Most recently presented at The 2017 Polyphone Festival

J. Jarrett (Book, Music, and Lyrics) is a driven and bright-eyed composer/playwright with a passion for queer theatre.  Through his upbeat sincerity and catchy yet innovative music, he aims to bring narratives to the stage in a true reflection of the diverse LGBTQ+ community. He draws on the poetic, storytelling influences of early 2000s rock and singer-songwriters such as Billy Joel to create music that aims to electrify audience’s deepest nerves.  J believes in honest interactions, heartwarming stories, and challenging or pre-conceived notions about the definition of “normal.”  J is the recipient of New York Musical Festival’s “Outstanding Emerging Artist Award” for his musical Normativity. Other writing credits include: Aubade, Wonder Boi,    Hearts, Brains, and Other Organs,    as well as additional music and orchestrations for Hear Me War.

Originally presented

in the New York

Musical Festival

Savannah Souza (Charlie) and Sol Madariaga (Anne).  Polyphone Festival 2017.

Photo: Paola Nogueras.

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Sidney Dick (Emily) and Emma Pillow (Taylor)​​

Polyphone Festival 2017

Photo: Paola Nogueras


Normativity  tells the story of Taylor, a teenage lesbian, who’s sick of seeing LGBTQ+ people killed off in media with tragic endings (the phenomenon known as “Bury Your Gays”). When Taylor meets Emily, a book character who’s willed herself to life in order to confront the author who created her, they fight to rewrite her story and redefine "normal."  Through an exhilarating pop rock score and radical queerness, Normativity explores love, identity, and what it means to be out right now.

In April 2014, the piece premiered as Don't Bury Your Gays, a one act, five song workshop at the University of the Arts. The piece was developed into a full length musical which premiered to a sold out audience in November 2014, followed by a subsequent production in the summer of 2015.  In July 2016, Normativity made its New York premiere in the New York Musical Festival.  Most recently, it was developed as a part of The Polyphone Festival in Philadelphia.