Bill Russell (Book and Lyrics) received a Tony nomination for the book of Side Show and shared one with composer Henry Krieger for score. He co-wrote the book and lyrics for Off-Broadway’s Pageant and directed it at the King’s Head Theatre in London and in the West End, where it received two Olivier Award nominations. Mr. Russell subsequently directed Pageant in Chicago, Los Angeles, the University of Kansas, and Stoneham, MA. He authored book and lyrics for Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, directing it in New York and in London’s Fringe and West End, among many others. Everything’s Ducky (music by Henry Krieger) premiered with TheatreWorks and garnered the Will Glickman Award for Best Play (S.F. Bay area) and the “Backstage West” Garland Award for Best Score. A revised version under the new title Lucky Duck was produced at the Old Globe, and Mr. Russell directed a version at the Boston Conservatory. The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, MO, commissioned a version for young audiences and their production opened at The New Victory Theatre in New York City in March of 2012. Mr. Russell’s latest creation with Henry Krieger, Up in the Air, premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His credits as lyricist include the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and the official theme for Gay Games. Honorary doctorates from Morningside College and the Boston Conservatory. For more, please visit www.BillRussell.net.
Peter Melnick (Music) His musical Adrift in Macao, a parody of film noir written with librettist Christopher Durang, was presented Off-Broadway at Primary Stages after a successful and award-winning run at the Philadelphia Theater Company. The New York production earned Melnick a Drama Desk Award nomination for his music. Melnick also composed the score to Twyla Tharp’s Sextet and, with Bill Russell, wrote two musical one-acts, Patter for the Floating Lady based on Steve Martin’s eponymous play, and A Bad Spell. He is currently collaborating on a musical for Broadway based on Pete Hamill’s novel Snow in August, with book by Roberto Aguirre‐Sacasa, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Melnick’s film scoring credits include “L.A. Story,” the Steve Martin comedy; “The Only Thrill,” starring Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard; Horton Foote’s “Convicts,” with Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones; and Bob Saget’s truly obscene “Farce of the Penguins,” with penguins. Melnick’s television credits include the recent PBS feature-length documentary, “Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood;” “Indictment: The McMartin Trial;” “Grand Avenue;” and “Lily Dale.” For more information, please visit www.PeterMelnick.com.
Andy Sandberg (Director/Producer) directed the world premiere of The Last Smoker in America at CATCO (Columbus, Ohio). He has been represented on Broadway and London’s West End as a producer of HAIR (2009 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Awards) and the current revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (2012 Tony Award Nomination). As a director, Sandberg’s other recent credits include R.R.R.E.D. (NYMF), Bernice Bobs Her Mullet (NYMF), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Blue Hill Troupe), Into the Woods (Blue Hill Troupe), “Eli’s Comin’ to Broadway,” a BC/EFA benefit hosted by Nathan Lane (Lincoln Center), and multiple Sing for Hope benefits featuring the talents of Dick Cavett, Michael Cerveris, and Richard Kind, among others. Other upcoming directing projects include Beyond the Music (also librettist), an original musical co-authored with composers Cliff Downs and Katie Kahanovitz; Shida, a one-woman musical written and performed by Jeannette Bayardelle; Straight, a new play co-authored by Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola; and Summer Schlock, a new musical comedy by Kevin Carter with additional material by Sandberg. As producer: Paradise Found (Menier Chocolate Factory, London, dir. Hal Prince and Susan Stroman); A Perfect Future, by David Hay (Cherry Lane Theatre; dir. Wilson Milam); and Vigil, by Morris Panynch (DR2 Theatre, starring Tony nominees Malcolm Gets and Helen Stenborg). In 2007, Sandberg assisted with Hal Prince on the Broadway production of LoveMusik (SDC Fellowship). B.A. Yale University. Proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, as well as Actors’ Equity Association. He currently sits on the boards of The Yale Dramat and The Whiffenpoof Alumni. For more information, please visit www.AndySandberg.com.
AC Ciulla (Choreography) Emmy Award winning choreographer AC Ciulla has enjoyed an eclectic career spanning a wide range of work in different creative arenas. Broadway: Footloose (Tony, Outer Critics Award nominations) and First National Tour. Off-Broadway: Lucky Guy (The Little Shubert, Joe A. Callaway Award Nominations), The Bubbly Black Girl Shed’s Her Chameleon Skin starring LaChanze (Playwrights Horizons- Lucille Lortel & Audelco Award nominations), Ghetto Superstar starring Billy Porter (The Public Theater). Regional: Stephen Sondheim’s Being Alive (Westport Country Playhouse), Chess in Concert starring Matthew Morrison of “Glee” (Ford Amphitheater), The Plexiglass Slipper (Asolo Rep), Footloose (Dir/Chor, Carousel Dinner Theatre), The Yiddish Coming (Denver Arts), Barrio Babies starring Sara Ramirez (Denver Theater Center). Vegas: Toni Braxton: Revealed (Flamingo), Signed Sealed Delivered starring Chaka Khan (Venetian), Nights on Broadway II & III (Dir/Chor, Caesar’s Atlantic City). Multiple film, television and commercial credits including One Life to Live Starr X’d Lovers 2010 Musical Event, The Electric Company 2010 (PBS), Viva Variety (Comedy Central), Gray Matters starring Heather Graham, “1-800-OK-Cable“ Commercial (Director/Choreographer), among many others. AC won the 2003 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Choreography of a Television Special” for Stars on Ice. In 2010, AC won the Carbonell Award for his critically praised work in the world premiere of the contemporary dance musical Vices: A Love Story. For the past two seasons, AC has appeared as a guest choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance” (UA).
Fred Lassen (Music Supervisor) Broadway conducting credits include Porgy and Bess, South Pacific, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot, Cabaret, and 42nd Street. Fred is the Music Director of the forthcoming Peony Pavilion by Maury Yeston, one of the first original Mandarin-language musicals to be produced in China. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Dangerous Beauty (Pasadena Playhouse); Sycamore Trees (Signature Theatre, Washington, DC); Adrift in Macao (Off-Broadway); notes to MariAnne (O’Neill, NY Stage & Film); Pride & Prejudice (Eastman Theatre). He is a founding member of The Freakers, a band devoted to the music of Shel Silverstein. He has arranged and orchestrated for performers including Laura Osnes, Paulo Szot, Lauren Kennedy, and Stephanie J. Block, and currently concertizes with Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone David Pittsinger. Fred has a degree in Organ Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory.
Charlie Corcoran (Set Design) Designs include: Don Giovanni (Juilliard), The Night Watcher (CTG, Kirk Douglas Theatre), A Perfect Future (Cherry Lane Theatre), The Emperor Jones (Hewes Design Award Nomination), The Banished Children of Eve, My Scandalous Life, The Yeats Project, Sive, Prisoner of the Crown, Defender of the Faith, The Field, (Irish Repertory Theatre), The Last Smoker in America (CATCO / NYMF Festival), Sirens (Penguin Rep), The Late Christopher Bean, Sophistry, The Black Monk, The Bully Pulpit (Theatre Row, Beckett Theatre), Without Walls (Mark Taper forum), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, (Arkansas Rep), The Molly Maguire’s (Kirby Center), The Night Watcher, Exits and Entrances (Primary Stages), Rock Doves, (Irish Arts Center), Bernice Bobs Her Mullet (NYMF Festival), Shogun Macbeth, Tea, Yohen (Pan Asian Rep), The Dishwashers, The Man in Room 306 (59 East 59 Theatre. Associate Designs include Master Class (Vaudeville Theatre, West end, London), King Roger (Santa Fe Opera, summer 2012), Radiance (The Geffen Theatre), The Bartered Bride (Juilliard), Double Indemnity (ACT), Me, Myself & I (McCarter Theatre / Playwrights Horizons), Master Class, Raisin in the Sun, The Boys From Syracuse, Elf, Catch Me If You Can (Broadway), Happiness, Third, A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center), Iphigenie En Tauride, Rodelinda (Metropolitan Opera), The Ring Cycle, Amelia,(Seattle Opera) Other venues include: Arena Stage, The McCarter Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, The Seattle Rep, The Guthrie, Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, New York Stage and Film, NY Theatre Workshop, The Play company, The Public Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Michael McDonald (Costume Design), Broadway & London West End: Hair (Tony Award, Drama Desk and Hewes Award nominations). The Public: Hair (Delacorte Theater). Off-Broadway: The Irish Curse (Soho Rep), A Perfect Future (Cherry Lane Theater), Mr. Joy (Riverside Theater) Tartuffe (Tribeca Playhouse), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Lincoln Center), Measure for Measure (Expanded Arts). Regional: God of Carnage, [Title of Show], George Street Playhouse; Take Me Out (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Johnny Baseball, (American Repertory Theater, IRNE Nomination), Dirty Blond, Omnium Gatherum, Spring Awakening, Next to Normal (Zachary Scott Theatre); Amadeus, Sweeney Todd, The Laramie Project, Angels in America (Chatham Playhouse). 5 seasons as Assistant Costume Master for the Public Theater.
Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design) Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher (Tony nomination); Newsies; The Pee-wee Herman Show; Next Fall; Kiki and Herb Alive on Broadway. Other NYC credits include: Silence The Musical; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Meet Vera Stark; Side Effects; A Lie of the Mind; Ordinary Days; Knickerbocker; Family Guys Sings; Jerry Springer The Opera; The Voysey Inheritance; The Internationalist; Almost, Maine; Streamers; Rufus Wainwright’s Judy Concert at Carnegie Hall; and Jennifer Muller The Works. Jeff is a producer of “Submissions Only.”
Grant Yeager (Lighting Design) New York: Now. Here. This. (Vineyard Theatre); Between Worlds (New World Stages); Love Child (New World Stages); Chimichangas and Zoloft (Atlantic Theatre Co); The New York Pops / Ozomatli (Summerstage); A Tribute to Motown (Carnegie Hall); Kevin Smith Speaks (Carnegie Hall); Co-designer of the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2009-2012. Regional/Int’l: Joseph (Dallas Theatre Center); Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Yale Dramatic Association); Academy (Maltz Jupiter Theater); Backwards in High Heels (Cleveland Playhouse); Vices (Theatre Aspen); I Got Fired (Daegu Opera House); The Tempest (Bermuda Arts Festival).
Bart Fasbender (Sound Design) Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. New York: Storefront Church Port Authority, Lonely, I’m Not, Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, Russian Transport, Burning,Blood From a Stone, Asuncion, The Aliens, Invasion, Edgewise, Made in Poland, Bad Jazz, Be a Good Little Widow, Apple Cove, Three Changes The Drunken City, Graceland, Next Fall, and Fault Lines. Regional: Williamstown, Barrington Stage, NY Stage & Film, Berkshire Theater Festival, Philadelphia Theater Company, TheaterWorks, TwoRiver, CTG – Kirk Douglas Theater
Howard Joines (Music Coordinator) Chaplin, Ghost, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Promises, Promises; Bye-Bye Birdie; Grease; The Times They Are A-Changin’; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Vanities; Romantic Poetry; Adrift in Macao. Conductor/Percussionist/Drummer: Ghost, Billy Elliot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Never Gonna Dance, Flower Drum Song, Full Monty, Jesus Christ Superstar, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Singing in the Rain, The King and I, Cleavage, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Numerous appearances with orchestras in New York and around the United States, as well as recordings for albums, jingles, television, and film. On-camera performances include: Maid in Manhattan and Guiding Light.” For Robin and Taylor.
Roger Alan Gindi (General Manager) is a producer and general manager, who won the 2007 Tony Award for producing the Best Special Theatrical Event, Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! He recently produced Billy Goda’s play, DUST, Off-Broadway. He was general manager of three plays by August Wilson: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, King Hedley II, and Jitney. He produced the Off Broadway hit Shakespeare’s R&J. He managed the original smash-hit productions of Nunsense and its many tours and sequels. He produced Crazy He Calls Me and was the general manager of A Small Family Business, Our Country’s Good, and Mixed Emotions on Broadway, as well as David Mamet’s Oleanna and Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me, among many others. Mr. Gindi has also served as the theatrical manager for the past nine “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows” on CBS.
Whitney Hoagland Edwards (Producer) has been involved in theater and dance from an early age. After receiving a BA in Fine Art from Lake Forest College, Whitney produced independent films, including the critically acclaimed Nightmare. Whitney has returned to her passion for theater and has been involved in productions with Sir Cameron Macintosh and Hal Prince. With Andy Sandberg, she has been a producer of A Perfect Future (Cherry Lane Theatre) and she co-produced the world premiere of the new musical The Last Smoker in America at CATCO (Columbus, Ohio). She currently resides in London with English husband Ian.
Michael Palitz (Producer) has been involved with many on and off-Broadway shows and has received Tony nominations for Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Best Revival 2012), Leap of Faith (Best Musical 2012), The Scottsboro Boys (Best Musical 2011), and Next Fall (Best Play 2010). He is currently working on the new musical Empire, a love story set against the construction of the Empire State Building, slated for Broadway next season. In development is Ace, the story of a 21-year-old kid in 1964 who returns to his childhood home after his mother passes away, following clues on his search to uncover the truth about his father and his family’s aviation history in the World Wars. Michael is a native Manhattanite.
Stephanie Rosenberg (Producer) is this year’s Fredrick B. Vogel scholarship winner from the Commercial Theatre Institute, and is an Associate Producer on Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (2012 Tony Award Nominee). She produced the first Broadway Meows Benefit for the ASPCA with Small Pond Productions, as well as many events as co-producer of Yoga 4 Peace and Reconciliation (an implemented initiative of a NGO at the UN). Stephanie trained as a performer at Adelphi University (BFA), The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, and the Moscow Art Theatre’s Stanislavsky Summer Program at Harvard. She also apprenticed at Williamstown – where she performed in Anything Goes (dir. Roger Rees), and participated in the Winter Ensemble 2012 with the LAByrinth Theatre Company. Stephanie thanks her family and friends for their ongoing support.
CATCO is Theatre, which is based in Columbus, Ohio was founded in 1986 by Geoffrey Nelson. In 2010 Steven Anderson became the theatre’s Artistic Director and The Last Smoker in America was the first CATCO production under his leadership. In the current season CATCO produced the North American premiere of James Phillips The Rubenstein Kiss. The theatre’s mission is to delight, challenge and transport.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) Founded in 2004, the award-winning New York Musical Theatre Festival (Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Executive Director & Producer) provides a launching pad for the next generation of musicals and their creators to ensure the continued vitality of America’s greatest art form. Hailed as “the Sundance of Musical Theatre,” NYMF premieres over 30 new musicals each year. Over 75 NYMF shows have garnered post-Festival productions on and Off-Broadway, in 48 states, and around the world, including the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Next To Normal. www.nymf.org