A Brief History of
Contempo was founded by Andres Ramirez and Katharine McDonough in 2010 at Pepperdine University, where Andy and Katie were studying in the Music and Theatre departments. Originally called “The New Music Project,” Andy and Katie created a contemporary musical revue featuring a small cast with songs chosen around the performers to best feature them. The productions were fully staged, but with minimal design, and focus was placed on conveying the text, character, and story of each song. Andy and Katie sought to create an open, supportive artistic environment, where everyone involved could be creative and learn from each other. Freed from the stress of grades, judges, teachers or industry professionals to impress, cast members could be bold, make mistakes and stretch themselves physically, mentally, and artistically. “New Music” was performed at the Raitt Recital Hall in 2011 and included works produced between 1990 and 2009.
In 2012, “New Music” was renamed “Contempo,” produced in Pepperdine’s Little Theatre, and included works produced between 1970 and 1989. After Andy and Katie graduated, the Contempo revue show at Pepperdine has continued annually under the supervision of a full-time faculty member.
After several years of working professionally as performers on both the east and west coasts, Andy and Katie reunited in Los Angeles to form Contempo Productions, a non-profit theatre organization that seeks to develop and produce new works and contemporary classics with that same spirit of adventure and ingenuity.