In the past few years, award-winning playwright, composer, music therapist Andrea Green has burst on the national and international scene with the production of her entertaining and educational Broadway style musicals. Throughout the United States as far south as Puerto Rico and internationally in Estonia, schools and theater groups have been performing her theatrical works to cheers from crowds and appreciative fans. Her musicals make a difference in the unique way they bring people together with acceptance and respect- taking down the fences of fear and prejudice and building bridges of support, understanding and love that last in memories for a lifetime.
Now her work has been chronicled in the 2015 Emmy-Award winning documentary by Henry Nevison titled “On the Other Side of the Fence”. The film focuses on Andrea’s work as a composer/playwright & music therapist, where she uses her musical as a vehicle to bring diverse groups of youngsters together in partnership. It presents the time when the City of Philadelphia honored Andrea with a Proclamation for 30 years of teaching tolerance to children in the Philadelphia area. The film captures the essence of Andrea’s work and grabs the audience from the onset. It received the Gold medal from The New York Festivals® (NYF) International Television & Film Awards, the United Nations Department of Public Information Bronze Award for extraordinary public service and the Silver Telly Award (highest honor) selected from over 12,000 entries.
The Philadelphia-based Andrea Green will be the first to tell you that her prolific creative portfolio flows directly from her core belief that music is a healing art. There’s a unique signature to her work. Her musicals present relevant universal stories, uplifting memorable tunes and they deliver important messages on themes of tolerance, inclusion, understanding and respect. A national authority in musical theater publishing, Kenneth Dingledine of Samuel French Music, said in admiration: "Andrea Green captures the heart and soul of theatre, seamlessly blending education and entertainment through words and music. She tackles the tough subjects and always delivers a fun experience for the performers."
Green’s vision for children’s theater began in 1982 with the debut of “On the Other Side of the Fence,” a tuneful show set in two barnyards, side by side. Andrea created this musical to forge an emotional connection between students from the Germantown Friend’s School and the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy and - a mainstream school with those at a special services school. It also launched the model Green would apply in the creation of many more shows, each with original songs and pro-social themes that children understand and their teachers and families appreciate.
"Children are often fearful of getting to know people who initially seem different from them, but when we get a stage full of children from different backgrounds or communities performing together, singing songs about acceptance, attitudes and behaviors that may belittle others or cause harm are replaced with empathy, positive regard, inclusion, acceptance, and respect, for others as well as themselves. It's a joy to create that energy and that's fundamental to every show I create."
HOMEROOM THE MUSICAL, is a popular show for teen performers created by Andrea and school psychologist/writer Selma Tolins-Kaufman to address the issues of inclusion, acceptance and respect among teens in the school setting. After attending one of Andrea’s musicals back in 1986, Selma approached her to collaborate on creating a similar musical framework that would bring teens together with acceptance. HOMEROOM was created and premiered at The Walnut Street Theater to sold out audiences. Since then it has been performed in hundreds of schools and theaters and is published by Samuel French Inc.
"Andrea’s musicals have the ability to make more of an impact than lecturing to kids. We've seen when children carry the message of tolerance themselves, through song, there’s a better chance they’ll internalize it. I believe musical theater gives us a greater opportunity to mirror and repair negative attitudes and behaviors." Nationally-respected mental health expert and author Dr. Dan Gottlieb, Ph.D. weighed in on the therapeutic potential in her shows when he wrote of her musical about middle school "HOMEROOM The MUSICAL," "Most young people feel different, but don't talk about it. One isolated teenager could become a victim and another could become a bully. 'HOMEROOM The MUSICAL' opens up a dialogue that could change the way our children see each other and themselves. I would like to see 'HOMEROOM The MUSICAL' in every school."
Songwriting has always been a natural way to communicate for Andrea Green and took seed in a home in Elkins Park, PA, where her supportive family provided a rich environment that valued and nurtured creativity. Green credits inspiration from both of her parents. Her mother was a music teacher and violinist, as well as a poet and songwriter. Her dad, a general practice physician in Philadelphia, encouraged young Andrea to bring along her guitar to accompany him on his rounds through nursing homes and hospitals. It was in the intimate setting of a patient’s room that Green uncovered her flair for composing songs that both entertained and had therapeutic value. She also believes her experience in The Young Set, a teen singing group in Cheltenham that performed in hospitals and nursing homes through the Delaware Valley, helped fuel her interest in the field of music therapy. The positive response she experienced gratified and motivated Green in return, and launched her toward her life's work in music therapy, which she studied first at University of Miami School of Music in Coral Gables and later in a Creative Arts in Therapy Masters program at Hahnemann Medical School (now Drexel) in Philadelphia.
After years of jobs combining music and therapy in settings with psychiatric patients, Green began working directly with children in 1982 when she was hired by the HMS School for children with Cerebral Palsy in West Philadelphia, serving students with severe physical disabilities. It was there that Andrea was inspired to create her musicals to partner the HMS students with Germantown Friends School students. Working with GFS teacher Teresa Maebori and a host of other people, the Something Magical Musical Project developed into a 30 year successful musical partnership between HMS and GFS
Andrea directed and produced her musical THE RAINBOW SEA at the St. John School of the Arts in the Caribbean in 2015, sponsored by the ASCAP Foundation and the Elixir Foundation and will be returning in 2016 to produce her musical THE SAME SKY. Her work is receiving wider international attention, with productions of THE RETURN OF HALLEY’S COMET and THE SAME SKY by the Generation Musical Theater Company in Tallin, Estonia.
Andrea Green’s musicals have been staged from coast to coast, including; Danville Light Opera Company in Danville, Illinois, National Performing Arts Festival in Disneyworld, Columbia Preparatory in NYC, DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science in MN, NYC, The Millhopper School in Gainesville, Fla., Queen’s University, ON, The Yankton Children's Theater in Yankton, South Dakota, Playhouse on Park in Hartford Connecticut, The Ritz Theater, in Westmon NJ, St. John School of the Arts, St. John , The Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, IA, Wolf Performing Arts Center in Narberth Pa. The Walnut Street Theater, Phila., Pa. and scores more.
Three of Andrea Green’s musicals are published by Samuel French, Inc., the renowned theatrical publishing and licensing house. They include, "On The Other Side of the Fence," "The Return of Halley's Comet" and "HOMEROOM The Musical," composed by Green and co-written with Selma Tolins-Kaufman.
Andrea’s other musicals are published by Andrea Green Music.
Andrea Green is a member of ASCAP, The Dramatist's Guild, The Children's Music Network and The International Association of Theater for Children and Young People.