MASI ASARE

About Masi

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Masi Asare is a composer/lyricist, librettist, singer, voice coach, and performance theorist in New York City. 

Masi's songs have been heard at venues across NYC from Playwrights Horizons to New World Stages. She is an alum of musical theatre workshops at ASCAP, BMI, and New Dramatists, and was a Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Fellow. A 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, in 2015, she was awarded the first ever Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award for a woman composer of musical theatre, with mentorship from composer Jeanine Tesori and producer Daryl Roth. 

As a composer/lyricist, Masi has also studied with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Stephen Schwartz, and musical theatre legend Stephen Sondheim. Her secret agent musical Sympathy Jones (book by Brooke Pierce) premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and has had more than 30 productions to date in the US and internationally. Sympathy has a well-received studio cast album and is published by Playscripts. Masi's current projects include writing book, music, and lyrics for The Family Resemblance, a semi-autobiographical show about the legacy of an African grandmother for a mixed race family, commissioned by the Theatre Royal Stratford East (London) and developed at Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat (Salem, CT); and writing music and lyrics for the family musical The Forgetting Place, the story of a young girl who encounters a mystical river with the power to make her forget the tragedy that brought her to it in the first place (with playwright and co-lyricist Chisa Hutchinson).

A voice instructor and coach with over 15 years of teaching experience, Masi specializes in popular vocal styles. Her voice students have performed on Broadway, in regional and touring shows, and in high school musical productions. As a singer, Masi has performed in New York in venues including 54 Below, Miller Theatre, and Dixon Place, as a soloist with new music group Alarm Will Sound performing selections from the songplay I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw The Sky, and on the world/electronica album Come 'N Play from House of Bamba. Favorite roles from her singer-actor days include Sarah's Friend in Ragtime, Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors, Dionne in Hair, and Ariel in The Tempest. She is presently training in the Estill voice method.

Masi was a founding producer for the 8Minute Musicals Project, a music consultant for the RIPFEST Collaborative Film Project's movie musicals initiative, and associate artistic director for Raw Impressions Music Theatre. She was a founding member of the Brooklyn-based collective Anonymous Ensemble, where she wrote music and lyrics for several shows including the rock theatre project The Best. As a grantwriter and development professional, she has raised funds for the Lark Play Development Center and held senior positions at Columbia University School of the Arts and Columbia Business School.

She received a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and a master’s degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she is currently completing a PhD in Performance Studies, expected graduation May 2018. Masi's academic research focuses on voice, race, and embodiment in musical theatre performance. She is a member of ASCAP, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Dramatists Guild.

Mini-interviews with Masi on her writing process and thoughts on diversity in the musical theatre:    

See the full interview series on the Kevin Spacey Foundation website.