Finding Beautiful

Book, Music, Lyrics by Anessa Marie and Danny Bristoll

What does it sound like to be heard?

FINDING BEAUTIFUL is a song cycle written by Danny Bristoll and Anessa Marie, the first transgender woman to compose for the main stage and the first ever NYMF Fellow. Follow a cast of seven individuals as they struggle to build a community while striving for authenticity.

Runtime: 1 hour and 30 minutes with no intermission.

Anessa Marie

Anessa Marie (Composer, Lyricist, Music Director, Actor)

ANESSA MARIE (she/her/hers) Anessa is a composer/lyricist, music director, orchestrator, and performer based in NYC. She is thrilled to be chosen as the inaugural NYMF fellow, and excited to share her work alongside her collaborator, Danny Bristoll. MD: American Girl Live (Nat’l tour), Elevator Heart (THML), City of Light (directed by Tony winner Cady Huffman). She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, and GR42 among countless others. In 2019, Anessa co-founded The Art Garage with Kevin Paley and currently serves as Associate Artistic Director.

Danny Bristoll

Danny Bristoll (Composer, Lyricist, Graphic Designer)

DANNY BRISTOLL (he/him/his) is a composer, lyricist, actor, musician, producer and photographer based in New York City. Most recently, he co-produced Beautiful: The Music and Lyrics of Anessa Marie and debuted his and Anessa Marie’s book musical, A Glimpse of the Rainbow, at the Green Room 42 in New York City. As an actor, Danny most recently originated the role of Creature in an off-broadway adaptation of Frankenstein. For more info, please visit or check out his insta @doublexdanno/@dannybristollphoto!

Kevin Paley

Kevin Paley (Director)

KEVIN PALEY (they/them/their) Kevin studied acting and directing at the University of Southern California and British American Drama Academy and has since had the pleasure of working with the Transport Group, NAATCO, Ivoryton Playhouse, St. Luke's, Stages on the Sound, Glass Eye Productions, Open Arts Alliance, The New Ohio, Post Playhouse, Core Ensemble, Manhattan Theatre Club and Manhattan Repertory Theatre. Next up: Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare in the Woods in Manchester, Vermont.

Amy Burgess

Amy Burgess (Actor)

AMY BURGESS (she/her) is an NYC based composer, writer, and performer. Recent: ELEVATOR HEART, OOB premiere with THML Theatre Co. (2019), USF Production (2018), Concert Reading @ The Tank (2017), NYU Workshop (2016), QCA Grant (2016); STIR (music) with Basin Arts (2017); Under My Skin (words and music) with Joel Waggoner and Clare Cook Dance, Dance Now NYC @ Joe's Pub (2014); SHOW ME REAL, NYMF (2012). Amy’s work has been seen at LCT, 54Below, Joe’s Pub, and others. MFA from NYU GMTWP. follow @composeramy

Annika Chavez

Annika Chavez (Actor)

ANNIKA CHAVEZ (she/her/hers) USC School of Dramatic Arts ’18. Annika has performed at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and The Pasadena Playhouse, and Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. She has performed in several staged readings for new work, including “Golden” composed by Nathan Wang for the Adam Mickiewicz Institute of Warsaw. Beloved USC roles include Eva Peron (Evita), Kate (The Wild Party), and Desiree (A Little Night Music).

Rachel Rose Gilmour

Rachel Rose Gilmour (Actor)

RACHEL ROSE GILMOUR (she/her/hers) is an Actress/Singer based out of NYC and the Mid-Atlantic. Recent roles: Roxane in Cyrano De Bergerac (Swift Creek Mill), Sarah in The Toxic Avenger, Lizzie in Lizzie The Musical, Narrator in Murder Ballad (5th Wall Theatre), and Kayleen in Gruesome Playground Injuries (TheatreLAB). She recently performed in Beautiful: The Music and Lyrics of Anessa Marie at The Green Room 42. Rachel is represented by Hutson Talent Agency (Mid-Atlantic) and Evolution Talent (South East). @rachelrosegilmour

Jacob Michael

Jacob Michael (Actor)

JACOB MICHAEL (he/him/his) is a transmasculine actor and artist with a penchant for all things queer. Off-Broadway: #Adulting: A Millennial Opera (St. Luke's Theatre), The Great Cat Massacre (St. Luke's Theatre); Readings: Q2 (NYS&F Powerhouse In Residence), Wonder Boy (The Dare Tactic); NYC: Skin-Deep (Lincoln Center Education), Trans Voices Cabaret (The Duplex); Regional: Hir (Island City Stage), Urinetown (Rhino Studios), Avenue Q (Porchlight Stage). Thanks to Mika, Anessa, Danny, and Kevin. Follow! @jacbomichael

Darius-Anthony Robinson

Darius-Anthony Robinson (Actor)

DARIUS-ANTHONY ROBINSON (he/him/his) Darius-Anthony Robinson- was last seen performing in West Virginia in the musical Storming Heaven and in NYC, the Broadway-bound musical The Preacher's Wife, music and lyrics by Titus Burgess. Off-Broadway: RENT (25th Anniversary Production w/ 5th Floor Theatre Company) Regional Credits (selected): Dallas Theatre Center; Uptown Players; Casa Mañana Theatre; Lees-McRae Summer Theatre; American Repratory Theater; WaterTower Theater; Garland Summer Musicals; Theatre Three, Divisionary Theatre; LaJolla Playhouse; Midtowne Arts Center; TUTS; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Jazz at Lincoln Center. Follow me @thedariusanthony!

Hannah Rose

Hannah Rose (Actor)

HANNAH ROSE (she/her/hers) is a NYC based actress & singer. She was last seen at New World Stages in Olay Live: The Road to Glow & in Sistas, The Musical (Off Bway). Other work: Olay The Musical, “Be Sensitive” The Musical & Olay The Holiday Musical. Endless thanks & love to her mommy, Denzel & ginger bae. For Daddy. IG: @hanrose

Alaska Harris

Alaska Harris (Assistant Stage Manager)

ALASKA HARRIS (they/them/theirs) is a freelance lighting designer, technician, carpenter, and stage manager. In New York, they have worked with HERE Arts Center, the Westside Theatre, New World Stages, and the New Group. DC companies include Arena Stage, Olney Theatre Center, and Atlas Performing Arts Center. They are a graduate of Earlham College where they studied Theatre Arts and Classics. They would like to thank Kuzy and Lars, their two kittens for all of their assistance and inspiration. This is for you.

Kate August

Kate August (Lighting Design)

KATE AUGUST (she/her/hers/they/them/theirs) has hidden out in downtown theater spaces, turning things on and off for the past decade. When not turning lights on and off, they’re often found in tech closets muttering. Past Lighting projects include but are not limited to Devil in a Box, a sex thing (or, a bunch of liberals getting uptight about the sociopolitical implications of their desires), Basil Twist’s Puppet Parlor. They have a profound enjoyment of waffles.

Kimberly O

Kimberly O'Loughlin (Sound Design)

KIMBERLY O'LOUGHLIN (she/her/hers) is a freelance Sound Designer and Engineer in the New York Metro Area. Select Design Credits include: Camp Morning Wood; Playwrights - Sharp, The Woman/The Man; Columbia University, Hell is You; Alchemical Studios, What’s Your Wish; NYMF 2018, Ragtime, Gypsy, The 39 Steps, In the Heights; Gallery Players. Select A1 credits: Interstate, Between the Sea and the Sky; NYMF 2018, Sound of Music; LaGuardia Highschool, Unexpected Joy; York Theatre, Othello: The Remix; Westside Theater.

Wendy Howell

Wendy Howell (Assistant Hair Stylist)

WENDY HOWELL (she/her/hers) is a stylist based out of Philadelphia, PA. She’s been in the industry for 10 years now and has built an extensive editorial portfolio working on set for photoshoots and runways. Mixing classic techniques with avant-garde style makes her work one of a kind. @wendyfbaby

Jamie Bifulco

Jamie Bifulco (Assistant Makeup Design)

JAMIE BIFULCO (she/her/hers) is a makeup artist based out of Philadelphia. Having been in the industry a couple of years she has built a passion for makeup, both in salon and freelance. She has worked on set for multiple photoshoots and loves getting creative and tailoring a look that perfectly suits the individual. @jamiembifulco

Andi Lee Carter

Andi Lee Carter (Stage Manager)

ANDI LEE CARTER (he/him/his/they/them/theirs) is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, producer, and performer. He is a recent grad of the Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Andi writes and performs stand-up and sketch comedy at the PIT, Magnet, and UCB. He and/or his musical work has been seen at many of New York's finest cabaret venues including Under St. Marks, the Duplex, Joe's Pub, and Feinstein's 54 Below. He is also a stage manager.

Kristin Goehring

Kristin Goehring (Producer)

KRISTIN GOEHRING (she/her/hers) is a creative producer impassioned with supporting new works and artists. Past collaborations include: Ars Nova (Production for KPOP, Underground Railroad Game, The Wildness, Futurity, Jacuzzi, Eager to Lose, ANT Fest, multiple galas; Front of House Team 2013-2019), Joe Iconis & Family (Production Assistant and Family Photographer), and dirty sugar photography (Studio Manager and Photoshoot Producer). Next projects include connecting and engaging with theater audiences through live events and unique experiences.

Caitlin McQuade

Caitlin McQuade (Producer)

CAITLIN MCQUADE (she/her/hers) Caitlin is an actor, director, writer, and producer. Recently, she co-produced The Art Garage’s inaugural new play incubation series and has performed in readings at Dixon Place and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. She is a graduate of Hamilton College and studied at the Moscow Art Theatre.

Audrey Rush

Audrey Rush (Producer)

AUDREY RUSH (she/her/hers) has worked with Adrenaline Theatre Group, Not Without Rage, and The Art Garage as a producer, director, and performer. Currently a development professional with The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, Audrey is honored to work with The Art Garage team on this particular project and hopes to continue using her time and resources to draw focus to the lives and stories of the Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Community. Love to her family and friends, as always, to Friend Rabbit.

Georgia Tournai

Georgia Tournai (Hair, Makeup & Costume Design)

GEORGIA TOURNAI (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs) is a hair artist and barber shop business owner based in Greeley, Colorado. As a gender non-conforming artist, her work includes both Denver and New York Fashion Week as a Beauty Underground Runway Artist. She has also been featured in magazines and other publications including Volant Magazine, Beauty Underground Magazine, 303 Magazine, and NOCO Magazine. For more information, visit her website at or check out her Insta @gstunnah.

Molly Chiffer

Molly Chiffer (Assistant Director)

MOLLY CHIFFER (she/her/hers) is incredibly proud to be a part of The Art Garage and Finding Beautiful’s journey. She is a director, actor, and collaborator with a BFA in acting from the University of Southern California. Recently, Molly stepped into Shades of Truth Theatre Company’s production of The Day Harlem Saved the King.

Gary Grundei

Gary Grundei (Assistant Musical Director)

GARY GRUNDEI (he/him/his) has composed music for NPR (Invisibilia), New York Stage and Film, Drama League, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Magic Theatre, GALA Choruses, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He has worked with Meredith Monk, Bill Pullman, Leigh Fondakowski, Caitlyn FitzGerald, and Barbara Dilley. Gary has taught at Naropa University, Occidental College, University of Denver, Whitman College and online through his own website He plays with the band High Fiction.

Elisa Winter

Elisa Winter (Band - Cello)

ELISA WINTER (she/her/hers) is an actor, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. She’s frequently found hauling her cello, accordion, and/or ukulele to a gig somewhere in NYC. She’s currently in Queen Generation: a Queen tribute band with regular shows at Drom. Favorite acting credits include the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd and Ten Cents A Dance at the McCarter Theatre.

Emily Chiu

Emily Chiu (Band - Violin)

EMILY CHIU (she/her/hers) is a Taiwanese-American composer-lyricist and violinist who loves to write about sea creatures, food, and monsters. She holds a B.A. in music from Brown University and an M.F.A from NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.

Emily Whitecotton

Emily Whitecotton (Band - French Horn & Trumpet)

EMILY WHITECOTTON (she/her/hers) is a French hornist who received her Masters of music from Mannes College the New School of Music in New York City and her Advanced Certificate at New York University, where she studied with Philip Myers. She is adjunct faculty at New York University and teaches privately. Emily has performed in many regional musical theatre pit orchestras including White Plains Performing Arts Center and Yorktown Stage.

Janna Graham

Janna Graham (Band - Drums)

JANNA GRAHAM (she/her/hers) is an up and coming musician based in NYC. Janna played drums/percussion for the pre-Broadway production of The Prom at Alliance Theater, the off-Broadway revival of Sweet Charity starring Sutton Foster, ExtraOrdinary at A.R.T, and Fiasco Theater's off-broadway revival of Merrily We Roll Along. She made her broadway debut as a substitute drummer/percussionist for The Prom. Janna recently played percussion, drums, keyboard, sang, and acted with Jill Sobule in a new musical called #fuck7thgrade at the Colorado New Play Festival. Janna is both a spirited composer and performer, and she is currently recording an album of original music with her new band-Oat Milk!

Max Robinson

Max Robinson (Band - Clarinet & Saxophone)

MAX ROBINSON (he/him/his) After hitting all 50 states and multiple countries as a member of 13 Broadway National tours and various jazz groups, Max recently moved back to New York after finishing his masters degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In demand as performer and composer adept at multiple styles and genres, he also can tell you where to find the best coffee in numerous cities around the country through his exhaustive research.

Will Shishmanian

Will Shishmanian (Band - Guitar & Bass)

WILL SHISHMANIAN (he/him/his) is a classically trained composer, lyricist, singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He wrote music and lyrics for "Addy & Dahlia: A Fairytale Musical” (The Secret Theater 2019), and composed music for two songs for “Camp Morning Wood” (Playwrights Horizons 2019). His most recent album “Steps,” a 14-song, multi-genre album with lyrics relating to transitioning, love, and loss, was released in 2017 under the artist name Will Shish. He also performs and records as a freelance guitarist and bassist. @willshish