Michael Downey, playwright and lyric contributor
Day Jobs: A teacher of English and reading for 21 years: high school, college & graduate levels, in MI, IN, KS & MO. Degrees from Notre Dame, B.A. & M.A. Recognized as Outstanding Writing Teacher by The Writing Conference, Inc., a national award. Awarded a $6,000 Creative Teaching Fellowship from Lilly Endowment. Award-winning sponsor of high school yearbooks, newspapers and literary mags. Learning specialist for 6 years at Park University and KC's Metropolitan Community College ̶ Penn Valley. Private tutor & test prep specialist for 18 years.
Writing Overview: Michael Downey is a published and produced author of short stories, poems, advertisements, plays, and musicals. He has written 2 book-length manuscripts and 2 screenplays.
1972. Snow White and the 3 Musketeers, a children's play, produced by Theatre Lady, Inc. South Bend, IN. Sold out a 150-seat theater for all performances. Also produced by KC's Raytown South High School in 1990's.
1978. Blue-Collar Blues given a staged reading by Writers and Other Troubadours, South Bend, IN. A tragi-comedy about a factory worker losing his job to a computerized robot.
1980. Blue-Collar Blues top-10 finalist of 650 entries for KC's Unicorn Theatre's International Playwriting Competition.
1986-1989. Met composer/musician Clifford Henricksen and wrote the script for America the Musical, a complete Broadway-style musical using Cliff's compositions & lyrics. Mozart contributed one tune. Michael did some lyrics.
1989. Tall Boys world premiere, a rock-n-roll musical play about teenage drinking & driving. Michael wrote the script and some lyrics. Composers were Paul Schultz and Tony Pennington. The 750-seat Century Center Theater was sold out for all performances. South Bend, IN.
1990. Tall Boys published by I.E. Clarke, Inc. It has played in many states, produced by high school, college, and community theatre groups. Tall Boys is endorsed by the national organization of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
1991-1993. Presented workshops "How to Write a Musical" for the International Thespian Society Summer Conference.
1991-1994. Retooling the Heart (a revision of Blue-Collar Blues) given a staged reading by Playwrights & Players of Greater KC. Produced by Raytown South High School, KC. Produced by Genesian Players at 800-seat Rose Theater, Rockhurst High School, KC.
2019-2020. Major revision of America the Musical, streamlining script from 58 pages to 37. Created website: AmericaTheMusical.net
2001-Present. Writing 3 Down in KC, a play about 3 not-yet famous Kansas Citians. In the early 1920's, Ernest Hemingway & Walt Disney meet in Harry Truman's going-out-of-business men's clothing store.
Clifford Henricksen, composer & lyricist
Day Jobs: an audio inventor with a graduate degree in mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Designed sound for OMNI Arena (Atlanta); Madison Square Garden (NYC); Holy Mosque, Mecca; Staples Arena/Los Angeles CA; Winter Olympics, etc.... Designed touring sound systems for The Judds and Bruce Springsteen. Worked for Bose, Fender, US Sound, etc.... Invented and patented microphones, speakers, and products advancing live music and professional/engineered sound for more than 40 years.
Music Overview: Clifford Henricksen is a street-level, self-taught vocalist, pianist/organist, lyric writer and composer of many genres. He has produced & professionally recorded 250 songs.
1957-1968. Began playing piano by ear, copying Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles and Little Richard.
1966-1968. Purchased a Hammond organ and started playing the top-40 club circuit in Boston.
1968-1974. In Philly, founded "Marbleheart" with 3 other musicians. Played Philly/South Jersey club circuit with top-40 and original songs. Studio musician in Philly and NYC. Recording contracts with Don Kirchner/Scepter Records and Thom bell/Tommy Records, resulting in singles releases.
1974-1981. In Southern California, recorded professional masters and played at music/record industry showcases (Troubadour, Blue Lagoon Saloon, Topanga Corral, etc.) with 7-member well-rehearsed band.
1981-1994. Moved between Michigan & Philly, assembling a personal studio. Played with The Allstars, a legendary Philly band specializing in roots electric blues.Winner of a Battle of the Bands competition of 236 bands. Met playwright Michael Downey in 1986, and made America the Musical, a complete Broadway-style musical using Cliff's compositions & lyrics. Mozart contributed one tune.
1994-2001. Returned to Boston, worked with 6-member rock/blues ensemble (The Cliff Henricksen Band). Sold CD's through Main Street Distractions.
2001-2019. Invented much of the Bose L1 Compact Loudspeaker and held keyboard/vocal chair for the L1-demo band, with local "A-list" players. Concerts stunned audiences with superb musicianship, arrangements and sound quality in the US, Canada and Europe. Countless concerts performed in Bose Corporation's own live-music theater, where Cliff performed solo, playing piano and singing, often his own compositions.
2017-Present. Formed Wachadoo, a 4-member band that plays a variety of original songs in the Boston area. Two CD's available at Wachadoo.com