to the flunky private detective, Walter Dyseheart, fends off angry clients, all waiting on Walter to solve their cases.
Walter, fed up of all his mundane, boring cases, wishes for something more exciting.

BOOK FILE:  

ETERNALLY-YOURS-SCRIPT-EXTRACT.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Hes-Working-On-It.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

2.-He_s-Working-On-It.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   FLAWLESS (From 'Colours')

CONTEXT:  

Aedan, princess of Crodhearg Island, is told by her father to stay out of sight when English soldiers arrive on the island.
A celebration is held in their honour (as the first guests to the island in 600 years) and Aedan too curious to stay away.
She sneakily watches on from the hall balcony and lays eyes on the English captain, Cassidy Faye, instantly falling head over heels for him.

BOOK FILE:  

COLOURS-SCRIPT-EXTRACT.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Flawless-Full-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

2.-FLAWLESS.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrqNuQ2vXvk

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Celina Reynes

DATE SUBMITTED:       December 31, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Celina Reynes; Arrangement by Tony Eiras

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

In 16th Century Hungary, a young noblewoman is widowed.

Her immense wealth and power make her the perfect political target.

Rumors of her thirst for blood make her the perfect monster.

Blood Lust is a story about Lady Bathory, a medieval Hungarian noblewoman who inspired the vampire myth. Legend goes that Bathory brutally tortured and killed 200+ virgins, literally bathing in their blood to preserve her youth—but how much of this legend is true?

Bathory was a powerful widow during a time of witch hunts and religious persecution. Blood Lust, told from the perspective of Bathory’s deceased lover, uncovers the political motives that resulted in Bathory’s arrest, imprisonment, and death. In doing so, it asks the question: where do monsters come from? Are they born? Raised? Invented?

Celina’s lyrical work focuses on the nuances of identity and sexuality, memory, and reputation. Her songs are sometimes romantic, sometimes humorous, sometimes macabre; she enjoys exploring the tension between what audiences expect from a character and who the character really is. Tony’s interests center around creating arrangements that capture the “mood” of a character or scene. While Celina is constantly attempting to bring various voices and perspectives in balance, Tony embraces unbalanced, uneven, and un-boring sounds whenever possible. Each artist’s different approach to musical arrangement challenges the other to push their own boundaries and, in many cases, accept new ideas that they would have individually overlooked.

Both Celina and Tony are excited to be creating musical theatre. What other genre demands active and constant audience engagement? TV and movies can be rewound; books can be abandoned half-way through; paintings will exist in perpetuity, regardless of whether anyone is looking at them. But musical theatre is constantly evolving; no performance is the same, no audience is the same, and theatre without audience is incomplete. We are thrilled to be telling stories in this genre, and excited about the journey ahead as we work to bring Blood Lust to production.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Celina Reynes graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She is a Fulbright Award recipient, 2016 featured poet at the Boston Intercollegiate Poetry Festival, and two-time recipient of the Virginia Wainwright Sonnet Prize.

Tony Eiras is a musician, director, conductor, composer, teacher and performing vocal musician. In 1987, He was commissioned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco to create and produce a 45-minute choral/orchestral/dance presentation entitled “PRO OMNIBUS”, which was performed at Pope John Paul II’s Mass at Candlestick Park. Tony Eiras’ choral compositions and works have been recorded by the Laudamus Singers and continue to be performed worldwide.


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:   Online search

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   When the Night is Done (from BLOOD LUST)

CONTEXT:  

"When the Night is Done" is a ballad sung by the widow Lady Bathory after a one-night stand with Antal Thurzó, the narrator of the musical and son of the man who eventually puts Bathory on trial. While Antal is asleep, Bathory agonizes about her feelings. When Antal awakes at the end of the number, a miscommunication between Antal and the anxious Lady Bathory leads Bathory to believe that her feelings aren't reciprocated. At the end of the song, the night has ended and her fears of being abandoned have been realized.

BOOK FILE:  

BL-When-the-Night-is-Done.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

When-the-Night-is-Done-FINAL-PIANO-SCORE.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/celinareynes/when-the-night-is-done



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   I'm Alone (from BLOOD LUST)

CONTEXT:  

"I'm Alone" is an uptempo sung by the Lady Bathory and featuring two of her handmaids. Among the hustle and bustle of the household, Lady Bathory is deciding whether to continue wearing black after the death of her husband. The question of whether or not to ditch her mourning clothes leads to other, more significant questions—such as whether she's even sad at all. As Bathory alternates between poking fun at herself and literally poking (and slapping! and yelling!) at her clumsy and boisterous maids, the maids complain about Lady Bathory's demands.

BOOK FILE:  

BL-Im-Alone-Script.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Im-Alone-All-Parts-Higher-Key.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/celinareynes/im-alone-demo



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   If it's Good for Me (from BLOOD LUST)

CONTEXT:  

"If it's Good for Me" is an uptempo sung by Count Thurzó—Antal Thurzó's father, and the man that ultimately condemns Lady Bathory to death. In this uptempo, Count Thurzó attempts to convince his son to leave Lady Bathory. Antal, frustrated and confused by his father's disapproval, echoes Lady Bathory's love ballad in "When the Night is Done" as the voices (and arguments!) of father and son merge.

BOOK FILE:  

BL-script-if-its-good-for-me-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

If-its-good-for-me-all-parts.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

If-Its-Good-For-Me-Demo-2.m4a


VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/celinareynes/if-its-good-for-me

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Blake Dylan Pilger

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by River Kai Pilger, Music and Lyrics by Blake Dylan Pilger

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

As a multi-sensory art form, musical theater appeals to emotion unlike any other format. Our team of storytellers agrees that nothing compares to the raw connection within a live performance, making musical theater an incredible display of teamwork. Packed with the talent of the cast, crew, and creative team, all pieces of each member’s skills come together to create a live experience dedicated purely to telling a story in the most engaging way possible.

When emotion drives the heart of the story, musical theater’s multi-talented format guides audiences through a journey along with the cast, making the entire theater a part of the experience. This intimate setting drives the true purpose of a story’s theme home to an audience, making it also rewarding for the cast, crew, and creative team to be able to physically witness their impact on human faces. Such an interpersonal art form makes it an inspiringly ideal method to tell a story; an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Blake Dylan Pilger:

Blake is a non-binary composer, music director, and pianist currently pursuing a BM in Composition at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Blake currently studies under Eun Young Lee for Composition, and David Reiffel for Musical Theater Writing. Past composition teachers include Marti Epstein and Jonathan Bailey Holland, and Michael Wartofsky for Musical Theater Writing. Excerpts from their song cycle, Music for Butterflies and Goodbyes, were featured in NMI’s New Voices Project in 2016. Blake has won multiple regional and national awards for young composers for their instrumental music. They have music directed at companies such as Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Emerson College, Palos Verdes Performing Arts, and Miraleste Intermediate School. They currently work as an accompanist for musical theater voice lessons at Boston Conservatory.

River Kai Pilger:

As a dancer, illustrator, YouTuber, and author, River spends his days educating about the LGBTQ+ community. He provides visible LGBTQ+ representation through various forms of artwork and self-expression. River identifies as a pansexual, transgender male, and enjoys encouraging others to express themselves as their true selves. River’s webcomic “What-Sexual??” currently has 22,000 subscribers on the LINE WEBTOON site, which he has written, illustrated, copy edited, and typeset himself. He is currently in the process of writing two new novels.


COMMENTS:  

With “Indigo,” we are thrilled to feature a non-binary main character who uses they/them pronouns, as well as to empower and uplift a victim of abuse without ever directly showing their abuser. With preference to casting a non-binary actor to play Indigo, their role is also written to be played by an actor of any gender. Throughout the musical, the ultimate goal of finding Indigo’s voice holds first and foremost. Despite how much they have been rejected by the world and have every reason to feel hopeless, Indigo ultimately does not give up. It’s our hope to inspire audiences to grow alongside Indigo, find their voice, and feel freshly inspired to fight for their own right to exist, even when others try to push them down. Indigo doesn’t need a reason to be special or particularly talented in order to keep on existing, they simply exist as they are.

SOURCE:   Blake has done several activities with NMI and has enjoyed working with their program.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   INDIGO, Scene 3 Excerpt, “Office Sequence”

CONTEXT:  

Indigo uses they/them pronouns. They have just moved in with an old college “friend,” Terry. Indigo is battling a form of anxiety episodes with flashbacks, and it’s their first time away from home. This scene expands on an instance of abuse Indigo recalled in Scene 2 because the surrounding noise becomes just as overwhelming and triggers a flashback. Indigo’s inner thoughts are characterized as “Inner World” Indigo, versus what they allow the rest of the world to see, characterized as “Reality” Indigo, because they have buried most of their personality internally. After this excerpt, there will be another song in Scene 3 titled “I’m Awkward,” and more dialogue.

BOOK FILE:  

indigo_book_scene3excerpt_2_15_2019.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

indigo_officesequence_score_2_15_2019.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

office_sequence-2-15-19.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   INDIGO, Scene 4, “New to Me”

CONTEXT:  

After landing a new job thanks to Terry, Indigo has just settled in away from home despite some intense initial anxiety. They also met their equally awkward coworker, Oliver. Another coworker, Dean, seems to be a bully.

BOOK FILE:  

indigo_book_scene4_2_15_2019.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

new_to_me_2-15-19-final-5-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

new_to_me_2-15-19-final.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Jonah Sorscher

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Jonah Sorscher

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Through exploring a combination of misplaced trust and sexual questioning among college freshmen, this musical begs the question: who gets hurt when we’re fighting to find ourselves?


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Jonah Sorscher is a high school student from Cincinnati, OH. Along with his love for writing musical theatre, he frequently performs in shows at his school and in the community, and he participates in the Cincinnati Actor’s Studio and Academy (CASA). Credits include Les Miserables (Gavroche) at CCM and Oliver! (Oliver, u/s) at the Human Race Theatre Company. Outside of the theater realm, he loves to study history, play board games, and spend time with family and friends. He gives thanks to his mom, dad, and two brothers, who have been there for him through it all.


COMMENTS:  

 

An outline of the show and the most important plot points is attached so you can better understand the context of these songs (each of the three songs submitted comes from one musical, titled Alibi.) :

Alibi. Outline:

  • Scene 1

 

      1. “Alibi” - The show opens with 2 unnamed witnesses, a defendant, and an assailant nervously anticipating their interviews.
      2. Owen begins telling his story to the investigator.
      3. Flashback: Owen has his first real conversation with Casey at the cafe. They plan on meeting in the dining hall to continue their discussion later on.
      4. After talking with Casey, Owen nearly runs into an unknown student on the way out of the cafe.
      5. “Who Are You?” - Owen is instantly in love with this “mystery boy”; despite claiming to be straight due to his homophobic family, he believes he might be gay.

 

  • Scene 2

 

      1. Owen stops by his room to set down his bags, and we meet Owen’s new roommate, Jake, whom he invites to dinner at the dining hall.
      2. On his way to lunch, Owen sees the mystery boy again, and they have a lengthy conversation, in which, among other things, Owen learns that his name is Bennett.
      3. “Who Are You? (Reprise)” - Owen falls further in love with Bennett, but afraid of rejection and uncomfortable with how other people would think of them together, he assures himself that he will keep him at arm’s length.

 

  • Scene 3

 

      1. Owen, Jake, and Casey all get a table together in the D-Hall, but Jake, who forgot to get a water, has to go back and wait in line again.
      2. While Jake is gone, Casey and Owen continue their conversation and soon realize that they have tons of similar odd interests.
      3. “The One” As they continue bonding over their similarities, they pledge to each other that they will be best friends.
      4. Jake returns, but by then, Casey and Owen are so enthralled in conversation that they barely notice his presence.

 

  • Scene 4

 

      1. Back in the present, Casey continues where Owen left off with the investigator.
      2. Flashback: We see Bennett texting Owen to ask what’s up on multiple occasions, but receiving no response.
      3. A month has passed. Owen and Casey return to Casey’s dorm room after a dinner in celebration of her 19th birthday, where he presents her with a surprise gift. As Owen is about to leave, she kisses him. Both are flustered, and Owen hurries away.
      4. “Suddenly” - In shock, Casey reflects on what just happened and her changing feelings for Owen.

 

  • Scene 5

 

      1. Owen returns to his dorm and talks about the kiss with Jake, who, unbeknownst to Owen, is in love with Casey. He doesn’t know exactly whether he’s even attracted to Casey or not, so Jake starts making up stories about Casey’s “psychoticism” to dissuade Owen from even possibly liking her. However, Owen leaves to shower before he can get too far.
      2. In the bathroom, he runs into Bennett, who is still upset that he hasn’t answered any of his texts. After Owen apologizes about how he completely forgot to respond (partly true), Bennett invites him to a party hosted by their classmate, Sarah Lin, and Owen talks about his new semi-girlfriend, Casey. Bennett, who’s in love with Owen, is crestfallen, but tries not to show it, and leaves.
      3. “Waking Up” - Owen, in love with Bennett again, sings about his confusion, while Bennett, in his room, sings about how he’ll never have Owen and Jake about how he’ll never have Casey.

 

  • Scene 6

 

      1. While Owen and Casey are hanging out, he tells her about the party, to which she agrees to come, but only after some heavy convincing. They kiss again, and Owen accidentally knocks over a picture frame in the process. He asks who’s pictured, clearly upsetting Casey, who tells him she’s gotta get to bed as she’s got work tomorrow, so he leaves in surprise.
      2. Back in the present, the investigator asks Casey about the significance of the picture, who reveals that it’s a picture of her ex, who died after they’d been dating for a year. The investigator apologizes, and lets her continue.
      3. The next day, she claims, she runs into Jake, and asks him if he’s going to the party too.
      4. Jake, clearly offended that Owen didn’t tell him about it, (although he hadn’t even really seen him) decides to go out of spite and hopefully have the chance to talk more to Casey.

 

  • Scene 7

 

      1. Casey and Owen arrive at the party together.
      2. They break off into separate conversations - Casey with Jake and Owen with Bennett. Owen discloses his conflicting feelings with Bennett, who encourages him to go further with Casey in order to determine if he really is straight.
      3. Both drink a little bit, just so that they begin acting tipsy.
      4. “The Party” - Owen takes Casey into a bedroom, feeling pressure to make a move. They make out, then stop when Casey says no. But after talking for a bit, they resume.
      5. Finally, Owen breaks away and expresses his true feelings - coming out as gay, and effectively breaking up with Casey.
      6. Casey, devastated, leaves in tears.

 

  • Scene 8

 

      1. Back in the interview, Casey explains how after break she became much closer with Jake, and we flash back to their outing at the cafe together.
      2. Bennett, at another table, overhears them as Casey opens up about how uncomfortable she was with the encounter with Owen at the party, and as Jake urges her to report for assault. Although Casey is hesitant at first, he convinces her, and she says that she calls, back in the interview.
      3. Owen discusses how Bennett - who, unbeknownst to him, had overheard Casey’s conversation - wouldn’t pick up his calls, so he went to his room to figure out what was happening.
      4. Bennett opens with Owen about how he was frightened by Owen’s alleged sexual assault and thus wanted to keep his space. Owen, distraught, receives a call the next day requesting that he come in to be investigated in a couple days.
      5. Bennett comforts Owen while Jake comforts Casey.
      6. “Let Me Be Your Witness” - Both Jake and Bennett separately urge Casey and Owen respectively to let them be their witnesses. In so doing, Jake confesses his love, and Bennett and Owen almost kiss, but Owen stops it because he doesn’t want to hurt someone else and he’s too scared to be with another guy, causing Bennett to storm off. Owen laments how his world is falling apart.

 

  • Scene 9

 

      1. Owen briefly and awkwardly talks with Jake before he goes to Bennett’s room to try to apologize. On the way out, he runs into Casey at their door. Speechless, they both go their separate ways. Owen knocks on Bennett’s door and even yells for him, but when he realizes he isn’t there, he calls and leaves a voicemail instead.
      2. Back in their room, Casey sees an e-mail and tells Jake that the committee made its decision.
      3. Everything freezes while the Investigator enters and asks the audience, acting as the committee, to vote on whether they believe Owen should be charged guilty or not guilty. From this instance, two different endings ensue:

 

  • Ending 1 - Guilty:

 

        1. “Me Too”: Owen breaks down with the news that he will be suspended from the school for two years.
        2. However, Bennett arrives and comforts him, while Owen apologizes for everything.
        3. Casey, twinged with regret, leaves Jake, who has been trying to console her.
        4. “Suddenly Reprise/Finale”: Bennett assures Owen that he’ll be there for him no matter how rocky the future; Jake, upset, and Casey, concerned, sing about what lies ahead.

 

  • Ending 2 - Not Guilty:

 

      1. “Alone”: Casey breaks down, feeling that none of the administration is there for her.
      2. Jake, angered by the decision, confronts Owen, but Bennett appears and defends him.
      3. “Suddenly Reprise/Finale”: Owen and Bennett make up, while Jake apologizes to Casey, still shaken by the decision, and they comfort each other.
SOURCE:   I was exploring opportunities to submit my work online and stumbled upon it!

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Who Are You?

CONTEXT:  

After running into Bennett, a student who lives on his floor, twice, Owen can't ignore his curiosity about what kind of person this "mystery boy" is. Everything freezes as he marvels at Bennett and realizes the emotions that are pent up inside for him.

BOOK FILE:  

Whoru-script.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Who-Are-You-NEW-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxApfGTy7g&feature=youtu.be



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Me Too

CONTEXT:  

The committee's decision has just been released that Owen is guilty of sexual assaulting Casey, and he begins to realize what this means for him and his future. Time is suspended as he sings about a pivotal moment in his life, comparing it to the "day he died".

BOOK FILE:  

Me-Too-Scene.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k5upPo_xXE&feature=youtu.be



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Suddenly

CONTEXT:  

Casey and Owen have become best friends over the past couple months, but a mix of emotions leads Casey to suddenly kiss Owen as he's leaving her room one night. It's brief, and both are shocked and embarrassed afterwards, but as soon as Owen scurries off, Casey frenetically marvels at what just happened and comes to grips with her changing emotions for Owen.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

suddenly.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw83CVewZLk&feature=youtu.be

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Evan Johnson

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Evan Johnson and Socks Whitmore

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Musical theatre is a fascinating amalgamation of music and drama, a concept very important to the creators and our practice as musicians looking to create multi-faceted, complex art. The “Sock and Key” team (made up of undergraduate music students Evan Johnson and Socks Whitmore) has a strong foundation in narratives and storytelling. We are both fascinated by music’s dramatic potential and its ability to convey ideas that can’t be conveyed through conventional speech. When writing our first full-length musical We Are Here, we conceived of the show as a “play with music” and as such only wrote songs in places where dialogue could not properly express the emotion of the characters. We were particularly interested in the direct integration of music into the dramatic scenes. Because the subject matter of We Are Here concerns mental health and trauma, subjects that are so inherently emotional, we felt that music would be the best way to communicate the characters’ psychological struggles.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

EVAN JOHNSON is a third-year undergraduate Composition student at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). In his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Evan was a member of the 2015 Next Actors Musical Theater Workshop where he contributed three songs to the musical Timeless. He is also an alumnx of the Walden School Young Musicians Program for composition where he was a student for six summers. Evan has been studying music composition since age eight, and he received his first commission at age thirteen. Evan’s musical catalogue is diverse and represents his wide range of stylistic interests. It includes music for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra, wind ensemble, big band, large and small choral groups, song cycles, and electronics. Besides concert music, Evan has written music for films, plays, and recently podcasts. As a composer, Evan is interested in the intersection of music and narrative, and while he is perfectly content writing concert music, he is most at home in the world of musical theatre. In addition to performing and composing, Evan is also an actor and aspiring theatrical director. He recently directed the premiere of We Are Here, the musical he wrote with Socks Whitmore.

SOCKS WHITMORE is a second-year undergraduate student in the Performer-Composer program at CalArts and an aspiring playwright/lyricist. At CalArts, Socks is in-demand as a singer, voice actor, and lyricist. In addition to debuting roles in the play Rosacea (2017) and the lead of Ray in the ballet operetta Children Cannot Sleep (2018), they have been involved in productions of Hansel and Gretel, Street Scene, Shrek the Musical, and will be in the upcoming CalArts production of the a cappella opera Sweat in March 2019.


COMMENTS:  

We Are Here, first conceived in November of 2017, is a musical that discusses and aims to break down stigmas surrounding many serious topics, including mental illness, severe anxiety attacks, sexual assault, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts. It takes place in the fictional West High School and follows the story of a guidance counselor named Valerie and four students she works with over the course of one school year. The show traces Valerie’s impact on the kids as well as their impact on her. The creative process drew inspiration from research and interviews conducted in spring of 2018. The musical was recently produced in a workshop staging at the California Institute of the Arts and the premiere (previewed Jan. 31 and officially premiered Feb. 2, 2019) featured a cast and orchestra made up entirely of CalArts students.

The show is orchestrated for a quintet consisting of flute, Bb clarinet, viola, cello, and piano. All scores included in the application are C scores. For each selection, we will be including a link to the live stream recording of the show’s official premiere, and noting in the context paragraphs the corresponding time codes. Only one of the songs, the opening, has been recorded in a studio, so for the other two songs the stream video is what we will be using in place of a sound file (a cast album of the show is currently be recorded and is set to be completed by June).

SOURCE:   We heard about NMI and the New Voices Project by researching online!

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   "Opening" from We Are Here

CONTEXT:  

At the very beginning of the show, Valerie (West High’s guidance counselor) visits her office before the start of a new school year. She ponders whether she will make an impact the students who come to see her. Four high school students—Colin, Kira, Tori, and Damian—also reflect on their feelings about the new school year and hint at the individual struggles they face. At the end of the song, we see the five principal characters express a shared desire to be seen.
*The sound file for this song features a piano-reduction accompaniment. The stream video features the orchestrated score.
*In the video of the show, this scene starts at 02:14.

BOOK FILE:  

We-Are-Here-Opening-Book-Excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

We-Are-Here-Opening-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

We-Are-Here-Opening-piano-vocal-Recording.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.ustream.tv/recorded/119999771



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "That's Not Me" from We Are Here

CONTEXT:  

Content Warning: Anxiety, mental hospitals
Kira, a freshman who has been homeschooled her whole life before coming to West High, struggles with undiagnosed OCD and anxiety. In this scene, she has had a panic attack in Algebra class when a teacher has prevented her from acting on her compulsions. She comes to Valerie in an anxious state, explaining how she feels like she can’t fix the problem. Valerie calms her down and asks if Kira has ever seen a mental health professional. When Valerie suggests that Kira might have OCD or another mental illness, Kira becomes suddenly defensive, and starts conjuring up images of what she believes the phrase ‘mental illness’ to mean.
*In the video of the show, this scene starts at 26:45.

BOOK FILE:  

Thats-Not-Me-Book-Excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Thats-Not-Me-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.ustream.tv/recorded/119999771



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   "Powerless" from We Are Here

CONTEXT:  

Content Warning: Sexual assault
Valerie was raped at age 15 and thought she had moved on, but when she discovers that the new principal shares a name with her attacker (Martin Hill), the powerful memories of her trauma begin to affect her ability to help the kids at school. With Valerie’s trauma resurfacing, her memory of Martin’s appearance from high school begins to manifests on stage.
Tori, a sophomore at West High, has established that she doesn’t trust anyone but has hinted that something is going on at home between her and her brother. When a classmate makes a crude joke about a video on rape shown in class, her reaction progresses from an angry tirade to a full reveal of the sexual abuse she suffers at the hands of her brother. When she storms into Valerie’s office to rant, Valerie is overwhelmed by the image of Martin and the parallels between her story and Tori’s.
*In the video of the show, this scene starts at 01:27:36.

BOOK FILE:  

Powerless-Book-Excerpt.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Powerless-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.ustream.tv/recorded/119999771

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Matthew Brown

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Matthew Brown

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

The musical theatre form is an incredibly unique form of storytelling; it that operates under certain conventions and yet is constantly evolving. In a musical, plot and character development are of the utmost importance. Whether in a sung-through format or in a traditional book musical construction, every moment, every beat, every note is an opportunity to further introduce the audience to the world you have created. The success of a musical is predicated on the perfect synergy of many different elements provided by many different people. Music, acting, and dance must all fuse seamlessly to create a successful experience. To that end, writers, directors, music directors, and choreographers must all share a common vision. That common vision, which the creative team is tasked with sharing with the audience, is the engine that drives any musical. In some form or fashion, every musical brings something new to the table, whether it be the introduction of new musical genres, new forms of storytelling, or new perspectives on the world around us. As writers, we understand the importance of craft, of construction. We understand why the “I Want” song and the Act I Finale exist and why they work. We are also never content to stay within the confines that we have built. At the heart of every musical is a great story. It is only in the way that we choose to tell that story that writers create their own style and push the form forward.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Matthew Brown is a third-year student at Pomona College in Claremont, CA majoring in music composition. He is originally from Houston, TX and attended St. John’s School. While there, Matthew participated in TPSMEA All-State choir and served as president and student conductor of the St. John’s Chorale and Kantorei. It was there that he began writing his first full-length musical, The Beginner’s Guide to Falling in LoveBeginner’s Guide premiered on Pomona’s campus in December 2017 and was produced by The Green Room. His next musical, From the Top (with a book by Owen Halstad, music and lyrics by Brown), will receive a workshop at Pomona in late April. He will participate in Green Room’s 24-hour play festival, where he will write an original 10-minute musical. Matthew also serves as a music director for The Green Room’s musical projects, having music directed Beginner’s Guide in 2017 and Lost and Found: A Musical Theatre Revue this past fall. Matthew studies composition with Tom Flaherty, voice with Scott Graff, and piano with Philip Young. Favorite roles include Big Harp (The Robber Bridegroom) and Ali Hakim (Oklahoma!).


COMMENTS:  

The materials presented are more or less the same materials used in the rehearsal process for the December 2017 production of Beginner’s Guide. The video you will see is from that production, which guided my decision to keep my materials consistent. However, the show has evolved since its premiere. One notable change is that the character of Wade Forrest has been renamed Blake Allen. This is reflected in the revised score, but not in the script or the production footage. “Enjoy the Ambiguity” and “Game Day” occur in separate scenes, though these scenes are consecutive. The viewer may wish to watch them separately or together without a break. The links to video from the production have embedded timestamps for the viewer’s convenience.

SOURCE:   I heard about this program from one of the Pomona College Theater faculty, Prof. Carolyn Ratteray.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   "Enjoy the Ambiguity" from The Beginner's Guide to Falling in Love

CONTEXT:  

Mark, our protagonist, Sean, our romantic interest, and Kate, one of Mark's best friends, all take the same Psychology class. This scene takes place inside that class. Sean is a transfer student who has just auditioned for the school musical (Mark's domain) and has been named captain of the football team. Just before this scene, Sean has auditioned successfully for Mark's a cappella group. In this scene, Mark and Sean get to know each other and unexpected feelings start to arise.

BOOK FILE:  

BG-Libretto-Excerpt-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Enjoy-the-Ambiguity.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Ambiguity.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/W_coNFr0gLI?t=2368



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "Game Day" from The Beginner's Guide to Falling in Love

CONTEXT:  

This scene takes place at the pep rally preceding Johnson's homecoming game. Mark and Kate, who would normally not attend such an event, run into each other, as they have both caught feeling for Sean and Wade, respectively. This scene immediately follows the classroom scene where "Enjoy the Ambiguity" takes place. We hear from Mark, Sean, Kate, and Janet, another one of Mark's friends. This is one of four major ensemble numbers in the show.

BOOK FILE:  

BG-Libretto-Excerpt-2.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Game-Day.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/W_coNFr0gLI?t=2869



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   "Special" from The Beginner's Guide to Falling in Love

CONTEXT:  

Mark has just begun to discover Sean's true colors, but he refuses to admit it. Mark attempts to stay fiercely positive, though he has just found out that Sean has abandoned him to go to a party. Mark finds that he can't keep up with Sean's rising star. Kate confronts him about this at the café where Mark has been stood up. This number closes Act I.

BOOK FILE:  

BG-Libretto-Excerpt-3.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Special.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Special-3.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/W_coNFr0gLI?t=3847

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Jacob Ryan Smith

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 14, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Music & Lyrics by Jacob Ryan Smith

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I learned early that the easiest way to describe emotion is through music. I started playing piano as a young kid, and spent countless afternoons sorting through my childhood angst by banging on my family’s Boston brand baby grand and seeing what sounds I could produce. This experimentation eventually lead into songwriting, and presenting badly written lyrics and semi-plagiarized melodies to my parents who continually supported all my endeavors, even through gritted teeth at times. Without their support in the trial phases, however, I wouldn’t have continued trying new things and finding my own voice into young adulthood. Now equipped with an arsenal of new human experiences and emotions, I was able to learn the skills needed to properly translate my thoughts into music. I decided to commit myself to talking about the human experience in the most honest way I knew how, using music to access emotions words couldn’t capture. My fascination with Musical Theater followed, as I believe it is the only art form that can make an audience feel emotion deep in their chest. Music can change the world, and I want to contribute to that new world in any way possible.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Jacob Ryan Smith is a current Junior at The University of Michigan, working towards his BFA in Musical Theater. He’s been writing music for over 15 years, having three full book musicals (Mr. Sipple - Book, Music, & Lyrics; Like Dying Things Do - Music; Midnight Channel: The Musical - Music), a song cycle (The Outs and Ins: A Study In The Ineffable - Music & Lyrics), an educational One-Act Musical (Painless: The Opioid Musical - Book, Music, & Lyrics), a short film in pre-production (John Comes Home - Screenplay, Music, & Lyrics),  and multiple pop songs on Youtube (“Willing” - Music, with over 115k views; “Hell And Back” - Music, with over 115k views; “Redacted” - Music, with over 40k views). He’s in work currently on creating cast albums for The Outs and Ins: A Study in the Ineffable and Painless: The Opioid Musical. His latest work, Mr. Sipple, is a current semi-finalist for the O’Neill New Musical Theater Conference. 


COMMENTS:  

I strive to be socially conscious in all of the works that I make. With each new project, I hope to be able to deal with a specific issue I have in the world we live in and expand on those themes while telling a compelling narrative. In my new musical, Mr. Sipple, I look into the lives of LGBTQ individuals in San Francisco in the 70s, the start of Harvey Milk’s “gay revolution,” and seek to answer the question of what an individual will do to feel safe in the world they live in. In the short film I’ve been writing, John Comes Home, I look into the life of a college student finding out about the abuse his mother has been receiving at the hands of his step father over the year he’s been missing. In my song cycle, The Outs and Ins: A Study in the Ineffable, I explore medical labels and the inability of words and slurs to capture an individual’s full experience. Because of this socially conscious work, I was commissioned last year by The University of Michigan to write an educational one-act musical for teenagers about the opioid epidemic that I titled Painless: The Opioid Musical. 

SOURCE:   Internet Search

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   "Safe In San Francisco" from Mr. Sipple

CONTEXT:  

A song led by Harvey Milk in a local gay bar called The Red Lantern towards the beginning of the show. Harvey leads the outsiders of the bar in his new revolution, as they dream about the accepting and amazing place San Francisco could one day be.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

Safe-in-San-Francisco-1.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Safe-in-San-Francisco-Live.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWPoZ3jwHYs



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "Sanctuary" from Mr. Sipple

CONTEXT:  

Ethel Sipple, after finding out her son Oliver is gay, must choose between him and her religion.

BOOK FILE:  

Sanctuary-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Sanctuary.m4a


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   "To Be A Man" from The Outs and Ins: A Study In the Ineffable

CONTEXT:  

A stand alone piece based off of the word "assimilation." A boy must learn to overcome is toxic masculinity and find solace in being himself around the woman he loves.

BOOK FILE:  

TO-BE-A-MAN-lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

To-Be-A-Man-Full-Score-2018-04-07.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

To-Be-A-Man.m4a


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyd9qPyuPYw

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Ryan Martin

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 13, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Ryan Martin

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I first became obsessed with music’s narrative potential in fourth grade through an infatuation with country music. This phase instilled in me an appreciation for lyric writing––I delighted in clever turns of phrase, surprising narrative developments, and the way a song could create such a strong impression of character or place. By the time I landed in a local theatre camp three years later, encountering Spring Awakening and Rent, it felt like a homecoming. Here, at last, was the perfect and inevitable conclusion to the narrative potential of music. I marveled over how songs could build not just a sense of character or place, but how they could accumulate to build an entire world. When I eventually encountered Stephen Sondheim, I knew there was no looking back.

Songs are such perfect vehicles for storytelling. They can exist in or out of time. They can make the familiar seem extraordinary, and the extraordinary familiar. Songs open up so many opportunities for drama––for characters to express themselves in infinitely deeper and more expressive ways than text can alone, and to do so more specifically, more humanly than music can alone. To build a play out of songs is to me the most exciting, and endlessly promising endeavor I can imagine.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Ryan Martin is a playwright, composer, and lyricist based in Chicago, Illinois. His original musical The Incredible Six Thousand-Foot Ladder to Heaven was produced at the 2019 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, where its run was extended due to popular demand. It was previously presented as a staged reading at the Purple Crayon Players’ PLAYground Festival of New Works in April 2018, and selected as a finalist for UC Davis’s Ground and Field Theatre Festival. He is a recent graduate of Northwestern University where he was honored with the Craig Carnelia Award for achievement in songwriting for his work on Waa-Mu: Beyond Belief. You can find Ryan on Soundcloud, YouTube, Twitter, and (usually) in close proximity to strong coffee.


COMMENTS:  

I’m submitting three songs and about 20 pages of book all representing about 20 minutes from my original musical The Incredible Six Thousand-Foot Ladder to Heaven. The songs are available in mp3 form via the Dropbox link I provided below. If you have any trouble accessing these files please notify me as soon as possible and I’ll provide the material for you in another format. Thank you!

SOURCE:  

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   The Incredible Six Thousand-Foot Ladder to Heaven

CONTEXT:  

In the prior scene (scene 1) Mom, Principal, and Psychologist encourage Hadley––with varying degrees of gentleness and tact––to find a way to move on from her father’s death (“What’s Best For You”). Fed up with all of them, Hadley locks herself in her room. That’s where we find her at the top of this scene.

BOOK FILE:  

New-Voices-Submission.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

New-Voices-Excerpt-Score-PDF.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.dropbox.com/sh/71sv0p1u4gxrrnn/AAALWNiibZLL5Irj7lUkXDoVa?dl=0



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Shayna Toh

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 13, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, music and lyrics by Shayna Toh

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Growing up, I fell in love with musical theater because I thought it was as far away from reality as possible. It was a blank slate, where song and dance could join together and create something big, bold and larger than life. It was something extraordinary, an escape from the ordinary world.

My relationship with musical theater has since changed. It is now no longer something existing on a parallel plane to the rest of the world, but instead as a mirror to reflect our world. These stories, as brilliant and bold as they may be, though set in far-flung places and with the most illustrious of premises, all set out to investigate the human condition. We see our favorite characters deal with grief, joy, fear, and love, they way we all do so ourselves.

Besides being reflective, theater is also normative - it allows us create a story which we want to see; a world that might not exist in reality yet. It allows us to change and reclaim narratives, to bring forth a different perspective on issues the audience might not have previously considered, and advocate for real social change by inspiring hearts and minds.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

SHAYNA TOH is an author, composer and lyricist from Singapore. Her 15-minute, one-act play, “Where Your Dream Takes You”, a winning entry for a national playwriting competition, was showcased by the Singapore Repertory Theatre when she was 11.

In 2014, she wrote and composed her first musical “Firefly in the Light”, a 75-minute, 12-song pop-rock musical, which premiered in Singapore to a one-show only, sold-out crowd. This musical has since been expanded to a 2-hour, 22-song musical which was then an Official Selection of the 2017 New York Musical Festival, with three presentations at Playwrights Horizons, Off-Broadway. Shayna is currently directing a fully-staged production of “Firefly in the Light” presented by Production Workshop in Brown University which will open in March 2019.

Shayna’s other musical, “The Olive Trees”, was presented at the Mini-Musical Festival in Spring 2017. In college, she has music directed and conducted the full-length musicals “Heathers” and “Pippin”, as well as the devised cabaret “Modern Major Musicals”.

She has been awarded grants by Hong Leong Foundation, National Arts Council Arts Fund, SPH Foundation, Jane Goodall Institute and Shaw Foundation.


COMMENTS:  

The three pieces of work I’ve submitted chart my own growth through the years, and while they all belong in different stories and are written for different characters, they have managed to reflect very personal goals and frustrations and recollections of mine.

“These Four Walls” was written in 2014, about a seventeen-year-old wanting to see the world when I was a seventeen-year-old, desperate to leave high school and take on the world I felt was out there, for me. “Taking the Floor” was written after the election in 2016, where I was coming into some kind of political awakening and starting to get into journalism and reporting. “Only Life Knows” was written a month ago, when I was back home over winter break after my junior fall, sitting silently in my childhood bedroom, looking at the huge Peter Pan poster I hung up 10 years ago and at the book series I don’t read anymore.

SOURCE:   google

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   "These Four Walls" from Firefly in the Light

CONTEXT:  

The second number of this full-length 22-song musical introduces the character Jake, a sweet and shy 17-year-old who has just returned to the small town he grew up in after traveling and constantly moving around with his parents. When he returns, he not only faces a more inward and stultifying environment than he was used to, but also finds himself on a different wavelength with the people he once knew, and sees how they have grown up and out of what they once used to share with him.

*Some lyrics have been changed since the demo recording was made

BOOK FILE:  

These-Four-Walls-Book-Scene.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

3.-These-Four-Walls-Full-Score_F.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

2.-These-Four-Walls-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "Taking the Floor" from "The Olive Trees"

CONTEXT:  

It's the 1960s, and we're in the fictional village of Kelantan, where the villagers have just described their olive production trade, which they depend upon for their livelihood. Maya, the protagonist, has just returned after graduating college. The first in her village to go to college, we see a young girl fresh with ambitions and ideas to change the world, ready to chart a new path and come into her own.

BOOK FILE:  

Taking-the-Floor-Book-Scene.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Taking-the-Floor.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/N1QsOJIS6GI?t=443



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   "Only Life Knows"

CONTEXT:  

This is a song in a new song cycle I'm working on, which explores the journey of four young adults on the brink of adulthood, as they explore what they've left behind, what got them here, and the people they've loved and left along the way. Going back to my childhood bedroom over winter break last month conjured a lot of feelings for me, and I wrote this song to try and make sense of how a room can become a repository for so many years of one's life, as we change and grow over the years.

BOOK FILE:  

Only-Life-Knows.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Only-Life-Knows-Full-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Only-Life-Knows-Demo.m4a


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Marisa Wexler

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 7, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book, Music, and Lyrics by Marisa Wexler

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I have been a musical theatre fan for as long as I can remember. I love the way music can add emotion to narratives in a way that words on their own simply cannot convey. In recent years, I have become much more involved in musical theatre both personally and professionally. I have written or collaborated on 5 shows in the past two years. Additionally, I have become heavily involved with the group Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh; I regularly attend and present at meetings, and I am in the process of taking over as webmaster. Through all of these, I have continually reaffirmed my commitment to helping create new musical theatre that can speak to a modern audience with all the power that story and song combined are capable of delivering. I’m thrilled to be submitting to NMI New Voices, and I hope you enjoy hearing these excerpts from my work!


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Marisa Wexler is a writer and composer based in Pittsburgh. Having recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Masters of Science in Cellular and Molecular and Pathology, Marisa works as a science writer and editor; her pieces have been published by organizations including the Genetics Society of America and Bioscience News. Her musicals include Complete, GeriatricPrototypes, and The Lights Of Shadow City; she also wrote music and lyrics for Corporate America: The Musical. Geriatric was recently a semifinalist for the Screencraft Stage Play Competition. Corporate America and Complete are both under consideration for participation in the She NYC Summer Theater Festival this summer, and Prototypes is being considered for the New York Musical Festival Reading Series. Marisa lives with her partner, Elyse, and her dog, Nala.


COMMENTS:  

Hello! It’s nice to (sort of) meet you, and thank you very much for taking the time to review this application!

I want to first mention that I have previously submitted to NVP under a different name; I recently came out as trans, and as such, I felt it appropriate to make a new account.

Below I have attached, for your listening delight, selections from 3 of my shows:

The first and longest comes from Complete and was recorded at a reading in Pittsburgh in January, 2018. I have used this part in a previous NVP submission; I am including it again here because 1) it’s rather good, and 2) it’s the only demo I have of someone who isn’t me singing my music.

The second song is from Geriatric, and the third is from The Lights Of Shadow City; both of these feature me singing, sometimes as multiple characters. I hope it will not be too confusing to listen to and that you will forgive me for not always being perfectly in tune - I tried.

Again, thank you for your consideration, and I hope you have a great day!

SOURCE:   Internet? I think? I first submitted in 2015; I honestly don't remember.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Selection from Complete

CONTEXT:  

This is a 10-minute selection from the second act of Complete. A brief synopsis of the full show is below. In this section, Luci, having finally gotten a moment along with Abby away from Evan, implores Abby to leave with her ("Home"). Abby reluctantly agrees and goes to say goodbye to Evan ("I Guess (reprise)"). Abby demands that Evan explain why he did what he did ("Why") - and Evan gives his answer ("For You").

Full Synopsis: Abby lives happily with her husband, Evan. One day, Luci arrives at their house, uninvited. It is revealed that Luci is Abby’s sister, and that Evan has been feeding Abby drugs to make her forget her life before their marriage—including Mark, Abby’s dead fiancé, who had cheated on Abby with Luci. Luci is appalled
and implores Abby to leave with her, while Evan insists that, whatever else happened, Abby was happy with him. Abby must choose whether to go with Luci or to stay with Evan.

BOOK FILE:  

NMI3_book.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Complete-Score-Selection.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

CompleteDemo3_Home_IGuessreprise_Why_ForYou.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "Rome" from Geriatric

CONTEXT:  

This song, "Rome," is from Geriatric, which tells the story of Jerry, a 79-year-old woman. When Jerry's husband dies, she thinks she might finally get to travel the world - but her hopes are dashed when her children inform her that, due to financial difficulties, they are going to put her in a home. In this scene/song, Jerry has just arrived at the retirement home, where she meets her neighbor, Ed. Feeling low, Jerry asks to be left alone, then reflects on the life she has lead as a housewife and laments that she might never get to see the sights of Rome. Essentially, this is her 'I want' song.

BOOK FILE:  

Rome_from_Geriatric.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Rome_sheetmusic.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Rome_demo.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Selection from The Lights Of Shadow City

CONTEXT:  

The Lights Of Shadow City is a rock opera that tells the story of a Princess who starts a rebellion to reclaim her father's throne while the Lights that protect her city from Shadows outside are starting to fail. It's probably the most niche thing I've ever written, and I love it very much.

In the attached selection, the Lights have just flickered, allowing Shadows to swoop in and attack citizens of the city who live near the edge. In the aftermath, the Fool - who serves as a sort-of-narrator -) walks through the carnage with other survivors. The New King - a well-meaning but ineffectual politician who killed the Princess's father in a coup - arrives on the scene, and is greeted with hostility ("Corpses On The Cobblestones"). The New King responds with a speech encouraging the people to remain calm, reassuring them that he can keep them safe ("Have Faith"). The Princess, who at this point is growing up in hiding, arrives and sees the New King's speech. This is the first time in the show she has seen him, and she is overcome with rage. At the end of the selection, the Princess throws a rock and incites a riot among the people.

Please note that, as this selection comes from a full opera, no book is included.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:  

The-Lights-Of-Shadow-City-Score-Selection.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

LOSC-excerpt-for-NMI.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Mark Mc Quown

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 6, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Mark Mc Quown, Music/Lyrics by Buddy Mix

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Mark Mc Quown and Buddy Mix have worked as a team since they both met working on a musical written by Buddy Mix titled, A Little Meditation, finally produced at the Richard Basehart Theater in Hollywood in the 1990s.  We find that musical theater is a compelling form because it adds the components of music, dance and singing to dialogue and other standard production values for none-musicals.  The addition of music and lyrics to tell the story instead of dialogue is a magical component as it gives gifted singing artists a way to express storyline in other ways besides dialogue.  Also, the addition of dance offers yet another avenue of storytelling through the art of dancers and choreographers.  All of these elements extend a way to tell the story and at the same time add artistic dimensions to storytelling that are not included in normal dialogue.  We love Musical Theater and the way it extends the audience imagination through the different components of storytelling we have talked about.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Mark Mc Quown is a native Californian with a long career as a produced playwright/screenwriter including the film “PJ” starring John Heard and Robert Picardo, partially based on Mark’s award-winning/produced play, PJ. His play productions include The Keys To The Kingdom at Theater Unlimited in North Hollywood and A Contemporary Christmas Carol at the Theatre Department of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA and others.

Mr. Mc Quown has worked as a; Theater Educator; Professional Actor, Director/Playwright/Designer, Artistic Director of Sirius Theatre in Boulder, Second Director for the Jeff Daniel’s Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan, Head of Acting for The Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Colorado, Boulder and educator and teacher for California Institute of The Arts, School of Theatre, Saddleback College Theater Arts Department, Pasadena City College Theatre Department, The Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy of Los Angeles (AMDA).

Mark Mc Quown is a member of Actor’s Equity, The Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA and holds membership with The New York Dramatist Guild, The Association of Los Angeles Playwrights and works presently for Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA., as a Stage Director and Acting Teacher.

 

Buddy Mix was born in San Diego, went onto U.C.L.A. where he completed a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in voice. During the course of his studies he found himself around certain celebrities who included D’Arneil Pershing, an arranger and producer for The Fifth Dimension, Debbie and Pat Boone, Johnny Mathis to name a few and D’Arneil ended up producing Buddy Mix with songwriter Mark Elis, the son of the composer for the NBC theme, and members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Symphony at the now famous Devonshire Studios in Burbank, CA

Mr. Mix went on to write, record and produce several patriotic songs resulting in receiving the George Washington Honor Medal by the Freedoms Foundations Committee, at the El Toro Marine Base, for his contribution to patriotic literature for his album of songs called “We The People”.

In 1994 Mix produced his own musical “A Little Meditation” at the Richard Basehart Theater in Woodland Hills and was nominated for six NAACP Theater awards including Best Music Director. Mr. Mix won Best Music Director Award. The awards were given out at a ceremony in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1995.


COMMENTS:  

Mark Mc Quown and Buddy Mix continue working on other musical projects including Mr. Mix creation of a group to teach the world to sing.  This project has now created a song, Teach The World To Sing, and Mr. Mix has visited several countries where he has been invited to teach groups this music and learn from others how they teach individuals to sing.  A Documentary about this project is now ongoing and may be viewed on the Internet by googling, Teach The World To Sing.

SOURCE:   I am a member of NMI.

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   "I Love The Smell Of A Man In The Morning"

CONTEXT:  

This song is sung by Dragula at the opening of the show when the American couple enters his bedroom but do not see or hear him.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Dragula-2-I-Love-The-Smell-Of-A-Man-In-The-Morning-2-121314-rev-3-12-16-14.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   "No Place Like Home"

CONTEXT:  

Later in the first act, the American man, Jordan, finds himself alone in Dragula's bedroom waiting for his wife to be to change into her night clothes and he reminisces on how he wished he were home in his own bed away from all of this.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Dragula-5-No-Place-Like-Home-010615-rev-2-1_13_15-3.26-PM.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   "Jordan"

CONTEXT:  

Before the first act closes, Dragula and Jordan sing a duet together where Dragula tries to express his love for Jordan and Jordan keeps fighting to stay straight during the duet. At the end of the song, it seems like Jordan has been seduced.

BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Dragula-6-Dragula-Jordan-with-duet-011815-Rev-3-@-127-1_18_15-2.00-PM.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Lori Fischer

DATE SUBMITTED:       January 21, 2019
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Lori Fischer, Lyrics by Lori Fischer Music by Lori Fischer, Music by Mark Allen

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Music has such power to change hearts and create empathy. We are drawn to the musical form because sometimes the emotion is so strong, you just have to sing!


BIOGRAPHIES:  

MARK ALLEN Broadway: Gettin’ The Band Back Together (music and lyrics) with Ken Davenport Belasco Theatre, John Rando director. Regional: Tinyard Hill (music) with Tommy Newman (NAMT Festival 2007, Human Race Theatre 2008, Theatreworks, Palo Alto 2008, Goodspeed Musicals), Band Geeks! (music) with Newman, Gaby Alter, Gordon Greenberg (NAMT Festival 2009, Goodspeed Musicals 2010) and The Joker’s Game (music) with Louis St. Louis and Jim Racheff (Beijing, China 2010). Mark has also created award winning music for TV, film and dozens of TV commercials. Mark is a past recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant (2009), Frederick Lowe Award (2007) and ASCAP Max Dreyfus Award (2005).

LORI FISCHER(Playwright/Actress) is the “2008 New York University Harry Kondoleon Graduate Award in Playwriting” recipient and a 2008-09 Dramatists Guild Fellow. Lori received her M.F.A. from the N.Y.U. Dramatic Writing Department in 2008. Theater Credits: Lori’s drama Petie has been called a modern day classic and was recently produced by Theatre East in NYC. Lori co-wrote and starred in her musical The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers(Published by Samuel French) at Capital Repertory Theatre and the Cumberland County Playhouse. Lori also wrote and starred in her Off-Broadway musical Barbara’s Blue Kitchen. (Published by Samuel French) In 2017, Lori performed in her comedy Greener Pastures at Cumberland County Playhouse. Screenwriting Credits:Lori is a 2014 Independent Vision Award Nominee for Outstanding achievement in Screenwriting for her feature film Chasing Taste.  Chasing Taste was the Feature Comedy Award Winner at the 2014 Manhattan Film Festival as well as at the 2013 Burbank International Film Festival. Chasing Tasteis now available on Amazon Prime. Lori is an Adjunct Writing Professor at both New York University and Lipscomb University and taught playwriting and acting for seven years to 4thand 5thgraders through Queens Theatre in the Park. Most recently, she was selected for the Dramatists Guild Foundation’s new playwriting initiative. Lori is a two-time All-American in Track and Field. As an actress, Lori has performed Off-Broadway in the musical Cowgirls, in various regional theaters, movies and commercials. www.lorifischer.net


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:   Dramatists Guild Resource Directory

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Mention in the New York Times

CONTEXT:  

This is our opening number. The theater is excited because they've been mentioned in the NY Times. The lead actor Ray Ray Benay takes sole credit for the mention. Meanwhile, the protagonist, Gilbert, with suitcase in hand, returns to his hometown and sings that his New York times are over.

BOOK FILE:  

Mention-in-the-New-York-Times-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Mention-In-The-NY-Times-DEMO-111718-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Nameless, Tennessee

CONTEXT:  

Feeling like he doesn't have the life he wants, Gilbert comes back to the theater he acted in as a younger man hoping to get an acting job. Instead, he gets hired as an usher. As he sings, he realizes that what he really wants is to reconcile with the love of his life Lilly.

BOOK FILE:  

Nameless-Tennessee-lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Nameless-DEMO-111618.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   You're an Usher Now

CONTEXT:  

The Artistic Director and Concessions Manager instruct Gilbert on how to be an usher.

BOOK FILE:  

Youre-an-Usher-Now-lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

Usher-Now-DEMO-120518.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Weston Gaylord

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Jessia Hoffman and Ken Savage, Music and Lyrics by Joel Chapman, Weston Gaylord and Matt Herrero

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

As a team, we are particularly excited by three aspects of the musical theatre form.

The first is its potential for complexity. By combining two already incredibly rich art forms—staged drama and music—musical theater has a near-infinite capacity for powerful storytelling. We believe bringing music to a stage play is akin to transforming a 2D drawing into a 3D sculpture, adding dimensionality and perspective. Musical theater allows us to speak to the audience in multiple channels simultaneously: in the action and dialogue of actors on a stage, and in the music that enfolds and uplifts their journeys. Music automatically increases emotional resonance, reinforces character traits, and amplifies underlying motifs. Through access to our musical theater toolbox - from underscored monologues to power ballads to spoken word with a loop pedal - we gain greater flexibility as writers, allowing us to bring our audiences to higher highs and lower lows.

Along a similar vein, we’re passionate about music’s ability to give voice to that which is impossible to put into words. For example, musical style can instantly establish a character’s personality before they utter a single line. In our show, the scientific luminaries of the Enlightenment are portrayed as “emerging artists” in a musical world; just like today’s musical artists, each has a distinctive style. Additionally, this form allows us to take on weightier themes and to develop them using musical motif and harmonic subtext rather than explicit dialogue. We strive to write theatre that that comments on our current social, cultural, political landscape. Musicalized language sticks to the psyche, playing in patrons’ heads and thereby inspiring reflection long after the curtain falls.

Finally, musical theatre is fundamentally a LIVE experience. It doesn’t live in a script or an mp3 demo; it’s something that happens between actors, musicians, and an audience in a particular room on a particular night. We aim in our work to embrace the electric, often surprising connection between performers and audience—and Gravity explores the tropes of music festivals, investor pitches, and tech conferences, all live events. Because of its ability to combine disparate styles and musical aesthetics into a coherent whole, musical theater is incredibly effective at bridging the world of the past and present. As writers, we use staged readings as a critical part of the revision process—because we know the show comes to life when the actors, musicians, and audience are all hearing the same beat.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Joel Chapman is a conductor, bass-baritone, and songwriter in the Bay Area. He sings professionally with Volti, an SF-based ensemble that performs and animates completely new works, as well as Endersnight, a choir specializing in Renaissance music. A sought-after low bass, Joel has been made appearances with groups throughout the Bay Area, including the San Mateo Masterworks Chorale, Convivium, California Bach Society, and Stanford Chamber Chorale. Joel’s new work for TTBB chorus, The Song, poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye, will debut in April with the Fog City Singers. Music directing credits: Sweeney Todd (SFBATCO), The Last Five Years, Sunday in the Park with George, My Fair Lady (Stanford University). As an educator, he teaches voice privately and works with the Piedmont Children’s Choir as a conductor and accompanist. Joel is a Stanford graduate holds a B.A. in Music and M.A. in Music, Science, and Technology. | joelchapmanmusic.com

Weston Gaylord is a writer, performer, and mixed-reality creative technologist based in Los Angeles. He has worked to develop and produce narrative VR and AR experiences with Here Be Dragons, FX, The New York Times, Facebook, Co.Reality, The United Nations, and the USC Shoah Foundation. His original work for the stage often combines live performance, music, and virtual and augmented reality: Retrospective (Lewis & Clark Thesis Festival), Lights Out Damn’d Spot (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics), Ghost in the Machine (San Jose Rep Emerging Artists Lab, Stanford Institute of Design). Lyricist credits include Gravity: A New(tonian) Musical (O’Neill Finalist ’17, TheatreWorks New Works Festival ’16, Z Space), Gaieties ‘12 and ‘13 (Ram’s Head Theatrical Society). He holds a B.S. from Stanford University in Symbolic Systems with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction. www.westongaylord.com

Matt Herrero is an actor, singer-songwriter, improviser, and playwright from the Bay Area. As an actor, Matt has shared the stage with Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony) and David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Come From Away). He continues to work as a lead actor and co-author of the original musical, Gravity: A New(tonian) Musical, which was a finalist for the 2017 Eugene O’Neill National Musical Theater Conference. Other recent theater credits include: Melchior in Spring Awakening (Stanford); Toby in Sweeney Todd (SFBATCO); and Link Larkin in Hairspray (Stanford). His original music has been featured in songwriting workshops with Benjamin Scheuer (The Lion) and Casey Lee Hurt (The Unfortunates). Matt has a B.S. from Stanford University in Symbolic Systems, where he was a member of the Stanford Improvisors, a singer in the Stanford Fleet Street Singers, and creator/ co-host of the Stanford Improv Radio Hour podcast. | mattherrero.com

Jessia Hoffman is a Bay Area-based improviser, educator, freelance writer, and arts administrator. She has taught, developed, and supported arts programming for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Signature Theatre (NYC), BATS Improv, Collective Capital, the Stanford Storytelling Project, Stanford Arts Intensive, and Stanford Improvisors. Select theatre credits: writer/director of Sheila, an original play (Stanford Arts); co-creator of Gravity: A New(tonian) Musical (TheatreWorks, Z Space); guest improviser for the Un-Scripted Theatre Company; Lisi in The Man in the Ceiling workshop (TheatreWorks); Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray (Ram’s Head Theatrical Society); Dot/Marie in Sunday in the Park with George (Stanford). Jessia aims to use theatre as a vehicle for social change and civic engagement, developing investigative new work. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University in English with a focus in Creative Writing, and Interdisciplinary Honors in the Arts.

Ken Savage is a San Francisco theater director and the Associate Producer at American Conservatory Theater where he produces new play and musical commissions and A.C.T.’s annual New Strands Festival.  He has ​​shepherded new works by Lucy Thurber/Casey Lee Hurt, Susan Soon He Stanton/Mina Morita, Dipika Guha/Jeremy Cohen, Christopher Chen/Byron Au Yong, Marisela Treviño Orta, Lucas Kavner, Lauren Yee, Don Nguyen, Dustin Chinn, and Darren Canady. Ken has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Public Theater, Arena Stage, CalShakes, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Other musicals in development: Tinderella: A Modern Musical with Custom Made Theatre Co. and Faultline Theater Company, Red Waters (a dance pop musical about Qing Dynasty pirate queen Ching Shih) by Kyle Ewalt. He is a Stanford graduate and the recipient of the Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate Emerging Artist Award (2015). kensavageproductions.com


COMMENTS:  

Synopsis: When modern-day physicist Sophie accidentally travels back in time to the year 1666, she is thrilled to encounter Isaac Newton on the brink of discovering his Theory of Universal Gravitation. But their chance meeting in an orchard accidentally prevents young Isaac from having his famous falling-apple epiphany, setting history dangerously off course. In order to return home, Sophie must navigate the world of 1666—including the glamorous French King Louis XIV, fellow female scientist Margaret Cavendish, and Isaac’s jealous rival Gottfried Leibniz— to re-inspire Isaac to discover gravity and find her own place among her peers. The show infuses the Scientific Revolution with the sounds and flavors of contemporary music festivals and TED conferences, celebrating the collisions of art and science.

SOURCE:   NMI Newsletter

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Time Flies

CONTEXT:  

In the opening number of the show, we see a modern-day startup preparing to pitch their product: a watch that bends spacetime to give wearers an extra hour in the day. We meet Sophie Burke (an ambitious young physicist/engineer and CTO of the company) and her smarmy CEO, as they rehearse their presentation.

BOOK FILE:  

Gravity_TimeFlies_BookLyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

01-Time-Flies-NMI.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Let Us Enlighten You

CONTEXT:  

After an attempt to fix the time-bending watch inadvertently turns it into a time machine, Sophie is suddenly transported to England in 1666. She meets Isaac Newton and they attend the Continental Conference of Natural Philosophy -- part music festival, part TED conference. The scientific mega-stars of the day (Blaise Pascal, John Locke, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, and Christopher Wren) lead the crowd in an anthem to inquiry, enticing them to join London’s Royal Society -- with a brief interruption from the visiting King Louis XIV.

BOOK FILE:  

Gravity_LetUsEnlightenYou_BookLyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  

04-Let-Us-Enlighten-You-NMI.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Laws of Attraction

CONTEXT:  

At the top of Act II, Isaac is finally on the brink of cracking his Theory of Universal Gravity. Sophie watches and encourages him as he works -- both of them processing their newfound feelings for each other.

BOOK FILE:  

Gravity_LawsOfAttraction_BookLyrics-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Gravity_LawsOfAttraction_Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Laws-of-Attraction-NMI.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/UZP5vb85Eg8

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Carrie Caffrey

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Max Beer, Carrie Caffrey, and Alex Rothfield, Music by Alex Rothfield and Max Beer, Lyrics by Carrie Caffrey

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Musical Theatre is the only way of explaining things when speaking is no longer enough. It is the combination of different art forms to create one singular artistic piece or statement. It requires the utmost collaboration. The heightened emotion of each piece, if written well, manages to reach audiences in a way that text most times cannot. When words and music lock together in the right way, it is almost as if we have been granted the ability to hear two languages at once, both sending out the same message. Lyrics give us the ability to speak more freely, more heightened, and also hear the inner thoughts of the speaker. The audience is suddenly privy not just to their actions, but the thoughts behind them. We get to take the journey each moment with them, and it can be a very intimate experience. Our professor always asks us when we are writing, “why are we breaking the silence of the universe?” There has to be a good reason. For us, the high stakes of musical theatre and the vibrant messages we have the gift of conveying to our audience are unique to this art form. Sometimes it’s only in song that we can find a reason to justify breaking silence. We feel that musicals are a way of erasing boundaries and creating a community amongst audiences and fans which defies division, even if it’s only for a few hours. A truly great show will give more life to the world than we put into it, and that is our goal in creating new work: making life beyond ourselves which resonates with others.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Max Beer is a senior at Northwestern University studying Theatre with a minor in sociology and a certificate in Musical Theatre. Max focuses on writing and performance, and is currently serving as Co-Chair for the 87th Annual Waa-Mu Show Manhattan Miracle. He has worked on The Waa-Mu Show for 4 years, serving as Head Writer for the 2016 and 2017 productions. Additionally, he co-created a commissioned musical for young audiences with Carrie Caffrey and Alex Rothfield in 2017 for BAM Theatre. He has worked as a music assistant on workshops through the American Musical Theatre project like The Proxy Marriage in 2017. Currently he is assisting on Southern Gothic at the Windy City Playhouse in Chicago. On campus, Max music directs for The Bix, an improvised musical comedy group.

Carrie Caffrey is a senior at Northwestern University double majoring in Sociology and Theatre with a certificate in Musical Theatre. At school she concentrates on writing and performance. She has written for The Waa-Mu Show for 4 years, serving as head writer for the 2017 show. She co-created a commissioned musical for young audiences with Max Beer and Alex Rothfield in 2017 for BAM Theatre. Her original song “Holding On” was featured in the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival’s Student Leadership Project Concert.  She has also assisted on the creation of new shows through the American Musical Theatre Project- The Proxy Marriage and Atlantic: Two New Musicals. Her writing apprenticeship on Atlantic took her to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017. This year Carrie is writing her first independent project, a song cycle produced by the American Musical Theatre Project entitled Thirteen Stages of Katie.

Alex Rothfield is a junior at Northwestern University studying Music Education and Vocal Performance with a certificate in Musical Theatre. At Northwestern, Alex works as a writer, orchestrator, and a performer. He has written for the Waa-Mu show for two years, serving as Head Writer for the 2017 and 2018 productions. He also co-created a commissioned musical for young audiences with Max Beer and Carrie Caffrey in 2017 for BAM Theatre. He has worked as a music assistant through the American Musical Theatre Project on shows like Marie in Tomorrowland and Atlantic: Two New Musicals, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017.


COMMENTS:  

All three of these songs are taken from a larger show, Beyond Belief, for which we were the head writers last year. At our school, Northwestern University, there is an 87 year old tradition of students creating a new musical every year called The Waa-Mu Show. Over 60 students help write it each year, but the three of us led the writing team and conceived of the idea/outlined it before we brought it to our writers. The following songs are some of our contributions to the show, but the larger project highlighted dozens of students’ work.

 Beyond Belief, a superhero story features two sisters who cope with harsh realities by creating a fantastical world of superheroes. These extraordinary characters, based on ordinary people from their lives, spring to life and demonstrate the resilient power of love and the unique qualities that make each of them “super.” The sisters soon learn that believing in one another may be the greatest power we have to overcome some of life’s many challenges.

SOURCE:   Professor David Bell at Northwestern University

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   New Plan

CONTEXT:  

This song was written in context of a larger show, Beyond Belief, which centers around three siblings in high school. In this song, the eldest sibling CJ is contemplating what she wants to do in college. As a senior, she's writing her applications but is realizing that she may not want the career path she thought she did. She spent the summer writing stories to tell her younger sister in the hospital, and was simultaneously disenchanted with medicine and excited by the stories she wrote. However, as a pragmatic student, she knows being a writer could be a very unstable career choice.

BOOK FILE:  

New-Plan-Scene-and-Lyrics.docx

SCORE FILE:  

2.-New-Plan-4.20.17-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://soundcloud.com/thewaamushow/new-plan?in=thewaamushow/sets/beyond-belief



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Anything

CONTEXT:  

Anything
This song was written in context of a larger show, Beyond Belief, which centers around three siblings- CJ, Mike, and Skylar- in high school. This song is sung by the middle sibling, Mike, who has just been put on the last string of his football team, again. His older sister is a straight A student and the editor of the school paper, his younger sister has an amazing spirit and imagination, and his best friend Winston is the school mascot- they all have their place in the school- but Mike doesn't have one .He sings this song about wanting to feel like he’s good at something so he can finally fit in with everyone else.

BOOK FILE:  

Anything-Lyric-Sheet.docx

SCORE FILE:  

Anything-Lead-Sheet-6-19-17.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Anything-6_3_17.m4a


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kj741EFGKA&feature=youtu.be



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   The Greatest Gift

CONTEXT:  

The Greatest Gift
This song was written in context of a larger show, Beyond Belief, which centers around three siblings in high school. The youngest, Skylar, is suffering from an undiagnosed illness which has left her hospitalized at this point in the show. Her older sister, CJ, writes superhero stories for her in the hospital to keep her entertained, but over the course of the show the stories come to life. In this song, CJ is in the middle of taking the SAT, and is asked the question “what’s the greatest gift you’ve ever given or received?” Over the course of the number, CJ realizes that the stories she wrote for her sister gave her confidence in herself and made her want to become a writer, and that the greatest gift she received was Skylar’s belief in her.

BOOK FILE:  

The-Greatest-Gift-Lyric-Sheet.docx

SCORE FILE:  

14.-The-Greatest-Gift-3.30.17-2.0-copy.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

The-Greatest-Gift.m4a


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   David Brush

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Music by Rachel Dean; Book and Lyrics by David Brush

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

There are few artforms as collaborative as musical theatre. With the exception of film and television, no other endeavor has people from so many varied areas of expertise and walks of life coming together to create a body of work so diverse, exciting, and energizing. This is the reason we were originally attracted to the artform and why we continue to be. In particular, the crucial story-telling aspect of Musical Theatre has a unique power to break down walls, challenge barriers, meet people where they are, reflect the world in which we exist, and provide messages of hope - of love - of not being alone. One life changed as a result of this work is monumental and lasting. Historically, in the seeing and making of theatre, lives have changed, governments have collapsed, and ideas have emerged. This is as true today as it ever was. We make theatre because we have to - we have no choice. We consider it a humbling and worthy cause to use our art in this way - to tell stories through the medium of this unique and powerful craft.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Rachel Dean is a composer, pianist, and music director originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Now New York City-based, she serves as a rehearsal pianist for Hamilton and has worked alongside former members of the In The Heights Broadway cast and creative team, teaching and playing at theatre intensive workshops run by Salgado Productions and R.Evolucion Latina. Recent premieres of her musicals include The Ballad of Janis Matthews and the Dodo Scouts (AREA Stage Co., October 2015) and the one-act Masque (University of Miami, February 2015), both with book by Giancarlo Rodaz. Musicals currently in development include The Anxiety Project (book and lyrics by David Brush) and Present Perfect (book and lyrics by Nancy Cheser).

David Brush has served as dramaturg, writer, director, producer, and various other roles in the theatre over the course of his career. David’s writing work has been honored by Chicago Theatre Building and a two-time American Harmony Prize Finalist. David’s work has been performed all over the country and will play Phoenix, NYC, Akron and other cities in 2018 alone. In addition, David has directed the Midwest regional premieres and/or labs of over 40 productions as well as lead producer for the NYC run of Hot Mess in Manhattan. David is the librettist/lyricist for Summer of My German Soldier and The Big Picture (w/ Jim Farley), and is currently developing The Anxiety Project (New York Film Academy, 2017) and Amelia (Premiere reading, 2018) (w/ Rachel Dean). David served as producing artistic director for Encore Theater Company - championing new musicals and new writers as well as heralding the development of three shows to their NYC debuts. David holds his Bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and Masters in Theatre from Regent University. David is on faculty with Regent University and Sinclair College. www.deanandbrush.com


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:   Word of mouth from Rachel Dean

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   RDJ & ME

CONTEXT:  

A young girl suffering from and medicated for severe anxiety and depression dreams of the romance that would surely set her free from her affliction.

BOOK FILE:  

RDJ-AND-ME.doc

SCORE FILE:  

RDJ-ME.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5hR8urn5Mg



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   WEIGHTLESS

CONTEXT:  

9-year old Dennis dreams of the day his earthly mission will be done and he can finally return home - to Mars.

BOOK FILE:  

WEIGHTLESS.docx

SCORE FILE:  

Weightless.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Weightless.mp3


VIDEO LINK:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfIw7d8UJXU



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:   PART OF THE MACHINE

CONTEXT:  

Amelia Earhart is confronted by reporters after a successful flight. When asked what it feels like to fly, this is Amelia's response.

BOOK FILE:  

PART-OF-THE-MACHINE.docx

SCORE FILE:  

Part-of-the-Machine.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Part-of-the-Machine-Amelia.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Kim Jinhyoung, preferred as Kim

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Music & Lyrics by Kim Jinhyoung

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

I always liked to tell jokes or even be the joke to make people smile. It gives me great joy to see people liking my stories and laughing at my jokes. I decided that I am going to live as an artist for precisely the same reason why I wanted to be the clown - to make people happy. Before, I thought making people happy is just seeing them smile. However, it could be sympathy, agony, grieve and relaxing and more, as long as it warms their hearts and make them want to be better. My artistic vision is to bring that joy one experiences in art to reality through musical theatre. Audiences know what they see is not real as they walk in to the theatre, but as they sit and watch the theatre, they believe it is true, with the help of the magic of music. I think this is what bringing fantasy closer to life really means. I find it compelling that musical theatre allows me to blur the line between heart warming fictional theatre stories and real life.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Kim Jinhyoung, preferred as Kim, is a writer and composer based in New York. Kim started his career as a composer from Seoul, South Korea, debuting with musical Where Is Jesus’ Dick? (Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture residency), Sheman (Seoul Youth Art Institute residency) and Wonderhuman. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree at New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Having artistic background as a cellist, painter and graphic designer (BA in Graphic Design), Kim holds the keys to the heart of the audience when it comes to presenting his art works. As a writer Kim is working on his song cycle Wait…ing alongside with a legend adaptation musical called Blue Snake with Briana Harris, a writer and lyricist (BMI Librettists Workshop). Kim seeks to find aesthetic ways to narrate stories in any form of Art. Instagram @mynameiskimyeah


COMMENTS:  
  1. Hello!
  2. Thank you for giving me this chance!
  3. These are from my currently working song cycle Wait…ing
  4. Song RE;hey was originally conceived to be played by a mezzo/soprano
  5. Hope you enjoy 🙂
SOURCE:   I stumbled upon it by googling keywords such as opportunities for new musical writers.

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:   01Bubble Tea

CONTEXT:  

Norman has never tried bubble tea. His cool friends at school always drink the bubble tea. Norman visits the famous bubble tea shop near campus to finally try his first bubble tea.

BOOK FILE:  

01Bubble-Tea-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

01Bubble-Tea-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

01Bubble-Tea.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #2


TITLE:   02RE;hey

CONTEXT:  

36 year old Soo has been in a bad term with her family in Korea. Soo has cut her entire family off; she changed her phone number and also erased her family’s number. Now, she is happily married with a non-Korean Jewish guy in California. Last week, she received an email from her mother that her father is hospitalized and that he is “hanging”. Since then, she has been constantly checking her phone for a new email saying “he is okay”.

BOOK FILE:  

02REhey-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

02REhey-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

02REhey.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #3


TITLE:   03I Hope You Won't Come

CONTEXT:  

Christmas is coming and 6 year old Danny is told by his father that he is "naughty". Danny knows Santa won't come visit him. But, just like every naughty kid, he has a small wish.

BOOK FILE:  

03I-Hope-You-Wont-Come-Lyrics.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

03I-Hope-You-Wont-Come-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

03I-Hope-You-Wont-Come.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Henry Nettleton

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Music by Jake Chapman, Lyrics by Henry Nettleton

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Musical Theatre, and the stories it tells, are difficult to categorize. They span cultures, musical genres, types of theatricality, and more. But through this diversity, the musical theatre form reveals itself­––perhaps more than any other form of story telling––to possess the ability to immediately drop an audience into the full spectrum of experiences and emotions of another human being. In fact, its ability to grab the heart of an audience is so great that the character need not even be human, as the many cherished characters of the musical theatre include mermaids, lions, Gods, and candelabras––oh my! So where does this rich variety of stories, musical styles and characters come from? Well, this is what excites us most as writers taking our turn at one of the most difficult—and rewarding––forms of story telling.

As songwriters in the musical theatre, we love the religious pursuit of always telling the story—and with this, of course, comes many a demand. When deciding where a song goes, and what it will contain, we must look at the work the song must do. For example, a song must introduce us to our main characters with his or her hopes, desires, frustrations and obstacles; or a song must move the plot from point A to point B; or a song must make us laugh, giving us release from the tension of the narrative. But outside of these demands, there is immerse freedom­––freedom of genre, song form, character, how many singers, etc. Through the demands of the form, the writer can choose how we will carve out the narrative, a puzzle that is always changing, always challenging to solve, and always rewarding at its conclusion.

In the end, it’s the paradoxes of the form that intrigue, challenge, and excite us as writers. How do we achieve emotional and dramatic complexity through simplicity in the words and music? How do we use the words (what a character thinks or says) and music (what a character feels) to allow the audience to do the seemingly impossible, feeling a thought or idea? How do we convert story/song form (what an audience expects) into surprise? These are the questions we love chasing in our writing, and the aspects we love most about the musical theatre.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Henry Nettleton and Jake Chapman are members of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.  In November 2017, they were featured in the “Arts and Artists of Tomorrow: Broadway’s Future” concert series at the Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

 

Jake Chapman is a composer, pianist, vibraphonist, and lyricist.  Originally from Los Angeles, he studied music and computer science at Columbia University and jazz vibraphone at Juilliard.  He began his musical theatre writing career as composer-lyricist of the 122nd Annual Varsity Show at Columbia University.  Jake has performed at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Blue Note, Symphony Space, Cornelia St. Cafe, Bowery Electric, and the Bitter End.  His jazz awards include a Yamaha Young Performing Artist award, two DownBeat Student Music Awards for Best Soloist and Best Arrangement (Over the Rainbow), and an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award.  He also plays keys in NYC-based band Cale and the Gravity Well.

Henry Nettleton is a director and lyricist from Seattle, WA, and proud graduate of the University of Michigan Department of Musical Theatre. As a lyricist, his work has been presented at the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and is a current member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. As a director, he has assisted at the 5th Avenue Theatre, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Keen Company.  Other experience includes interning with LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater developing new plays, and for the producer Jeffrey Seller (HAMILTON, RENT).  He serves as Co-Artistic Director of Really-Really Theatre Group, a bi-coastal company committed to developing engaging and eclectic theatrical experiences with an emphasis on new work and contemporary visions.


COMMENTS:   SOURCE:   Amanda D'Archangelis

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Focus On Tomorrow

CONTEXT:  

Written for a musical adaptation of the classic film "It's A Wonderful Life," the song comes when George Bailey has been long out of the house, and Mrs. Bailey is continues to worry at home for her missing husband. In order to cheer her up, the Bailey children perform a Christmas play that they've been working on in order to cheer up their mother.

BOOK FILE:  

Focus-On-Tomorrow-LC-Version.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Focus-on-Tomorrow-Rewrite.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Focus-on-Tomorrow-Splice.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



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SELECTION #2


TITLE:   When I Play

CONTEXT:  

Written as a stand-alone piece, the song follows a young mother, a musician, anticipating the brith of her child, with all of its excitement and worry combined.

BOOK FILE:  

When-I-Play-2.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

When-I-Play-Score.pdf

SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:   https://youtu.be/TKg0hh17lRs



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Bedroom Scene (Pt. 2)

CONTEXT:  

Written for a musical adaptation of the movie HER (written and directed by Spike Jonze), this moment catches THEODORE coming back home after going on a terrible, and damaging date––the first he's been on since separating from his wife. He talks to Samantha, his artificially intelligent operating system, about how he feels. Samantha shares something that she feels, and the two begin to connect romantically for the very first time.

BOOK FILE:  

Bedroom-Scene-v1.3-2.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Bedroom-Scene-Pt.2-21518.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Bedroom-Scene-Pt.2-Demo-1.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Makena Metz, makena.metz@gmail.com

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Book by Makena Metz, Music and Lyrics by Makena Metz and Katiana Zimmerman

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

   There is a moment on stage, when the actors start to sing, and the story becomes pure magic. The musical is the only art form we’ve studied where the blueprint of the play basks in the magic that is the theatre. We believe that seeing words come to life on stage though music is magic, and creating that magic for an audience is our innermost passion. Telling a story through music elevates the art form by speaking directly into your soul. Music has a power of its own that when combined with story creates pure emotion, which touches an audience more powerfully sometimes than with straight dialogue. The marriage of words and music is inevitable, inextricable and wholly necessary in our world today and always. Music holds the power to immortalize words, phrases, poetry, speeches and transform them into alchemical earworms. Musical refrains highlight, define, align, and become the soundtracks of our lives. In musical theatre, anything is possible.

Currently, our creative culture is under siege and theatre is more important than ever in this challenging time. Funding for artists have become reduced, and attacks on artists and free speech are an ever present threat. Musical theatre is more important now than ever. Never has it been more urgent for our stories to be told, or sung. The power that is musical theatre is a force of change in our world, and we want to use that change for the better.

    We write passionate, action driven pieces that aim to not only hold a mirror up to life, but shatter it. We tell stories that resonate weave melodies that sing and ring in our body, mind, spirit. We tell stories that connect us as humans, in this delicate dance of life that is precious and fierce and fleeting. We write music that lifts people up, that provokes, that allows connection and catharsis. Words have power. We want to write words set to music that have the power to reverberate in our conscious and unconscious minds, to shift perspectives, inspire sea changes, stay with us, to tell stories of our human connections, our frailties, our truths and our collective humanity.

  

 


BIOGRAPHIES:  

Makena is an LA Native who writes epic stories for the stage. She received her BFA in Playwriting/Theatre Directing from Columbia College Chicago (Class of 17′) and is happy to be out of the cold, cold winters. You might have seen her play Quench at The 2017 Lift-Off Festival for The Navigators Theatre Company in Brooklyn, New York and her play Pirate’s Weekend: Three Nights in a Harbor at The Fountain Theatre’s 2017 Fall Rapid Development Series here in Los Angeles. Makena trained for Musical Theatre Writing with New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles,  Ilya Levinson and Cheryl Coons at Columbia College Chicago,  and plays piano, drums, and guitar. Her plays and short musicals have been produced with CCC in their B&E Festival three years running and she’s a winner of the school’s Fresh Play Prize. Makena is currently interning for Walt Disney Imagineering and has interned for The Second City, The Road Theatre Company, and more.

Kat Zimmerman is a four time ASCAP PLUS+ award-winning composer/singer/writer who has collaborated on more than a dozen musicals for children and teens, including The Courage Club, Feinstein’s Dreams, and Everyday Heroes. Kat has performed at the United Nations, Davies Hall, San Francisco, the Aspen Music Festival, the Herbert von Karajan Center, Vienna, Wigmore Hall, London, Nice Festival D’Été, France, Fondation Royaumont, France, Aberdeen International Music Festival, and music festivals in Spain, Italy, and Israel. She has performed at the Broad Theater, the Geffen Playhouse, and Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. Her songs have been featured at Carnegie Hall and in the Emmy award-winning HBO documentary Autism: The Musical. Kat has collaborated with artists including Jack Black, Stephen Stills, Rickey Minor and the American Idol Band and the Agape International Choir. Originally from New York, Kat started her career as a classical singer with a passion for contemporary music, performing with Absolute Ensemble under conductor Kristjan Jårvi and the Manhattan Contemporary Ensemble, premiering works by Tobias Picker (Symphony for Soprano and Orchestra), Ernst Widmer, and William Kraft and featured in operas including The Rake’s Progress, The Yellow Wallpaper, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, La Boheme and MacBeth. Kat has scored music for web series, sacred and concert music. In addition, Kat has served as music director and has facilitated theater, songwriting and recording workshops for children, teens, and young adults with autism and other special needs in Los Angeles and abroad. Kat is also author of children’s books Fun with Fred and Scooter the Duck. She received her M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music and B.M. from the Eastman School of Music, with additional studies at NYU, Vienna Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and UCLA for composition/electronic music. Kat is currently a participant in New Musicals Inc., Los Angeles, Core Curriculum for Musical Theater.

 


COMMENTS:  

Makena and Katiana incubated this idea after a discussion about how Hanukkah is not a represented holiday in musical theatre shows. As reform Jews who celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, we both felt under represented culturally. We wanted a family friendly show, that was about a family exploring what the holidays meant to them as a family, with music that touched on both Judaism and Christianity. We hope that this short, fun holiday show will bring families together, and show them that all rituals in the holiday season stem from the tradition of sharing their light, the light that fills each and every person with that special holiday feeling upon the celebration of their tradition.

SOURCE:   Through NMI

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SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Monica's Prayer

CONTEXT:  

Monica is singing. She's just been deeply insulted by her daughter, Veronica. David has just gone to bed. Monica feels her emotions and prays.

BOOK FILE:  

Twas-A-Night-Submission.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Monicas-Prayer-integrated-2-15-18.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

01-Monicas-Prayer-Demo.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Home Alone

CONTEXT:  

David and Monica have realized their kids snuck out. They don't know whether to be angry or not. David tries to convince her to enjoy their alone time.

BOOK FILE:  

Twas-A-Night-Submission-1.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

HOME-ALONE-integrated-2-15-18-final.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

01-Home-Alone-Demo.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:  

CONTEXT:   BOOK FILE:   SCORE FILE:   SOUND FILE:  
VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Natalie Stewart Elder

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Music by John Ervin Brooks, Lyrics by Natalie Stewart Elder, Book by Natalie Stewart Elder and John Ervin Brooks

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

To us, music is magic. When we tell stories with music, we help our audiences empathize more deeply with our characters. As a writing team, our modus operandi has always been to use song as a way to elevate the mundane, or make the unexpected seem inevitable, or sometimes just to make our characters kiss (because we all know they really wanna).

Most of all, we love musicals because their success demands we collaborate with artists from all disciplines and walks of life. Musical theatre is a safe haven for unusual people because there isn’t really a ‘wrong’ way to participate. It’s certainly allowed us to express our true feelings and selves. And if our work helps others do the same, maybe we can make the world a better place one chorus number at a time.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

John Ervin Brooks was raised in San Antonio, Texas, and has been involved in the arts his whole life. He received his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baylor University in 2015, and moved to New York to attend NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. He mostly writes comedy, but you know, he can like write other things too.


COMMENTS:  

Natalie Stewart Elder is a musical theatre person from Orange County, California. They got a B.A. in Drama from UC Irvine, and an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch. Natalie is an alumnus of the Academy for New Musical Theatre Core Curriculum Program in Los Angeles, and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. In their free time, they enjoy trying to think of new “fun facts” to put at the end of their bio.

SOURCE:   NMI emails, colleague recommendations

=======================================================
SELECTION #1


TITLE:   Jack and Jill Move a Fucking Couch

CONTEXT:  

Jack, Jill, and their new roommate Bucket have purchased a gently-used, fifty-dollar couch from Craigslist. They go to pick it up from its previous owner, but neglected to figure out how to get it home. Hijinks ensue.

BOOK FILE:  

ELDERBROOKS-10MM-LIBRETTO.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

ELDERBROOKS-10MM-SCORE.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

FUCKING-COUCH.m4a


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #2


TITLE:   Baby, I'm a Penis Fly Trap

CONTEXT:  

This song is from the musical 'Dragarella.' Madame Penis Fly Trap is a drag queen who rules Big Wig's Fabulous Bar. However, in order to continue her reign as queen supreme, she must pull out all the stops to defeat Ruby Roxxx in this year's Drag-a-thon. So she performs her most successful piece... this song.

BOOK FILE:  

DragarellaLyric15.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Baby-Ima-PFT-4317.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Dragarella15.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  



=======================================================
SELECTION #3


TITLE:   Paint

CONTEXT:  

This song is from the musical 'Dragarella.' Will is a pure-of-heart southern boy who moonlights as drag queen Ruby Roxxx. However, after his mother utterly rejects his identity, he must grapple with his own identity. He chooses drag.

BOOK FILE:  

DragarellaLyric13.pdf

SCORE FILE:  

Paint-4317.pdf

SOUND FILE:  

Dragarella13.mp3


VIDEO LINK:  

                                                  



                                                                                                    

CONTACT NAME:   Benji Goldsmith

DATE SUBMITTED:       February 15, 2018
TEAM CREDITS:   Book & Lyrics by Stefan Melnyk; Music by Benji Goldsmith

ARTISTIC STATEMENT:  

Our names are Stefan Melnyk and Benji Goldsmith, and we could not be more excited to be applying to the New Voices Project.

We met in the fall of 2015 as First Years in NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (GMTWP). We were paired together on our first assignment and instantly forged a connection—we had enough of the same instincts to write at a quick pace, but our sensibilities were different enough that we were able to push each other to try new and different things.

By then end of our first year, we knew we wanted to continue to write together, and so we were partnered for our thesis project: a full-length musical. The story we chose was original, but based in an unfortunate truth of our present world: the critical state of print media, especially metro and local newspapers. We wanted to tell a story of a newspaper closing, but in a very confined timeframe—namely, its final day of production. What began as an idea blossomed into a fully fleshed-out show in the span of nine months, and we were lucky enough to present a staged reading of our piece, DEADLINE, this past April.

We feel that musical theatre takes what is best about heightened-reality genres like magical realism and high melodrama and distills them into an entire medium of accessible, delightful, and frequently thrilling experiences. It conjures a playground in which emotions and ideas that we struggle to express in reality can be conveyed in what feels like their own language. In turn, that direct access to a realm of emotions and ideas makes the musical an ideal medium in which to address and discuss ideas in society.

DEADLINE is designed to use the immediacy and accessibility of its medium to make the audience consider questions of journalism and its role in society. Which is to say, musicals are fun and our musical is fun and we hope it makes you think.


BIOGRAPHIES:  

BENJI GOLDSMITH is a composer, songwriter, and musical director based in New York City. His music and songs have been performed at Off-Broadway Theaters, Barrington Stage Company, NAMT, 54 Below, New World Stages, and various other venues in New York and across the country. He is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Frederick Loewe Scholarship, the Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and was a winner of the New Musicals, Inc. N