Goodspeed Musicals has announced the names of the 32 established and emerging composers, lyricists, and librettists who will converge on the Goodspeed campus from mid-January through mid-February 2017 to participate in the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony. The writing teams are working on 18 new musicals.
The writers who have been invited to participate in the colony boast honors such as the Pulitzer Prize, New York Drama Critics Award, Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Drama Desk Award, The Jonathan Larson Award, Kleban Prize, Outer Critics Circle, MAC Award, BMI Foundation Jerry Bock Award, NEFA National Theater Project Award, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship, ASCAP Plus Award, the Ronald M. Ruble Prize for New Works for Young Audiences, and many more.
The 2017 writers are Janet Allard, Beth Blatt, Alex Brightman, Sam Carner, Ben Clark, Peppy Castro, Joel Derfner, Mindi Dickstein, Kate Douglas, Robert DuSold, Drew Gasparini, Nolan Gasser, Scott Gilmour, Matt Gould, Derek Gregor, Kirsten Guenther, Shayfer James, Andrew Kramer, Patrick Lazour, Daniel Lazour, Sean Mahoney, Dan Marshall, Claire McKenzie, Andy Monroe, Patricia Noonan, June Rachelson Ospa, Nicky Phillips, Martha Redbone, Jen Shuber, Mark Sonnenblick, Niko Tsakalakos, and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman.
The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed is described as “an unparalleled, long-term residency program devoted exclusively to musical theatre writing. It provides a sanctuary for composers, lyricists, and librettists to embark on new musical theatre work or to devote a substantial amount of time to a work-in-progress in an environment rich with creative energy.”
For four weeks, the writing teams work in residence in Goodspeed’s Artists Village, each team in their own house, with whatever support is needed, from dramaturgical to Goodspeed’s fine music department. In the evenings writers get together in an informal, salon-style environment and share the day’s work.
The team guiding these artists include composer/lyricist Jonathan Brielle, who will again serve as producer/writer in residence; Clifford Lee Johnson III, who will serve as resident dramaturge; Goodspeed line producer Donna Lynn Hilton, who will guide Goodspeed Musicals’ efforts on the JMF Writers Colony; and Amanda Kate Joshi, who will be the 2017 Colony coordinator.
The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to “support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook, as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.” For more information visit www.johnnymercerfoundation.org.