Teacher, writer/editor, lyricist, songwriter
Work and Creative Background
Adam currently teaches International Baccalaureate English Language and Literature and MYP English in Erlangen, Germany. His spare time is spent as a political news junkie, raising his two sons, running the school's Bluegreen Club, and composing, recording, and rarely (these days) performing his original songs. And writing about himself in the third person.
After a childhood chiefly in Evanston and Charlottesville, then college, he returned to Chicago to begin a career in film production and editing while playing in coffeehouses and attending for several years the New Tuners Musical Theatre Workshop, primarily as a lyricist; his work was selected for two showcases. He also worked extensively as a freelance and contract editor/writer, often of textbooks, and eventually took on the role of three-time editor-in-chief of an annual Earth Day guide with a distribution reaching 300,000. When he had time, he took on other work, such as, for a time, a puppeteer with the Hystopolis Puppet Theatre. Eventually he found his way into the then-cutting-edge world of children's software (starting with videodiscs!) in Chicago and then Seattle as an educational CD-ROM producer for Midisoft and Edmark.
After various triumphs and travails, he worked as a technical editor for Microsoft Interface magazine before being accepted to the prestigious Musical Theatre Writing graduate program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. After earning his MFA in Writing for the Musical Theatre there, he joined the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop as a lyricist. He had several readings of short musical projects, but practical considerations intervened in this artistic life, as they often do.
He soon found himself on a new path, working as a supply teacher (drama) and as a teaching artist in the South Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan presenting classes in poetry, playwriting, and other subjects. Meanwhile, he met his soon-to-be wife, whom he subsequently joined in teaching the MYP and IB at an international school in Berlin, then in southern Wales at the highly respected UWC Atlantic College, housed in famed St. Donat's Castle on the Bristol Channel. At this school he was also heavily involved in pastoral care and additionally founded two very active environmental clubs. The couple subsequently took their teaching back to Germany, where he has continued recording his music and meantime is becoming increasingly involved in social and environmental causes.
A NOTE ON ENVIRONMENTALISM
Adam became heavily involved in the Earth Day organization in Chicago in the 1990s, serving as volunteer and then member of the Executive Committee for over five years all told, and as editor-in-chief of their annual environmental guide, Resources, for three of those years. The free magazine reached a distribution of 300,000 as an insert in the Chicago Tribune. Much more recently, he founded and advised two extremely active green clubs at UWC Atlantic College, the Environmental Action Team (EAT) and Environmental Campaigns Team (ECT). These groups spearheaded a series of activities at the school, from a massive clothing swap to various waste reduction and issue awareness campaigns. At his current school he has founded the Bluegreen Environmental Action Club, following the successful model of the EAT and ECT.. He also volunteers for Kiva.org as an editor.
READINGS AND PROJECTS
Farmer Eli's Vacation - one-act adaptation of an 1895 story by Alice Brown (collaborator: Ben Cohn)
The Dance of Salome - full-length theatrical rock concert (collaborator: James Marler)
The Big Kahuna - one-act "mor(e)ality play" (collaborator: Brad Aspel).
Sweat of My Brow - poem selected to be read on National Public Radio's The Next Big Thing, 2002, by the poetry editor of the New Yorker magazine.
Performance: Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle, 1998
America's Sweetheart - mini-musical selected for New Tuners one-act festival at
The Theater Building (collaborators: Chris Staton and Jim Stevens)
Let the Buyer Beware - original song, featured in a New Tuners songwriting
Who's That Bear - theme song for an animated pilot, Bear #13
Performances at Earth Day festival 1991, 1992
More "recent" projects:
Connor's Wor - graphic novel examining the common man's role in an extraordinary universe
One Knight in the Garden of Eden - allegorical musical about Man's troubled relationship with nature
The Love Pump - romantic non-musical comedy-drama
Co-founded a creative team that had proposals for two children's television programs, "Willa Wonders" and "Sounds Like Willa," under serious consideration at Disney and Noggin (Nickelodeon) in 2003-04. You can also check out other, mostly non-musical writing tidbits here.
Various performances at coffeehouses, festivals, and around campfires in three countries, none of which are Canada.
Substantial acting experience. Various awards for acting as a youth.
A few honourable mentions from international song contests; occasionally finalist or semi-finalist. No big wins yet! See individual song pages.
Adam plays and writes with a Taylor 3/4, a lovely Seagull dreadnought, and a Model K Froggy Bottom hand-crafted jumbo (mahogany and Englemann spruce). Lately he has been experimenting with Garageband using an iRig 37 Pro midi controller; the results can be heard in recent demos including The Falls, Just What It Means, Dark Bird, The Road to Catatonia and Take My Heart.
Member of ASCAP; when in the U.S., member of the The Dramatists Guild and the National Association for Media Literacy Education. He may also dba Adam Shæmes or Scribblededitch.
This site is all about me. Me, me, me.
This is a by-product of a site intended to serve mainly as a portfolio.
For a (somewhat) less self-centered site, watch for the rebirth of silly sister-site www.haywire.net.
MFA: Musical Theatre Writing, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop (NYC)
New Tuners Musical Theatre (Chicago)
I'm much more like I am now than I used to be.