Jeanine Tesori, Composer and Musical Arranger. She is the most prolific and honored female theatrical composer in history. With 5 Tony Award nominations and 5 Broadway musicals, Jeanine was also half of the first female writing team to win a 2015 Tony Award for Best Original Score.
"One of the things that has occurred to me is to be very visible. I was taught to really lean backwards—to do my thing, be in the background, and not call attention to myself. I’ve had to really go against my training to really be present. I remember seeing Linda Twine conduct when I was nineteen. She is this beautiful African-American woman who was in complete command with all of the men on stage looking at her every move. So any woman who was claiming anything, it went right in and then I knew it was possible."
"The other thing that I’m interested in, and Christiane Amanpour speaks about beautifully, is the idea of women and failure. It’s very interesting to me how we don’t see it as necessary, and it’s completely necessary. And there’s a direct tie between failure and shaming, as opposed to seeing it as a misstep or a sidebar where we think, “That didn’t go well. Why didn’t that go well? Ok, we’ll try it this way.” I want to have a big festival of failure next year at City Center [where she is Artistic Director of Encores Off-Center] and invite people to just out themselves with their greatest flops.”
The Interval NY, Photograph by Matthew Karas