David Rodwin is a writer/producer living in Venice, CA. After studying writing and music composition at Princeton, Juilliard and Northwestern, David created 9 operas, musicals and monologues presented by dozens of venues from The Public Theatre to the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. The LA Times has called his work “Dazzling” and The San Francisco Bay Guardian declared his writing "Inspiring”. David is a regular at The Moth StorySlam and has just finished his first book, Spalding & Me, a memoir about the month he spent living at an arts colony with his mentor Spalding Gray shortly before he committed suicide. Somewhere in between all that, David produced 57 short films with his former NY-based production company RIPFest (half of them movie musicals) four of which he also wrote.
Recently, David ’s been developing feature films including the indie drama Crackwhore Pornstar Love, the coming-of-age story The Jetty, the modern movie musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland Alice: Descent into Decadence and the biopic Benstein in Palestine about Leonard Bernstein’s seminal tour of the Holy Land during Israel’s 1948 War for Independence.
David began his journey by writing music & lyrics for STAR DREK!: A Musical Parody, which ran in Seattle for almost 2 years in the early 90s. In 1997 , American Opera Projects premiered his multi-media opera ECSTATIC JOURNEY originally developed at the Aspen Music Festival. Shortly thereafter, he was commissioned by ASK Theatre Projects to create a hip-hop opera based on Wagner’s Ring cycle. From 1999-2001 Dixon Place, Sacred Fools and Disney/ASCAP workshopped his avant-musical WARNING: eXplicit Material. And after that, Mabou Mines commissioned him and Donna DiNovelli to write a chamber opera THE PRAYER CYCLE presented at the Public Theatre’s ‘New Works Now!’ and later premiered at P.S. 122.
After ECSTATIC JOURNEY, David also began performing solo work, starting with his ‘hyper-opera’ VIRTUAL MOTION. The LA Times announced that, “The stage truly belongs to Rodwin” and The San Francisco Guardian declared, “Anyone who thinks theater has no new territory to explore should take a look at Rodwin.” There was such acclaim that David toured the show to over 20 venues throughout the US and Europe.
David went on to premiere his solo shows MONKS & SLUTS AND STATESMEN (Oh, My!) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and TRIPPIN’ at LaMaMa ETC . Shortly before that in 2002, master monologist Spalding Gray invited David to The Atlantic Center an arts colony in Florida. For a month, he worked intimately with David on his monologue RAGING LOVE about a friend's recent suicide. Spalding killed himself shortly thereafter. And after many years distance from those events, David has just completed a book about the experience, Spalding & Me. Read the opening chapters here.
After 9/11, David also took an innovative approach to producing when he founded his company Raw Impressions, Inc. through which he brought together hundreds of artists to inspire them to be “prolific with excellence” and then supported them through a speedy development process straight up to the premiere. David created divisions in Music Theatre (RIMT), Dance Theatre (RIDT) and Film (RIPFest). RIPFest was the first short film event of its kind and held events in which participants made 6 new short films in 16 days – mostly original movie musicals. In 5 years, David produced 57 films and 170 ten-minute stage musicals with talent like DJ Javerbaum (head writer of The Daily Show), Oscar-winner Jack Lechner, and performers like Tony Award-winning Actor Tonya Pinkins. Watch the CBS News feature coverage of RIPFest. And in 2005 The Sundance Institute acknowledged his work with RIPFest by inviting him to participate in their annual Producer’s Conference.