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Creative Team

Deborah Haber (Book & Lyrics) is Executive Artistic Director of DEEP Arts, a non-profit arts organization focused on developing new work. DEEP Arts was originally a professional theatre company for young audiences (Rochester Children’s Theatre), which was founded by Ms. Haber and for which she served as Producing Artistic Director for 23 years. During this time, she directed over 75 productions, including: Cinderella, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, A Year with Frog and Toad, Seussical, Quilters, Narnia, Honk!, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Joseph and the …Dreamcoat, The Miracle Worker, The Odyssey, Charlotte’s Web, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Ms. Haber wrote and directed an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and produced an original musical Treasure Island during RCT’s 2006-2007 season.

Ms. Haber recently wrote the book and lyrics to Sweet House, an original musical  highlighting healthy choices. The production’s significant funding (over $250,000) made it possible to reach over 100,000 elementary students in upstate New York. Ms. Haber and her writing partner Casey Filiaci are currently developing Sweet House for animation.

This successful partnership continued for Ms. Haber’s second project, Moses Man. After extensive research with Holocaust scholars, Ms. Haber began work on the development of her parents’ story for the stage, a project she has wanted to begin for a long time. Moses Man was presented as an Invited Show at NYMF 2015.

Currently Moses Man is in rewrites with the intent for inclusion of contemporary stories of displacement happening today. In April 2016 Ms. Haber and Mr. Filiaci formed a partnership with The School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University to present a Symposium entitled “Art and Refugees.” The full project entitled “Finding Home: Shine the Light” consists of the musical, a fine art exhibition partnering with world renown artists’ view of displacement, and an education component is currently being filmed for a full length documentary film. “Finding Home,” co-produced by DEEP Arts and Blue Sky Project Films with Emmy-award winning Dave Marshall directing, chronicles the development and impact of this important world issue.  

Ms. Haber served as a theatre panelist for New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Regional Economic Development Council and along with her writing partner, Casey, received an appointment to Indiana University in March 2014 to further the development of Moses Man. She is a member of Dramatist Guild of America.

CASEY L. FILIACI (Music) Casey Filiaci is a widely respected professional with over three decades of experience in the business of music production. Upon earning a degree in composition from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, he pursued a career as a jazz pianist and composer. He quickly changed course after being exposed to the world of music production and recording.

Casey is signed to an Atlantic Records recording contract. He is a two-time Emmy "Best Sports Music" nominee for his work with HBO and has earned multiple Silver Mic and Telly awards. His credits include premier productions across the media spectrum including theme music for the NBC U.S. Olympics, HBO's Main Movie theme, "When It was a Game", "Inside the NFL'' and World Championship Boxing” as well as the soundtrack for the Baseball Hall of Fame Theater in Cooperstown, film score for The Next Big Thing and more. Casey has worked with world-class musicians in studios from NYC to LA and provided music for premiere clients such as Disney and HBO. He has access to a wide array of music talent for use in his productions and has worked with and produced music in every genre including rock, hip-hop, jazz, country and classical.

Most recently, Casey has taken on the genre of musical theatre. His first foray into musical theatre resulted in Plagued--A Love Story, NYMF 2009. Along with Deborah Haber, Casey composed music for Sweet House, and Moses Man, NYMF 2015. LIKAH! is their third collaboration.

James Silson (Puppet Director) currently holds the position of Show Director with Disney Parks Live Entertainment, contributing to a wide range of productions at Walt Disney World and across the globe. Joining the WDW creative team first as Puppet Master, James provided puppet choreography for many entertainment productions including the THEA award-winning Finding Nemo: The Musical and Playhouse Disney – Live On Stage at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and Disneyland Paris. He also joined the Hong Kong Disneyland Opening Team and the Shanghai Disneyland Opening Team, choreographing puppetry for all venues in both parks. As Show Director, James’ credits include Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular, The Muppets Present - Great Moments in American History, Mariachi Cobre Presents - The Story of Coco, A Frozen Holiday Wish, and the all-new Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, debuting this year. Apart from Disney, James has over thirty years of experience in the entertainment industry, working professionally as a writer, choreographer, director, singer, actor, dancer, juggler, mime, and puppeteer in both theater and film/television. Career highlights include the London and United States World Premieres of the play White Fang, in which he directed the puppetry, Goodspeed Musicals’ World Premiere of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas – The Musical, in which he originated the onstage role of Howard Snake, and Two For One, an original comedic production developed and performed by James and his twin brother, Scott. James also toured as a child singer in his family’s concert act, The Silsons, and originated his own band with his brothers, The Silson Brothers, composing, arranging, and performing original songs, a passion he continues today.

DON KOT (Music Director) is a pianist, vocal coach, arranger, and music director and is Coordinator of the Musical Theatre degree program at the SUNY Geneseo. He was awarded The Cleveland Institute of Music’s Valedictory Prize and the Madame Gwendolyn Koldofsky Award, recognizing excellence in accompanying. Don has been on the music staff of Lyric Opera Cleveland and was the pianist for master classes with Marilyn Horne, Elly Ameling, Gerard Souzay, Madeleine Milhaud, and Jan DeGaetani, among others. He maintains career as a collaborative pianist and has had performances broadcast over WXXI and WCLV radio. Don has been the Resident Music Director and Affiliate Artist at Geva Theatre Center for eighteen years. Geva productions, among many others have included: Hair, Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns, In the Heights, All Your Questions Answered (world premiere), Next to Normal, Avenue Q, and as part of the Festival of New Plays, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, One For My Baby, rightnextto me, Tomorrowland and An Evening with Mrs. Kasha Davis, International Celebrity Housewife. He was also vocal coach and music arranger for Katherine’s Colored Lieutenant (world premiere) and others. At NYMF, Don was music director for Moses Man and performed at the Pershing Square Jewel Box Theatre; he has also performed Off- Broadway at the 45 Bleecker Street Theatre, Laurie Beechman Theatre, and at the Toronto Fringe Festival. He also has numerous other regional credits.