Book by Erin Courtney and Max Vernon
Music & Lyrics by Max Vernon

Directed by and Developed with Ellie Heyman

The Tattooed Lady, a developing new musical from Max Vernon (composer/lyricist of Broadway bound KPOP) and Erin Courtney (Obie-award winning playwright of Map of Virtue) and directed by and developed with Ellie Heyman (Drama League Award Winner for The Great Work Begins, featuring Glenn Close), was awarded the prestigious Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Project Grant for 2020.

This highly competitive grant will enable Philadelphia Theatre Company to develop this new musical first as a virtual reading, and as a full production in the subsequent season.

The Tattooed Lady team was introduced to our audiences in Spring 2021, in a 20-minute mini-documentary called The Tattooed Lady: Make Your Mark.”  This mini-doc reveals what it’s like for a creative team to make a new musical during “pandemic times.” Featuring a mix of behind-the-scenes collaboration, musical segments from a concert of the material at Joe’s Pub, and other surprises from Philly, this teaser will make its own mark and show you why we were so excited to commission these artists.

The story of The Tattooed Lady highlights one of sideshow’s biggest stars, Ida Gibson, in a moving, fantastical tale that reveals the ultimate bond between mother and granddaughter. Featuring a parade of beguiling characters with both visible and invisible marks, the musical celebrates the resilience of women whose choices have the power to liberate them.  The Tattooed Lady is a musical meditation on beauty, perversity, shattering of taboos, and a woman’s right to control her body and choose her destiny.

The Tattooed Lady will be Philadelphia Theatre Company’s first commission under Artistic Director Paige Price’s leadership.


Max Vernon is a 3 time Drama Desk nominee, Out100 Honoree, and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, Richard Rodgers Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, Pew Arts and Culture Grant, New York Stage and Film’s Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation. They have been a Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, two time MacDowell Fellow, and an artist in residence at Berkeley Rep, Ars Nova, Kimmel Center (via The Public Theater), and Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, among others. Their musicals include The View UpStairs, KPOP, The Tattooed Lady, and Show & Tell. They have also written/developed work for Audible, Broadway Video, Disney Creative Entertainment, Virgin Atlantic, and Tyra Banks. The View UpStairs ran 105 performances Off-Broadway in 2017 and has since had 20+ productions around the world, including London, Sydney, and Tokyo. KPOP enjoyed a sold-out, extended run at Ars Nova and was the most nominated Off-Broadway show of the 2017-2018 season. The Tattooed Lady will have its world premiere at Philadelphia Theatre Company in Nov 2022, simultaneous with the Broadway transfer of KPOP. Max is a founding member of the glam rock band, Tony & The Kiki (42k followers on TikTok), as well as an acclaimed singer/songwriter, music producer, and cabaret artist. Notable concert performances include a six-month sold out residency at Joe’s Pub (“Existential Life Crisis Lullaby”), the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. insta: @frauleinsallybowels , @tonyandthekiki

Ellie Heyman is a director of theater and film. Upcoming projects include Nick Blaemire and Van Hughes’ Space Dogs (MCC). Recent credits include: The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America featuring Glenn Close and Brian Tyree Henry (Drama League Award; NYT Best of 2020); (Still) Asking For It (The Public Theater); A$AP Rocky’s Lab Rat, Jason Craig & Dave Malloy’s Beardo (Drama Desk Nomination; Pipeline Theater), Erin Markey’s Boner Killer (Under the Radar), Becca Blackwell’s They, Themself and Schmerm (Under the Radar); THIS (Bessie Nomination for Outstanding Production; NYLA),The Traveling Imaginary with Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel) rated “Top 5 shows of the year” by NPR; music-fiction podcast The Orbiting Human Circus (Of the Air) featuring Tim Robbins and John Cameron Mitchell, rated #1 on Apple Podcasts and downloaded over 5 million times, and the “cult classic” Dreamboy (Night Vale Presents). She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Boston University, and a Drama League and WP Theater Time Warner Directing Fellow Alumni.


Rachel Hauck is a New York City-based, Tony Award-winning scenic designer who won the 2019 Tony Award for her work in Anaïs Mitchell’s musical Hadestown.  She worked on John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons on and off-Broadway, and has worked extensively off-Broadway.

A committed educator of emerging artists, Rachel started her career as Art Direction Intern for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1990 but moved into theater soon after her time in film and TV. She then became the resident scenic designer for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center for ten years, where she led 70 new works as resident designer; then moved to teaching at Brown University, New York University/Playwrights Horizons, Vassar College, and Cal Arts.

Hauck was also instrumental in creating the first ever off-Broadway collective bargaining agreement for the United Scenic Artists union as one of the trustees of the Eastern Region Executive Board.

In 2016, Hauck was honored by the American Theatre Wing with an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Scenic Design.

Hauck was recently represented on Broadway in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown at the Walter Kerr Theatre and in Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me at the Hayes Theater. She has been involved in Hadestown and What the Constitution Means to Me since their respective world premieres in 2017. For Hadestown, Hauck has also designed the Edmonton production at the Citadel Theatre and the London production at the Royal National Theatre.

CLINT RAMOS is a designer, educator, activist and producer.

He is the recipient of a TONY Award for Best Costume Design of a Play (the first person of color to win in his category) and has also been nominated twice for his designs for Once On This Island and Torch Song. He also has two OBIE Awards, including one for Sustained Excellence in Design, 3 Lucille Lortel Awards , A Drama Desk Award, An Outer Critics Circle Award, 2 American Theater Wing Henry Hewes Awards, TDF Irene Sharraf Young Master Award, Helen Hayes Award, Craig Noel Award, among other honors..

He is also the recipient of the Ani ng Dangal Presidential Medal for dramatic arts from the President of the Philippines-he received this honor twice.

He is the producing creative director for Encores! at New York City Center.

Film credits include production design for Lingua Franca by Isabel Sandoval for Netflix. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival which chronicled the daily struggles of an undocumented Filipina transwoman in New York. And his costume design for RESPECT, the Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson for MGM will be on the big screen in the winter 2021.

He has designed sets and/or costumes for over two hundred theater, opera and dance productions. Selected credits include the Broadway productions of Grand Horizons, Slave Play, The Rose Tattoo with Marisa Tomei, Burn This with Adam Driver and Keri Russell, Torch Song, Once On This Island, Six Degrees of Separation with Allison Janney, Sunday in the Park With George with Jake Gyllenhaal, In Transit, Eclipsed with Lupita Nyong’o, Violet with Sutton Foster and The Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper (also West End). Highlights also include Bella, Kid Victory, Sweet Charity, Here Lies Love (NY, Seattle and at the National Theatre, London), Dry Powder with Claire Danes and John Kazinsky, Barbecue, The Good Person of Szechuan, Appropriate, Angels in America, Wild With Happy, Bootycandy and many more. He was the principal costume designer for City Center Encores! Off-Center for 7 seasons, having designed The Runaways, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Wild Party with Sutton Foster, Little Shop Of Horrors with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ellen Greene, A New Brain with Jonathan Groff, Cradle WIll Rock, I’m Getting My Act Together…, Randy Newman’s Faust, tick, tick…Boom! with Lin Manuel Miranda and Pump Boys and Dinettes.

In New York, his designs have been seen at the Public Theater where he has designed 23 shows, New York Theater Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Signature Theater, Classic Stage Company, Ma-Yi, NAATCO, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Women’s Project, Soho Playhouse, Mint Theater, Red Bull Theater, The Asia Society, and many others.

Regional and opera credits include designs for Alliance Theater, Asolo Repertory Company, Arena Stage, Alley Theater, American Repertory Theater, Baltimore Centerstage, Barrington Stage, Berkeley Rep., California Shakespeare Theater, Chautauqua Theater Co., Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center Theater, Folger Theater, Geva Theater, Guthrie Theater, Huntington Theater Company, Kansas Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Roundhouse Theater, Shakespeare Theater, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, Steppenwolf, Signature, Williamstown Theater Festival, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Boston, Prince Opera Theater and many others.

International credits include designs for The National Theatre, West End and the Barbican (London), O’Reilly (Dublin), Kanon (St. Petersburg), Rijksteatern (Stockholm), Thalia (Bucharest), and Tanghalang Pilipino (Manila).

Clint is professor of design and Head of Design and Production at Fordham University. Prior to this, he was professor of scenic design at SUNY Purchase and has been a visiting professor/artist at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Georgetown University.

He serves on the American Theatre Wing’s Advisory Committee.

His lifelong advocacy is for an equitable landscape in theatre and film for Black, Indigenous and People of Color and for the rights of immigrants.

He holds a Master of Fine Arts from New York University where he attended on the Gary Kalkin Memorial Scholarship.

He was born and raised in Cebu, the Philippines and lives in New York with his husband and daughter.

Mary Ellen Stebbins (Lighting Design) Recent credits include Northern Stage, Working Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Florentine Opera, Talking Band, Prototype, Harvard University, UCSD Department of Music, HERE Arts. She is a member of Sightline Arts and the Resident Designer for HOWL ensemble and Third Space.  She is a 2019 Opera America Tobin Finalist, a 2016 Henry Hewes Award nominee, a 2014 Live Design Young Designer to Watch, the 2011 USITT Barbizon Lighting Design Award winner, and a 2009 Hangar Theatre Lab Company Design Fellow.  She is currently on faculty at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.  Member USA 829. MFA, Boston University; AB, Harvard College.

A Tony Award-winning Broadway sound designer, Nevin is a passionate collaborator on a wide range of live events and theater productions. In 2019 he won the Tony Award for Best Sound Design for HADESTOWN. His other current Broadway projects include TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, the contemporary smash DEAR EVAN HANSEN, and the blockbuster HAMILTON. Other recent shows include FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME, the revival of FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE, THE CHER SHOW, BANDSTAND, BRIGHT STAR with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, and Terrence McNally’s MOTHERS AND SONS.

In addition to his theater design, Nevin serves as the Audio Consultant for Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

In 2013, he opened the acclaimed RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA on Broadway, and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Sound Design for his work on the production. He has received a Drama Desk Award for HADESTOWN and Drama Desk and Lortel Awards for his work on the off-Broadway production of HAMILTON. Continuing his commitment to new work, Nevin’s other recent sound designs in New York include THE WRONG MAN at MCC, FAR FROM HEAVEN at Playwrights Horizons Theatre, the world premiere of John Kander and Greg Pierce’s THE LANDING at The Vineyard Theatre, and THE PERFORMERS and MAGIC/BIRD on Broadway, both of which opened in 2012 at The Longacre Theatre.

Formerly, Nevin was a founding principal of the prolific sound design firm Acme Sound Partners, and he provided sound design services for dozens of Broadway shows including such diverse Tony Award winners as IN THE HEIGHTS, HAIR, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, AVENUE Q, and LA BOHÈME. During the eleven years Nevin was with the company, Acme was recognized with Tony Award nominations for Best Sound Design in each of the first five years the award was given (for THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, FENCES, HAIR, and IN THE HEIGHTS). Also during his tenure, Acme received six Drama Desk Award nominations and won the Drama Desk Award four times, for PORGY AND BESS, BENGAL TIGER, RAGTIME and LA BOHÈME.

Nevin’s theater work includes National Touring productions; international companies in the United Kingdom, South America, Mexico, Australia and Asia; local productions in Los Angeles and Las Vegas; and numerous regional productions throughout the United States.

He is also in demand for concerts and special events with renowned orchestras such as The New York Philharmonic and The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in world-class venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Ravinia Festival, and unconventional performance spaces such as The United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights and The Knockdown Center in Maspeth, New York.

A frequent presenter at Live Design Magazine’s Broadway Sound Master Classes, Nevin has also been a guest lecturer and evaluated student projects for sound design programs at North Carolina School of the Arts and Purdue University.  In November of 2011, he led a three-day workshop and symposium in Seoul for Arts Council Korea Human Resource Development Center’s inaugural International Theatre Arts program.

Nevin began his career in theater as an audio technician at The American Repertory Theatre while a student at Harvard University (and a member of the famed Hasty Pudding Theatricals). After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1989, he pursued audio engineering and design work in Providence, Baltimore and Columbus before moving back to New York and beginning work in commercial theater.  His work in dinner theater led to jobs with the touring productions of THE SECRET GARDEN and ANGELS IN AMERICA. Returning from the road, Nevin began work in New York as an engineer off-Broadway and on Broadway productions such as SUNSET BOULEVARD, SIDE SHOW, FOOTLOOSE, and THE WILD PARTY before transitioning into the sound designer’s role.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in English and American Literature and Language, and in 2011 completed a Certificate Program in Arts Management at NYU’s School for Continuing Professional Studies. Nevin is Trustee of the Town Hall Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and support of The Town Hall, a cultural and education center as well as a national historic landmark in the center of Times Square.

Major support for The Tattooed Lady has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the following:
The Tattooed Lady has been developed with support from
the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, the Kimmel Center, National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater.

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage