DOUGLAS J. COHEN (Music and Lyrics) is the recipient of the 2010 Fred Ebb Award and two Richard Rodgers Awards for No Way to Treat A Lady (produced twice off-Broadway with over 100 productions globally) and The Gig (O’Neill, MTC and York Theatre concerts, Goodspeed and Sacramento productions, NAMT). With lyricist/bookwriter Cheryl L. Davis, Doug has composed the music for Bridges (commissioned by Berkeley Playhouse for a 2016 world premiere, Village Theatre 2015 Festival of New Musicals) and Barnstormer (Jonathan Larson Grant, Village Theatre Originals, NAMT). Upcoming musicals include Helen of Troy (with collaborator Zoe Samuel, Midtown Direct Rep and Lark Theatre at NY Stage & Film readings); and Hollywood Sheik, with Chet Walker and Howard Marren. A 2005 Drama Desk Award nominee (Children’s Letters to God), Doug penned scores for The Opposite of Sex (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Big Time (book by Douglas Carter Beane, NYMF Festival) and composed music for Glimmerglass (Goodspeed, Spirit of Broadway) and A Charles Dickens Christmas (off-Broadway, Urban Stages). Doug teaches Song Interpretation at the Neighborhood Playhouse and coaches privately. He is a member of ASCAP, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, the Dramatists Guild and a graduate of Amherst College. Website: douglasjcohen.com
DAN ELISH (Book and Lyrics) wrote the book to the musical 13 which played at the Mark Taper Forum and won the 2007 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for best production; he was also nominated for best writing. 13 went on to play on Broadway at the Jacobs Theater in the fall and winter of 2008 and is now produced all over the world and on the way to being a movie. Dan is also the author of nine novels, including The School for the Insanely Gifted and The Worldwide Dessert Contest (for kids), Nine Wives (for grown-up types), and Born Too Short, which won a 2004 International Reading Association Students’ Choice Award for young adult literature. Dan has also written music and lyrics for six musicals, scripts for TV (notably Cyberchase and The Wonder Pets), and has won scholarships and fellowships to The Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and lives in New York with his wife and two children.
MICHAEL BARON (Director at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma) is the Producing Artistic Director of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. At Lyric, he directed the world premiere of Adam Gwon and Julia Jordan’s Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Big Fish with Emily Skinner and David Elder, Oklahoma!, An Inspector Calls, A Little Night Music with Dee Hoty, Les Miserables, Triangle, Big River, Tarzan, The Glass Menagerie, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Call Me Madam with Beth Leavel, Spring Awakening, Ragtime, Oliver!, Boeing Boeing, Always… Patsy Cline, December Divas, The Rocky Horror Show, and the annual production of Lyric’s A Christmas Carol (also adapted). He has directed over 80 productions at theaters across the country including the current production of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s. Other regional directing highlights include Zach Theatre: Peter and the Starcatcher; Signature Theatre: The Little Dog Laughed, Songs for a New World starring Alice Ripley, Brian D’Arcy James, Titus Burgess, Laura Griffith and music direction by Jason Robert Brown; Adventure Theatre: James and the Giant Peach, the world premiere musical Big Nate; Goodspeed Musicals: Meet John Doe; Trinity Repertory: The School for Scandal; La Mama: The Whore of Sheridan Square (wrote and directed, published in Plays and Playwrights 2006); NEA: 2010-2015 Poetry Out Loud National Competition Finals with hosts John Leguizamo, Kerry Washington, and Anna Deavere Smith. Michael has taught at American University, Brown University, Holy Cross College, and Rhode Island College. He received a B.A. in Theatre Arts at Wake Forest University and an MFA in Directing at Trinity Repertory Conservatory. Michael served as the Associate Director of Signature Theatre -winner of the 2009 Regional Theatre TONY Award and received the 2012 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Direction of a Resident Musical for Adventure Theatre’s production of A Year with Frog and Toad. He is currently on the board of directors for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.
LARRY HIRSCHHORN (Producer) is a three time Tony Award-winning theatre producer with credits on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours and the West End of London. He was one of the lead producers of the multi-award winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang. Starring Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce, it went on to win every major theatre Award for Best Play in the 2013 Season including the Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Since closing in NY, there have been over 100 productions of it around the country, and was named the most produced American play of 2014. It will be opening in London’s West End in the very near future. More recently he is a co-producer on Broadway of On Your Feet (The Gloria Estefan Musical), The Elephant Man (starring Bradley Cooper and winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Revival 2015), and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which also won a Tony and Drama Desk Award for Best Musical 2014. Other Broadway credits include: Peter and the Starcatcher (5 Tony Awards); Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (with James Earl Jones, John Laroquette, Angela Lansbury, Eric McCormack, and Candice Bergen); Driving Miss Daisy (with James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave); The Addams Family (with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth); Hair (Broadway/London/ National Tour – winner of Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Revival); The Seagull (with Kristin Scott Thomas); Passing Strange (Drama Desk Award for Best Musical); Butley (with Nathan Lane); and Well. Earlier in his career, he was the Founder/Artistic Director of Off-Broadway’s Melting Pot Theatre. Highlights there include Cobb, which won the Drama Desk for Best Ensemble, and was co-produced with Kevin Spacey); the NY Premiere of Miss Evers’ Boys and Woody Sez (still touring all over the world). He lives in NYC with his wife, three kids, and a very large yellow lab.
JAYSON RAITT (Producer) is an independent producer with extensive background in producing and developing new musical theatre. Jayson developed and produced the hit musical Murder for Two in New York (Second Stage, New World Stages), nationally on tour, and at many regional theatres. He was a producer of Rock of Ages on Broadway (5 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical). Recent producing credits include: Sting and Patti LuPone in Uprising of Love; Love Makes the World Go ‘Round, a new musical featuring the songs of Bob Merrill (Funny Girl, Carnival, “How Much is that Doggie in the Window”, “Mambo Italiano”); a musical adaptation of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory by Larry Grossman, Carol Hall, and Duane Poole; live television appearances by Christina Aguilera and dancers from the movie Burlesque on “Dancing with the Stars,” “The American Music Award” and the UK’s “X Factor”; Vanities, A New Musical; concerts in Poland and Israel which were the backdrop for the documentary film 100 Voices: A Journey Home; Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn Off-Broadway and in London; appearances by the cast of the movie Hairspray on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Today Show” and the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”; and Being Alive, an all-Black Stephen Sondheim revue created Billy Porter. Through his company Quantum Theatricals, Jayson produces shows and entertainment for clients such as Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, and Nickelodeon Universe/Mall of America. Jayson spent seven years on the producing team at Pasadena Playhouse. Education: University of Michigan, UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television’s Producers Program.
Special Thanks to Bob Alwine, Donna Lynn Hilton, Mark Ledbetter, Bradford Louryk,
Kevin Moore, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Kent Nicholson, Chip Klose, and John Simpkins.