WED., NOV. 17, 2021 @ 7:30PM at Peter Norton Symphony Space | Click here or call 212.864.5400

RULE OF THREE  - 2021 Musical Theater Lab, In Concert -  Writer Biographies

Written by:  Laura Barati & Danny Ursetti;  Danny K Bernstein; é boylan; Dorie Clark & Marie Incontrera; Dante Green; Durra Leung; Angela Sclafani; Marcus Scott, Charles Turner & Sean Mason; Dani Shoulman & Erin Hoerchler; Kate Thomas & Joey Contreras

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Laura Barati is a writer and deviser of new works. Barati’s experience as the queer daughter of a Jewish Colombian mother and a Muslim Iranian father fuels her desire to make untold stories and complex identities come alive onstage. She delights in pushing the limits of traditional genres and picking apart the messy intersections of gender, race, and sexuality through a critical but joyful lens. Her works include the musicals How to Create a Young Girl and Miss Havisham’s Wedding, the operas 75 Miles, Henna Leaves, and Uprising, and The Electric Brain’s We Regret To Inform You That Reza Is Dead.  Upcoming works: the operas Caravana De  Mujeres and The Interaction Effect. Her writing has been performed in New York City at The American Opera Project, Opera America, The Tank, NYMF; and regionally at Washington National Opera, Barrington Stage Company, Two River Theater, and Music Theatre Kansas City. MFA: NYU Tisch.

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Danny K Bernstein is an award-winning composer/lyricist, director, music director and pianist. His music and lyrics have been heard Off Broadway, Feinstein’s 54 Below, Green Room 42, Club Cumming, Prohibition, and all over New York City. NYC: Wings (Book, Music, Lyrics), Far From Canterbury (Book, Music, Lyrics) - Outstanding Overall Musical, 2015 New York International Fringe Festival. 2020 Fred Ebb Award finalist, 2019 Kleban Finalist, 2019 and 2017 Jonathan Larson Award Finalist, 2014 Winner, New Voices Project, New Musical Inc., through Walt Disney Imagineering, Los Angeles. Proud member of ASCAP and the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop. Instagram: @dannykbernstein

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é boylan (they/them) is a NYC based director, creator, and composer developing new work towards trans liberation. Recent/Upcoming projects: Soft Butter (Ars Nova, MTF), Waafrika 123 (National Queer Theater), Container (Trans Lab/WP/Public Theater, Rattlestick), Femmebodys, or: the way we leave (NAMT Award, MTF), and The Doctor is Dead (O'Neill, MTF). A graduate of The University of Chicago and NTI, é has served as 2019 Trans Lab Fellow, 2019-20 MTC Directing Fellow, 2021 JMF Songwriter, and currently serves as a member of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Directors Group and Musical Theatre Factory's Makers Cohort II, as well as a Resident Playwright at Lincoln Center Theater.

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Dorie Clark is a librettist, as well as a lyricist in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop. She was also a participant in the 2019 New York Musical Festival (NYMF) Songwriting Workshop. Along with composer Marie Incontrera, her collaborator on the lesbian spy thriller musical Absolute Zero, Clark has been a participant in the Apples and Oranges Arts THEatre Accelerator program, an intensive development program. Absolute Zero has received media coverage in Forbes. Clark served as an assistant producer on the multiple Grammy Award-winning album Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom, by The Ted Nash Big Band (winner for Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Composition). She is a graduate of Smith College and Harvard Divinity School, and has been hailed by the New York Times as an “expert in reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives.”

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Joey Contreras is a musical theatre and pop songwriter, internationally known for his various projects, performances and studio album releases, amassing millions of streams. His musicals with bookwriter/lyricist, Kate Thomas, include All The Kids Are Doing It (Provincetown Playhouse, Tisch, IWU, O’Neill NMTC Finalist), Forget Me Not (Open Jar Institute, NYU, The Dare Tactic) and Elements. He is the composer of Heartbreakers in Hell, a modern day adaptation of Dante’s Inferno written with bookwriter/lyricist Benjamin Halstead.  Additionally, he has composed for the Walt Disney Company, and various short films. His song-cycle, In Pieces, was originally presented at Lincoln Center and is currently available for worldwide licensing.  Joey is a 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist and alumnus of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program (ASCAP Max Dreyfus Scholarship) and the Johnny Mercer Project.  He regularly teaches songwriting through private coaching and group master classes at universities and theatre programs worldwide.

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Dante Green (they/he/she) is an award winning Visionary Leader holding a BFA from The University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, where they also studied with Headlong Performance Institute. Dante is the Founding Artistic Director of The Makers' Ensemble, a member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters, and an affiliate member of Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. Dante's work has been seen at places including Ars Nova, Painted Bride Art Center, Pig Iron Theater Company, and FringeArts. Dante has worked locally and internationally with other companies such as The Public Theater, Playwright's Horizons Theater School, Atlantic Acting Conservatory, Theater for A New Audience, Virgin Voyages, Lantern Theater Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, The Assembly,  and others. When Dante isn't writing or directing, they are an Instructor of Theater at Wesleyan University and Sheridan College's Musical Theater Department. Dante is currently the Breaking New Ground Residency Artist at Wesleyan University. @dantemgreen dantegreen.com

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Erin Hoerchler is a New York City based theatrical composer. Her full length piece, Swan Lake*, is a comedic feminist retelling of Tchaikovsky's tragedy written with Dani Shoulman and was selected for the Underscore Develops program at Underscore Theatre in Chicago.  She is a winner of the ASCAP Frederick Loewe Scholarship and the Webster University Young Composers Competition.  Her work has been featured at Dixon Place, the St. Louis Zoo, and universities across the Midwest.  She is a graduate of New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild.

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Marie Incontrera is a musical theatre and opera composer; music director and conductor; and pianist living in Brooklyn. Her award-winning chamber opera, Albert: Bound or Unbound, written with librettist Royce Vavrek, was hailed by the New York Times for its “deftly woven jazz and gospel elements.” Marie has served as a music director and pianist for three works with Mabou Mines, in collaboration with late director Lee Breuer. Marie’s musical theatre works in development include Absolute Zero, written with Dorie Clark; Two Anxious Bisexuals, written with Dianne Gebauer and Megan A Zebrowski; and Parallel University with Malina Detcheva-Rossa and David Quang Pham. Marie is a graduate of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Intensive. Her first collaboration with Dorie Clark, Absolute Zero, was a part of the Apples and Oranges THEatre Accelerator development intensive in Spring 2021. Parallel University is currently being developed at the Across A Crowded Room theater lab.

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Durra Leung (Chinese: 柯杜華) is an award-winning composer-lyricist, librettist, playwright born and raised in Guangzhou, China, who now calls NYC home. He has recently joined the New York City Center Encores! production of Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 Tony Award for Best Musical) as the Cantonese lyricist. Durra has presented his works at venues including Feinstein’s/54 Below, Joe’s Pub, The Tank, The Duplex, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Wild Project, The PIT, The West End Lounge, Dixon Place, and many others. His recent film-scoring work, Your Smile (dir. Haochen Yang), has been accepted into the Cannes Film Festival. He is the founder and host of Tin Pan Alley 2 Concert Series and the Associate Producer for PROTOTYPE Festival. Durra is an alum of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program as a composer, and a current member of BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop as a librettist. durraleung.com

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Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Sean Mason taught himself how to play the piano by ear at the age of 13. His early musical roots included Gospel, Classical, Hip-Hop, and R&B, but then he discovered jazz and decided to make a career of it. To further his knowledge, Sean went to study music at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After two years of study, Sean decided to move to New York City and transfer his studies to The Juilliard School, studying for another two years before ultimately leaving to pursue his music interests independently. In his short but already groundbreaking career, Sean has played and toured with many jazz professionals including Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis, among many others. Sean is based in New York City, and aside from being a sideman member of many successful jazz bands around the city, he leads his own band The Sean Mason Trio which  tours across the globe.

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Angela Sclafani is a composer and performer. She has developed theater work at The Orchard Project Greenhouse, Le Château de La Napoule International Artist Residency, and Fresh Ground Pepper's BRB Artist Retreat. She has been a featured composer in Rattlestick Playwright Theater's New Songs Now series, NY Theatre Barn’s New Works Series, and 24 Hour Plays. Theatrical projects include her song cycle Passion Project as well as her original musical The Other Side of Paradise, which premiered in Ars Nova's ANTFest. As a recording artist, she's released three EP’s of original music as well as a collection of reimagined Stevie Nicks songs. Angela is a 2019 Fred Ebb Award Winner and a 2018 Richie Jackson Artist Fellow. She is a two-time first-place winner in the Great American Songwriting Contest and a finalist in the Unsigned Only Music Competition. She earned her BFA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. angelasclafani.com

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Marcus Scott (he/him) is a playwright and journalist. Selected works: Fidelio (Libretto; Heartbeat Opera at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 2018; called “poignant” by the New York Times), Tumbleweed (finalist for the 2017 BAPF; semi-finalist for the 2017/2018 New Dramatists Princess Grace Fellowship Award), Cherry Bomb (recipient of the 2017 Drama League First Stage Artist-In-Residence; 2017 finalist for the Yale Institute for Music Theatre), and Sundown Town (finalist for Abingdon Theatre Company’s Virtual Fall Festival Of Short Plays). His work has been developed or presented by Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, APAC, Dixon Place, Space on Ryder Farm, Cherry Lane Theater (DUAF), CoLAB Arts, Symphony Space, MicroTheater Miami, among others. Scott is a 2021 NYSAF Founders’ Award finalist, a four time Finalist for the R&D Group at The Civilians, a two-time National Black Theatre I AM SOUL Playwrights Residency finalist, a 2019 Finalist for the Bushwick Starr's Starr Reading Series, and a 2021 Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award semi-finalist. His articles have appeared in Architectural Digest, Time Out New York, American Theatre Magazine, Playbill, Elle, Out, Essence, The Brooklyn Rail, and Encore Monthly, among others. MFA: NYU Tisch.

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Dani Shoulman is lyricist, bookwriter, and singer/songwriter living in New York City. As a singer/songwriter, Dani has written and recorded three albums and performed her work in New York City, New Jersey, and Boston. Dani wrote the book and lyrics for 16 Pleasantville Drive, a 20-minute musical, with music by Enzo Veiga. With frequent collaborator, Erin Hoerchler, Dani has written book and lyrics for two full length musicals. Their full length musical Swan Lake* was selected for the Underscore Develops program in December 2020. Dani graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelors in Music Industry and Songwriting, and  received an MFA from Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Dani is a member of BMI and The Dramatists Guild.

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Kate Thomas is a Kleban Prize Finalist, a Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, and the bookwriter and lyricist for her musicals with Joey Contreras, All The Kids Are Doing It (Provincetown Playhouse, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference finalist, NAMT semi-finalist, IWU, Tisch) and Forget Me Not (New York Theatre Barn New Works Series, The Dare Tactic, Open Jar Institute, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference semi-finalist, NAMT semi-finalist, Tisch). She was a 2018-2019 Athena Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow and Resident Dramaturg, and her plays include Dirty July (Monsterpiece Theater Collective Winner “Best Play,” New York Theater Festival, Athena Reads), Genuinely Here (Edge Fest Semifinalist, Athena Theatre Company at Symphony Space) and Shooting Janine (Athena Theatre Company at Symphony Space). She is part of the Playground-NY Writers Pool, and received her MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts.

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Charles Turner is a multi-faceted, Brooklyn-based composer and vocalist whose work transcends styles from jazz and R&B to soul. He has held residencies, hosted, and performed at venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Smoke Jazz Club, and the historic Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. International  performances include: Pizza Express in London, Sunside Sunset in Paris, Sala Claomores in Madrid, and more venues in Seoul, South Korea and Wellington New Zealand. Turner’s sophomore album Single & In Love, produced by Grammy award winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.  received critical acclaim and continues to play all across the world. A Berklee College of Music graduate, he has taught at The American School of Modern Music in Paris, participated in Jazz for Young People at JALC, and conducted master classes at high schools and  universities including NYU. Charles’ passion to bring swing and jazz to listeners of all generations and backgrounds continues through his new band, Charles Turner & Uptown Swing.

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Danny Ursetti is a composer/percussionist from Southern California, currently living in Astoria, NY. Selected writing credits: Regretting Almost Everything (Barrington Stage Company), In My Book (Coastal Carolina University), Your Brand New Incurable-Disease (NYU Tisch),  A Statue of Stature (Prospect Theater Company), I Want To Eat Brains (Fresh Grind Festival), …Reza is dead (The Electric Brain). In-development: Mimosa (NYC City Artist Corps Grant, NAMT 15min musical winner, NYTB, Michigan State University), My Cousin Vinny (BMI), and Infinite March (concept album). Arranging/Orchestration: William Finn’s The Emperor’s Newest Clothes (HBO), New York Philharmonic, Pasadena Pops. Drum/Percussion Credits: Themes For Falling Down Stairs (album) Soft Butter (Original Cast Recording), Borrowed Cash (A.R.T.). He is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop, HomeBrewed Writers Collective, and a composer/teaching artist with the 52nd St. Project, and Chicago Opera Theater. MFA: NYU GMTWP Upcoming: Once Every Hundred Years, lyrics by William Finn.