Clifford Carlson is a middle school teacher. In college he was mentored by author Virginia Hamilton and later studied under playwright, Tina Howe. Early in his teaching career he collaborated with Touchstone Center for Poetry founder Richard Lewis, and for ten years studied at The Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education. In 1990, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Children’s Theatre, which was spent in residence with The British American Youth Festival Theater under the direction of actor/director Robert Shampain. In 2002, he won a NYC Department of Education Teacher of the Year Award.
He and jazz composer and educator, Eli Yamin co-founded The Jazz Drama Program (JDP). The JDP is a non-profit arts education program that combines jazz music and theater to create lasting, formative experiences for young people. In the process of creating five original jazz musicals, (Nora’s Ark, Holding the Torch for Liberty, Hear My Voice, Message from Saturn and When Malindy Swings) Clifford and Eli have developed new pedagogical practices in the field of jazz education. By combining jazz music and storytelling, the duo have brought their groundbreaking new concepts in arts education to thousands of children.
Clifford lives in New York City with his wife and son, and is delighted to be represented by the Theatrical Rights Worldwide family.