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Nathan Christensen



Nationality:    USA
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Nathan Christensen received his BA in theatre studies from Brigham Young University in 2002, where he produced one of his own musicals (Here in the Heartland) and two of his plays (Small Courage and The Battle Creek Cure). He participated in a theater study abroad program in London in 2000, experiencing 48 plays and musicals in only seven weeks. Christensen earned an MFA in musical theater writing from New York University 2004, and has studied writing with such Broadway legends as Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Seussical), Michael John LaChiusa (Wild Party, Marie Christine) and William Finn (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Falsettos). Christensen was an assistant to Finn on the Broadway-bound production of Spelling Bee, even contributing jokes that went on to be included in the official script. He has received a Richard Rodgers Award (2005) and a Jonathan Larson Award (2005), and was named to the Dramatists Guild's "50 to Watch" list. In 2012, after eight years in New York, Christensen married and moved not far from his hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. While continuing to write musicals and regularly commuting back to New York, Nathan also developed a creative events company called Seven Lively Arts, collaborating with arts organizations, communities and businesses in developing out-of-the-ordinary theatrical and cultural experiences. The company debuted in 2011 with a vaudeville-style variety production in Tuscon called The Matinee Show. then shifted to Oklahoma in 2012 with a "pervasive game" built taking place along the Main Street of Collinsville, OK, with hundreds of participants trying to solve three time-traveling mysteries built around local history. That event, written for the city's annual Taste of Collinsville, was a finalist for Oklahoma's 2013 Main Street Awards. Local projects now in development include a second large-scale interactive game being planned for Collinsville Downtown Inc., a radio play-style comedy show to be produced at Herron's Crown Opry Theater this fall, a silent movie event for the Deaf community of Oklahoma, as well as a series of interactive theater pieces designed to be performed for private gatherings and company socials. Announced in New York's Variety magazine and Broadway's Playbill in 2013, Owasso-based writer Nathan Christensen has earned one of just three spots in the prestigious Eugene O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference. His musical Broadcast-about the Golden Age of radio-was chosen from over 175 applicants to receive two weeks of intensive development, as well as exposure to the nearby New York theater community. Together with his co-writer, composer Scott Murphy, the O'Neill conference gives Christensen the opportunity of working with Broadway-caliber professional actors, director and musicians. The conference is structured around a cycle of intensive rehearsals and public performances, followed by revisions and fine-tuning to the script and score. This rigorous process is meant to result in a polished work ready for production in New York or regional theaters. Broadcast was also presented as a reading at Playwrights Horizons, and was staged at the University of Nebraska. Christensen's previous work with Scott Murphy was a musical adaptation of Lois Lowry's novel The Giver. In 2010, The Giver was featured in the National Alliance for Musical Theater's Festival of New Musicals in New York City, with Broadway legend Terrence Mann (original casts of Les Miserables, Cats, Beauty and the Beast) in the title role. The Giver has also appeared in other new works festivals at theaters across the country, including at Village Theatre (Issaquah, WA), TheatreWorks (Palo Alto, CA), and Penn State. Current musical theater projects include a collaboration with Scott Murphy about Bigfoot hunters, and a Mexican wrestling adaptation of Macbeth with composer David Mallamud. Other works by Christensen include Here In The Heartland (a Brechtian musical about the realities of small town life in America), Small Courage (an impressionistic portrait of Sir James Barrie, author of Peter Pan), The Battle Of Creek Cure (a dark comedy dealing with the bizarre health fads at the turn of the last century), and Cambices, King Of Persia (a verse adaptation of an Elizabethan play, integrating puppetry and live actors). A person of eclectic interests, Nathan Christensen has also been a concert violinist, tutored Kazakhstani jewelers in entrepreneurship, produced an original comedy review show, served as a missionary in South Korea where he also played drums for hula dancers on the Korean Home Shopping Network, conducted experiments in sonoluminescence, written greeting cards, co-founded an exotic fruit-growing business, was a theater critic for Tucson Weekly, and as a teenager composed a women's jazz quartet that is currently performed around the world. As a concert violinist, Nathan Christensen won the Young Artist Competition with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra in 1995, performing The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughn Williams.

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below is a list of Nathan Christensen's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Giver, The

Giver, The

Jonas must choose between his perfect life of no conflict or pain for one that has beauty and pain

Music by Scott Murphy; lyrics And book by Nathan Christensen

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