Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists and Authors
Shirley R. Barasch, PhD and Professor Emeritus is a composer, poet, playwright and singing instructor. She holds degrees in English, Speech/Theatre, Music and Voice. She served as Chair of Conservatory of Performing Arts, Director of Music & Fine Arts and Artistic Director of The Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also served 14 years in the Education Department, coordinating student teachers. She taught social sciences K-12, curriculum methods, and piano and voice classes. Along the way she created the Point Park Singers, now the University Singers, and wrote the words and music for the University Alma Mater.
Her extensive body of original work includes many children's musicals: Alice in Wonderland, The Emperor’s Nightingale, Rapunzel, Wind in the Willows, Robin Hood, Jubilee Journey, and The Pied Piper of Big Burgh (a jazz dance/rap show). Her plays include Little Red Riding Good, For Professional Purposes (3 one-acts), A Button for my Yarmulke, The Biblical Cantata: Out of This Heritage, ID - Five Songs for Baritone, Pages of a Diary - A Song Cycle for Soprano, a String Quartet in D, Suite for Cello with Flute and Clarinet, A Brass Quartet and A Lyrical Piece for Flute & Piano. Her first short story, The Chocolate Bar, won 1st prize in 2008. She also wrote a memoir in 2010 called The Library Card. Additionally, she has written over 200 poems and songs. Her music drama for older teens, Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein, premiered in 2008.
Dr. Barasch has received a Warner Cable Television award, thirteen ASCAP awards, The Performing Arts Partnership Award and many poetry prizes. Now retired, she lives with her husband Ron in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. She continues writing, composing and teaching voice in her home studio.