Mike Ross is a New York-based lyricist/librettist, dramaturg, and children’s book author. Working with composer Dylan MarcAurele, he has written book and additional lyrics for The Land of Forgotten Toys (2019, Greenhouse Theater Center) and book for the digital musical The Mystery of Custodia (2020, CPA Theatricals). His first theatrical credit in New York City was writing additional lyrics for The Bad Years (2016, dir. Stephen Brackett) by former DGF Fellows Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. He has worked as a dramaturg for off-Broadway productions at the Davenport Theatre and the Theatre at St. Clements; his own work has been presented at 54 Below, CAVEAT, and NYMF. Mike is a member of the BMI Lehman-Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop. Plays include Carrie & Otis, Sorry, and Space: Four Stories In Boston. He has published two books for young readers via Scholastic, and is working on a third. www.mikerosswrites.com
Dylan MarcAurele is a composer, writer, and orchestrator. Composing credits include THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN TOYS (Greenhouse Theater, Chicago; Florida Festival of New Musicals 2019), 57TH NATIONAL MATHLETE SUM-IT (NYMF 2017; licensed through Theatrical Rights Worldwide), THAT 1770s SHOW (Harvard University). Other credits include the virtual musical THE MYSTERY OF CUSTODIA (music and lyrics, licensed through CPA Theatricals), A DOG STORY (music director, Davenport Theater), and HAMILTON (music assistant, Broadway and Chicago). Dylan was a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and has served as orchestrator for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. Dylan runs the Instagram account @RHONYmusical, where he writes/orchestrates/directs musical theater songs based on The Real Housewives, and has been featured on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. He is thrilled to be working with bookwriter-lyricist Mike Ross to develop LEWIS LOVES CLARK. www.dylanmarcaurele.com
John-Michael Lyles is a guitar-wielding singer/songwriter from Mesquite, Texas, and a 2020 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow. He recently wrote additional music for Young Jean Lee’s “We’re Gonna Die” at Second Stage. His music has also been featured at Musical Theater Factory, NYMF, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub & Don’t Tell Mama. As an actor, he’s been seen Off Broadway in A Strange Loop (Playwright’s Horizons) & Sweeney Todd (Barrow Street), on TV in “The Other Two”, “Chicago PD” & “NCIS: New Orleans”. @jmlyles1 | www.john-michaellyles.com
Mx. Christiana Cole is a writer, composer, performer, and teacher. Favorite projects: Bombshell Baby (book/lyrics/music with Rachel Felstein and Matthew Anchel), about a drag queen who fights Nazis, produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre; Make the Earth Great (book/lyrics, with Rona Siddiqui) at Prospect Theater Lab; and a ton of children’s theater produced at Interlakes Family Theatre, Random Farms Kids Theater, and across Asia. Christiana is writing four original musicals: Tribe Without a God, a Neolithic comedy; Republicana, a country rock drama about a small town during a plague; Apocrypha, the untold true story of the founding of the Christian church; and with Laura Kleinbaum, Puritan/Lesbian/Witch, a time-traveling coming out musical. Winner of NPR’s The MOTH Story Slam. Dramaturg for the opera Invisible Cities (nominee: Pulitzer Prize). BM in classical voice: Manhattan School of Music. Member: BMI Advanced Songwriting & Librettists Workshops, Maestra, and Ring of Keys. Christiana is Philip Glass’ private studio singer and Joanna Gleason’s backup singer. Their vocals are featured on the soundtrack of hit film The Farewell, and their album “A Cozy Christmas with Christiana Cole” is available on all major steaming platforms. Christiana teaches voice lessons and writing. Www.christianacole.com
Aya Aziz is a writer, performer, and composer from New York. Her musical, Eh Dah? Questions for my Father, had a sold out run in New York Theatre Workshop’s 2019 “Next Door” series. An earlier iteration of the show, then a one-woman musical, ran at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) in 2016 where it won awards for Most Outstanding Book and Outstanding Individual Performance. Aya is a 2020 NYFA grant recipient and is currently working on her debut album. She is also a current fellow of the 2020 Emerging Writer’s Group (EWG) at The Public. Her notable concert credits include Signature Theatre, Cherry Lane, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Joe’s Pub, and Disney’s Women of Broadway. She is honored to be among the DGF fellows this year!
David Gomez is a composer, lyricist, and librettist who hails from the plains of Kansas but is based in NYC. His songs have been shared at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, and Musical Theatre Factory’s 4×15 series. Upcoming projects include the lyrics for MISS HAVISHAM’S WEDDING (with Jude Obermüller and Laura Barati) and LAUNDRY DAY: a queer musical mural (Latino Arts Festival.) David is invested in continuing the storytelling tradition of letristas y corridos in order to preserve personal narratives which celebrate Latinx stories. MFA: NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Paulo K Tiról is a musical theatre composer, lyricist and bookwriter originally from Manila, Philippines. He was a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow and an artist-in-residence at Access Theater. Projects include music and lyrics for On This Side of the World (NAMT Festival 2020, concert staging by Prospect Theatre Co., workshop production at Access Theater, all dir. Noam Shapiro); book, music and lyrics for Called (DGF Fellows 2020 showcase and virtual reading, both dir. May Adrales); and orchestrations for the off-Broadway musical Felix Starro (Ma-Yi Theatre Co.). His work has been featured at Joe’s Pub, Barrington Stage, and more. Training includes Berklee College of Music, NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (full tuition scholarship), and BMI. Paulo is thrilled to have been a Filipino-American immigrant voice in the 2019-20 class of DGF Fellows. More at www.paulophonic.com.
Nolan Doran is a Collaborative Theatre Artist (writer, director, and producer) who creates new works across theatre and film and is a 2019-2020 Dramatist Guild Foundation Musical Theatre Writing Fellow.
He is currently the Co-Writer of the new musical, “The Lesson” with Avi Amon and Ty Defoe. Recent works include, “My Eclectic Life” (HERE), “Woody – A New Fairy Tale” (Main Street Musicals winner), “The Spectrum” (Azalea Film Festival winner), “The King” (L.A. Indie Film Festival winner) and music for Ayodele Casel’s, “While I Have the Floor” (Spoleto Festival).
Broadway and Off-Broadway credits: Co-Producer and Assistant Director for, “Head Over Heels” with songs of the Go-Go’s, Associate Director for Michael Moore’s, “The Terms of My Surrender”, Assistant Director of the star studded one-night concert, “Stronger Together: Hillary on Broadway” and Assistant Director of “Jamboree” at City Center.
Doran is an Executive Producer alongside Liesl Tommy, Halle Morse, Julie Boardman and Jennifer Mudge for Broadway For Biden’s, “In Our America” Concert streaming now on Facebook. Recently: Executive Producer of “Artists For Change” for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Producer for #Arts4America in collaboration with Arts For Biden-Harris, Co-Producer of “The Secret Life of Bees”, Executive Producer of “The Golden Girls Musical Parody – Pride Edition” for World Pride at HERE and is the Co-Producer of, “The Museum of Broadway” coming in 2021.
Doran holds an M.F.A. from The Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch.
Jessica Kahkoska is a writer, dramaturg/researcher, and performer. Projects include AGENT 355 (with Preston Max Allen, 2019 Chautauqua Theater Company, 2017 Marion International Fellowship Recipient), IN HER BONES (2020 Colorado New Play Summit, Denver Center for the Performing Arts) THE DEATH OF DESERT ROSE (with Elliah Heifetz, Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, 2019 SBR Productions Commission), LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT (dir. Michael Bello, The Great Hall at Cooper Union), Wild Home (Notch Theatre Company). Her work has additionally been developed/presented at the Roundabout Theatre Company, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, Village Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre, the America Musical Theatre Project (AMTP), and the Drama League. Dramaturgical work includes new play/musical development Off-Broadway and regionally at the Athena Project, Creede Repertory Theatre, and others. She is currently a Regional Vice President for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America (LMDA). Graduate of Northwestern University. www.jessicakahkoska.com.
Elliah Heifetz is a first-generation American composer, pop songwriter, and folk singer. Theatrical works include Dust Bowl-era folk romp DUST CAN’T KILL ME (NYC Fringe 2014 – Best Music & Lyrics, NYMF 2016 – Best Music); WE ARE PILGRIMS, a Coachella-esque retelling of the Canterbury Tales (ASTIR Lab Series, Barn Arts Collective); and WILDWOOD, a punk-infused 50’s musical (54 Below), among others. Published by The Brain Music, Elliah has collaborated with hit pop songwriters and producers like Freddy Wexler (Kanye West, Selena Gomez), Dave Kuncio (Dierks Bentley, Steve Aoki), Corey Sanders (Chainsmokers, Callum Scott), and Neff-U (Dr. Dre, Justin Bieber). Elliah also releases and performs his original Americana songs, which have been featured in curated playlists (including TIDAL’s 2018 Best Of: Rising Folk/Country) and heard live from New York to Nashville. The son of political refugees, Elliah strives to write songs that are at once accessible, meaningful, and radical.