Deborah Atherton is a librettist, fiction writer, and arts administrator, with a lifelong passion for fantasy, science fiction, opera, jazz, and art that falls between the cracks. A graduate of Yale University, her work for music theater and opera has been presented by Lincoln Center Serious Fun, Opera Theater of St. Louis, CAP21, the Woman Becoming Festival of the Culture Project, Parabola Arts, the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, and National Public Radio. She received a commission for her first opera, Under the Double Moon, written with Anthony Davis, from Opera Theater of St. Louis and for her second, Mary Shelley, written with Allan Jaffe, from Parabola Arts. Under the Double Moon was published in book form by Opera Theater of St. Louis and G. Schirmer. She is currently working on a new music theater piece, Songs of the City, about the difficulties of finding love in New York, with Allan Jaffe.
Deborah has been a fellow at the Eugene ONeill Music Theater Conference and an Artist-in-Residence at Opera Theater of St. Louis and the Palenville Arts Colony. Her short stories have appeared in a number of literary magazines, including The Distillery, Paper Streets, Reflections: A Literary Journal, Westview, Empire, and others. She has given recent readings of her fiction for Serial Underground at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City, and, with her writing group, River Writers of Manhattan, at the Jazz Gallery and the Mercantile Library.
Deborah has been Executive Director of the American Composers Alliance and Associate Director of the American Music Center. She is currently a senior development writer for Girl Scouts of the USA, where she recently oversaw fundraising for their national arts initiative, which was supported by the Annenberg Foundation. Since 2000, she has also maintained an arts consulting practice; clients have included the Center for Contemporary Opera, Ensemble Pi, the Brian Groder Ensemble, MEH Multimedia, RPI Acoustic Architecture, the American Composers Alliance, and New England Voices. She has also worked with a number of published authors and other professionals, helping them to bring their work to print.
Deborah lives in Manhattan, and sometimes regrets that she didnt open a bakery instead of becoming a writer. She makes up for this on weekends by finding ever new ways to combine flour, butter, sugar, and chocolate. She firmly believes that the best cookie, like the best art, is creatively interstitial.