Myla Francene Churchill-Barrett (June 2, 1962–June 10, 2014), a beloved part-time member of the Gallatin faculty for over twelve years, passed away this summer after a sudden illness. At Gallatin, Myla taught playwriting, and participated in many theatrical programs, including the annual Gallatin Summer Theater Lab. She was also on the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Long Island University.
Among her many professional accomplishments, Myla received a Best Screenplay award at the Urbanworld Film Festival and at the 48 Hour Film Project for her short film Trapped. Her screenplay, The One, was a semi-finalist for the Academy Foundation's Nicholl Fellowship Award. Scandalous People: A Sizzling Jazzical was produced at the Minetta Lane Theatre as a part of the FringeNYC Festival. Griot Trio: Tellers of African Folktales, her children’s musical, has been produced by SummerStage/CityPark Kids; the Cherry Lane Alternative LOOKSEE Series; the Immigrants’ Theatre Project American Dreams Series; the New York Family Festival at the Theatre of the Riverside Church; the Aaron Davis Hall International Series; and The American Museum of Natural History Educational Series. Collaborating with Linda Twine, she adapted A Band of Angels, a book about the Fisk Jubilee Singers, into Louis Armstrong: Jazz Ambassador for Making Books Sing, an organization that creates theater for family audiences.
She will be remembered for her contributions both inside and outside of the classroom. Her amazing spirit, energy, creativity, and dedication to her students will be greatly missed. In a gathering in the fall of 2014, the Gallatin community will celebrate her life and work.