Deborah Brevoort is a playwright and librettist from Alaska who now lives in the New York City area. She was a resident artist in the American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program. She is also an alumna of New Dramatists, one of the original company members of Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders, dedicated to international theatre exchange.
She is best known for her play The Women of Lockerbie, which has had over 550 productions to date and is produced internationally in nine languages. It won the silver medal in the Onassis International Playwriting Competition. It was produced in London at the Orange Tree, off-Broadway at the New Group & Women’s Project and in Los Angeles at Tim Robbin’s Actors Gang. It is published by DPS and No Passport Press
Deborah has written the librettos, books and lyrics for numerous operas and musicals:
Embedded, an opera inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, with composer Patrick Soluri, was commissioned by the American Lyric Theater. It won the Frontiers competition at Ft Worth Opera, where it was produced in 2016. It premiered at the Fargo-Moorhead Opera.
Steal a Pencil for Me, a full-length opera set in the Holocaust, with composer Gerald Cohen, is based on the book of the same title. It won the 2016 Frontiers competition at Ft. Worth Opera and premiered at Opera Colorado in 2018.
The Polar Bat, a new adaptation of Die Fledermaus set in the world of Alaskan reality TV, was commissioned by the Anchorage Opera, where it premiered in 2014. She also wrote a new libretto for Mozart’s comic opera The Impresario, for the Anchorage Opera in 2015.
Deborah was a finalist for the 2018 Pellicciotti Prize in Opera composition for Albert Nobbs, a full-length opera, with Patrick Soluri, selections from which were presented by ALT in the New Works Forum at Opera America in 2018.
Blue Moon Over Memphis, her Noh Drama about Elvis Presley, is published by Applause Books in “The Best American Short Plays.” It is currently touring internationally in a traditional Noh production byTheatre Nohgaku of Tokyo with Noh orchestrations.
Crossing Over, an Amish hip hop musical with composer Stephanie Salzman (co-lyricist) was chosen for the ASCAP Festival at the Lied Center. It received an ASCAP residency at CAP 21 and a choroegraphy lab and musical showcase at the Theatre Barn in NYC with Rickey Tripp (Hamilton). It will be presented in a showcase at the York Theatre in 2018.
Coyote Goes Salmon Fishing, with composer Scott Richards, won the Frederick Loewe Award and was produced at the University of Houston by Stuart Ostrow and Perseverance Theatre in Alaska, directed by Molly Smith.
King Island Christmas, with composer David Friedman, won the Frederick Loewe Award. An Alaskan story inspired by the children’s book of the same title, the cast album was produced by 12-time Grammy winner Thomas Z. Shepard, featuring Chuck Cooper and Marin Mazzie. There have been over 60 productions in the US, Canada and Australia.
Goodbye My Island, with David Friedman, is based on the Alaskan children’s book. New Dramatists workshop with grants from Cameron McIntosh and Yip Harburg Foundations.
She is currently writing a musical about Loving vs. Virginia with composer Diedre Murray.
Deborah’s plays include:
The Blue-Sky Boys, a comedy about NASA’s Apollo program, was written with a commission from the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology project. It was produced at the Barter Theatre and Capital Rep, directed by Gordon Greenberg, where it was listed as the #1 critics pick for 2016.
The Comfort Team, about military wives during the surge of Iraq, was written with a commission from the Virginia Stage Company, where it premiered in 2012. It was the first-ever theatre project to receive a grant from Harpo Marx’s Harpo Foundation. It also received an artistic excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Poetry of Pizza, a cross cultural comedy about love, was produced at Jeff Daniel’s Purple Rose Theatre,Virginia Stage, Mixed Blood Theatre, California Rep, Centenary Stage, Theatre in the Square and Stage 3. It premiered in Denmark, in Danish, in 2012.
The Velvet Weapon, a back stage farce, was written with a grant from CEC ArtsLink and a playwriting fellowship from the NJ State Council on the Arts. It won the national playwriting contest at Trustus Theatre and was workshopped in the LaunchPad program at UC Santa Barbara in 2014. Poetry of Pizza & The Velvet Weapon were publilshed by No Passport Press in 2017
Into the Fire won the Weissberger Award. Signs of Life won the Jane Chambers Award, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and the gold medal in the Pinter Review Prize for Drama. Both are published by Samuel French.
Deborah received the NJ Liberty Live commission from Premiere Stages to write My Lord What a Night a play about Marian Anderson and Albert Einstein, which premiered in 2016.
She received the Paul Green Award from the National Theatre Conference for her musical book writing and a Performing Artist/Writer Research Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society in 2012. She has received grants and commissions from the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, NYFA, CEC Arts Link, New Jersey Arts Council, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Danish American Society, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Brown University, The Harburg Foundation, Banff Playwright’s Colony and others. She received the Joe Calloway Award and was a MacDowell Fellow. She has done residencies in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Denmark and the Czech and Slovak Republics. She is a member of ASCAP and the National Theatre Conference.
She holds MFA’s in playwriting from Brown University and in musical theatre writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she was the Yip Harburg Fellow. She currently teaches in the NYU graduate musical theatre writing program and in the MFA playwriting programs at Columbia University and Goddard College. Her website is: www.DeborahBrevoort.com.