Melisa Tien

Melisa Tien (she/her) is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist.  A resident of New Dramatists, she wrote the libretti for the operas The Big Swim (Asia Society Texas Center/Houston Grand Opera, 2024), Forever (Washington National Opera, 2024), Family Heirloom (Experiments in Opera, 2024), and The Beehive (University of Northern Iowa, 2023); she wrote lyrics for the music-theater works Swell (HERE, 2021) and Daylight Saving; she authored the plays Best Life (JACK, 2022), Yellow Card Red Card (Ice Factory, 2017), The Last Mile, The Boyd Show, and Familium Vulgare; and she co-created the podcast/auditory experience Active Listening.  She has been published in the anthologies Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater (Tripwire Harlot Press, 2020) and Modern Music for New Singers: 21st Century American Art Songs (North Star Music, 2021), and has authored essays for New Music USA and Innovations in Socially Distant PerformanceShe is a librettist with the American Opera Project’s 2023-2025 Composers & the Voice Fellowship and Washington National Opera’s 2023-2024 American Opera Initiative, and was a member of Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 2022 Ground Floor Residency Lab, Experiments in Opera’s 2022 Writers’ Room, The Assembly Theater Project’s 2021 Deceleration Lab, a recipient of a 2020-2021 grant from the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre, a recipient of a 2019 EST/Sloan commission, a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting, and a member of the 2010-2012 Women’s Project Lab. She earned a BA from UCLA and an MFA from Columbia University.

Photo credit: Joseph O’Malley

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