Creating the Vision for Savage

Once I learned about the life of Ota Benga, I was committed to telling his story in order to examine our racist past as well as to acknowledge the racial disparities that still exist in present day America. Tommy Newman (book writer, lyricist, composer) and Jaime Lozano (composer) have created a riveting new musical that gives voice to those who are often silenced. We recognize and celebrate the power of stories to inform, create empathy, and help us to move towards a more just tomorrow. It is with this in mind that the creators of Savage undertook this project.

–Karla Koskinen

KARLA KOSKINEN

Conception and Development

Karla is a Professor of Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She teaches courses in directing and acting, in addition to directing productions for Theatre UAB. She is a member of the professional director’s union Stage Directors and Choreographers. She has directed professionally for over 25 years, for companies across the United States including Phoenix Theatre, Heritage Artists, Music Theatre North, and Trinity Players. For 12 years she served as Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Green, a professional summer Shakespeare festival in the Chicago area and also served as Artistic Director for Heritage Artists and Music Theatre North. In 2010 she received an ariZoni Award for Outstanding Direction for her production of The Light in the Piazza for Phoenix Theatre. She also received an Outstanding Overall Production ariZoni Award for her production of Morning’s At Seven. Karla has held academic appointments at the University of South Carolina, DePaul University, Western Michigan University, and Barat College. In 2010 Karla co-authored with Lesley Kordecki of DePaul University the book Re-Visioning Lear’s Daughters: Testing Feminist Criticism and Theory, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Karla is a Professor of Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She teaches courses in directing and acting, in addition to directing productions for Theatre UAB. She is a member of the professional director’s union Stage Directors and Choreographers. She has directed professionally for over 25 years, for companies across the United States including Phoenix Theatre, Heritage Artists, Music Theatre North, and Trinity Players. For 12 years she served as Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Green, a professional summer Shakespeare festival in the Chicago area and also served as Artistic Director for Heritage Artists and Music Theatre North. In 2010 she received an ariZoni Award for Outstanding Direction for her production of The Light in the Piazza for Phoenix Theatre. She also received an Outstanding Overall Production ariZoni Award for her production of Morning’s At Seven. Karla has held academic appointments at the University of South Carolina, DePaul University, Western Michigan University, and Barat College. In 2010 Karla co-authored with Lesley Kordecki of DePaul University the book Re-Visioning Lear’s Daughters: Testing Feminist Criticism and Theory, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

TOMMY NEWMAN

Music, Book and Lyrics

Originally from Georgia, Tommy is a Southern writer with an ear for all kinds of styles, having written musicals in everything from Latin Pop to Country Gospel.  He happily splits his time between New York and Alabama, where he is the head of the musical theatre program at Troy University. Tommy Newman is a 2013 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award Winner as well as a 2014 Kennedy Center ACTF Musical Theatre Award Winner.  He has written numerous musicals, all of which have been produced and are available for licensing.  Among his works are:  The Single Girls Guide(Capital Repertory Theatre, 2013, NAMT 2013), Band Geeks! (Goodspeed Musicals, Human Race Theatre Co., NAMT Fest ‘09), Tinyard Hill (Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Red Mountain Theatre, Human Race Theatre, Goodspeed, NAMT Fest ‘07). Off Broadway:  We the People: America Rocks (Theatreworks, USA, Lortel Nomination 2010), The Yellow Brick Road (TheatreworksUSA) and 29 (NYU with Gaby Alter). Tommy currently directs and teaches playwriting, music fundamentals, script analysis, vocal coaching and Intro to Drama in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Troy University in Alabama.  He is represented by Ron Gwiazda at Abrams Artists Agency in NYC. He holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and a BS in Music Education, Theatre and Business from Troy University.

Originally from Georgia, Tommy is a Southern writer with an ear for all kinds of styles, having written musicals in everything from Latin Pop to Country Gospel.  He happily splits his time between New York and Alabama, where he is the head of the musical theatre program at Troy University. Tommy Newman is a 2013 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award Winner as well as a 2014 Kennedy Center ACTF Musical Theatre Award Winner.  He has written numerous musicals, all of which have been produced and are available for licensing.  Among his works are:  The Single Girls Guide(Capital Repertory Theatre, 2013, NAMT 2013), Band Geeks! (Goodspeed Musicals, Human Race Theatre Co., NAMT Fest ‘09), Tinyard Hill (Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Red Mountain Theatre, Human Race Theatre, Goodspeed, NAMT Fest ‘07). Off Broadway:  We the People: America Rocks (Theatreworks, USA, Lortel Nomination 2010), The Yellow Brick Road (TheatreworksUSA) and 29 (NYU with Gaby Alter). Tommy currently directs and teaches playwriting, music fundamentals, script analysis, vocal coaching and Intro to Drama in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Troy University in Alabama.  He is represented by Ron Gwiazda at Abrams Artists Agency in NYC. He holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and a BS in Music Education, Theatre and Business from Troy University.

JAIME LOZANO

Music, Arrangements

A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Jaime earned his BFA in Music and Composition from the School of Music at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, and was the recipient of a full TSOA academic scholarship while earning his Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In addition, Jaime is the first Mexican to be accepted and graduate from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Jaime’s works have been produced at  theatres such as Goodspeed Opera House, Juilliard School of Music, The Triad Theatre, Theatre for the New City, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Merkin Concert Hall, St. George Theatre, Soho Playhouse, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (Off Broadway), The Players, Town Hall, Minskoff Theatre (Broadway), Lucille Lortel Theatre (Off Broadway), as well as many other venues around the country and in Mexico. Jaime has authored/composed various musical works. To date, he has co-written The Yellow Brick Road (music and lyrics with Tommy Newman, book by Mando Alvarado), which had a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere in the Summer of 2011 followed by a successful national tour; as well as the new Latin musical Children of Salt, (book and lyrics by Lauren Epsenhart, direction and choreography by Luis Salgado) which had a staged reading in May 2009 at NYU’s Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Children of Salt is currently being developed to debut in New York City. Jaime also co-wrote the one-act musical Lightning Strikes Twice (book and lyrics by Noemi de la Puente) premiered Off-Broadway at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre in June 2010, The Yehuatl(book and lyrics by Sara Cooper), read in May 2008 at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, followed by a second reading in January 2009 at the Dramatist Guild. Jaime is the composer, lyricist and librettist of the musical Tlatelolco, which premiered in October 2001 in Monterrey, Mexico, and was revived in 2002, 2004 and 2013. His musical Mitos, a tryptic of three short musicals (lyrics by Sara Cooper and additional lyrics by Jorge Castilla) was world premiered in Monterrey, Mexico on December 2012. In film, he’s the composer for the short film Os by Jesús Alarcón. As an arranger, Jaime has worked with the cast of In the Heights and with Tony and Grammy award-winner Alex Lacamoire on the Christmas recording Carols for a Cure 2010. Jaime is also the arranger, orchestrator and music director for the album of the non-profit organization R.Evolución Latina Dare to Go Beyond, featuring various prominent Broadway performers including High School Musical’s star Corbin Bleu.

A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Jaime earned his BFA in Music and Composition from the School of Music at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, and was the recipient of a full TSOA academic scholarship while earning his Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In addition, Jaime is the first Mexican to be accepted and graduate from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Jaime’s works have been produced at  theatres such as Goodspeed Opera House, Juilliard School of Music, The Triad Theatre, Theatre for the New City, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Merkin Concert Hall, St. George Theatre, Soho Playhouse, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (Off Broadway), The Players, Town Hall, Minskoff Theatre (Broadway), Lucille Lortel Theatre (Off Broadway), as well as many other venues around the country and in Mexico. Jaime has authored/composed various musical works. To date, he has co-written The Yellow Brick Road (music and lyrics with Tommy Newman, book by Mando Alvarado), which had a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere in the Summer of 2011 followed by a successful national tour; as well as the new Latin musical Children of Salt, (book and lyrics by Lauren Epsenhart, direction and choreography by Luis Salgado) which had a staged reading in May 2009 at NYU’s Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Children of Salt is currently being developed to debut in New York City. Jaime also co-wrote the one-act musical Lightning Strikes Twice (book and lyrics by Noemi de la Puente) premiered Off-Broadway at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre in June 2010, The Yehuatl(book and lyrics by Sara Cooper), read in May 2008 at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, followed by a second reading in January 2009 at the Dramatist Guild. Jaime is the composer, lyricist and librettist of the musical Tlatelolco, which premiered in October 2001 in Monterrey, Mexico, and was revived in 2002, 2004 and 2013. His musical Mitos, a tryptic of three short musicals (lyrics by Sara Cooper and additional lyrics by Jorge Castilla) was world premiered in Monterrey, Mexico on December 2012. In film, he’s the composer for the short film Os by Jesús Alarcón. As an arranger, Jaime has worked with the cast of In the Heights and with Tony and Grammy award-winner Alex Lacamoire on the Christmas recording Carols for a Cure 2010. Jaime is also the arranger, orchestrator and music director for the album of the non-profit organization R.Evolución Latina Dare to Go Beyond, featuring various prominent Broadway performers including High School Musical’s star Corbin Bleu.