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Join us for a conversation between award-winning playwright, composer, and lyricist Michael R. Jackson and theater and opera director, and Managing Artistic Director of the Mannes Opera Emma Griffin.
CoPA Conversations is a new series of curated talks between two artistic innovators drawn from our world-class faculty and selected guest artists. These conversations will cross genres and artistic practice areas and will touch on CoPA's core values of Socially Engaged Artistry, Experimentation & Technology, Improv & Collaboration with a focus on holistic artistic practice.
Michael R. Jackson's 2020 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle winning A Strange Loop (which had its 2019 world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions) was called "a full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins" and a "gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies" by Ben Brantley for The New York Times, and "exhilarating and wickedly funny" by Sara Holdren for New York. In The New Yorker, Vinsom Cunningham wrote, "To watch this show is to enter, by some urgent, bawdy magic, an ecstatic and infinitely more colorful version of the famous surreal lithograph by M. C. Escher: the hand that lifts from the page, becoming almost real, then draws another hand, which returns the favor." As a songwriter, he has seen his work performed everywhere from Joe’s Pub to NAMT. In addition to A Strange Loop, he also wrote book, music and lyrics for the upcoming White Girl in Danger; and lyrics and book for the musical adaptation of the 2007 horror film Teeth with composer and co-bookwriter Anna K. Jacobs. Awards and associations include: a New Professional Theatre Festival Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a Whiting Award, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, a Dramatist Guild Fellowship and he is an alum of Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group. He has commissions from Grove Entertainment & Barbara Whitman Productions and LCT3 and is newly-elected member of the Dramatists Guild Council.
Emma Griffin is a theater and opera director based in New York City; she is also the Managing Artist Director of the Mannes Opera. Hailed by the New York Times for her "deeply resonant", "intelligent", and "darkly enchanting" staging, Griffin's productions have been seen in performance venues all over the country. She is a frequent collaborator on new music/theater pieces with composers such as Phil Kline, Corey Dargel, Rachel Peters and Ricky Ian Gordon. Opera credits include: La Fanciulla del West at Opera Colorado, the world premiere of Charpentier's La Feste de Ruel with Catacoustic Consort; La Boheme at Crested Butte Music Festival, Jake Hegge's Three Decembers at Atlanta Opera; Don Giovanni at Boston Lyric Opera; in addition to many productions with Juilliard Opera and Curtis Opera Theater. She was the Artistic Director of the OBIE-award winning Salt Theater, based in NYC, and has theater credits at many regional theaters including Perseverance Theater, Geva Theater Center, Syracuse Stage, Southern Rep, Actor’s Express, Virginia Stage, and Williamstown Theater Festival. Prior to coming to Mannes Opera at The New School, she taught at SUNY Stonybrook, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and was the head of the Opera Stage Directing Program at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. www.emmagriffin.net
UPCOMING EVENTS IN THIS SERIES:
July 22: Vocalist/composer Joan La Barbara with sound artist/composer Fay Victor
August 5: Music producer, sound designer and DJ Hank Shocklee with composer/pianist Timo Andres
August 19: Violinist Jennifer Koh with vibraphonist/composer Joel Ross