- Muskego native and musical theater composer, lyricist and
playwright Brett Ryback has earned the 2016 Cole Porter Award
presented by the American Society of Composers, Authors and
scheduled to receive the award for the composer-lyricist whose
work shows promise Wednesday at the Lincoln Center in New
York. Ryback’s musical “Joe Schmoe Saves the World” was
featured in the ASCAP/Dreamworks Musical Theatre Workshop in
Los Angeles in February.
a 2002 graduate of Catholic Memorial High School and earned
his bachelor’s degree in music composition from the
University of California, Los Angeles.
his musical theater career in Milwaukee as a youngster, where
he worked extensively with The Milwaukee Rep, Skylight Opera
and First Stage Children’s Theatre. He recently wrote the
music for “Just a Little Critter Musical” as a First Stage
Milwaukee commission, and directed the music for
“Seussical” for First Stage’s 2011 production.
Broadway, he originated the role of Officer Marcus Moscowicz
in the two-man musical comedy “Murder for Two,” which
earned the New York Times’ Critic’s Pick. He won the 2007
Tennessee Williams One-Act Competition for his play
“We•rd” and his play “A Roz By Any Other Name” was
the winner of the 2007 Henrico County Theatre One-Act
Competition. Both are published in “The Best American Short
worked extensively with various regional theaters. Ryback also
has appeared in TV and film, including on “Modern Family”
and “How I Met Your Mother.”
maintains his ties to the Milwaukee-area theater scene.
a regular composer for Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera
Theatre’s education program Kidswrites, which pairs the
uncorrected writing of inner-city grade school students with
professional actors and composers. He also served for five
years as the composer-lyricist for Next Act Theatre’s Next
Actors Summer Theatre for Youth, during which he composed
music and lyrics for five original musical theater pieces in
collaboration with Milwaukee’s youth.
lives in Los Angeles where he teaches musical theater at the
University of Southern California.