Composer, Playwright, Peace & Social Jusctice Advocate


John McDonnell Tierney, aka “Jack,” is a composer and playwright with an Off-Broadway Track-Record currently working on his sixth full-length work for musical theater and the fourth in a continuing series: The Humanity’s Child Musicals. The first in the quartet, titled “Humanity’s Child: The Dream,” premiered Hartford, CT in 2016 to standing ovations. The second, titled “Humanity’s Child: A Musical for Today,” premiered at the 2019 New York Theater Festival where it was recognized for best musical and best direction, and then ran for four weeks at the Players Theater Off-Broadway, August-September, 2019. The third musical in the series, titled “Humanity’s Child: More Than a Musical,” premiered as an “Audio-Musical” in May 2020 and was featured on the prestigious Atlanta Audio Fringe Festival through May 2021. The fourth musical in the series, titled; “Extraordinary Hero,” is currently in development.


Jack holds advanced degrees in his field (Bachelor's & Master’s: UMASS; PhD: UCONN) and has conducted and/or directed more than two-dozen musicals with School, College, Community, and Professional companies. He has a special interest in “the classics” as reflected in his resume (see below). He is also a performer in his own right. Formerly a first-call Trombone Player with studio, swing and symphony credentials, his 2008 CD “Bone Therapy” has been downloaded hundreds of times. Most recently, Jack has been active as an actor/director with several ZOOM-based collaborations.


Dr. Tierney is also a writer and author and has published several books, articles, and commentaries.  Jack’s first full-length novel, “THE BOOK” has been favorably reviewed and is currently on sale at  And, his most recent work, “How To Succeed in Show Business by Really, Really Trying” published February, 2021 is now available for download here.


Jack works out of his home-based production studio located in the North Woods of Heath, Massachusetts where he lives with his wife Patricia and his two cats, Willow and Twigs.


(Full Vita Avavaible on Request)



B.A. in Music; M. Mus in Performance; PhD in  Psychology



The Classics: Show Boat; Paint Your Wagon; The Man of LaMancha; The Sound of Music;
Hair; Li’l Abner; The Music Man, Little Mary Sunshine, et al.



The Legend of Finn McCool, 2006 (First Performance: 2009)
Dreamsinger, 2012 (First Performance: 2013)
The Humanity’s Child Series- Four Musicals (performed 2016-2020)



For Voices and Instruments: more than fifty works for wind ensemble, orchestra,
choir, solos and ensembles.



Former full-time/adjunct teaching positions: Amherst, MA, High School (Director of Bands);
Hartford, CT Community College (Professor of Music Theater), UCONN (Doctoral Fellow in Ed. Psych.), Mass. College of Liberal Arts (Visiting Professor); Greenfield College, MA (Professor of Psychology/Department Chair).



 Full-time Composer/Playwright/Grampa




I began my “career” at age 16 when I played Ben Rumson in Paint Your Wagon, our 1961 High School Musical. That was a life changing experience for me that led to four years with the Musical Theater Guild at UMASS where I played roles in Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma, and others.


In 1967 I got a job a Music Director in the Amherst, MA Publics Schools where I produced and directed Summer Musical Theater Programs for four consecutive years including: Paint Your Wagon, Pajama Game, Li'l Abner, and others.


In 1971, I was hired to direct performing groups at Hartford College where I remained a fulltime faculty member for some 15 years. During that time, I produced and directed several more shows with college ensembles including: HAIR, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and others. And, during that same period, I was also very active in community theater groups where I directed: My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Little Mary Sunshine, The Man of LaMancha, Show Boat, and others.


In 1986, I left college teaching to work fulltime as a Corporate Music Producer for Southern New England Telephone Co.
I held that position until 1996 producing and directing more than fifty major corporate shows and “theater-like” events. Concurrently, I also pursued a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology and was granted the PhD in 1996. This event heralded a major career change.


From 1997 thru my retirement in 2012, I have held fulltime college-level faculty positions in Ed. Psych and I retired as Chair of a 35 member Social Sciences Department. Upon retirement in 2012, I returned to my first love, musical theater, and since then I have written and composed four major musicals including Humanity’s Child, a 2019 award-winning show at the New York Theater Festival that also ran Off-Broadway for four weeks August 9-September 1, 2019. Most recently, with the pandemic a factor, I became interested in “Virtual Theater” and I share my thoughts thereon here:


During the past year I have been an active participant in the Pipeline Collective Salons [] where I have served as both actor and contributing playwright.

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