Nancy O'Connor (nancyoconnor.org) and Jared Dunn (jaredmdunn.com) are songwriters, theater creators, and directors. They've been working together since 2016 when they co-directed Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! at Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse (they were 14 and 16, respectively).

Founding members of At Rise Productions, a theater company based in Central New York, they have worked to bring talented young people from across the Central New York area together and provide them with opportunities to perform roles in their own age-range, as well as with opportunities to get involved in aspects of theatre production not traditionally offered to young people in schools or the community (directing, music directing, design, etc.).

They have been writing together since the summer of 2018 when they sat down together and wrote a song called "I Can't Remember His Name". That song ended up being performed along with seven other original O'Connor & Dunn songs at a cabaret event in honor of their friend, Blake Lucas, who had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away that same summer. They held another cabaret event the next summer where they raised money to start the Blake Lucas Memorial Music/Theater Scholarship Fund. They wrote 14 new songs, weaving them together into a short concert musical titled Teenage Nobodies.

In the fall of 2019, they released their first two songs: "Fly" and "Which Way to Neverland?", both of which were written for and performed at their first summer cabaret in 2018. "Which Way to Neverland?" was one of 15 songs selected for Curtain Up: Berklee's Annual Musical-Theater Songwriting Contest. It will be orchestrated and performed on April 15, 2020 8pm at the Berklee Performance Center. Get your tickets now! It also received a 2020 SAMMY nomination for Best Other Style.

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More recently, they wrote, recorded, and released a song titled "Your Chair" in honor of their friend Blake. It will be used as the theme music for a new podcast What Would You Miss?, which is raising awareness of mental health, and changing the conversation around suicide prevention.


Title Lyrics Audio Video
First Snow
I Can't Remember His Name
Teenage Nobodies
We Reigned As Queens
What Are You Waiting For?
Where Am I Going?
Which Way to Neverland?
Your Chair


Nancy and Jared