Behind the Broadway Baton: Young music directors on directing, composing and the creative life


Friday, October 18, 2019, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


Farkas Hall, 12 Holyoke St, Cambridge, MA 02138

WaitressHow does the music of musical theater get made? What are the elements of a strong musical theater song? What does a music director do? Who better to ask than three recent alumni who are working professionals in the musical theater world of Broadway! Isaac Alter '16, Cynthia Meng '15 and Madeline Smith '14 will join Dana Knox, OFA production coordinator for college theater, for a conversation about the creativity behind the music and the process of putting together a show through the music. This event is free and open to the public. 

Isaac AlterIsaac Alter '16 is a classically trained musician who specializes in musical theater, working as a music director, arranger and copyist on a variety of projects. Alter, who is based in New York City, has worked with artists such as as Diane Paulus, Dave Malloy, Wayne Brady, Josh Groban, Sara Bareilles, Rachel Chavkin, Bobby Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Jessie Mueller and Ingrid Michaelson. As a musician, he has assisted, conducted, rehearsed, been a keyboard sub and/or copyist in these Broadway shows: Frozen, Dear Evan Hansen, King Kong, Waitress and The Great Comet of 1812

Cynthia MengCynthia Meng '15 is a New York City-based music director and pianist. She was music assistant and rehearsal pianist for the Broadway production of Hadestown. Other favorite music director credits include: Moulin Rouge! (Emerson Colonial), In The Green (Lincoln Center Theater), Lempicka (developmental lab), Stu for Silverton (developmental lab), Witness Uganda (Wallis Annenberg Center) and A Little Princess (Signature Theatre). As a composer, she has been featured at 54 Below and New York Musical Festival. In a previous life, she worked as a software engineer for Pandora.

Madeline SmithMadeline Smith '14 is a New York City-based music director, arranger and conductor. Her Broadway credits include Waitress (piano/conductor sub), War Paint (key 1 sub), and her Off-Broadway credits include An Octoroon (Theatre for a New Audience); Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future (Ars Nova); Skin of our Teeth (TFANA); 1001 Nights (Atlantic Theater Company); FUTURITY (Ars Nova/Soho Rep). Regional credits includ We Live In Cairo (American Repertory Theater); Loch Ness (Finger Lakes Musical Theater Festival); Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat (Adirondack Theatre Festival). For TV, she has done The Wiz! Live. And weird assorted gigs include adapting Frozen Jr. and Descendants for Disney, and music directing/conducting Ragtime on Ellis Island.

The event is supported by the Kayden Artist in Residence Fund.