We're In Love With Rising in Love
Rising in Love The Musical is forunate to have some incredible talent behind it. Check out this all-star line-up of composers and creative team.
CREATOR (WORDS & MUSIC)
Rory Michelle Sullivan
Rory Michelle Sullivan is a songwriter, musician, and Jewish educator whose work converges at the intersection of spirituality, art, and education. With her folk-y songs, deep engagement with the creative process, singing with Jewish communities, and creating musical theater she aims to collaboratively celebrate and foster personal growth, healing, spiritual connection, and the joy of being alive.
Rory Michelle's work has been showcased at festivals such as ish, Cincinnati's Jewish and Israeli Arts and Cultural Festival, on Jewish Rock Radio, in Philadelphia RowHome magazine, and in broadwayworld.com. She has recorded and performed internationally, from intimate living rooms in Jerusalem and local bars in Vienna and New York City to the legendary Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. From age seventeen until her mid-twenties, Rory Michelle studied classical voice with sopranos Sona Ghazarian (Vienna, Austria) and Anna Gabrieli (Boston, MA) before launching her independent career as a singer-songwriter in 2012. She has since released four studio albums of original songs: Rising in Love Concept Album (2019; musical theatre; with Moira Lo Bianco), The God Album (2015; folky funk, rock, and swing), Inner Child (2014; folk/sing-songwriter), and Turtledove (2013; folk/singer-songwriter). Her Jewish-themed musical endeavor, THE GOD ALBUM, is infused, inspired, and informed by Jewish text which she studied full-time for half a year at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Israel.
She holds a bachelors in psychology from Harvard University and a Masters in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Find more about Rory Michelle and her music at www.rorymichelle.com.
Moira Lo Bianco
Italian born pianist, composer and arranger Moira Lo Bianco co-composed the six original songs found on the Rising in Love Concept Album. Moira earned a degree in Classical Piano Performance at ‘F. Torrefranca’ Conservatory in Vibo Valentia, in 2004. Soonafter, she undertook graduate studies at The University of Tor Vergata and completed her Bachelor of Arts with an ethnomusicology thesis on Calabrian folk music and its traditions. Under the tutelage of Oscar award-winning composer Luis Bacalov, Moira studied film scoring at Siena’s Accademia Chigiana. Looking to develop her ability as a pianist, composer and arranger, she received a scholarship to pursue further studies at Berklee College of Music and graduated with Summa Cum Laude in 2012.
Moira served as Piano Faculty at Berklee College of Music where she also founded and co-directed the ‘Equinox Music Festival’. Recently, she recorded for ‘Steinway Spirio’ and her solo album ‘Imago’ was released in March 2016, produced by Steinway & Sons label (NAXOS distribution). She has enjoyed collaborations with oud and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen, Global Jazz Institute director Marco Pignataro, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh (Silk Road Ensemble), among many others. Her performances include venues such as Roma Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Steinway Hall. In 2013 she released her debut album ‘Lunaria’, featuring Bruno Raberg on double bass and Marcello Pellitteri on drums. She also had the chance to start a workshop series called ‘Improvisation for Classical Pianists’, focusing on the element of improvisation in classical music. The workshop joined her philosophy to bring classical music to unconventional venues and to help the next generation of listeners understand and appreciate its influence on the music that came afterwards. Moira is the recipient of Berklee Faculty Fellowship Grant 2016, she was nominated for Jazz Artist of the Year at the 2013 Boston Music Awards and she is a Steinway Artist and Steinway Educational Partner.
Jonathan Levi Shanes composes and produces music for feature films, television networks like Netflix and HBO, production companies like Bleeding Fingers Music, and a diverse mix of popular albums, stage theaters, and other musical outlets.
Jonathan earned his B.A. in Composition with Honors from Columbia College of the Arts while working as one of the most sought after session keyboardists in Chicago. During his studies he took a year studying conflict resolution and gender studies at Göteborg University in Sweden while continuing session work, and recording an album with Swedish rock band “Supersloth.”
Since moving to Los Angeles, Jonathan has worked continuously as a composer, producer, arranger, orchestrator, programmer and performer.
Jonathan has contributed to film and television projects including Breaking In (Gabrielle Union), Sense8 (Netflix Original Series), Jungle (Daniel Radcliffe), A Hologram for the King (Tom Hanks), Killer Elite (Robert De Niro), The Darkness (Kevin Bacon), The International (Clive Owen, Naomi Watts), Miles (Molly Shannon), John From Cincinnati (HBO Original Series), Funny or Die Presents… (HBO Original Series), Project Mc2 (Netflix Original Series), Babylon Berlin (Netflix Original Series) and many more.
Jonathan also served as editor and orchestrator for the live concert score to “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” (Tom Tykwer/Johnny Klimek/Reinhold Heil). Performances have already included The Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, The Tenerife Film Orchestra and Choir, the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, and more. Multiple other projects are also in progress.
Nissa Kahle is a NYC based Music Director, Pianist, and Accordionist. She loves collaborating on the development of new works, and is thrilled to join the team for this version of "Rising in Love".
Broadway: Chicago, Great Comet.
Off Broadway/Touring/Other NYC: Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center, Chicago National/International Tour, Desperate Measures, 54 Below, NYC Fringe Festival, and more.
Training: MM From Texas State University.
Erica Riddick loves improvisation in all its earthly forms, from theatre improv, to improvised competitive ballroom dancing, to playing make-believe in live action role play gaming. She has been a member of three improv troupes, including a founding member of Waitlisted, and is a regular cast member with Dinner Detective Mystery Theatre since 2017. Erica has acted in Haunted Houses, and has performed on local theatre stages, most recently playing Zadie Nageir, as actor and devising co-creator in the 2019 original production of Count Smackula and His Three Scares. She dipped a baby toe into playwrighting for Know Theatre Serials! 9 Thunderdome, serving as Playwright, Director & Actor for Cubicle. Erica loves reading young adult multi-verse dystopian romance mystery fiction when not sleeping, eating or earning money for both, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to merge her love of improvisational performing with her Judaism as the dramaturg for Rising in Love.
Rising in Love The Musical is grateful for all collaborators who have been a part of the show's development. From our 2019 staged reading presented by Emerging Artists Theatre in NYC, we thank these incredible team members and all who have been a part of bringing Rising in Love to life.
Megan Minutillo is a NY based director, producer, writer, theater teacher, and the editor in chief of thewriteteachers.com.
Recent directing credits include: Women of the Wings: A Celebration of Female Musical Theatre Writers (Feinstein’s/54 Below), DUETS with The Write Teacher(s) Volume 5 (Feinstein’s/54 Below), Mary Poppins (Eastport South Manor Community for the Arts), An Evening with Charlotte Jaconelli (54 Below), Another 100 Years(54 Below), Ladies of Eve(54 Below), DUETS with The Write Teacher(s) (54 Below), LOVE SONGS for VDAY (54 Below), Bluebirds (Guild Hall of Easthampton), Orphans (Guild Hall of Easthampton), and Crimes of the Heart (Guild Hall of Easthampton). As a producer, Megan has worked at venues and theatres across New York City and Long Island such as at Bay Street Theater, 54 Below, Don’t Tell Mama, Laurie Beechman Theater, (le) poisson rouge, and The Cutting Room.
Her play, H, is currently in development.
Megan is a graduate of Binghamton University, where she did her undergraduate work in Political Science, Philosophy, and Law, and Theatre (with a concentration in Acting and Directing). Megan did her graduate work at New York University, where she received an MA in Educational Theatre and English Education. Connect with Megan on Twitter and Instagram via @MeganMinutillo.
Anna Jastrzembski is a New York City based playwright by way of Minot, North Dakota. In 2014 she received her B.A. from Hamilton College in Comparative Literature and Theatre. Anna is a member of Columbia University’s MFA Playwriting Class of 2019.