About Masi

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Masi Asare is a composer/lyricist, playwright, singer, voice coach, and performance scholar who divides her time between New York City and Chicago. She holds a PhD in performance studies from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and in 2018 joined the faculty of at Northwestern University, where she is assistant professor in the theatre and performance studies departments.

Masi's songs have been heard at venues across NYC from Playwrights Horizons to Lincoln Center. 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. 

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); writing book, music, and lyrics for Rishvor, an original musical about a story of racial passing, commissioned by Barbara Whitman Productions and Grove Entertainment; and writing lyrics for the Broadway bound new musical adaptation of director Mira Nair's film Monsoon Wedding.

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 an MA and PhD from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Performance Studies. Masi's academic research, for which she was awarded the Franco Coli Dissertation Award, focuses on voice, race, and embodiment in musical theatre performance. As a composer/lyricist, Masi has also studied with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Stephen Schwartz, and musical theatre legend Stephen Sondheim. 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.