Mary Rodgers Biography

Mary Rodgers
Mary Rodgers

An accomplished author, screenwriter and composer, MARY RODGERS' earliest professional credits included serving as Assistant to the Producer of Leonard Bernstein's New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts. Her Broadway career began as composer of the 1959 musical ONCE UPON A MATTRESS starring Carol Burnett, later broadcast to great success on network television and revived repeatedly. More than 400 productions of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS are presented annually in the U.S. and Canada and a 1997 Broadway production starring Sarah Jessica Parker earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical Revival.

She has been a popular author of fiction for young people ever since her first book was released in 1972: FREAKY FRIDAY received the first prize at the Book World Spring Book Festival Awards, The Christopher Award, and was cited on the ALA Notable Book List. In 1977 Disney Studios adapted FREAKY FRIDAY into a movie, with screenplay by Mary Rodgers, and starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster; a remake was broadcast on the ABC television network in 1995 and a musical version, written by Mary Rodgers and John Forster, was presented by Theatreworks/USA.

As a composer, her additional theatre credits include HOT SPOT starring Judy Holliday, THE MAD SHOW, WORKING, and THE GRIFFIN AND THE MINOR CANON. Her television credits include ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, THREE TO MAKE MUSIC (written with her sister Linda and starring Mary Martin), FEATHERTOP, and Marlo Thomas' FREE TO BE...YOU AND ME. She also composed the scores for several productions featuring the legendary Bil Baird Marionettes, including DAVY JONES' LOCKER and PINOCCHIO, and several musicals for Theatreworks/USA. Her musicals have been celebrated in a revue, HEY, LOVE.

Additional authorship credits include THE ROTTEN BOOK, A BILLION FOR BORIS (The Christopher Award; ALA Notable Book List), SUMMER SWITCH and the screenplay for Disney Studio's THE DEVIL AND MAX DEVLIN.

The daughter of composer Richard Rodgers and Dorothy Rodgers, she collaborated with her mother on several projects, including: the 1970 book A Word to the Wives; a nationally syndicated radio program of the same title; and Of Two Minds, a monthly column for McCall's Magazine. She has also made several concert appearances with William Hammerstein, son of the celebrated lyricist, in an evening of reminiscences, anecdotes and musical selections celebrating their fathers' collaboration.

Currently Mary Rodgers is Chairman of the Board of the Juilliard School. She serves on the boards of ASCAP, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., the Dramatists Guild Council, and the Advisory Board of Theatreworks/USA. Mary Rodgers is the Rodgers family representative in its privately-held partnership with the Hammerstein family, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

In private life she is married to Henry Guettel, former Executive Director of the Theatre Development Fund (TDF). She has five children (including fellow composer/songwriter Adam Guettel, composer/lyricist of FLOYD COLLINS) and three grandchildren.

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Recent Performances of works by Mary Rodgers
Production/Credit WhereOpening Night
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Spotlight Players 3/15/2013
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Somerset Valley Players 9/7/2007
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Middlesex County Plays in the Park 7/18/2007
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) GB Productions 9/14/2006
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Cumberland Players 7/13/2006
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Playful Theater Productions 7/7/2005
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) NENA Productions Theater Project 5/13/2005
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Livingston Theatre Company 3/3/2005
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Margate Players 8/13/2004
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) JCC Musical Theater Company 8/7/2004
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Enchanted Players 9/13/2002
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Spring Lake Theatre Company 2/1/2002
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) Mercer County Community College 2/2/2001
Once Upon a Mattress ...... (Music) East Brunswick Community Players 9/8/2000
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