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Deborah Wicks La Puma

Deborah Wicks La Puma is a composer, music director and orchestrator. Her work for adults and children has been seen by thousands of audience members around the world, from Australia to the East Room of the White House, enjoying both popular and critical success. Her awards include the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, the Robert M. Golden Award, National Endowment for the Arts' New American Works Grant, two Parents' Choice Awards, an iParenting Media Award and two Helen Hayes Award nominations for Outstanding New Play. Her adult works include the lyric opera, Dakota Sky; the musical comedy, One Bad Apple; the pet-centric cabaret show, PetPourri; a Mexican folk musical entitled Perdita, based on Shakespeare's Winter's Tale; and Cornerstone Theater Company's Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical. La Puma is one of the most successful composers for TYA USA/ASSITEJ. Her many and diverse works for young audiences with playwright Karen Zacar’as include Frida Libre (premiered at La Jolla Playhouse), Ferdinand the Bull (based on the book by Munro Leaf), Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure (premiered at the Kennedy Center), Looking for Roberto Clemente (premiered at Imagination Stage) and Einstein Is a Dummy (premiered at the Alliance Theatre). With playwright Doug Cooney, La Puma created Nobody's Perfect (based on the book by Marlee Matlin), a bilingual musical in English and American Sign Language, commissioned by Very Special Arts and the Kennedy Center. Her musical arranging credits include Theatre for Young Audiences' hits such as Mo Willem's Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale; Ken Ludwig's Tom Sawyer; and Joan Cushing's Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, Miss Nelson Is Missing and Petite Rouge. She received her MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and her bachelor's degree from Stanford University, and she studied folk music with ethnomusicologist Alfredo López Mondragón. As a Mexican-American with dual citizenship who speaks Spanish and Portuguese, La Puma's other musical works include a bilingual mass and two rock/jazz albums with the Brazilian band Turba Multa. She is a member of the board of directors of TYA USA/ASSITEJ. She is also a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), The Dramatists Guild and the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP). La Puma resides in Los Angeles with her very patient husband, Chris; her three beautiful daughters, Rosie, Julia and Cecilia; and their cat, Mimi.

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