|Born||January 10, 1994|
Princeton, New Jersey
|Occupation(s)||Composer, lyricist, director, actor|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, piano|
Christopher Anselmo is an American songwriter and composer of musical theatre. He attended college full-time at Northwestern University, where he studied for a B.A. in Theatre while also participating in the school's Music Theatre Certificate program and Advanced Playwriting sequence.
Born in Princeton, NJ, Anselmo spent the majority of his childhood in nearby Freehold, NJ (more specifically, in the suburb of Millstone Township, NJ). His first extended venture into songwriting happened at Allentown High School, when he wrote a book report on David Copperfield as a song cycle. Anselmo moved to East Greenwich, RI after his sophomore year of high school; he is a 2012 graduate of The Wheeler School.
Anselmo is best known for his musical Fable, co-written with his childhood friend, Harrison Kaufman. Originally written by Anselmo after his high school graduation as a song cycle, he brought Kaufman on to write a script, which would help to transform the collection of songs into a full-length musical. The pair developed the material at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and workshopped the show for two years with organizations such as Arts Alliance at Northwestern and the Actors Training Center in Wilmette, IL before submitting it to the New York Musical Theatre Festival (more colloquially known as NYMF). Out of hundreds of submissions, Fable was among ten shows selected for NYMF's Next Link Project, and was granted a fully staged production Off-Broadway at the 2014 edition of the festival.
Fable ran at the Pershing Square Signature Center from July 22–27, 2014; the show's run was extended twice. Anselmo's score was widely lauded by critics as "clever and oddly endearing," "tuneful [and] insightful," and "by turns soaring, jaunty, and hard-rocking."
Anselmo and Kaufman are the youngest writers ever to be accepted to the festival in history; both were twenty years old on opening night.
The Haunted Train
Commissioned by Unmasked Theater Company, Anselmo wrote music and lyrics for the world premiere production of The Haunted Train (book by Christian Fleming and Randy Gross).
The show was produced Off-Off-Broadway at Theater for the New City from October 14–18, 2015. Nickolaus Hines of OnstageBlog wrote that Anselmo's score is "A warm wave of perfect harmony" which is "critical to the piece.... it almost comes off as a set of musical numbers interrupted by lines."
Involvement at Northwestern
Anselmo frequently participates in multiple roles within Northwestern's theatrical and musical community. As a director, he has helmed established musicals, like Spamalot, while also developing new works, like Fight or Flight (a song cycle). He has also contributed to Northwestern's a cappella community, performing and arranging (and formerly serving as musical director) with Freshman Fifteen, an all-male a cappella group.
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- "cast + creative". FABLE. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
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- "Q&A: Christopher Anselmo, co-creator of 'Fable'". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "Both Cloned! and Fable Extend at NYMF in First Week". Playbill. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "NYMF's FABLE Extends Again; Comes to 54 Below, 7/17". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
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- "Reviews - 2014 New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF) - Part 4". Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "FABLE Makes History at NYMF, 7/22-27". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "Unmasked Theatre to Stage THE HAUNTED TRAIN at TNC This October". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "Review: "The Haunted Train" at Theater for the New City". OnStage. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "Q&A: The Daily speaks with 'Spamalot' director about gender changes in the musical". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "Songs of Themselves: Reviewing 'The Lilliput Troupe' and 'Fight or Flight'". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "Freshman Fifteen". www.nufreshman15.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.