Beth Morrison (PRESIDENT & CREATIVE PRODUCER)
Noted as a “contemporary opera mastermind” (LA Times) and “a powerhouse leading the industry to new heights” (WQXR), Beth Morrison is an opera-theatre producer and President and Creative Producer of Beth Morrison Projects. Beth created Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) in 2006 to identify and support the work of emerging and established living composers. BMP is celebrated as an industry disruptor and tastemaker at the forefront of musical and theatrical innovation by commissioning, developing, producing and touring the groundbreaking new works of these living composers and their collaborators, which take the form of opera-theatre, music-theatre, and vocal-theatre. BMP encourages risk-taking and the result is provocative works that represent a dynamic and lasting legacy for a new American canon. Opera News has noted: “More than any other figure in the opera industry, Beth Morrison has helped propel the art form into the twenty-first century." In 2013 Beth co-founded the PROTOTYPE Festival with HERE, which has become “essential to the evolution of American opera.” (New Yorker). Beth served a founding tenure as Producer for the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, as well as Producer for New York City Opera's VOX: Contemporary American Opera Lab. She is currently an advisory board member of National Sawdust and Brooklyn Youth Chorus, as well as a board member of the international competition, Music Theatre Now and Voices 21C, a social justice choir. Morrison is frequently asked to give lectures at conservatories across the country, including Mannes School of Music, NYU, Manhattan School of Music, Arizona State University, University of Illinois Champaign Urbana and more. Beginning in the 2019/2020 season, she will be a lecturer at Yale School of Drama. Morrison is also in demand as a speaker both nationally and internationally and has delivered key note speeches for Classical:Next and Opera Europa among others. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Boston University, a Master of Music from Arizona State University, and a MFA from Yale School of Drama.
Jecca Barry (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR)
Jecca joined Beth Morrison Projects as General Manager in February 2013 and has served as Executive Director since 2017. In addition, she was recently named a Co-Director of the PROTOTYPE Festival. Jecca began her career as a performer of avant-garde flute music, before transitioning into finance and arts administration. Prior to joining BMP, she was a Business Manager at Spielman Koenigsberg & Parker where she handled the daily financial needs of high net worth clients, and Financial Administrator for the women’s rights non-profits Huairou Commission/ GROOTS International. Jecca worked with several arts organizations while living in Paris, France (2002-03, 2006-08), including touring multidisciplinary performance works to London, Amsterdam, and New York. Jecca has served as producer for the physical-theatre work The Object Lesson since 2014, touring it domestically and internationally to venues in Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles, and Australia among others, and developed the work HOME, by artist Geoff Sobelle, which will premiere in September 2017. Jecca received a B.A.(Mus) in Flute Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and an M.M. in Flute Performance from New York University.
Brian Freeland (DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION)
Brian joined BMP in the summer of 2019. Prior to Beth Morrison Projects, he ran a number of independent theatre venues in New York and Denver, Colorado and served as designer, director and production manager of national and international performance works. Brian brings his background as a producer, director, writer, sound designer, and media artist, to the BMP production world. He was a founding member of The LIDA Project, the noted experimental theatre ensemble where he served as artistic director from 1995-2015 and is the co-founder of Countdown To Zero, a political theatre collective. He received his education from the University of Colorado at Denver and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
MandaLeigh Blunt (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER)
MandaLeigh jumped into working at Beth Morrison Projects in July 2019. Originally from Scottsdale, AZ, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Theatre and a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University in Musical Theatre Writing (Cycle 25). During grad school, she was Artistic Intern at the Drama League, where she first experienced working in arts administration. Upon graduation from NYU, MandaLeigh founded Artemis Theatrical, a not-for-profit theater company whose mission is to empower womyn storytellers in musical theater. Through Artemis, she has produced cabarets, concerts, staged readings, workshops, and an Off-Broadway premier. Her own theater works include the musicals Ten Days in a Madhouse (book/music/lyrics), Captain X (book/music/lyrics), Tale of the Sackman (book/lyrics), and State of Hockey (book/lyrics); and have been performed at venues including Lincoln Center, Two River Theatre, Brelby Theatre Company, AZ Women's Theatre Company's Pandora Festival, Phx Fringe, the Duplex, and in collaboration with America Opera Projects "Park and Bark."
Robert Phillip Smith (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER)
Robert joined Beth Morrison Projects as an Associate Producer in September 2019. After working as a freelance director and producer in New York, he spent the last three years a producer and administrator at Manhattan School of Music, working with their Opera and Musical Theatre programs. His interests lie in the development of new theatrical works with music that both investigate and celebrate the human experience. Robert is overjoyed to join BMP as the company continues to innovate in the world of contemporary performance. He holds a BFA in Directing, Playwriting, and Production from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Ashley Peters (FINANCE MANAGER)
Ashley Peters, originally from Utica, New York, holds a BFA in Dance and a BA in Psychology from University at Buffalo. Most recently, Ashley was seen on tour in Germany, Austria and Luxembourg with Jon Lehrer's Shadows in Motion. As a freelance artist, Ashley has been a featured soloist with the Balasole Dance Company, toured Europe as a solo artist with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s International Ballet Ensemble as well as performed at Jacob’s Pillow with Melanie Aceto Contemporary Dance Company. In 2012, she was presented an Award of Distinction in Research from the University at Buffalo on her thesis regarding the history and applications of jazz dance. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2013, Ashley has performed at Triskelion Arts, Gibney Dance, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater and Bryant Park presents Modern Dance. Most recently she has performed with The Moving Architects, MELD Movement and Treeline Dance Works as well as other freelance projects throughout New York City. Ashley is thrilled to be joining the BMP team!
Hilarie Spangler (COMPANY MANAGER)
A lover of the interdisciplinary, Hilarie is a musician, visual artist, storyteller and activist interested in the connection between rural, urban and international art practice. She holds dual degrees in Theatre and Community Arts with a minor in Music Performance from Western Kentucky University and has a deep passion for new music. She is the Co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of Cardinal Cross Arts Collective: the betwixt-and-between Appalachian-New York feminist misfit theater: a growing womxn-led, interdisciplinary team of writers, directors, producers, performers, dramaturgs, and creative artists. Hilarie got her start in NYC as a 2016 intern with the PROTOTYPE Festival, where she also served as the Festival Assistant for the 2017 festival. She has also worked with South Central Music + Arts Academy as a voice and piano instructor, Arts in the Gap, TimeSlips Creative Storytelling, and interned at both HERE Arts Center in NYC and Looking for Lilith Theatre Company in Louisville, KY. Hilarie is excited to join the BMP team!