MONICA STEPHENSON


Composer      Performer     Teaching Artist  

Current Project
A Hiawatha Project Original Play
Directed by Anya Martin
Devised by Heather Irwin, Anya Martin, and Monica Stephenson

Click here for more info on the My Traveling Song creative team

In My Traveling Song, a child of nature is lost from her mother, and in order to find her again, she must rely on courage, sweet and silly memories, and new discoveries about the fascinating and connected world around her.  Despite a world that can be unpredictable and sometimes sad, My Traveling Song reveals that connections between loved ones, communities and the physical world around us, can help to make us to feel safe, loved, and free to imagine a more empathic and playful world.

My Traveling Song is an interactive, original play that whimsically uplifts memory and music, along with sensory explorations to create a theatrical experience designed to cherish and invigorate relationships between very young children and their caregivers.  In My Traveling Song thunderstorms relinquish to cheerful mud puddles and darkness reveals magical firefly constellations in the night sky.

Hiawatha Project brings together a team of professional artists, all of whom are also the parents of young children, for a special original performance meant to be experienced by children aged 1-5 and a grown up that loves them.

Composer 

The Carols

A world premiere musical comedy

Written & Directed by Jennifer Childs 

Music by Monica Stephenson • Lyrics by Jennifer Childs

It's Christmastime in 1944. War is raging on the other side of the Atlantic and, here at home, a group of neighbors gathers at the VFW to make the most of what they have. 1812's newest original comedy brings us an oddball friendship between a trio of singing sisters, an out-of-work Catskills comic, a limping piano player, and their grumpy Scrooge-like landlady. The Carols is a heartfelt and hopeful musical that looks at making something right with all the wrong people.

www.1812productions.org/the-carols.html

Photo credit: John Flak 

THE CAROLS on WHYY Philadelphia

During the final rehearsal of The Carols, the cast spent some time with WHYY’s Peter Crimmins and gave him a special performance of a song from the show called

"Soon (A Christmas Yet to Come)."

The song is performed by Emily Kleimo and Caroline Dooner who play sisters, Sylvia and Rose Carol.

Sylvia dreams of joining her hero, Eleanor Roosevelt, in Washington, while Rose is waiting for love to find her after the war.

All of the songs in The Carols were written by Monica Stephenson and Jennifer Childs. Musical Direction is by TJ Harris, who joins this duo at the piano.

Composer & Music Director

Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues,

Hope Academy
Premiered in May 2016 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. “A multi-disciplinary work encouraging young women to stand up, speak their mind, refuse to back down, and ultimately, change the world.” Directed By Meredith Hoppe. 

"Stories, poems, monologues and songs about women who stood up, spoke their minds, refused to back down and changed the world. Presented by Hope Academy’s teen theater company (HAT Co) 

Composer & Music Director

This Girl Laughs, This Girls Cries, This Girl Does Nothing; A Musical Adaptation, Hope Academy

Premiered in May 2015 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church.

Musical adapted with approval by the playwright, Finegan Kruckemeyer. Directed By Meredith Hoppe.

“This Girl Laughs, The Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing” is Finegan Kruckmeyer’s award-winning, fairytale-esque play about the journey of three sisters who take different paths, have incredible adventures, and end up back where they started, transformed into independent women. This highly original tale explores complex themes of love, loss and self-discovery.

Using an innovative DIY design aesthetic, plus shadow puppets and an original soundscape and songs, Hope Academy’s Teen Theater Company (HAT Co) brings this poetic, humorous and action-packed story to life for young people and adults, ages 8 and up.


To view the Trailer and Learn More Click HERE~

Teaching Artist, Composer & Music Director

Before Pride, TheatriQ; Dreams of Hope
Premiered in December 2013 at Alloy Dance Studios in Pittsburgh.  TheatriQ is a performance ensemble that creates work to address LGBQT themes.  Before Pride has run in various locations such as: Pittsburgh PrideFest, Andy Warhol Youth Invasion, Pittsburgh Public School All-City Arts Showcase & Initiative for Transgender Leadership workshop.
For Full Performance Video Check Out: www.dreamsofhope.org/past-shows

It's My Party: The Women and Comedy Project 
Written and Directed by Jennifer Childs
Songs and Musical Direction by Monica Stepheson
April 25, 2013 - May 19, 2013

For more information about this project please visit: http://www.womenandcomedyproject.blogspot.com/

Selected Theatre Credits

We Write South Philly High, Philadelphia Young Playwrights - Director

“We Write South Philly High,” a student written and performed play developed at South Philadelphia High in collaboration with 1812 Education, The Wilma Theatre and Philadelphia Young Playwrights"


Learn More Here - Metro.us: South Philly High: Don't Write Them Off



Cherry Bomb, 1812 Productions  - Vocal Coach, Asst. Director

Once on the Island, Villanova University - Director