Announcing The DreamWorks Theatricals/MTI Emerging Writers Program Participants!

Announcing The DreamWorks Theatricals/MTI Emerging Writers Program Participants!

DreamWorks Theatricals and Music Theatre International, in partnership with NBCUniversal's Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) team, announce the participants for the DreamWorks Theatricals/MTI Emerging Writers Program.

Selected participants in the Emerging Writers Program are: Krista Knight, Joriah Kwamé, Veronica Mansour, and Kate Thomas.

Beginning this month, the selected writers will develop new musical adaptations of beloved DreamWorks Animation films intended for the Music Theatre International catalogue. The program also provides access to various industry professionals and agents via roundtable discussions, master classes, and individual meetings to advance career development.

"DreamWorks Theatricals, along with our partners at MTI and NBCUniversal's Global Talent Development & Inclusion are honored to support the extraordinary artistry of these four talented writers," said Chris Herzberger, SVP of Universal Theatrical Group, who leads DreamWorks Theatricals. "Krista, Joriah, Veronica and Kate not only embody the unique spirit, joy, humor, and heart that have become synonymous with DreamWorks Animation films, but also represent a profoundly exciting future for a more inclusive and representative American musical theatre."

Drew Cohen, CEO of MTI stated, "Having reviewed the submissions of so many talented writers, we are thrilled to have identified these four artists to participate in the DreamWorks Theatricals/MTI Emerging Writers Program. Our team were not only impressed with their creative work, but also moved by their reasons for wanting to participate in bringing their voices to the musical theatre artform. The work that these artists create will in turn inspire a new, expanded generation of theater performers, theater writers, and theatergoers."

KRISTA KNIGHT is a Juilliard School Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program Fellow (2016-2018), Page 73 Playwriting Fellow (2007), MacDowell Fellow (2008), Shank Playwriting Fellow at the Vineyard Theatre (2011-2012), Vanderbilt Writer-in-Residence (2023), Chance Theater Resident Playwright (2020), and winner of the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville (2016). Plays include Crush (NYTimes Recommended, TimeOut Best Theater to Stream Online, featured in American Theatre magazine, winner Broadway on Demand Film Festival, premiere on the Emmy App), Sloppy Bonnie ( Nashville Scene Critics Pick, First Night Award for Outstanding Original Production, This Week in NY's Strangest Online Play),Lipstick Lobotomy (Kilroys List, Trap Door Theatre), Don't Stop Me - musical with Dave Malloy (Polyphone Festival, Manhattan School of Music, YMTC), Kirk at the SF Airport Hyatt (NYTW's Summer Residency, Vineyard reading), Primal Play (New Georges), Selkie (Williamstown Workshop, Dutch Kills), Crimson Lit: Scarlet Letter Set List - musical with Jill Sobule (Polyphone Festival, Chance Theatre), and 17 plays and musicals for young audiences. Commissions include the script for a ride at Tokyo Disney, The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, The Assembly, Live Girls!, the Steinmetz Lab, and an EST/Sloan Commission. BA: Brown University. MA: Performance Studies from NYU. MFA Playwriting: UCSD.

JORIAH KWAMÉ is an artist based in NYC. He is most known for writing "Little Miss Perfect" by Taylor Louderman, which has grossed millions of views and inspired a Broadway-aimed musical of the same name. With Pasek and Paul, he co-wrote "Top Of The World" for the Sony Picture Film Lyle Lyle Crocodile, performed by Shawn Mendes. Current commissions: Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Sinister), Goodspeed Musicals (Little Miss Perfect). 2020 Johnny Mercer Songwriting project alum. ASCAP Cole Porter Award, Harold Adamson Lyric Award. 2022 Jonathan Larson finalist. 2022-23 Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow for Musical Theatre.

VERONICA MANSOUR is a composer/lyricist/performer. She has performed with artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Todd Rundgren, Chloe Agnew, members of the cast of Hamilton, and performed for many more, including Martin Chalifour and Philip Glass. She has been featured on the radio ("Sundays Live" on KUSC) and ABC's The Goldbergs. Veronica was the composer/lyricist for an adaption of Cyrano de Bergerac (University of Notre Dame); Cyrano was most recently named part of NAMT's "Other Shows You Should Know About Jukebox."  Her first musical, An Old Family Recipe (Regional BroadwayWorld "Best Streaming Musical") premiered as a film at the University of Notre Dame in the Spring of 2021. Veronica composed a piece for Zoe Howard's play, Midnight Mirage, which premiered at Theatre Row as part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival and placed third in the "Best Short Play" category.  She was most recently named one of five nominees for a 2022 Marvin Hamlisch International Music Award (Musical Theatre Composition). Veronica is a selected mentee for 2022-2023 Mentorship Programs with both Maestra and the Society of Composers and Lyricists. She currently lives in New York City, pursuing an MFA in Graduate Musical Theatre Writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

KATE THOMAS is a two-time Kleban Prize Finalist, two-time Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, and 2021 PMCA Emerging Playwright Competition Winner. Her musicals and plays have been developed with Prospect Theater Company, Apples and Oranges Arts Theatre Accelerator, Athena Theatre Company, Monsterpiece Theater Collective, New York Theater Festival, The Dare Tactic, Open Jar, New York Theatre Barn, Steinhardt School of Music, Illinois Wesleyan, and Tisch. She has been an O'Neill NMTC Finalist, NAMT Semifinalist, and Resident Playwright and Dramaturg with Athena Theatre Company. She has been part of the Playground-NY Writers Pool, and received her MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts.

We can't wait to see what amazing work they create!