Book & Lyrics
HOWARD ASHMAN wrote the lyrics for the Disney animated films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin (three songs) and served as producer on The Little Mermaid and Executive Producer on Beauty and the Beast. With composer Alan Menken, he received two Academy Awards® and two Golden Globes® for Best Song (“Beauty and the Beast” and “Under the Sea”) and four Grammy® Awards. He received an Academy Award® nomination with Mr. Menken for “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin. As Author, Lyricist and Director for the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors, which ran for five years in New York and has been produced worldwide, Mr. Ashman received two Outer Critics¹ Circle Awards, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award, a London Evening Standard Award and a Drama Desk Award. For his screenplay version of Little Shop of Horrors, Mr. Ashman received a nomination from the Screen Writers Guild and “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space” was nominated (with Mr. Menken) for an Academy Award® for Best Song. He was Author, Lyricist and Director of Smile for which he received a Tony® nomination for Best Book. His other credits include God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and The Confirmation (his only full-length play). He was the Artistic Director of the WPA Theatre (1976-1982). Born on May 17, 1950 in Baltimore, Mr. Ashman died at age 40 of complications due to AIDS on March 14, 1991 in New York City.
ALAN MENKEN’s theatre credits include God Bless You Mr Rosewater, Little Shop Of Horrors, Real Life Funnies, Atina: Evil Queen Of The Galaxy, Kicks, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, Beauty And The Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, Der Glackner Von Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap Of Faith, Aladdin and Newsies. Film credits include Little Shop Of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Hercules, Life With Mikey, Lincoln, Home On The Range, Noel, Enchanted, Shaggy Dog, Tangled and Mirror Mirror. Mr. Menken composed songs for Rocky V, Home Alone 2 and Captain America. He is the recipient of 8 Oscars (19 nominations), 11 Grammys (including Song of the Year) , 7 Golden Globes, a Tony® Award (plus 4 nominations), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London’s Evening Standard Award, Drama League. He has been honored by the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and received honorary Doctorates from New York University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
SEAN DANIELS has previously directed Informed Consent, The 39 Steps, The Book Club Play, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, BOB, All Your Questions Answered, The Race of the Ark Tattoo and Noodle Doodle Box at Geva. He is also the Artist-At-Large/Director of Artistic Engagement. He previously spent four years at the Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville as the theatre’s Associate Artistic Director (where he directed a record 17 productions including five Humana Festivals). Mr. Daniels is the former Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director of the California Shakespeare Theater and before that spent a decade as the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Dad’s Garage Theater Company in Atlanta, Ga. He has directed for The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.; St James Theatre in London; The Cleveland Play House; Alliance Theatre; Playmakers Rep; Swine Palace; Neo-Futurists; Aurora Theatre; Centerstage; Crowded Fire and the C Venue at Fringe in Edinburgh; and has developed work with the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Baltic American Playwrights Conference (Hiiumaa, Estonia), Ars Nova, PlayPenn, Lark, PlayLabs, Asolo Rep, Goodspeed Opera, Weston Playhouse, Blank Theater, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Magic Theatre, and others. Mr. Daniels has developed new plays with many delightful playwrights including: Two-time Tony Award- winners Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann (Urinetown), and Trey Parker and Matt Stone (Book of Mormon); Pulitzer Prize Finalists Kristoffer Diaz & Steven Drukman; Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Glee,” “Big Love,” Spiderman), and Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (though he was dead at the time, so we needed assistance from John Cleese and Michael Palin). He has been named “One of the top fifteen up & coming artists in the U.S., whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come,” and “One Of 7 People Reshaping And Revitalizing The American Musical” by American Theatre Magazine. He’s been named “Best Director” repeatedly in Atlanta and the Bay Area.
DON KOT is Resident Music Director and Affiliate Artist at
Geva Theatre Center where he celebrates his fourteenth season! Geva productions include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, All Your Questions Answered (world premiere), Next to Normal, Avenue Q, Company, The Music Man, Five Course Love, Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, Urinetown, A Chorus Line, Camelot, 1776, A
Christmas Carol, Sister’s Christmas Catechism, Convenience and as part of the Festival of New Plays, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, One For My Baby, right
next to me, Tomorrowland and An Evening with Mrs. Kasha Davis, International Celebrity Housewife. He was also vocal coach and music arranger for The Odd
Couple, Informed Consent, You Can’t Take It With You, A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, The House in Hydesville, Our Town and Inherit the Wind. Mr. Kot has performed Off-Broadway at the 45 Bleecker Street Theatre, Laurie Beechman Theatre, and at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Other regional credits include The Best of Forbidden Broadway, Smokey Joe’s Café, Leader of the Pack, Honk!,and The Most Happy Fella. He has played for the national touring productions of Fosse, Footloose, Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, Mamma Mia and Hairspray. Mr. Kot is the Coordinator of the Musical Theatre degree program at the State University of New York at Geneseo.
WENDY SEYB creates stories for film, theatre and dance. Her vibrant work explores the humorous side of the human condition through story, comedy, and movement. Choreography credits include Rainforest Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall with Sting, Kevin Spacey, James Taylor and Renee Fleming; “The Pee Wee Herman Show” for Broadway and HBO, the Off-Broadway production of Click Clack Moo (Lortel nomination), Off-Broadway and International production of The Toxic Avenger Musical (Lortel, Dora and Callaway nominations) and the Off-Broadway/National Tour of Murder For Two. As a Director and Choreographer, Ms. Seyb’s credits include How You Look At It for the Sacramento Ballet; Onirique a cirque-style show (Big E Award winner for Direction); Birthday Sax for Ars Nova, and she directed the comedy web series “That Reminds Me….” Ms. Seyb has also helped create shows with Disney, Cartoon Network, Richard Frankel Productions, Nickelodeon, and SeaWorld. Her Narrative Dance Comedies have won awards, and been seen in short film form, spec commercials, music videos, and at esteemed NYC venues including Dance Theater Workshop, Joyce SoHo, and Baryshnikov Arts Center. She is currently working on a Dance Comedy Series. www.wendyseyb.com
MICHAEL RAIFORD, a Scenic and Costume designer based in Austin, Texas, made his Geva Theatre Center debut during the 2012 season with The Book Club Play and also designed The 39 Steps and Informed Consent last season. He has designed 2O shows at Actors Theatre of Louisville including a dozen world premieres at The Humana Festival of New American Plays. Other regional credits include Cleveland Play House; Central City Opera; Kansas City Rep; The Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.; Opera Boston, The New Victory Theatre in NYC, South Coast Rep. and Playmakers Rep. In Austin he designed The Magic Flute and The Mozart Project for Ballet Austin; Rigoletto for Austin Lyric; Tesla and Big Love for the Rude Mechanical’s; 20 years and 100 productions for Zach. Recent Favorites include Ragtime, God of Carnage, Spring Awakening and Hairspray. Currently projects at Zach include the Premier of Mad, Beat, Hip and Gone by Steven Dietz. In addition, Mr. Raiford works as a Creative Consultant in many fields including Architecture, Advertising and yes, even Marching Band and Drum Corps (Artistic Director of The Academy). He received his M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin where he also taught design for ten years. He is a Member of United Scenic Artists. To see more of his work visit: flickr.com/photos/michaelraiford/sets
JENNIFER CAPRIO returns to Geva Theatre Center where she previously designed The 39 Steps and Bad Dates. Broadway credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off-Broadway credits include The Lion at Manhattan Theatre Club, Tail! Spin! starring Rachel Dratch at the Culture Project, Little Miss Sunshine at Second Stage, In Transit at Primary Stages (Lucille Lortel nomination), Fugitive Songs for Dreamlight Theatre Company, Modern & Post-Modern Living for LaMama Experimental Theatre Club, and the upcoming Little Children Dream of God at the Roundabout. Ms. Caprio has designed costumes for the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo. International credits include The Collected Works of Billy the Kid at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and tours of The Great American Trailer Park Musical and “Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers.” Regional Credits include Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Boston, Opera Colorado, La Jolla Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Play House, Westport Country Playhouse, Capital Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Hangar Theatre, Playmakers Repertory Theatre, among others. Ms. Caprio earned her B.F.A. at Ithaca College and her M.F.A. at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.
BRIAN J. LILIENTHAL
BRIAN J. LILIENTHAL made his Geva Theatre Center debut in 2012 with The Book Club Play and also designed The 39 Steps and Informed Consent last season. New York credits include La Mama ETC, Cherry Lane and 29th Street Rep. Regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville (over 60 productions as Resident Designer), Milwaukee Rep, The Huntington Theatre Company, Playmakers Rep, Arizona Theatre Co, South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Capital Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Arden Theatre Co, Merrimack Rep, Trinity Rep, The Kennedy Center, Theatre @ Boston Court, Perishable Theatre, Pig Iron Theatre, New Paradise Labs, amongst many. Mr. Lilienthal has designed lighting for operas at Opera Bard Summerscape, Long Beach Opera and Portland Opera Repertory Theatre. He has spent eight summers at the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Center as a resident lighting designer. He is the recipient of the 2005 Ovation Award (LA) for lighting design. Mr. Lilienthal holds an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts. He is currently teaching lighting design at Tufts University.
MATTHEW CALLAHAN made his Geva Theatre Center debut in 2012 with The Book Club Play and also designed The 39 Steps and Informed Consent last season. He Served as the Resident Sound Designer at Actors Theatre of Louisville for seven seasons (2004-2011) and for more than 50 productions, including the world premieres of Bob, Elemeno Pea, Ground, Sirens, Wild Blessings, The Hard Weather Boating Party, Slasher, The End, Rock and Roll – The Reunion Tour, Dark Play – stories for boys, Great Falls, This Beautiful City, The Scene, The Unseen, Six Years, Pure Confidence and Hazard County. Recent regional credits include Comedy of Errors, Family Album (engineering), Animal Crackers at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Pavilion at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; An Illiad, Good People, Mrs. Mannerly, Ghost Writer at Ensemble Theatre Company, as well as designing productions at Cleveland Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep., St. Louis Rep., Arizona Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Walnut St. Theatre, Prince Music Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company Garage and Studio. He served as the Resident Sound Designer for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference 2008 and 2009.
Wig & Makeup Designer
JEAN GORDON RYON
JEAN GORDON RYON serves as New Plays Coordinator at Geva Theatre Center where, among other duties, she produces the Regional Writers Showcase and the Young Writers Showcase. She was dramaturg for 1776, John Bull’s Other Island, That Was Then, Shear Madness, The Underpants, The Clean House, Almost Maine, The Music Man, Company, Perfect Wedding, The 39 Steps, Last Gas, Wait Until Dark and Geva’s current production of A Christmas Carol, and she has contributed dramaturgical research and written program articles for several other productions. Ms. Ryon holds a degree in drama from Tufts University and a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College. Her most recent directing credits in the community include Grace and Glorie, Master Class, Blithe Spirit, Pride’s Crossing, and The Gin Game for Blackfriars, The Chosen and The Immigrant for JCC’s CenterStage, Juno and the Peacock, Da, Translations, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Waiting for Godot, The Kings of the Kilburn High Road, Dancing at Lughnasa, Faith Healer, The Hostage, Love in the Title, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Dublin Carol, and A Moon for the Misbegotten for RCP’s Irish Players, and Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing for RCP’s Shakespeare Players. Ms. Ryon is also the Artistic Director of The Geriactors, a traveling troupe of mature actors.
JENN LYONS is a Rochester native happy to be back home and working at Geva. National Tours include Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (starring Eartha Kitt), Showboat and The Who’s Tommy. New York credits include work at Roundabout Theatre and Circle Repertory Theater as well as the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid.