Melisa Tien

Resident Playwright

2015 -- 2022

Melisa Tien is a New York-based playwright, lyricist, and librettist.  She is the author of the plays The Boyd Show, Best Life, Yellow Card, Red Card, and Familium Vulgare.  She is a co-author of the music-theatre works Swell and Mary.  Swell is a part of the 2019 Summer Sublet Series: Co-Op at HERE Arts Center. Mary will have a reading at New Dramatists in Fall 2019. Best Life will be part of the 2019-2020 season at JACK in March 2020. Her play Yellow Card, Red Card was presented as part of the Ice Factory Festival in 2017 at the New Ohio Theatre, and prior to that had a workshop production at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2016. A resident playwright of New Dramatists, Melisa is also a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting, a recipient of the Theater Masters Visionary Playwright Award, and a member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop. She has been a resident of the MacDowell Colony and the Millay Colony, and was a member of the 2010-2012 Women’s Project Lab. She has presented work at the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Women Playwrights International Conference, and the National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival. She has taught playwriting at SUNY Purchase, the National Theater Institute, and the School of Visual Arts, and will be teaching at Sarah Lawrence College starting Fall of 2019. She holds a BA from UCLA, an MFA from Columbia University, and a culinary diploma from the French Culinary Institute.

ND Activity
  • Admissions Town Hall Meeting

    Admissions Town Hall Meeting

    Monday, July 7, 4-5:30pm

    Discover New Dramatists' philosophy, what we offer, what we ask of our Resident Playwrights, and who can apply for residency. Live demonstration on how to apply online. Learn the nuts-and-bolts of how the selection process works, what and how to submit application materials, along with detailed information on 2014-2015 procedural changes, and special lessons we learned from last year. Madeleine George, Class of 2017, will be joined by New Dramatists' staff members: Todd London, Emily Morse, John Steber, Morgan Allen, and Rachel Hutt to discuss the admissions process.

    The Admissions Town Hall Meeting is open and free to prospective applicants. Please Call (212) 757-6960 for Reservations.

    For those of you who do not live in the NYC area, or cannot make the meeting at our building, we will be live streaming the meeting on HowlRound TV and taking questions via Twitter. Follow @NewDramatists and be sure to put the hashtag “#newplay” in your tweets.

  • Composer-Librettist Studio

    Composer-Librettist Studio

    Our annual Composer-Librettist Studio focuses simultaneously on music-theatre development and the principles of collaboration, teaming five writers with five composers and five performers to develop brand-new works of musical theatre. At the end of the Studio, each playwright has worked with each composer and 25 new music-theatre pieces have been created by the group.

  • Creativity Fund

    Creativity Fund

    The Creativity Fund blends the flexibility of a one-day play reading with the intensive focus of a two-week workshop, providing ten to fifteen playwrights per year the opportunity to program three to five day workshops on an ad hoc basis. Creativity Fund workshops are structured according to each writer's needs at any stage of development and are funded through a lead grant from the Andew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • Lippmann Family "New Frontier" Award

    Lippmann Family "New Frontier" Award

    Created as a memorial to the late John Lippmann, a much-loved and respected New Dramatists board member, the Lippmann Family "New Frontier" Award seeks to assist playwrights in opening up new frontiers of the imagination, through travel and adventure.

  • PlayTime


    Launched in 2002, the PlayTime Developmental Studio provides five New Dramatists writers with a two-week writers' retreat, right in the heart of New York City. PlayTime is a laboratory designed to give playwrights the opportunity to explore, workshop, rethink, and revise ambitious new works of theatre by drawing from a supportive resident company of actors, directors, stage managers, staff, and fellow playwrights.

  • Writers' Executive Committee

    Writers' Executive Committee

    The Writers' Executive Committee is a voluntary grouping of resident playwrights who meet throughout the year to discuss and make decisions concerning the work of New Dramatists and to help guide the organization.

Playwright Buzz

July 8, 2019

SWELL - 7/13-7/14 @ HERE

SWELL, a new music-theatre work Melisa Tien curated, produced, and wrote lyrics for, has a 2-day workshop at HERE 7/13-7/14. It weaves together ten original avant-garde, new music compositions written by ten richly inventive composers drawing from their personal histories as immigrants and children of immigrants. Involving 25+ theater-makers, SWELL brings together artists from a wide range of countries including India, Israel, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, and Trinidad.

May 10, 2018

NOOR THEATRE'S 48 HOUR FORUM - 5/21-5/23 @ The Lark

Thrilled to be participating in the fourth annual headline-inspired 48 Hour Forum. The festival brings together five playwrights, five directors, and twenty actors to create five short plays in just 48-hours based on the news of the day.

April 24, 2017

Sparks & Wiry Cries songSLAM - Tuesday, 4/25, 8:30 PM

Excited to premiere a new art song that I co-wrote with composer Joe Rubinstein, to be sung by the uber-talented Alaysha Fox! The audience also votes on their favorite songs of the evening (there are 11 others by various emerging composers). Looking forward to a fun evening of new work at HERE in SoHo! Come listen!

Contact Info

Susan Gurman, Agent
Gurman Agency LLC
Tel: 212.749.4618

Melisa Tien's Calendar



Latest from Twitter