With a background in acting and singing, Marian is committed to writing well-rounded characters with believable dialogue and singable lyrics. She is particularly interested in creating strong roles for women.
Marian earned her B.S. from Northwestern University (summa cum laude) with a major in Theatre. She was one of twelve students accepted into NU’s two-year Creative Writing for the Media Program. Her works produced at Northwestern include her full-length musical, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, with music and lyrics by Jeff Combe, her one-act plays, Isabel’s Birthday and In An Elevator, and sketches in The Waa-Mu Show. Upon graduation, she received the Stephen P. May Scriptwriting Award.
While at NU, Marian was a member of Theatre Building Chicago’s Musical Theatre Writers Workshop. TBC commissioned her to write the book for the full-length musical, Past Time, with lyrics by Jon Steinhagen and music by Grammy nominated composer, Ilya Levinson.
While earning her M.F.A. in Acting from California Institute of the Arts, Marian continued to write. Her musicals, Inconceivable, with music and lyrics by James Wilke, and McBeth! The Musical, co-written with Armando Acevedo, premiered at the Cal Arts New Works Festival.
After several years as a nomadic actor, Marian settled in Los Angeles to focus on writing. As a bookwriter, she developed three musicals at New Musicals Inc. for producers. She wrote Miss Vulcan 1939: The Belle of Birmingham, with lyrics by Noelle Donfeld and music by Jan Powell, for Red Mountain Theatre Company in Birmingham, AL. In addition to three productions at Red Mountain, the musical was also produced at Actors Co-op in Hollywood and White Sage Theatre Company in NV. Marian wrote two shows at NMI for UC Irvine: Powder Puff Pilots, with lyrics by Noelle Donfeld and music by Emmy nominee Cindy O’Connor (www.powderpuffpilotsmusical.com), and Madwomen, with lyrics by Patricia Zehentmayr and music by Patrick Burns (www.madwomenmusical.com).
The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville (Oceano, CA) has commissioned and produced five of Marian’s shows. She co-wrote the comedy, Silence of the Hams, with Tony award winner Scott Waara. She co-wrote the operettas Hansel and Gretel (or You Are What I Eat), Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood with Jordan Richardson, and Rapunzel (or Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow) with Eric Hoit. Rapunzel has also been produced by City Lights Theatre of San Jose.
Her church, La Canada Presbyterian, has presented many of her works: her play, At Home in Galilee; her musical, Esther, with lyrics by Mary Garrison and music by Ann Moore Miller (www.esthermusical.com); her children’s musicals, Kids of Galilee (https://www.kidsofgalilee.com) and Sleepless in La Canada, with songs by Janet Boggs and Judy Brock; her adaptation of Henry van Dyck’s novella, The Other Wise Man, and her song cycle, Mother’s Word, with music by Christina Whitten Thomas.
In addition to the song cycle, Marian has collaborated with Christina Whitten Thomas on three choral commissions. “The Deceiver” premiered with the Seraphim Singers in Boston and was broadcast on WMDR Cambridge. KC VITAS Chamber Choir in Kansas City also performed the piece. Partee and Thomas wrote “Spinning Through the Sky” for a children’s choir in Texas. Numerous children’s choirs have subsequently performed it. They wrote “And I Shall Sing” for Middlebury College Choir in Vermont. The piece was awarded first prize in NDSU’s Edwin Fissinger Choral Competition. Choral Arts Initiative in Southern California will present the piece in a virtual concert on November 6, 2020 (https://choralartsinitiative.org/index.html). All three of their choral pieces are available to purchase through Music Spoke (www.musicspoke.com).
Elysian Pictures produced Marian’s short film, The Reunion, inspired by Psalm 139. The film may be viewed online: www.elysianpictures.com/reunion.htm
Her new project is a chamber opera for young audiences, The Summer Thieves, with music by Su Lian Tan.
She is a member of New Musicals Inc. and the Dramatists Guild. She has honed her craft at Writer’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica and participated in the Sundance Playwrights Lab twice.
As a performer, Marian has appeared in over forty plays and musicals.