Biographies

Rus McCoyRUS McCOY (book, lyrics, and music) was born in the city of Los Angeles. His formative years were spent in the San Fernando Valley and he had been residing in southern California until 2009. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He released three independent compact discs: “ACE” (1992), “THE GRAVITY BELL” (1995) and “PEOPLE LIKE US” (1999), since re-titled “COWBOYS AND IDIOMS”. See www.rusmccoymusic.com He has also performed live in various coffeehouses in the southern California area, as well as gay festivals (Long Beach; Irvine; West Hollywood; Santa Barbara; Boise, Idaho; Tucson, Arizona; Chicago, Illinois; Washington DC and New York City).  

 

 In 2000 Rus decided to turn his creative energy towards live theater.  His first musical was a collaboration co-written with his long time friend Dan Taguchi called “MANZANAR: Story of an American Family” (book and lyrics by R. McCoy, music by McCoy/Taguchi) about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The East West Players, a renowned Asian American theater group in downtown Los Angeles, immediately took on the project. Sold out readings of “MANZANAR” in 2002 and 2003 caught the attention of both the Los Angeles and New York Times resulting in articles in both papers.  In 2004 and 2005 a scaled down version of the musical toured the Los Angeles middle and high schools as a learning tool by the State of California school system. Not only did the students learn of a little known chapter of American history; they were also exposed to the importance and possibilities of live theater.  There were a total of 67 performances.   

 

The latest musical entitled “MERGE”, is a dramedy about Baby Boomers, corporate mergers and reconnecting with one’s dreams. Mr. McCoy co-wrote the libretto, lyrics and music with collaborator, Kimel Conway.  

 

Dan TaguchiDAN TAGUCHI (Additional music: "Unraveling Part 2", "Baseball Saved My Life", "A Letter Home") has been making music since the seventh grade. He has performed with a number of musical groups, including the UCLA and CSUN Jazz Ensembles. Dan is a woodwind specialist (saxophone, flute, and clarinet). He also plays keyboards, acoustic guitar, and electric bass professionally.

Dan has been teaching music in the secondary schools of Southern California for thirty-four years. He is in his fourth year on the faculty of the Hale Charter Academy Middle School in Woodland Hills. Prior to his time at Hale, Dan was at the Hamilton
Academy of Music, the largest performing arts magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he taught Jazz Ensemble, Mariachi, Advanced Placement Music Theory, Guitar, and Musical Theater Pit Orchestra. He is the Music Director at the Union Church of Los Angeles. Ensembles under Dan's direction have performed at such prestigious venues as the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Walt Disney Concert hall.

Dan has worked with East West Players, America's premier Asian American theater organization, as musical director for MANZANAR and NISEI WIDOWS CLUB HOLIDAY ON THIN ICE. His other musical theater credits include: CABARET, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, THE ME NOBODY KNOWS, GREASE, CHICAGO, INTO THE WOODS, ANYTHING GOES, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, DAMN YANKEES, PROMISES PROMISES, BYE BYE BIRDIE, SOME LIKE IT HOT, THE PAJAMA GAME, SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG and GYPSY. Dan resides in Winnetka, California with his wife, Lily, and their daughter, Kiana.

Testimonial

“You’ve taken a challenging subject and have fashioned it into a compelling and original show. Throughout, the dialogue, book writing and structure are very good. I like the fact it took a while for Pearl Harbor to happen. When you got to it, because you spend time with this happy family, it landed for me in a way I didn’t anticipate. It was a gutsy choice that paid off for you. The music is very interesting and successful throughout. The blend of the pentatonic scale with American chords, its kind of Japanese but it’s kind of American. It was very successful!”

Stephen Schwartz 

(Wicked, Godspell, Pippin)DreamWorks/ASCAP Workshop in Los Angeles 

February 10, 2012