Jillian Walker '17 and Ned Moore '18 at SPARK 2018

March 14, 2018

Alumna Jillian Walker '17 and current student Ned Moore '18 will participate in the inaugural SPARK festival this month. SPARK gathers a collection of writing teams from across the country that will rehearse and revise their work in residencies ranging from two days to three weeks. The Festival provides dramaturgy and production resources to musicals at all stages of development, and eight of the musicals will receive public presentations. The Festival begins Monday, March 26 and continues through Sunday, April 8, with an Industry Weekend on April 6-8.


SPARK festival is an initiative by Pittsburgh CLO a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the celebration of the American musical theater.


Headshot of Jillian Walker


Walker's Columbia thesis piece, SKiNFoLK: An American Show, is one of the pieces selected for the festival with performances on April 7th and 8th. “Powerhouse writer-performer Jillian Walker blends music, history, and live storytelling into a cabaret experience unlike any other this festival season. This big-hearted and highly imaginative concert-play is a sensuous celebration of our bodies and the stories they carry. Through an intoxicating mix of memoir, movement, and song, Walker asks: How well do we know the skin we live in?” according to the show description. 


Walker has had a big year after completing her coursework. She was named the Writer in Residence at her alma mater, University of Michigan, and SKiNFoLK was featured in the Bushwick Star Reading Series. Her play, Sarah's Salt, was also selected as an Honorable Mention for the 2017 Relentless Award from The American Playwriting Foundation. 


Headshot of Ned moore


Current Student, Ned Moore ‘18 is working as a Festival Artistic Assistant with SPARK. Moore is a theatre artist and writer, currently a third-year MFA Dramaturgy candidate at Columbia. His translation of Euripides’ Bakkhai premiered at The Fisher Center for Performing Arts in 2013, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. He directed the re-staging of the play in 2015 at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans. Since then, Ned has received fellowships from The Croatian National Theatre, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Tulane University, and Columbia University. He writes for Culturebot and TDF Stages magazines.


In addition to the presentation of new musicals, SPARK seeks to engage members of the public interested in moderated Post-Show Discussions, a New Musicals Boot Camp, Master Classes led by invited guests, and social events such as a Songwriters’ Cabaret Night, a Musical Theater Improvisation Night and more. See more about the 2018 Programming here