The Writers

Steven Cheslik-deMeyer

steven_bio_2Fresh out of art school in the early 80s, Steven bought a used guitar in a junk shop on St. Marks Place, learned three chords, and taught himself to write songs by listening to Dolly Parton records. He insinuated himself into a couple post-punk neo-folk bands in the East Village, but soon discovered the world of downtown theater. Through the late 80s and early 90s, he wrote and performed music in several experimental productions with tiny mythic theatre company and directors Kristin Marting and Tim Maner. In 1992, he and Jay Byrd created an act called Y’all, singing original songs and telling stories in the style of old-time country vaudeville. The act sprang from the downtown theater scene but went on to play in coffeehouses, churches, retirement homes, and rock clubs across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In ten years, Y’all recorded four CDs, published two books, appeared on MTV and Comedy Central, and went broke. Their last two years together, they lived in a camper on the road with a third partner. Steven made a documentary about that relationship and the final years of Y’all, Life in a Box, which premiered in the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2005. Steven lives in New York City with his husband and continues to write songs, plays, and stories. Steven is a MacDowell Fellow and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in American Studies.  He blogs at golikewater.blogspot.com.

Tim Maner

tim_bioRight out of college, Tim co-founded the tiny mythic theatre company with a focus on developing the work of creator/directors and a mission to “disrupt the american living room / rearrange the furniture in the american mind”.  tiny mythic’s work became a staple of the downtown alt-theatre scene of the early 90s, and just a few years later, the previously transient company transformed into the award-winning NYC arts center, HERE. His producing/presenting history at HERE spanned a decade with hundreds of productions brought to life by thousands of artists. (Though he no longer serves as a co-director, he remains an active founding board member working to expand opportunities for mid-career hybrid artists.) Tim has created over twenty original works as a creator/director including: The Hawthorne Project, a six-year collaboration with writer/adaptor Elizabeth Banks building a trilogy of multi-layered multi-media events adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s three American novels and The Opera Project, a five-year collaboration with writer Ruth Magraff and composers Matthew Pierce and Fred Ho creating a series of original New Wave Operas. He’s also sung in some bands, arranged and conducted a Cowgirl Chorus, and originated roles in a couple of Robert Wilson shows (one of which had him wearing Gianni Versace couture at La Scala in Milan, Italy). He is a graduate of NYU/Tisch/Playwrights Horizons.

Alan Stevens Hewitt

alan_bioASH grew up in a musical family, the son of a professional oboist. He cut his teeth as a teenager recording for Ruffhouse/Columbia Records at Studio 4 in Philadelphia, and during the 90’s as member of alt-folk band The Low Road (Caroline Records), touring with Los Lobos, Barenaked Ladies, and label-mates Ben Folds Five. He moved full-time to NYC in the late 90’s to pursue his conservatory degree in composition at Mannes College of Music/The New School, where he studied with Robert Cuckson and Carl Schachter. In the mid-aughts, with partners, he opened The Coral Room, a nightclub in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, which featured a 10,000 gallon saltwater aquarium with live “mermaid” performances and hosted cutting edge bands, performance artists, events, and djs nightly. As an actively performing musician, his credits include Broadway’s Fun Home (also 1st Natl. Tour), Finding Neverland, Matilda, Sting’s Last Ship, Rocky, Jekyll & Hyde, Lysistrata Jones, American Idiot, Spring Awakening (also 1st Natl. Tour), Off-Bway’s Closer Than Ever, Rent, tours in the U.S. and abroad, and numerous recordings as player, composer, arranger, and producer. His first score for theatre was for a production of Bertolt Brecht’s Baal that the NYTimes thought was awful. He lives in the Hudson Valley and enjoys motorcycles and longboarding.