The Dramatists Guild of America is pleased to welcome two new members to its Council, Ty Defoe and Rona Siddiqui. The Guild is governed by a board of directors (Council) elected from its membership. These writers, in various stages of their theatrical careers, meet monthly to decide policy for the Guild.
“I have long admired the work of the Dramatists Guild and am deeply honored to have the opportunity to participate in such a meaningful way,” wrote Siddiqui. “I will reach out a hand to those who feel like outsiders as that hand was extended to me. I will offer them access and support, and embolden every person with a story burning in their heart to call themselves a writer.”
“The Guild has always been there for me when I needed it,” Defoe stated. “I am interested in the voices of people who have not been allowed in the room. At a time when Native/Indigenous people are left out of almost every conversation, I’m deeply committed to championing and protecting those who have been historically silenced and made invisible. I’m interested in finding productive ways to fight white supremacy, and creative ways to include interdisciplinary artists like myself.”
Ty Defoe (Giizhig), is from the Oneida and Ojibwe Nations. He is a Grammy-award-winning composer, playwright, librettist, interdisciplinary artist, actor, choreographer, eagle dancer, and hoop dancer. Ty interweaves artistic projects with social justice, indigeneity, trans rights, Indigi-Queering, and environmentalism. Awards, residencies, and fellowships: TransLab Fellow, Global Indigenous Heritage Festival Award, Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence, Jonathan Larson Award, Cordillera International Film Festival Finalist, 2021 Cultural Capital Fellow, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center finalist, and the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop. Ty’s songs have been featured at: Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, 54 Below, The Met, and The Kennedy Center. Ty’s theatrical work has been presented at: Guthrie Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Institute of Musical Theater, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Noor Theater, Native Voices at the Autry, The New Victory Theater, and the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, IL for the International Puppet Festival. Ty’s international arts highlights: the Millennium celebration in Cairo, Egypt; International Music Festival in Ankara, Turkey; and Festival of World Cultures in Dubai. Works: TransWorld, Red Pine, The Way They Lived, Ajijaak on Turtle Island, Hear Me Say My Name, Wind Changes Direction, Before the Land Eroded, BasketBall Is 'War, Minus the Shooting' In Sectarian Lebanon, River of Stone, Firebird Tattoo, Trial and Tears (with Dawn Avery), and The Lesson (with Nolan Doran and Avi Amon). Ty is an artEquity facilitator, co-founder of Indigenous Direction (with Larissa FastHorse), and member of All My Relations Collective, which recently presented his work GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG | Revolving Sky at Under the Radar Festival, Incoming! at The Public Theater as part of the Devised Theater Working Group in New York City. His play Firebird Tattoo was published in The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays, 2021. He has a B.F.A. from CalArts, M.F.A. from Goddard College, and M.F.A from NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. He has done movement direction for Mother Road, Dir. Bill Rauch (OSF); and Manahatta, Dir. Laurie Woolery (OSF, Yale Rep). He was choreographer for Tracy Lett’s The Minutes on Broadway. Acting credits include Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men on Broadway (Dir. Anna Shapiro). He lives in NYC and loves the color clear. Member of: Dramatist Guild, SDC, ASCAP, First Nations Theater Guild, AEA. Pronouns: He |We |tydefoe.com
Rona Siddiqui is an award-winning composer/lyricist, orchestrator, and music director based in NYC. She is the recipient of the 2020 Jonathan Larson Grant and the 2019 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, and was named one of Broadway Women's Fund's Women to Watch. Her show Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan, an autobiographical comedy about growing up bi-ethnic in America, had a developmental workshop at Playwrights Horizons in 2019. She has also received the ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, ASCAP Foundation Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, and the ASCAP Foundation/Max Dreyfus Scholarship. She performed her concert Rona Siddiqui: Halfghan on a Mission at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her musical One Good Day (book & lyrics by Liz Suggs) was selected for the ASCAP/Dreamworks Musical Theatre Workshop with Stephen Schwartz in L.A. and was named one of the Best New Musicals of 2014 by the Festival of New American Musicals. Other musicals include Hip Hop Cinderella (book by Scott Elmegreen), produced by Amas Musical Theatre, The Tin (book & lyrics by Zayre Ferrer), a one-act musical about Afghanistan produced in the Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, and Treasure in NYC (book & lyrics by Laura Kleinbaum), an immersive musical adventure for people with developmental delays produced at The Cell. She has been commissioned to write songs for Wicked's 16th Anniversary Commemoration, Flying Free, Broadway Inspirational Voices, The Civilians, the NYC Gay Men's Chorus, MuseMatch, 52nd St. Project, Pittsburg CLO, and the web series Amateur Dicks. She has been a featured songwriter in concert venues such as 54 Below, Joe's Pub, and New York City Center. Original scores she has written for plays include Middletown, The Vagina Monologues, The Good Person of Szechuan, The Clean House, and Love Song of J Robert Oppenheimer. Rona music directed the Off-Broadway Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop for which she received an Obie along with the cast and creative team (Playwrights Horizons), Bella: An American Tall Tale (Playwrights Horizons), and Who's Your Baghdaddy: Or How I Started the Iraq War (St. Lukes Theatre). She has orchestrated for Broadway Records, Broadway Backwards, NAMT and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. She received her Masters from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Rona is a proud member of Local 802, Maestra Music, MENASA Artists Coalition, and is a founding member of Just One Step for Democracy and Musicians Advocacy Group for Inclusion and Change (MAGIC).
The Dramatists Guild of America is the national, professional membership trade association of theatre writers including playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists. The Guild was established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work. We believe that a vibrant, vital, and provocative theatre is an essential element of the ongoing cultural debate which informs the citizens of a free society; and that if such a theatre is to survive, the unique, idiosyncratic voices of the men, women, trans and non-binary artists who write for it must be cultivated and protected.
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