Rhoda Levine is the author of seven children’s books and is an accomplished director and choreographer. In addition to working for major opera houses in the United States and Europe, she has choreographed shows on and off Broadway, and in London’s West End. Among the world premieres she has directed are Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann and X--The Life and Times of Malcolm X and Wakonda’s Dream, both by Anthony Davis. In Cape Town she directed the South African premiere of Porgy and Bess in 1996, and she premiered the New York City Opera productions of Janácek’s From the House of the Dead, Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, and Adamo’s Little Women.
Levine has taught acting and improvisation at the Yale School of Drama, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Northwestern University, and is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music. She lives in New York, where she is the artistic director of the city’s only improvisational opera company, Play It by Ear. Karla Kuskin
(1932-2009) was born in Manhattan and grew up in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of the city. She attended Antioch College before transferring to Yale, where she studied with Josef Albers and earned a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design in 1955. With the publication of her first book, Roar and More
(1956), she embarked on a lifelong career as a writer and illustrator, going on to produce more than fifty books. Among the many artists and authors she worked with were Paula Fox, Peter Viertel, and Marc Simont, who provided the illustrations to The Philharmonic Gets Dressed
, a finalist for the 1983 National Book Award for children’s picture book.