Mary Rodgers was an American composer, screenwriter, and author. She was the eldest daughter of the composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, Dorothy. Mary Rodgers began writing songs at 16 and she majored in Music at Wellesley College. She began her career writing songs for Little Golden Records and television jingles. In 1959, she collaborated with Marshall Barer on the musical Once Upon a Mattress, which premiered Off-Broadway before moving to Broadway later in the year. The show was a huge hit and remains a popular choice for high school and community theatre groups to this day.
Rodgers collaborated with Barer for almost a decade, until he quit the partnership while writing their Off-Broadway revue The Mad Show (1966). Although Rodgers did not go on to replicate her early success, she continued to write for Broadway musicals and revues. She went on to move into writing children’s books, including the hugely popular Freaky Friday, which was subsequently turned into two films (1976; 2003), a television drama, and a Disney musical.
Rodger married twice and had 6 children, including the Tony Award-winning composer Adam Guettel.
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