A musical by
Phillip Palmer, Jennie Redling, and Stacey Luftig
Stacey is a lyricist, librettist, and playwright. She was awarded the 2017 Jerry Bock Award, the 2016 Kleban Prize, and the 2015 Fred Ebb Award in recognition of her lyrics for My Heart Is the Drum. As a librettist, she won the inaugural 2019 Saltzman-Gramercy Opera Prize for Story of an Hour and the 2018 BMI Jerry Harrington Musical Theatre Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement for the musical Saving Amelia, for which she also wrote lyrics (music by Phillip Palmer). Saving Amelia was based on her play Jinxed, an O'Neil NPC Finalist. Stacey’s lyrics were featured Off-Broadway and on tour in That's Life (Outer Critics Circle nom.). She wrote book/lyrics for Understood Betsy (Winner, Jackie White National Children's Playwriting Award and the National Children's Theatre Festival Award). Stacey has also written lyrics for family musical The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez, which will premiere in 2020. She is grateful for support from NY SongSpace, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, the Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Member: BMI Workshops, ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild.
Concept & Music
Phillip is the winner of the 2015 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theater Songwriting and a finalist for the 2016 Richard Rodgers Award for My Heart Is the Drum, his first musical. Mr. Palmer wrote the music for The Weatherman (book and lyrics by Alisa Klein Hauser, Clear Space Productions, and Network One-Act Festival). His dance compositions have been choreographed and performed at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the ImageMovementSound Festival in Rochester, NY. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music and has studied traditional drumming and choral music in Ghana and South Africa. Mr. Palmer is also commissioned Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In his capacity as a diplomat, he lived and worked for five years in Southern Africa and Haiti, where he managed programs to help small farmers and businesses. He holds a Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.
Jennie is a recipient of BMI’s Jerry Harrington Musical Theatre Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement as a Librettist, the national Stanley Drama Award, and the Arlene R. and William P. Lewis Playwriting Award for Women. She was a finalist for the 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant, the 2016 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, the Arts & Letters Prize for Drama, and the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Jennie is book writer for My Heart is The Drum, which premiered at Village Theatre in 2016 and was developed at the NAMT Festival of New Musicals, the Goodspeed Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, Kent State University, and the BMI Lehman-Engle Musical Theatre Workshop. Among theatres where her plays were performed are Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Urban Stages, Penguin Repertory Theater, Buffalo’s Alleyway Theatre and Pittsburgh’s 12 Peers Theatre. Jennie is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, BMI Musical Theatre Librettists Workshop, The Actors Studio Playwrights-Directors Lab, the International Centre for Women Playwrights, AEA, and SAG-AFTRA. Jennie is a certified crisis counselor, having worked for over a decade with the Center for Safety and Change, Rockland County, New York serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Schele is a director committed to cultivating new musicals and devised work with authentic representation. She has directed on Broadway and at regional theaters and festivals across the country. Acting credits include Aida, tours of Rent, The Who’s Tommy, and 42nd Street as well as appearing on Broadway in Actor’s Fund productions of Chess and Hair. Schele’s long history of Broadway directing encompasses Associate Choreographer on the North American and international tours of Rent, Associate Director of Motown: The Musical, reconceiving and directing the national tour of the show, and the associate director of Porgy and Bess on its European tour. She has a long association with Aida, having originated the role of Nehebka in the show’s first incarnation and is currently directing Aida’s upcoming Broadway revival (Disney Theatrical Group). In future, she will be directing The Wiz and the premieres of Mandela, the Musical, Indigo, and will be helming Hidden Figures, currently in development (Disney Theatrical Group). Passionate about pairing social justice with the arts, Schele is a founding member of Black Theatre United, an organization committed to dismantling systemic racism on our streets and stages. Schele is the author of the highly praised book for young people, Your Legacy, A Bold Reclaiming of Our History, a proud, empowering introduction to African American history that celebrates and honors enslaved ancestors. Schele has been a member of Broadway Inspirational Voices for over two decades and serves as Chairperson of the Board. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Zoe is a graduate of the Ghana Institute of Journalism and the Ghana National Film and Television Institute where she studied Documentary Film Directing and Scriptwriting. She holds an MBA from St. Peter’s College in the United States. Zoe is the recipient of “Best Documentary” from the National Film and Television Institute for her film, Rawlings, The Man, about Jerry J. Rawlings who, in 1992, won the first presidential election in fifteen years. Zoe was nominated for the Short Documentary category at the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (the capitol of Burkina Faso). The festival is a biennial event where work is assessed on the quality of its artistic selection and the successful organization of African cinema. Zoe was collaborator, co-writer and co-editor of American Public Television’s short documentary about Emmett Till, “Ten Days in America; the Story of Emmett Till” under the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). As part of her mission to tell authentic African stories for posterity, Zoe created “Dear Daughter,” a Facebook Series show where fathers and daughters discuss life issues with a Christian perspective. Zoe currently created and hosts “To My Younger Self: A Virtual Storytelling Show” where African guests share tales from their past and describe how theyhave defined their current perceptions.