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CELIA’s Distinguished Visiting Artist Program is designed to enhance Wright State University’s outstanding programs and public offerings in the fine and performing arts. Each year, CELIA hosts an internationally renowned artist for short-term residences involving performances, exhibitions, master classes, lectures, and other related events involving Wright State's students and faculty, and possibly other regional arts organizations.
Distinguished Visiting Artist for 2012-13
Stephen Schwartz first found acclaim following his work as composer for Godspell in 1971. He wrote the music and new lyrics for the show, for which he won several awards, including two Grammys. In the years that followed he continued his success with Bernstein’s MASS (’71), Pippin (’72) and The Magic Show (’74), which at one point were all running on Broadway simultaneously. This success ignited in Schwartz more than a decade of exemplary work in Broadway, Off-Broadway Revue and television productions.
In 1995, Schwartz began working in film, collaborating with composer Alan Menken on the scores for the Disney animated features Pocahontas, for which he received two Academy Awards and another Grammy, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He also provided songs for DreamWorks’ first animated feature, The Prince of Egypt, for which he won another Academy Award for the song “When You Believe.” He most recently collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted.
In 2003, Schwartz’s most recent musical, Wicked, opened. It is currently running on Broadway and in several other productions around the United States and the world. In 2008, Wicked reached its 1,900th performance on Broadway, making Schwartz the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1,900 performances.
Schwartz was recently given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Applause Books recently released a book about his career, Defying Gravity.
For more information on Stephen Schwartz, go to the Wright State Newsroom.
About Debbie Gravitte
Debbie Gravitte has had a varied career taking her from the Broadway Stage to the Symphony Hall and points between. She won the prestigious Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, along with a Drama Desk Award nomination as well as the New York Showstopper Award. After making her Broadway debut in the original cast of They’re Playing Our Song, she went on to appear in: Perfectly Frank (Drama Desk Award Nomination), Blues in the Night, Ain’t Broadway Grand, Zorba, Chicago and Les Miserables. Debbie has appeared in the Encore’s series productions of The Boys from Syracuse, Tenderloin and Carnival at New York’s City Center.
Debbie has performed a nightclub act worldwide, from New York City’s Rainbow and Stars, to London’s Pizza on the Park and back home again to Atlantic City, where she’s had the honor to perform with notable talents such as Jay Leno, Harry Anderson and the legendary George Burns.
She has sung with numerous symphony orchestras including the National Symphony (with Marvin Hamlish), Boston Pops, Atlanta Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Utah Symphony, St. Louis, Houston and San Diego Symphonies. Overseas, she has sung with the London, Aalborg and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Stockholm Philharmonic, Gotesborg and Jerusalem Symphonies, Munich Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Symphonica of Brazil.
On television, Gravitte co-starred on the CBS series Trial and Error and NBC’S Pursuit of Happiness, and starred in several specials for PBS, including Live from the Kennedy Center, Bosto Pops Celebrate Bernstein, Rogers & Hart for Great Performances, and Ira Gershwin’s 100th Birthday Celebration from London’s Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall. She recently returned to Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson and the NY Pops.
About Scott Coulter
Theatre, recordings, cabaret, teaching, directing—Scott Coulter does it all. For his work in cabaret, Scott has received five MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs), ive Bistro Awards and two Nightlife Awards for Outstanding Vocalist and has performed at most of NYC’s top rooms including Birdland, The Oak Room at the Algonquin, and Feinstein’s at The Regency where he spent eight months in 2011 performing the revue 11 O’Clock Numbers at 11 O’Clock, which he also created and arranged. His self-titled debut CD won the 2003 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording and was chosen as the best recording of the year by TheatreMania and Cabaret Scenes magazine.
He was director and star of A Christmas Carol: The Symphonic Concert in its world premiere last season with the Baltimore Symphony and will reprise his role in the PBS broadcast this December. Scott toured the U.S. as Jinx in Forever Plaid and was in the world premiere of Floyd Collins directed by Tina Landau. He has appeared at NY’s Town Hall in numerous editions of the popular “Broadway by the Year” series (BBTY) and can currently be heard on the Bayview recordings of those performances.
Since 1997, Scott has performed around the country with award-winning songwriting duo Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich in their many revues and tours the world with Oscar and Grammy winning-composer Stephen Schwartz, along with Liz Callaway and Debbie Gravitte in the revue Stephen Schwartz & Friends. He has taught master classes from Los Angeles to Kalamazoo to Riga, Latvia, and is creator of his own unique group vocal coaching series called “Songbook.”
As a director his credits include many shows for The Town Hall in NY (Broadway by the Year, Broadway’s Rising Stars, Broadway Originals, Broadway Unplugged) and BBTY for The Berkshire Theatre Festival and Broadway by the Bay. Along with Michael Kerker and ASCAP, he’s produced and directed several installments of Michael Feinstein’s Standard Time at Carnegie Hall.
He is creator, arranger and director of several touring shows including Cinema Toast, Broadway’s Elite, The King: A Tribute to the Music of Elvis, Broadway Today! and The Envelope, Please. His new solo show, The Fella Sings Ella, debuted in early 2013. Scott is co-founder/owner of Spot-On Entertainment (www.Spot-OnEntertainment.com) and is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.
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Wright State and the greater Miami Valley are a great place to live and work, but we can do more! CELIA’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the economic health of our region and state by providing programs and projects that touch the soul and excite the imagination.