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Anita Riggio, Writer, Lyricist, & Producer. Brindlebeast sprouted from Riggio’s knowledge of American sign language, her  life-long interest in Deaf culture, and her experience  in using sign language as an art form. Brindlebeast, an original musical, has been her passion project for more than ten years.

In 2007, the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) commissioned Riggio to adapt her picture book, perennial Halloween favorite and award-winning, Beware the Brindlebeast for the stage.The play toured nationwide during NTD's 40th anniversary season, and it was this collaboration with NTD that set her to work on the first tentative drafts of book and lyrics for Brindlebeast.  


Riggio is the writer and/or illustrator of twenty-four books including: The Whispering Cloth, Secret Signs Along the Underground RailroadA Moon in My Teacup, Smack Dab in the Middle, and Beware the Brindlebeast. Her manuscripts, book dummies, sketches and illustrations are archived at the Northeast Children's Literature Collection, Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut in Storrs, and available to the public.

Anita Riggio has taught writing in the MFA Creative Writing low-residency program at Lesley University and  illustration at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford.


Riggio lives with her husband and their labradoodle Nelle, in an antique colonial house in Connecticut where her four grandchildren and their parents are frequent visitors, and where she coaches other writers and presents writing workshops.

Sila C. Shaman, Composer, is a Manhattan based composer and pianist. Her work spans a wide variety of genres, including: jazz, musical theater, film scores, concert, and experimental music.


Born in Turkey, Shaman moved to USA to study jazz in 1993. In 2004, her debut album as a bandleader, A New Abode was selected as an "Album of the Week" pick by NPR's Jazz with Bob Parlocha, and had extensive airplay in the US and Europe. She followed this with several releases from Louie Records with Dave Storrs and SDS trio including: First Encounters (2009); Dark Transparency (2010); and For Now (2011). Her stage and screen credits include scores for Catskill Chainsaw Redemption, a short film by Emmy winning writer J.R. Havlan of “The Daily Show with John Stewart”; documentary, First American Art; documentary, 9/11-Ten Years On for History Channel; A Character Story, short film by cartoonist, Liana Finck presented by the Daily Forward; music for the play, Terrotica, by Brad Krumholz, staged by NACL at the Ohio Theater in NYC; and the musical Spin, with book and lyrics by John Frohnmayer, starring David Ogden Stiers. Her latest projects include electro-jazz release, ReWeave (2015); and Songs of Imagination (2016), a collection of piano pieces for children; and the score for the documentary Sisters in Freedom, produced by History Making Productions (2018).    


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