Deborah Wicks La Puma

Deborah Wicks La Puma Headshot

I began my musical career in 1993 at Washington DC theaters fresh out of graduate school, and even though I have since moved back to my native California, I am proud to still consider myself a member of the DMV community, and am always happy to return for a new project with great artists.

I am a composer, music director, orchestrator, and one of the most produced Theatre for Young Audiences artists working today. With bestselling children's author Mo Willems I created ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY and DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS: THE MUSICAL (Kennedy Center). My many and diverse works with playwright Karen Zacarías include ELLA ENCHANTED (Adventure theatre, based on the book by Gail Carson Levine), OLIVERIO: A BRAZILIAN TWIST (Kennedy Center) and LOOKING FOR ROBERTO CLEMENTE (Imagination Stage). With playwright Adam Tobin I created SHE PERSISTED (based on the book by Chelsea Clinton), and the upcoming WHAT DO YOU DO WITH AN IDEA? (based on the book by Kobi Yamada).

My eclectic adult works include the lyric opera THE FIFTH SEASON (Olney Theatre) and the Mexican folk musical PERDITA (Catholic University of America) with Kathleen Cahill, the gothic bluegrass musical THE BELL WITCH with Tom Jacobson, and the pet-centric cabaret show PETPOURRI with lyricist Andrea Dodds.

As a music director and orchestrator I have worked with major regional theatre companies across the country, including the Guthrie, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

I received my MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, my bachelor's degree from Stanford University, and studied folk music with ethnomusicologist Alfredo López Mondragón. My honors include an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Musical, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, an NEA New American Works Grant, two Parents' Choice Awards, and a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Musical Adaptation. I am a proud Mexican-American and "Navy brat" who grew up in Brazil, Portugal and California, and a member of Maestra Music, TYA/USA, ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.