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American Twistory Finale

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Creators & Writers

KEVIN KAUFMAN (Writer/Composer/Producer) has produced over 100 interviews, symposia, and readings of new musicals, and marketed 7 workshops and educational programs through Broadway on Sunset, a non-profit organization under the aegis of the Songwriters Guild of America. The original BOS programs Kaufman produced at Gio’s Cabaret in Hollywood on Monday nights over an 18-month period featured 30-minute presentations of over 50 new musicals and interviews with theatre notables, including Sammy Cahn,   Al Kasha & Joel Hirschhorn, Ralph Burns, Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee, Betty Garrett, Gene Nelson, Ray Walston, Directors, Choreographers, Producers, Designers and more.  When BOS went non-profit, Broadway veterans participating in programs included Donna McKechnie; Grover Dale; Rob Marshall; Richard Maltby, Jr. & David Shire; and Marshall Barer. BOS produced two Musical Theatre Conferences profiled in the Los Angeles Times.  Participants included Tony® Award winner Jason Alexander, composer Frank Wildhorn, composer Henry Krieger; composer/lyricist Michael John LaChiusa; Librettist Dean Pitchford; actors Billy Porter, Douglas Sills, Lillias White; and other Broadway veterans.  BOS has been honored twice by the Los Angeles City Council for its work in the Arts.

As composer, Kevin’s Halloween musical The Little Witch of Wichita has received 17 productions nationally including Los Angeles’ acclaimed Geffen Playhouse where he co-produced in 2004.   A children’s musical, Jody's Wish," ("Julia's Traum") was produced in 1994 at Kleck's Theatre, Berlin, Germany.  Brooklyn born and raised, Kevin received his BA in Music from CCNY and studied composition & arranging at the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles.  He is a member of ASCAP.

SYDNEY GAIL STAYDEN (Writer/Producer) is developing for Broadway the musical, Fun with Dick and Jane, adapted from two hugely successful Columbia/Sony movies.  Directed by Tony nominee Scott Schwartz, with book, music & lyrics by Tony Award winning Author, Rupert Holmes, FWD&J will bring famous couples to the stage in the roles of Dick and Jane.  In 2000 Stayden produced Broadway on Sunset’s West Coast Musical Theater Conference inviting participants – keynote speaker Julie Taymor (The Lion King);  Director/Choreographer Rob Marshall  (Chicago; Into The Woods); Composer Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls), Moderator Larry King; and other Broadway veterans.

Stayden co-wrote and  co-produced the feature film Red Roses and Petrol starring Malcolm McDowell, which was distributed by WorldWide Motion Picture Corp. in 2008  She is currently developing with her producing partner RKO, a remake of the 1941 Jean Arthur comedy The Devil and Miss Jones.   Stayden also produced: I Could Never Have Sex With Any Man Who Has Such Little Regard For My Husband; for Cinema 5; and My Man Adam for TriStar.

MARC RUBIN (Writer) has been an advertising art director, writer and television script writer having been the head writer for such TV series as "The White Shadow' "Fame" and The Equalizer. He was co-founder of The Denver Group which received much media attention for the ads and TV commercials he created pressuring the DNC to keep Hillary Clinton's name on the ballot at the Democratic Convention. He has also been a contributing writer to the famed National Lampoon magazine. Marc currently is at work on a new TV series pilot and a number of film projects.  Mr. Rubin lives in New York City.

NEAL SHUSTERMAN (Writer) New York Times best-selling author Neal Shusterman began his professional writing career shortly after graduation from college, when his humor column was picked up by Syndicated Writer's Group, a national feature syndicate, making Neal, at 22, the youngest syndicated columnist in the nation. Since then, Neal made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. His over 30 published novels have received many awards from organizations like  the  International  Reading  Association,  the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country, including the Boston Globe/Horn Book award for Fiction.  His novels include BRUISER, EVERLOST, FULL TILT, THE SCHWA WAS HERE, and UNWIND, which is currently in production as a feature film with Constantin Films.

Neal also developed ten successful "How to Host a Mystery" and  "How to Host a Murder" games, as well as having written for numerous TV shows, including Goosebumps, wrote the Disney original TV movie Pixel Perfect, and is currently developing an new TV series.  Neal lives in Southern California with his four children, and can be found online at www.storyman.com

ROB BATTAN (Lyrics/Sketches) Rob was the lyricist for "Lamb Chop on Broadway" starring Shari Lewis; "The Charlie Horse Music Pizza" on PBS; and wrote the parody lyrics to "Fiddler on the West Hollywood Roof."

STEPHEN COLE (Lyrics) Stephen is an internationally produced, published and recorded writer. He is the winner of the prestigious "Edward Kleban Award" as Most Promising Librettist of 2000.  His musicals include: THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER; AFTER THE FAIR produced in 1999 at the York Theatre Company, Outer Critic's Circle Nomination for Best Off-Broadway Musical; CASPER, which toured in 2001 starring Broadway legend, Chita Rivera; CONTINENTAL DIVIDE, adapted form Sinclair Lewis' "Dodsworth," which premiered in Texas starring Hal Linden and Dee Hoty; GROSSINGER'S, which also premiered in Texas and starred Gavin MacLeod and Ruta Lee; and TIME AFTER TIME. Stephen has penned special material for Chita Rivera, Christine Baranski, Marlo Thomas, Tyne Daly, Rosie O'Donnell, JoAnne Worley, Michael Rupert, Liz Smith, Michele Lee, Valerie Harper and many others. Stephen is the author of "That Book About That Girl," the unofficial companion to the famous and innovative Marlo Thomas sitcom from the 1960's (Renaissance Books 1999).

JOHN EVEREST (Lyrics/Sketches) The late Mr. Everest's produced shows as librettist/sketch writer and lyricist include: I French Kissed a Zombie; the musical revues, Scaling Everest and American Twistory; Mark Twain in Love, directed by veteran stage and screen actor/dancer, Gene Nelson; 81 Proof, a topical musical revue; and The Right Guy with composer Vernon Duke (April in Paris).

ROB MEURER (Lyrics) first came to prominence on the Grammy-sweeping debut album by Christopher Cross, with whom he has since written and produced several albums. He served as Music Director for Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre and Billy Crystal's A Comic's Line and has also worked with Carole King, J.D. Souther, Jennifer Warnes, and Van Dyke Parks. Rob has written four musicals with The Knack lead guitarist Berton Averre, including Jungle Man!, which was given two sellout productions by Stage One in Wichita, and Robin Hood: The Untold Story, which was featured in the ASCAP/Disney Workshop and is slated for the 2009 L.A. Festival of New American Musicals.  Rob and Berton have also written songs for playwright Mark Saltzman's Set Up and Punch, which opens at The Blank Theatre in L.A. in April 2009.

ADAM OVERETT (Lyrics) Adam is a member of the Lehman Engel Musical Theater Advanced Workshop at BMI, where he won the 2002 Jerry Harrington Award for Excellence. His musical, CALL IT COURAGE based on the Newbery Medal-winning novel by Armstrong Sperry, was a 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival designee, as well as a finalist for the ASCAP Workshop, the Bloomington Playwriting Contest and other awards. It was given a staged reading at the York Theatre in 2004, and was featured on the Bound For Broadway concert series at Merkin Concert Hall in 2005. Adam has also authored the musicals THE FIREBIRD and SEEING THE LIGHT; and several plays, including PASSPORT, STANDING GUARD, and THE BIRDBATH. A graduate of Yale University, he studied dramatic literature and music, and won the John Golden Prize for New Musicals.

TONY REITANO (Sketches) One of the original actors of the early workshops with American Twistory, Tony began contributing material soon thereafter. He wrote episodes for TV - They Came from Outer Space and Animation - Bonkers. Current projects include contributing writer on Homicide for the Holidays (an interactive whodunit) in Madison, WI; and several screenplays in development.  As an actor, Tony performed on stage across the U.S. and in film and television.  In commercials, he was Vince the Crash Test Dummy in the award-winning Safety Belt campaign.  You could learn a lot from a dummy -- buckle your safety belt!

PETER ROBERTS (Music) A multiple award winning producer and songwriter, over 200 of his songs were recorded and released by various artists, including La Toya Jackson, Daechelle, George Benson, ATC, Bryan Duncan, Lou Bega, Jimi Jamison's Survivor, The New York Voices, Irene Cara, Lisa Frazier, the Roberts Bros. among others. Peter's song "Fearless" won the Pop Category of the 2007 Billboard World Songwriting Competition as well as the People's Voice of the International Songwriting Competition 2006.  Peter's songs were on the charts in different genres like Pop, Rock, Dance, Smooth Jazz and Christian.

SANDY SHERMAN (Lyrics) is a lyricist/songwriter with an extensive list of credits including songs, in a variety of musical styles, featured in numerous popular films, T.V. series and artist compilations. "The Little Witch of Wichita" for which she is the lyricist, is an award winning family musical performed in many theaters nationally including the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles where she was also co-producer.  Her children's songs have delighted millions of children and include songs for Disney Records, Buena Vista Videos, LeapFrog Toys, Disney Channel, Shari Lewis, The Children's Television Workshop and Hal Leonard songbooks.

GERRY STOBER (Music), a native of Montreal, Canada has been involved in various aspects of the global music industry, garnering world-wide acclaim and awards as a songwriter, producer, publisher, musician and vocalist. He also heads his own music production and publishing company. Artist credits include: No Mercy – multi-platinum worldwide; Aaron Neville – Grammy nominated album "Devotion"; The Jets; The Commodores; Jack Wagner; Jennifer Love Hewitt; Audrey de Montigny – Canadian Idol finalist; Eve; and Jane Fostin – nominated for "Les Cesaire de la Musique" award in Paris, France 2001; His music has also appeared in commercials including: Mattel/Barbie; Kraft/General Foods Nestle Crunch; Coke; Florida Marlins; Process Gruyere Cheese; Korean Airlines; and California Avocado Commission.