Born in Buffalo, New York in 1951, Elizabeth Swados was devoted to breaking down the elitist subject matter that permeated musical theater. She began her professional career Off Off Broadway with "Fragments of a Greek Trilogy," which incorporated the Greek classics Medea, Electra, and The Trojan Women into an avant-garde multi-lingual musical that required its audience to move from room to room. In 1978, Swados premiered her play "Runaways" at the Public Theater Cabaret and moved later that year to Broadway. The gritty musical story of runaway children in New York City garnered Swados an Obie for directing the initial off Broadway run, and the play was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In 1979 she produced her first score for television, when she composed the music for "Too Far to Go" (NBC, 1979) starring Blythe Danner and Michael Moriarty, adapted from writer John Updike's short stories. She collaborated a number of times with cartoonist and playwright Gary Trudeau, composing the music for a play based on his popular comic strip "Doonesbury" in 1983, as well as for the satirical musical, "Rap Master Ronnie" (referring to Ronald Reagan) in 1984. Over the course of a 40 plus year career, Swados composed over 20 musicals and contributed scores for over 30 film or TV projects.