On January 31st, 2011, Michelle Kay & ASCAP Board member Dean Kay presented the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Michelle & Dean Kay Award to Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould. Griffin and Matt received the award for their work, Witness Uganda, which was presented at The ASCAP Foundation/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop hosted by Stephen Schwartz in Los Angeles in 2010. Michelle and Dean established this award to support careers in music, particularly for those who concentrate their efforts in the Los Angeles area. Gould and Griffin's Witness Uganda also earned them ASCAP's Harold Adamson Award.
Witness Uganda will have its world premier at the Boston Court Theatre in Los Angeles in July 2011.
The show has received a Disney/ASCAP workshop with Stephen Schwartz and a workshop at the Vineyard Arts Project.
WITNESS UGANDA SYNOPSIS:
In the summer of 2005, Griffin Matthews traveled to Uganda to volunteer at a village orphanage. During his six-week journey, he stumbled upon a group of orphaned teenagers living in squalor and decided to help find sponsors for their educations. He returned to the US and with the help of his friends started Be the Change (Uganda), a non-profit organization that sponsored the students' education, housing, and basic needs. But the last 5 years have tested Griffin and his team's resolve and power to change the students' destinies. Suffering devastating losses and set backs, the organization nearly crumbles under the weight, but continues to hang on by a thread of hope. Using personal journal entries, letters, and interviews, WITNESS UGANDA explores the complexities of balancing the tangled lives of both the staff and students. A carefully crafted combination of music, dance and journalistic theater propels the play and explores the question: is changing the world even possible?
Matt Gould is working on a commission for Yale Rep with playwright Carson Kreitzer on a new musical called Lempicka. He wrote and directed Free Style for LA's REPRISE Theatre Company (commissioned by Jason Alexander), wrote Twilight in Manchego (directed by Billy Porter) in the NYMF (Jonathan Larson Foundation Award), was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons to write music for Lucy Thurber's Dillingham City, composed music for Dreyfus In Rehearsal (Off-Broadway) and translated, adapted and directed Romeo and Juliet in Pulaar (Mauritania, West Africa.) He was a composing fellow in New Dramatist's Composer/Librettist studio and has composed and arranged music for Grammy Winner Desmond Child, Terrence McNally, and more. www.mattgouldinc.com.
Griffin Matthews graduated with a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is an accomplished playwright/lyricist, director and actor who splits his time between New York and Los Angeles. He co-wrote (book, music, and lyrics) and directed Witness Uganda (Dean Kay Award), a musical based on the story of his non-profit organization. Witness Uganda was invited to perform at Rattlestick Theater's F*!@cking Good Plays Festival and The ASCAP Foundation/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop hosted by Stephen Schwartz. The musical will receive its world premiere at Boston Court Theatre (Pasedena, CA) in the summer of 2011. As an actor, he has appeared on 90210, Cashmere Mafia, Num3ers, and People.com's I heart DWTS, a critically acclaimed webseries for People Magazine that he wrote and starred in.