About

TRIBE WITHOUT A GOD is an original Neolithic musical comedy, with words and music by Christiana Cole.

“Is our god any good?”

That’s the question TomTom, the River Priest is asking himself.

Why?

Because a big flood killed almost everyone in the River Tribe. (Rude! )

Should they keep worshiping the River?

Or should they try to find a bigger, better god?

Tribe Without A God proves that there must be a gap between government and god in order for all people – believers and non-believers alike – to be truly free.

The show feels like/sounds like:
The Book of Mormon + Hamilton + Little Shop of Horrors + The Simpsons + Bertrand Russell
The Beatles + Joni Mitchell + Radiohead + Philip Glass + Stephen Schwartz

History

TRIBE WITHOUT A GOD is being developed in some of the most elite musical theater writing workshops in the world: the Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, chaired by Michael Korie (Grey Gardens, Harvey Milk) and Laurence O’Keefe (Batboy, Heathers, Legally Blonde); and the BMI Librettists and Advanced Songwriting Workshops (ongoing). Tribe Without A God will receive an Off-Broadway backers presentation in the fall of 2021 as part of the Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship.

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About the writer

Christiana Cole (they/them) moved from Austin, Texas to New York to study opera at the Manhattan School of Music. But while they were in school, Christiana began sneaking into composition classes, and convinced the registrar to let them cross-register at Columbia University, where they studied creative writing. Christiana studied composition with Dr. Mark Stambaugh and Christopher Cerrone. Christiana served as dramaturg on Cerrone’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated opera Invisible Cities. Christiana’s first full-scale work was Bombshell Baby, a musical about a drag queen who fights Nazis. (Christiana wrote book/lyrics and co-wrote the music with Rachel Felstein.) Bombshell Baby was presented in a sold-out run at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in July 2012.

Christiana is a 2020-2021 Dramatist Guild Fellow, and a member of the the Advanced Songwriting Workshop and Librettists Workshop within the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Writers Workshop. Current projects include Tribe Without a God, a Neolithic comedy; Republicana, a country rock drama about a small town during a plague; Apocrypha, the untold true story of the founding of the Christian church; and with Laura Kleinbaum, Puritan/Lesbian/Witch, a time-traveling coming out musical.

Christiana has written a number of musicals for children, including Peanut Butter and Cupcake (based on the best-selling children’s book by Terry Border) and Sparkle Spa (based on the Scholastic series by Jill Santopolo), which were both produced at Interlakes Theatre in New Hampshire. Christiana wrote lyrics, with music by Rogers award-winner Brad Ross (Little by Little) and book by New York Times best-selling author Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost). Their adaptation of The Frog Prince (written with Kristin Madden and Brennan Johnson) was commissioned and produced by Random Farms Kids Theatre, and has subsequently been licensed and produced across Asia, in Japan, China and Korea.

Christiana is a classically-trained opera singer who learned how to belt. The New York Times called Christiana Cole “top-notch.” Seen performing at: Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, City Center, 54 Below, Musical Theatre Factory, Queens Theatre, York Theatre, Labyrinth Theatre Company, O’Neill Theatre Center, Transport Group. Recently: Rose Arbuthnot in Enchanted April (Off-Bway), Big Alison in Fun Home (TheatreSquared). They cantor four Catholic Masses a week at Divine Mercy Parish in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (plus all the weddings and funerals).

Christiana is a studio singer for legendary composer Philip Glass. They are Tony-winner Joanna Gleason’s backup singer. They were featured on the soundtrack of hit film The Farewell, starring the rapper Awkwafina. Christiana is a winner of NPR’s The MOTH Story Slam, and was featured on The MOTH GrandSlam, where they told a story about a weird thing they did when they were 8.

Christiana has taught voice lessons for over a decade. In addition to their private studio, Christiana has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University, University of Lynchburg, and SUNY New Paltz, and on the voice faculty at the New York Film Academy Professional Conservatory of Musical Theater. They are hired by composers and producers as a consultant on vocal lines and general singing questions. They tutor aspiring writers and mentor aspiring voice teachers. They are available for script consultation.

Christiana’s Christmas album “A Cozy Christmas with Christiana Cole” is available on iTunes, Amazon, and all major streaming platforms. They have a chihuahua/dachshund mix (aka “chiweenie”) named Millie and a husband named Aaron Phillips. Christiana is a trans non-binary person.

Where did this idea come from?

Christiana was sitting in church, just thinking about things.

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