Laura Kleinbaum is a Hell’s Kitchen-based theatre and television writer. Her immersive pop/EDM musical Cleopatra (with collaborator Jeff Daye) premiered Off-Broadway at Chelsea Musical Hall this past fall–cast album coming soon!
Laura’s musical theatre works include #MARS (with composer Willem Oosthuysen), developed at Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab, New York Theatre Barn, and New York Film Academy; A Year in Jackson (with composer Joey Contreras) developed at the University of Nebraska Theatre Department; Allie in Wonderland and Robbie and Julia: A Summercamp Story (both with composer Ben Wexler) both commissioned by Metropolitan Montessori School; and The Untitled Lesbian Time-Traveler Musical (with composer and co-bookwriter Christiana Cole).
Laura’s musical podcast Murder-Cult the Musical the Podcast is also in the works. It’s a comedy!
Laura has written scripts and songs for Emmy award winning and nominated shows on Netflix, Nickelodeon, Sprout, and Sesame Workshop/HBO, including Bubble Guppies, Butterbean’s Cafe, Esme & Roy, Colorforms, Rusty Rivets, Zoofari, Sprout House, Totems, and Made by Maddie. Currently, she develops new children’s properties for Silvergate Media, which she can’t describe, but she promises they are cool.
Laura attended Columbia University, where she wrote her first musicals, and earned her MFA from the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild and the Lehman Engel BMI Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop, where she was awarded the Jean Banks Award for Best Musical and the Ellen Schwartz Award for Outstanding Literary Merit in Lyric Writing.
Christiana Cole moved from Austin, Texas to New York to study opera at the Manhattan School of Music. But while she was in school, Christiana began sneaking into composition classes, and convinced the registrar to let her cross-register at Columbia University, where she studied creative writing. Christiana studied composition with Dr. Mark Stambaugh and Christopher Cerrone. Christiana served as dramaturg on Cerrone’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated opera Invisible Cities. Christiana’s first full-scale work was Bombshell Baby, a musical about a drag queen who fights Nazis. (Christiana wrote book/lyrics and co-wrote the music with Rachel Felstein.) Bombshell Baby was presented in a sold-out run at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in July 2012.
Christiana is a member of the Dramatists Guild and BMI Workshop (advanced songwriting workshop and the inaugural bookwriting class). Current projects include the musical Republicana (book/lyrics/music) about man who deceives his home town into thinking he was in the army (when in fact he was in jail) in order to impress the devout Evangelical young woman he’s in love with. Tribe Without a God (book/lyrics/music) is about a small group of Neolithic humans who come into contact with organized religion for the first time. And The Untitled Lesbian Time Traveler Project, (book/music, with Laura Kleinbaum on book/lyrics) is about a Puritan girl who dives through a time vortex to escape an angry mob who want to execute her for witchcraft. With help from 21st century friends, she realizes that she’s a lesbian, and has to decide whether she can ever return to her life as it was.
Christiana has written a number of musicals for children, including Peanut Butter and Cupcake (based on the best-selling children’s book by Terry Border) and Sparkle Spa (based on the Scholastic series by Jill Santopolo), which were both produced at Interlakes Theatre in New Hampshire. Christiana wrote lyrics, with music by Rogers award-winner Brad Ross (Little by Little) and book by New York Times best-selling author Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost). Her adaptation of The Frog Prince (written with Kristin Madden and Brennan Johnson) was commissioned and produced by Random Farms Kids Theatre, and has subsequently been licensed and produced across Asia, in Japan, China and Korea.
Christiana is a winner of NPR’s The MOTH Story Slam, and was featured on The MOTH GrandSlam, where she told a story about a weird thing she did when she was 8. Christiana is a featured vocalist on the soundtrack of the Sundance-selected film The Farewell, starring the rapper Awkwafina.
Christiana is a classically-trained opera singer who learned how to belt, and has performed at venues all across New York. The New York Times called Christiana Cole “top-notch.” She was recently seen as Big Alison in Fun Home at TheatreSquared (Fayetteville, AR). She can currently be seen as one of Tony-winner Joanna Gleason’s three backup singers in her cabaret show “Out of the Eclipse.”
Christiana has taught voice lessons for over a decade. In addition to her private studio, Christiana has been a guest lecturer on performance and public speaking at Columbia University and on the private voice faculty at the New York Film Academy Musical Theater Conservatory.
Christiana has a chihuahua/dachshund mix (aka “chiweenie”) named Millie and a husband named Aaron Phillips.
Laura was Christiana’s maid of honor.