Ada Collaborators


Margaret Vandenburg’s writing spans a wide range of genres, including novels, creative nonfiction, and literary criticism.  She is the author of works including The Home Front, a portrait of a family facing autism, and Weapons of Mass Destruction, an Iraq War novel, both of which are forthcoming from The Permanent Press.  Having completed her Ph.D. at Columbia University, she traveled across Broadway to Barnard College, where she is a Senior Lecturer in English. College training as an opera singer provided some of the impetus and much of the musical expertise necessary to write Ada, her first libretto.  For a writer accustomed to working alone, either in ivory towers or in the privacy of her own study, Ada constitutes a welcome foray into the world of collaborative creativity.  The process of writing the opera feels like a homecoming, the genre where all her creative impulses find common ground.


Lisa Rothe was recently nominated for SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction for the Drama Desk nominated production of Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble in NYC (also produced at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and the SoloNova Festival in NYC). Other projects: Penelope by Ellen McLaughlin & composer Sarah Kirkland Snider at Playmakers Repertory Company and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the Chautauqua Theatre Company. Future: Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl at People’s Light& Theatre Company, starring Ellen McLaughlin and Rinde Eckert.Lisa is also currently developing a new opera about Ada Byron (Ada) by composer Kim Sherman and librettist Margaret Vandenburg, which was presented last spring as a part of the Center for Contemporary Opera’s Development Series. Lisa has workshopped, developed and directed over one hundred new plays and musicals, working with many award-winning writers.  In NY, she has directed and/or developed work with Lark Play Development Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, Epic Theatre Ensemble, New Georges, The Women’s Project, Primary Stages, The Foundry, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 52nd Street Project, Naked Angels, BAM, Summer Play Festival, NYMF, Midtown International Theatre Festival (Best Director), National Actors Theater , Keen Company (Keen Teens), Orchard Project, Voice & Vision, HERE, Dixon Place, among others.Lisa has taught and directed at many theatre programs around the country including NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School, Chautauqua Conservatory, the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA) at Primary Stages and many others. She is a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and Director’s Lab, as well as a Drama League alum, Fox Fellow, alum of the Women’s Project Director’s Lab and is currently serving on the boards of the League of Professional Theatre Women as the VP of Membership as well as the Theatre World Awards. Lisa is also the director of Offsite Programs and Partnerships at the Lark Play Development Center where she deals with providing expanded opportunities for playwrights, aimed at advancing new work to production nationally and globally.


Kimberly Grigsby recently made her Washington National Opera Debut, conducting the premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, The Unicorn and Me. Her Broadway music directing/conducting credits include: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge); Spring Awakening (music by Duncan Sheik); The Light in the Piazza (lyrics & music by Adam Guettel); Caroline, or Change (music by Jeanine Tesori); The Full Monty (music and lyrics by David Yazbek); You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; and Twelfth Night (music by Jeanine Tesori). Off-Broadway: Here Lies Love (music and lyrics by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim); Coraline (music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt); Mother Courage and Her Children (music by Jeanine Tesori); Songs From an Unmade Bed (various composers, lyrics by Mark Campbell); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare in the Park); Radiant Baby (music by Debra Barsha) and The Immigrant (music by Steven Alper). For her work on Caroline, or Change in Los Angeles, she received the Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Music Direction; and for The Philadelphia Theatre Company’s production of Elegies (lyrics & music by William Finn) she received the Barrymore Award for Music Direction. In London, she served as the music supervisor for Caroline, or Change and Spring Awakening, both receiving the Olivier Award for Best Musical in their respective seasons. Other collaborations include My Life Is A Fairy Tale and Orphan of Zhao, both with lyrics & music by Stephin Merritt for Lincoln Center Festival; Love’s Fire (Adam Guettel); O Pioneers! (music by Kim D. Sherman); and Telaio: Desdemona (Susan Botti).

Ms. Grigsby holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and Manhattan School of Music.


Louise thrives on bringing an idea to its fullest creative expression. Working collaboratively or as the sole instigator her productions are as varied as their settings. Select credits include the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington DC – Producer/Director), Off Broadway  Urban Stages (New York City –Prod/Dir), Olympic Torch Relay (Vancouver Olympics – Creative Producer),  as well as numerous stages in Toronto, Ottawa, London and New York.  Louise’ work has been featured in O the Oprah Magazine, the New York Times, NOW Magazine, Canada’s daily National Newspapers, CBC Radio as well as CTV, CBC and Rogers Television networks. She is the Executive Producer of the Bach Music Festival of Canada, a judge for the JUNO Awards while also maintaining a busy guest speaking schedule. In the studio, on the stage, with a single artist or a cast of 100’s, the heart of Louise’ work remains in telling a story. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s