Christiana Cole (they/them) moved from Austin, Texas to New York to study opera at the Manhattan School of Music. But while they were in school, Christiana began sneaking into composition classes, and convinced the registrar to let them cross-register at Columbia University, where they studied creative writing. Christiana studied composition with Dr. Mark Stambaugh and Christopher Cerrone. Christiana served as dramaturg on Cerrone’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated opera Invisible Cities. Christiana’s first full-scale work was Bombshell Baby, a musical about a drag queen who fights Nazis. (Christiana wrote book/lyrics and co-wrote the music with Rachel Felstein.) Bombshell Baby was presented in a sold-out run at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in July 2012.
Christiana is a member of the BMI Workshop (advanced songwriting and librettists workshops). Current projects include Tribe Without a God (book/lyrics/music), an original musical comedy about Neolithic people who decide to find the most powerful god, Republicana (book/lyrics/music), a song cycle about the everyday lives of small-town conservative people in Texas, Apocrypha (book/lyrics/music) the dramatic, real story of the founding of the early Christian church, and The Untitled Lesbian Time Traveler Project, (book/music, with Laura Kleinbaum on book/lyrics) about a Puritan girl about to be burned at the stake jumps through a time portal to the 21st century and discovers she’s a lesbian.
Christiana has written a number of musicals for children, including Peanut Butter and Cupcake (based on the best-selling children’s book by Terry Border) and Sparkle Spa (based on the Scholastic series by Jill Santopolo), which were both produced at Interlakes Theatre in New Hampshire. Christiana wrote lyrics, with music by Rogers award-winner Brad Ross (Little by Little) and book by New York Times best-selling author Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost). Their adaptation of The Frog Prince (written with Kristin Madden and Brennan Johnson) was commissioned and produced by Random Farms Kids Theatre, and has subsequently been licensed and produced across Asia, in Japan, China and Korea.
Christiana is a winner of NPR’s The MOTH Story Slam, and was featured on The MOTH GrandSlam, where they told a story about a weird thing they did when they were 8. Christiana is a featured vocalist on the soundtrack of the Sundance-selected film The Farewell, starring the rapper Awkwafina.
Christiana is a classically-trained opera singer who learned how to belt, and has performed at venues all across New York. The New York Times called Christiana Cole “top-notch.” Christiana has performed at the York Theatre, Ars Nova, Playwrights Horizons, 54 Below, Musical Theatre Factory, the Queens Theatre, The Labyrinth Theatre Company, the O’Neill Theatre Center, with the Transport Group, and they cantor four Catholic Masses a week at Divine Mercy Parish in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (plus all the weddings and funerals). They were recently seen as Big Alison in Fun Home at TheatreSquared (Fayetteville, AR). They can currently be seen as one of Tony-winner Joanna Gleason’s three backup singers in her cabaret show “Out of the Eclipse.”
Christiana has taught voice lessons for over a decade. In addition to their private studio, Christiana has been a guest lecturer on performance and public speaking at Columbia University and on the private voice faculty at the New York Film Academy Musical Theater Conservatory. They are hired by composers and producers as a consultant on vocal lines and general singing questions. They tutor aspiring writers and mentor aspiring voice teachers.
Christiana’s Christmas album “A Cozy Christmas with Christiana Cole” is available on iTunes, Amazon, and all major streaming platforms. They have a chihuahua/dachshund mix (aka “chiweenie”) named Millie and a husband named Aaron Phillips. Christiana is a trans non-binary person.