Joan Cushing, a former elementary school teacher and cabaret performer, is best known for her political satirical revue Mrs. Foggybottom & Friends. In New York, she performed her solo nightclub act Lady Sings the News! at the Ballroom, filling in for Blossom Dearie, appeared in Gary Trudeau’s Tanner for President series on HBO, directed by Robert Altman, and studied musical theatre writing at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop with Lehman Engel and Maury Yeston.
Her adult musicals include Flush! (1999 Washington Theatre Festival, H.D. Lewis Award) and Tussaud (Winner, 2001 Washington Theatre Festival), writing for the annual Hexagon political revue (since 1976), and The Crystal Palace Revue in Aspen, Colorado. Cushing also penned a political satirical column in Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill: The World According to Mrs. Foggybottom, a high society bat she created to skewer the sacred cows of Washington.
More recently, she has adapted 16 popular children's books as musicals, receiving over 400 productions and 5 national tours: Miss Nelson Is Missing!, winner of the 2003 Nat’l Children’s Theatre Festival; Junie B. Jones & a Little Monkey Business!; Miss Nelson Has a Field Day!; Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood (2007 NY Musical Theatre Festival); Heidi (w playwright Martha King De Silva); and George & Martha: Tons of Fun, all commissioned by Imagination Stage, Lawrence, commissioned by Gabrielino High School; Brave Irene, commissioned by Adventure Theatre, and Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly, commissioned by Oregon Children's Theatre. Other theatres which have produced her work include Seattle Children’s Theatre, Childsplay Theatre, Omaha Theatre Co., Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Dallas Children’s Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, North Shore Music Theatre, South Coast Repertory, First Stage Milwaukee, Walnut Street Theatre, Stage One Louisville, Nashville Children's Theatre, Emerald City Theatre, Stages Theatre, Orlando Rep, Manhattan Children's Theatre, and California Theatre Center. According to TYA Magazine, she is “the most produced playwright in children's theatre” and Miss Nelson Is Missing! is “the most produced play.”