T H E C R E A T I V E T E A M
I N S P I R A T I O N & B I O S
Book, Lyrics & Music
IMAGINARY GIRL was conceived while working as the principal editor of The Alchemy of Wolves and Sheep * by Dr. H. L. Schwartz. This book made a significant contribution to the psychotherapy literature illuminating “brainwashing” “internalized perpetration” and “identification with the aggressor” along with other ways trauma victims are manipulated into betraying their own moral limits.
This inspiration was doubled-down while researching child soldiers and their deeply moving archetypal journeys into hell, and for some to redemption.
Further inspiration for IMAGINARY GIRL was kindled from the guerilla theatre deployed by all sides throughout the entire historic ordeal of Patty Hearst, the profound vulnerability and strength of its central figure, and the stunning archetypal arc that sustains a deep intimacy within the epic-scale story.
IMAGINARY GIRL illuminates many current socio-political challenges ranging from the legal and moral responsibilities of victims of human trafficking to the psychological pressures put upon impoverished US citizens to support campaigns to defund their own access to healthcare and to vote against their own self interests.
Crafted as a multileveled theatrical experience for a diverse range of audiences – including non-traditional theatergoers – the play’s highest objective is to guide its spectators to find no opposition between being engaged, being challenged, and being entertained.
Ultimately, this musical is an uplifting story of survival, self-discovery and self-determination, as its historic central figure triumphantly overcomes seemingly impossible internal and external obstacles.
( * Winner of the 2017 international Sandor Ferenczi Prize awarded by
The Intl Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation [SST&D];
Routledge, 2013 )
While performing work-for-hire rewrites on many indie and studio feature films in Los Angeles, Leonard became known for his rare ability to devise both tight story structures and compelling visual narratives – and then synthesize them into singular storyworlds.
He has performed work-for-hire screenwriting for Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger (produced; Madonna, Rupert Everett, Paul Giamatti) and Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallstrom (produced; Julia Roberts, Robert Duvall, Gena Rowlands). He co-wrote a TV pilot commissioned by exec-producer/director Roland Emmerich (unproduced), and co-ghost-authored the adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel into a feature film (produced).
With his own short film, The Paris Crystal (writer/director) he received national and international awards; it aired repeatedly for several years on SHOWTIME.
After his schooling at Parsons School of Design and NYU/Tisch (full merit scholarship/top honors), Leonard designed concert-stage sets for Lou Reed and James Brown; album cover environments for Sting and George Michael; and music video set design for The Ramones and Joan Jett. He specialized in designing “the look” of high-end fashion advertising, worldwide print campaigns & TV commercials, along with editorial fashion spreads and celebrity portraiture with world-class photographers for most-every leading lifestyle and fashion publication.
Further influences on his multileveled construction of MAGINARY GIRL have been his “day jobs” including: engineering manifold narrative pathways and alternative storytelling for the transmedia game company LudInc in Berlin, Germany; and his concept and design for an original knowledge-banking system that won him the $25K 1st-place in BearingPoint’s Innovation Award international competition.
Synthesize archetypal story-structure with compelling visual narratives to collaboratively create transformative theatre & film experiences that guide our audiences to see, hear, feel & examine their own everyday lives as newly illuminated mysteries.
Explore alternative perspectives on the human condition, addressing the urgency of “now” while speaking to the future that will inherit our work.
“ One kind of gift turns moldy bread into penicillin.
It takes another kind of instinct and commitment
to get it out there saving lives. ”
-- Catherine Bohm ( The Floating Point )
David has performed in professional theatre, television, radio and films. His debut stage performance was at the age of six in a community theater in Detroit. His feature film work has included scenes performed with Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter (COPYCAT, 1995); Eddie Murphy (METRO, 1997); and Will Smith (PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS [sic], 2006).
As a fine art painter he has had various solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles and San Francisco, most notably inclusion in two juried group shows at The de Young Museum: A TRIBUTE TO GILBERT AND GEORGE (2008); and WARHOL AND BEYOND (2009).
He is a featured contributing artist in the internationally acclaimed book San Francisco Street Art: MISSION MURALISMO that documents three decades of the artistic, social, and political forces that shaped the Sand Francisco street art movement (Abrams, 2009).
& Additional Music
I’ve always been a big fan of the folk and rock musical styles of the play’s time period – the mid 1970s. That time period has had a huge influence on my own musical development as a songwriter and composer. Also, luckily, and a bit unexpectedly, that mid-70s style and vocabulary is the lifeblood pulsing through indie/alt folk and rock today.
On top of that time-specific foundation, we were influenced by so many other diverse musical genres – from shoe-gaze/slowcore, to funk and soul, to 19th century spirituals, to minimalist and serialist compositions. Stylistically, we've tried to acknowledge the "generation gap" by having the parents’ characters occasionally dip into riffs and vamps with traditional 20th century musical theater motifs.
When I was first introduced to IMAGINARY GIRL and the historic story of the Patty Hearst ordeal, I was stunned to discover a story so mythic and epic and downright beyond bizarre is in fact a real true-life story that actually happened – wow.
I strongly believe the story’s youth-in-revolt narrative along with its young female protagonist will appeal to young audiences including non-traditional and new theatergoers.
Performing and composing music at an early age, Spencer was still a teenager when he released his debut solo-album. This launched his troubadour wanderings with performing gigs across Canada and the US.
His follow up album with THE SPENCER TEETER BAND enjoyed great popularity and a cult-like following with its live events. Several songs from the LP charted on the radio – a few of the singles are still getting airplay on Canadian radio today.
One of his favorite side projects was the indie rock-blues-funk band THE LOTUS EFFECT based out of Vancouver. He’s also worked extensively as a songwriter for other recording artists.
Spencer has performed professionally as a screen actor in several Canadian and American indie films; a US television series (a small recurring role in BRAVO’s dramatic series GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO DIVORCE); along with some American national TV commercials.
Soon after teaming up with Leonard Dolivio, Spencer’s belief in the power of songwriting/storytelling as a vehicle to transport and awaken audiences caught fire. He realized his artistic talents could find their ultimate expression in re-imagining musical theatre.
As a key creative collaborator on IMAGINARY GIRL, he’s confident this project can harness the emotional depth and melodies of indie rock music – and by extension, engage, entertain and enthrall younger audiences who previously would’ve turned their noses up at “conventional” musical theatre.
& Interim Music Director
Gary was the Music Director of AVENUE Q (*Best Musical - Tony Award Winner*) for all six years of its Broadway run. He arranged the dance music for the Jimmy Buffett’s Broadway musical, ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE. Gary received two 2005 Drama Desk nominations as the co-writer of the music and lyrics for the Off-Broadway hit ALTAR BOYZ. He co-produced and arranged two albums for Broadway’s Telly Leung. Other New York playing/conducting credits include THE FANTASTICKS, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, NUNSENSE, URINETOWN, HAIRSPRAY & KINKY BOOTS.
& Outreach Liaison
REBEKAH D. VEGA
BIO & INSPIRATION
Rebekah grew up in a Pentecostal religious cult where musical theatre was essential to the proselytizing of, and expression of, a deep evangelical passion. As a teenager, she wrote, directed, choreographed and produced music videos and live stage plays, performing her till-then career-defining role of Satan.
After her spirited homeschooling, Rebekah reached out to a secular life beyond the cult, yet she remained an indoctrinated true believer in the transformative power of theatre. At college she produced and/or performed in dozens of short films; assistant stage-managed several full stage productions; and performed in many full-length shows, before graduating magna cum laude with a BFA in Musical Theatre.
After college, her first job was with Futures Explored – a film school for adults with disabilities – where she developed and taught the school’s inaugural music and acting program for students with disabilities. She invented a tracking methodology for each student’s progress, and also drafted new interventions to facilitate individual growth through their specific challenges.
More recently, Rebekah has continued to develop her administrative skills (read: producer skills). As Operations Manager for a major Bay Area cannabis testing laboratory, she worked across multiple departments: recruitment, hiring, staff evaluation, coordinating scheduling and revising each team’s direction to assure multi-department alignment as assignments changed and work-flow needed to be adjusted. Rebekah now combines her love and understanding of theater with her organizational and team-management skills.
After seeing IMAGINARY GIRL at an early showcase in SF, she immediately fell in love with the show and its complex female lead. Inspired by the story that includes mind control and cult-like indoctrination, she was stunned by how – at its core – its characters’ emotional conflicts are universal. Rebekah believes theater can change lives – and she believes IMAGINARY GIRL can do just that with audiences around the world.
IMAGINARY GIRL has been developed in collaboration with
SYNTHESIZING: INSTINCT VISION VOICE EMOTION & MEANING
THE BAY AREA ACTOR
IN CONVERSATION WITH JIM JARRETT
Exploring the backstory and creative process behind IMAGINARY GIRL
IMAGINARY GIRL: The Occupation of Patty Hearst – book, lyrics & music © 2020 Leonard Dolivio Cetrangolo
& Artistic Advisor