Contemporary Musical Theatre would like you to meet our newest team member, intern Nina Kauffman.
Hello Contemporary Musical Theatre Community! My name is Nina Kauffman, and I hail from the beautiful and wonderfully weird Baltimore, Maryland. I have officially lived in New York for a little over a over a year now, and I am beyond happy to have found a remarkable theatrical community here in the city. When I was much younger, I always imagined coming to New York as a performer (you know, the whole, “I’m going to be on Broadway by the time I’m thirteen!” thing. Immediate achievable goals, of course). I never thought for a second, even as an acting undergrad at Towson University, that I would end up in New York, writing right off Broadway in what I think is the most intense, incredible program at New York University.
I am currently a second year M.F.A. student at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program of Tisch. I am a bookwriter and composer/lyricist, and as a student artist, I am totally immersed in all aspects of musical theatre, plays, devised theatre, and other ongoing contemporary mediums. I have fantastic mentors, including Rachel Sheinkin (Putnam County Spelling Bee, Blood Drive), Mindi Dickstein (Little Women, Benny & June), Steven Lutvak (Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Sybille Pearson (Giant, Rain in collaboration with MJL), Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, First Daughter Suite), Sarah Schlesinger and Jonathan Bernstein (In this House, Ballad of Little Jo), Randall Eng, Fred Carl, Kirsten Childs, Robert Lee, and many other extremely talented artists, and fabulous people. I tend to take on a little too much work to handle, so not only am I writing two full-length musicals this year with my wonderful partners, I am also the president of my class (POTUS, if you will), meaning I take the lead in organizing events within our department and beyond, and help with communication between students and the faculty. I am also the Marketing Director for the Tisch Graduate Student Organization (GSO). Last year, I had the absolute pleasure of being a driving force in the Tisch Institute of Performing Arts (IPA) and GSO Collaboration Festival, which gave undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work inter-departmentally, showcasing their talents in performance, writing, directing, and design.
I have written songs and stories over the years, but it wasn’t until my senior year at Towson when I wrote my first full-length musical called Mixed Media in a collaborative process with my partner and friend, Ben Shaver. Once I got the go-ahead to write, I thought, “well, okay, it’s happening because now it has to!” which sounds a little less passionate-driven than it seems, but my motto tends to be just that: “It has to happen,” as in this theatrical moment, piece, living art must come to life, and I boldly accept the challenge. The workshop premiered in the spring of 2014, just shy of my graduation, and one year later, I found my home in New York. Since then, I have joined the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union where I interned in communications this past summer, and won an award for my book and lyrics in a twenty minute original musical with Spencer Robelen, The Boy Who Cried, Succubus!
I am floored to be a part of ContemporaryMusicalTheatre.com. I believe in driven, diligent, talented artists receiving the credit they deserve for their exciting, new work. As a writer, It is often so hard to even dip your toes into the massive Olympic-sized pool that is New York. Laura Josepher and David Sisco are not only accomplished and skillful artists, but they are dedicated to helping you (yes, you!) doggie-paddle and eventually butterfly, backstroke, and glide through the waters of the ever-flowing musical theatre world. This is the perfect platform to use your voice as a writer, singer, director, and I am thrilled to be a part of helping people in their process!
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Visit www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com for more information on over 180 contemporary musical theatre writers and 550+ songs, all searchable by voice and song type.