Winner Outstanding Youth Performer

About Us

Laura and Premila began working on Sunflower together nearly two decades ago, when they taught together in Washington, DC.  Both have worked with children for over 25 years and are dedicated to using the arts for bettering the lives of young people.

Although Laura and Premila have lived in different cities for 20 years, they have spent numerous visits enjoying creative collaboration in writing the musical. The story was born in 1999. Sometimes the lyrics came first, and sometimes the music. Lyrics and music were shared in snippets and emailed or texted back and forth. In 2016, we decided that it was time to bring this baby to fruition, and reached our goal for the completion of the first book draft and all songs by the end of 2016.

Since then, we have established our LLC Creative Mess Productions, released the Sunflower original concept soundtrack, had our first staged reading and is now actively seeking a producer and funding for the next stage of production. Despite the pandemic’s change to live theater, we continue to work hard on publicizing and expanding the show for future audiences and seek out-of-the-box opportunities for development.  Stay tuned and follow us on Instagram at #sunflowermusical!

About Laura Guli

Laura Guli, playwright and lyricist, is a Licensed Psychologist in Austin, TX who specializes in working with children with emotional and behavioral difficulties ( Born in Brooklyn, NY, she was raised in both NY and the Washington, DC area. Laura graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English Literature, after which she taught elementary art and theater arts for several years in international schools. After teaching, she returned to graduate school where she obtained a PhD in School Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Laura is the creator of the Social Competence Intervention Program (Research Press, 2013), a theatre-based group intervention that uses creative drama to help children on the autism spectrum develop social skills. The program is being used successfully in various school districts and therapy centers across the United States as well as internationally. Laura is also a published poet with book (A Fiery Grace, Research Press, 2010). Her work has won several awards and been featured in numerous national journals. She has long been a fan of musical theater and currently sings with a band in Austin.

Click here to contact Laura directly

About Premila Mistry

Premila Mistry, composer, is a certified Orff music teacher who currently teaches at John Eaton Elementary school in Washington, DC. In February, 2019 Premila was the recipient of the prestigious Rubenstein Award for Excellence in Teaching in Dc Public Schools. Born in Bombay, India, Premila came to America as an infant and grew up in Ithaca, NY. Learning piano at age 3, Premila was classically trained through college. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Wells College, where she also minored in music. Premila moved to Washington DC where she has been teaching and composing music in various venues for over 20 years. In 2014, Premila founded her own citywide ensemble “Sticks+Bars Youth Marimba Ensemble” ( The only one of its kind in Washington DC, Sticks+Bars is for students in grades 5-12 who want to learn to play marimbas African style. Playing the music of Zimbabwe, South Africa and beyond, Sticks+Bars students have learned to play complex rhythms from many different cultures, and they have become composers and arrangers of their own music. The group has played at various high profile events such as a recent jam session with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the recent TEDxMidAtlantic Conference.

Click here to contact Premila directly