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Composer-Librettist Studio

From June 3 through June 18 in Washington DC, we will conduct in our first full Composer-Librettist Studio since our inaugural studio in 1994, which seeded our company. The University of the District of Columbia Music Program will host the Studio.

A major national training program, these “studios” have been hosted regularly since 1984 in NYC, Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Chicago among other music centers. It debuted in DC in 1994 under the joint auspices of the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and American University. From that initial group of 15 trainees, Alliance for New Music-Theatre was founded. The company has been invited to accept the mantle for carrying the program forward in this region.

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The Composer-Librettist Studio is designed as an intensive workshop for professional artists that demands a commitment of all participants for two and a half weeks. Designed and led by Ben Krywosz, Artistic Director of Nautilus Theater, the Studio provides an opportunity for five writers and five composers to work with five professional performers, exploring the possibilities and basic elements of music-theater. The Studio focuses on the process of collaboration through a series of brief exploratory assignments for the writers and composers. The exercises are then sight-read by the performers in brief working sessions. The participants rotate partners, and the process is repeated four more times. Within the two and half week period, all composers work with all writers and all performers. Toward the end of the studio, an informal reading of all the compositions is held.


 All participants are carefully selected to represent diversity of experience, ages, cultural backgrounds, and styles of music and textual expression. All participants will receive an honorarium.

Some writers may have had no previous experience of writing for music-theater per se, but all are stretched out of their comfort zone and challenged to be risk-takers, even pushing the envelope of what music-theater can be. 

Some of the writers who are alums of the Composer-Librettist Studio program include Eric Overmeyer, David Ives, Kira Obolensky, Kelley Rourke, José Cruz Gonzáles, Nilo Cruz, and Caridad Svich.  Composers have included Paul Dresher, Ricky Ian Gordon, Mary Ellen Childs, and O-Lan Jones.

 All participants are given a stipend to participate and are expected to participate in all session.

This is a Full-time commitment from June 3 - 18.

Successful participants are eager to collaborate and be stretched out of their comfort zone.

If you are interested to participate in this Studio, please fill out the application form HERE.


Applications are due not later than March 15, 2023.

We are glad to answer any questions you may have. Just email us at

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