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Bill Russell wrote the book and lyrics for the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Side Show, receiving a Tony nomination for book and sharing a nomination with composer Henry Krieger for score. He also directed that show at the Park Square Theatre in St. Paul and Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Mr. Russell co-wrote the book and lyrics for Off-Broadway’s long-running musical Pageant (with collaborators Frank Kelly, Albert Evans, and Robert Longbottom), and directed it at the King’s Head Theatre in London. That production transferred to the West End, received two Olivier Award nominations and won that prestigious prize for “Best Supporting Performance in a Musical” for Miles Western’s portrayal of Miss West Coast. Mr. Russell subsequently directed Pageant in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, and at the University of Kansas. He authored the book and lyrics for Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (music by Janet Hood), directing it in New York and in London’s Fringe and West End, among many others, including a celebrity benefit in New York which was recorded by Fynsworth Alley. Everything’s Ducky (written with Henry Krieger and Jeffrey Hatcher) premiered with TheatreWorks of California and subsequently received several successful regional productions, garnering the Will Glickman Award for Best Play (S.F. Bay area) and the “Backstage West” Garland Award for Best Score. A revised version under the new title Lucky Duck was directed by John Rando (Urinetown) at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and Mr. Russell directed a version at the Boston Conservatory. The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, MO, commissioned a version for young audiences and their production played the New Victory Theatre in New York City in March, 2012. Mr. Russell’s latest musical with Henry Krieger, Up in the Air, premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Amon Miyamoto, who also conceived the project. The Last Smoker in America (music by Peter Melnick) was present at NYMF (New York Musical Theatre Festival) in 2009, had its world premiere in Columbus, Ohio, in 2010 and Off-Broadway premiere in 2012. Mr. Russell’s other credits as Bookwriter/Lyricist include: Off-Broadway’s Fourtune and The Texas Chainsaw Musical (co-author), Family Style (Minneapolis), and Kept (with Henry Krieger and Steven Chbosky), which premiered at TheatreWorks of California and was subsequently performed at the Edinburgh Festival. He adapted the book of Call Me Madam (starring Tyne Daly) for City Center Encores! His credits as Lyricist include the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, the official theme for Gay Games and the women’s duo Jade & Sarsaparilla. Mr. Russell’s directing credits include John Augustine’s Generation X, the comedy team of Monteith and Rand (on and off Broadway and at theaters around the nation) and Jeff Mandels’ And Somewhere Men Are Laughing for the 2007 New York International Fringe Festival. He has been honored with two Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Commendation Awards and honorary doctorates from his first alma mater, Morningside College and the Boston Conservatory. For more, please visit www.billrussell.net.
Samuel French Titles by Bill Russell
- Beyond the Ingénue: Top 20 Roles for Leading Ladies
- An Exploration of Playwright Audrey Cefaly’s Work
- Shining The Light: How One Teacher Brought The Ghostlight Project To His High School
- A Musical Classic Gets a Bold New Staging in San Antonio
- Beautiful: The Multi-Generational Draw of HEATHERS THE MUSICAL
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