MEET THE TEAM
Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriters Benj Pasek & Justin Paul are best known for their work on Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and The Greatest Showman. Their songs “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land (with collaborator Justin Hurwitz) were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and “City of Stars” garnered both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. Pasek & Paul won the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, which was also nominated for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Original Song and most recently for the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Upcoming projects include the live-action movie musicals Aladdin and Snow White at Disney, and an original animated musical at Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios.
On Broadway they composed the score for the six-time Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen, their highly acclaimed original musical for which they received an Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award, and the Tony Award for Best Score.
Their albums for Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and The Greatest Showman appeared in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, the latter of which held the #1 spot for multiple weeks in a row. The Dear Evan Hansen Original Broadway Cast Recording won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and The Greatest Showman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which was recently nominated for the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, is certified Platinum in over a dozen countries, including Double Platinum in the US, Australia, and Taiwan, Triple Platinum in Ireland and Singapore, and Quadruple Platinum in the UK and Korea.
Pasek & Paul had their Broadway debut in 2012 with their Tony-nominated score for the Broadway musical A Christmas Story, an adaptation of the classic holiday film, further adapted into a live telecast for FOX in 2017. Their new song written for the telecast, “In the Market for a Miracle,” was nominated for the 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. In 2013, they contributed several songs to NBC’s Smash, and received great acclaim for their musical Dogfight which was awarded Off-Broadway’s highest honor, the Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Musical. Their earlier theater credits include the children’s musical James and the Giant Peach and the popular song cycle Edges. Pasek and Paul went on to receive a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Special Class – Short Format Daytime Program for the song “Unlimited,” featured in an Old Navy YouTube campaign. In 2017, the songwriting duo composed a song for the CW’s musical episode of The Flash, and also wrote “Get Back Up Again” for the DreamWorks animated film Trolls. Among their numerous honors, in 2007 they became the youngest winners ever of the famed Jonathan Larson Award for most promising musical theater songwriters.
Both are graduates of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program and currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Dramatists Guild Foundation.
McDonald is an award winning musical theatre librettist, stage director, educator and musical theatre adaptor, Founder and CEO of iTheatrics, Executive Producer of the Junior Theater Festivals Worldwide and arts education philanthropist.
Libretto credits include The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley; Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka (with Academy Award winning songwriter Leslie Bricusse); Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (with Academy Award winning songwriter Paul Williams); and Roald Dahl’s James and The Giant Peach (with Pasek and Paul); Between The Lines (music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, produced by Daryl Roth and Directed by Jeff Calhoun). Musicals in development: The Book Thief (co-librettist with NY Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson); The Big One (music and lyrics by Doug Besterman and Dean Pitchford); Uni The Unicorn (music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki).
Tim’s directing highlights include: the award winning Off-Broadway production of Dear Edwina for esteemed Broadway Producer Daryl Roth; The Phantom Tollbooth at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.; and directing Sarah Jessica Parker in the first ever White House talent show for the President and First Lady in 2014.
As an educator Tim co-authored the first-ever musical theatre education textbook, The iTheatrics Method, published by G.I.A. publications and has adapted over 125 musicals for the educational theatre markets. It is estimated that 36 million people attend performances of these musicals each year. In contrast, 12 million people attend a Broadway show annually.
Tim Executive Produces Junior Theater Festivals in America, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. with an annual attendance of over 15,000 people.
McDonald’s philanthropic endeavors including working with the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities Turnaround Arts initiative to transform underperforming schools through the arts; New York City’s Department of Education/Shubert Foundation Broadway Junior Project, building musical theatre programs in NYC middle schools; and Jump Start Theatre, building new musical theatre programs in schools the greater Cincinnati area.
Tim was a founder of Chico City Light Opera and is a CSUC Distinguished Alumni.
An unbroken string of bestselling titles followed, including The BFG, Danny the Champion of the World, The Twits, The Witches, Boy and Going Solo. Matilda, Dahl’s penultimate book, broke all previous records for a work of children’s fiction, with UK sales of over half a million paperbacks in six months. His work has been translated into over 40 languages, and he won prestigious awards, including the Whitbread Award in 1983 for The Witches and the Children’s Book Award in 1988 for Matilda.
A great believer in the importance of reading, Dahl had a passion for teaching kids how to become readers. His stories remain among the most popular treasured children’s tales of all time.