Atkey, Mel 1958–
Atkey, Mel 1958–
PERSONAL: Born June 16, 1958, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; immigrated to England, 1991; son of Ken (an artist) and Marion (a teacher; maiden name, Holmes) Atkey. Education: Attended Langara College, 1979. Religion: Christian Scientist.
ADDRESSES: Home—93 Judd St., Flat 2, London WC1H 9NE, England. E-mail—mela[email protected]
CAREER: Writer, lyricist, and composer for the stage. Concert producer, beginning 1977, including a televised concert by folksinger Tom Northcott; also worked as a theater critic. Cabaret and Musical Theater Alliance, director prior to 1991; Guild of Canadian Musical Theater Writers, past member of Lehman Engel Workshop.
MEMBER: Writers Union of Canada, Mercury Musical Developments.
(Composer and lyricist) O Pioneers! (musical), book by Robert Sickinger, produced in New York, NY, 2001.
When We Both Got to Heaven: James Atkey among the Anishnabek at Colpoy's Bay Natural Heritage Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
(Composer and lyricist) A Little Princess (musical), book by Robert Sickinger, produced in New York, NY, at Wings Theater, 2003.
Broadway North: The Dream of a Canadian Musical Theater, Natural Heritage Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
Other musical plays include Shikara, performed for a Canadian radio station, and Poor Little Rich Girl Sings the Blues. Songwriter for CBC-Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Also author of cabaret material for actress Janie Dee.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Running Away with the Circus; or, Now Is the Winter of Our Missing Tent, an account of the author's circus tour in Taiwan.
SIDELIGHTS: Mel Atkey told CA: "I have been writing musicals ever since I was in high school in my native Vancouver. I was a finalist for the Musical of the Year competition in Denmark, and my work has been short-listed for the Vivian Ellis Prize, the Quest for New Musicals, the Ken Hill Prize, and Musical Stairs. My first musical, Shikara, is now available on compact disc.
"I began my career in 1977 by coproducing a jazz concert with Vancouver impresario Willi Germann. This experience would later be recalled in the musical Poor Little Rich Girl Sings the Blues. Other early projects included a telethon featuring folksinger Tom Northcott and the Lance Harrison Dixieland band, and I spent two years as a theater critic before moving to Toronto to pursue a career as a musical theater writer. I moved to London in 1991.
"My book When We Both Got to Heaven: James Atkey among the Anishnabek at Colpoy's Bay tells the story of my ancestor James Atkey, who came to Georgian Bay from the Isle of Wight in 1854 as a teacher to the Ojibwa."