Why is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me?
Composer: Jeffrey Dennis Smith
Composer Bio: JEFFREY DENNIS SMITH is a composer, percussionist, and conductor specializing in music and sound for theatre, dance, film, and live performance. He is developing the musical Lightning Man with lyricists Shoshana Greenberg, Katya Stanislavskaya, Janet Allard, and bookwriter Maggie-Kate Coleman. It received a developmental production at the Tisch School of the Arts and will be presented as part of the ANT Festival in 2011 at Ars Nova. Jeffrey is also currently writing an opera with librettist Maggie-Kate Coleman entitled Lost Things. Jeffrey’s songs have been performed at NAMT New Works Summit, Laurie Beechman Theater, Project Footlight at Dixon Place, NEO5 at the York Theatre, Goodspeed, and the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock. His dance scores have been heard at the Cool New York 2009 and 2010 Dance Festivals, the 2009 DanceNOW [NYC] Festival, Joyce Soho, Dance Theatre Workshop and Duo Theater. Jeffrey’s music for film includes an animation by Tarik Cherkaoui that was presented at the 2010 Williamsburg International Film Festival and the Electric Pear Production’s Synthesia in 2010 at The Wild Project. He wrote incidental music and songs for Lucilla’s Story: A Play for Gabriel Mistral, which was produced at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival. His piece Tiger Dance for marimba soloist and percussion ensemble will be performed at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention. As a percussionist, Jeffrey has performed with the Chicago-based performance group, Sonic Inertia, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New Hampshire Music Festival, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra. He was also the first place winner of the 1996 Young Artist Competition of the Minnesota Orchestra. Jeffrey was a Visiting Guest Artist in percussion at the University of Northern Iowa in the fall of 2001, and is s a graduate of the Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program (MFA), Northwestern University (MM) and the University of Northern Iowa (BM). He has been a Resident Artist at American Lyric Theater since the fall of 2011, and is currently collaborating with David Johnston on Why is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me? at ALT
Librettist: David Johnston
Librettist Bio: DAVID JOHNSTON’s plays have been performed and read at the New Group, Moving Arts, the Neighborhood Playhouse, HB Playwrights Foundation and Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has had New York productions or his work with Blue Coyote Theater Group including, Conversations on Russian Literature, a new adaptation of The Oresteia (Time Out Best of 2007); Busted Jesus Comix (GLAAD nominee 2005, London, Los Angeles, DC Cap Fringe); A Bush Carol, or George Dubya and the Xmas of Evil, and Effie Jean in Tahiti (both with music and lyrics by Stephen Speights); Regional credits include The George Place (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater). Mr. Johnston has written many plays that were produced with Kevin Newbury as Director, including Candy and Dorothy (GLAAD winner 2006, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Unexpected Stage), and The Eumenides. Publications include Saturday with Martin (Short Plays to Long Remember, TnT), The Eumenides (Playing With Canons, New York Theatre Experience, Inc.), Leaving Tangier (Samuel French), A Funeral Home in Brooklyn, and A Lesson (Smith & Kraus.) Current projects include the upcoming premiere of Coney, and a film adaptation of his short play, Mothra is Waiting. Playwriting awards include Theater Oxford, Playwright Residency at the University of Cincinnati, a Berrilla Kerr Foundation Grant, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation. He was also a New Dramatists finalist. Mr. Johnston attended the College of William and Mary and Circle in the Square and is a member of Actors Equity, Dramatists Guild, (publications committee) Charles Maryan’s Playwrights/Directors Workshop, BMI, and Blue Coyote Theater Group. He has been a Resident Artist at American Lyric Theater since the fall of 2011, and is currently collaborating with Jeffrey Dennis Smith on Why is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me? at ALT.
Premiere Date: January 11, 2015
Description: Why is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me?: A Love Story is a new one-act opera, by composer Jeffrey Dennis Smith and librettist David Johnston, about a mysterious – and unlikely – murder suspect. A tour de force love story and mad scene all in one, a man shares his bizarre confession concerning the fate of a hot, young, art world star. Smith’s score blends elements of jazz with an edgy contemporary sound, creating an energy that propels the story forward.
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: 1
Contact: Not Available
Composer Web Site: http://jeffreydennissmith.com/
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