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Faculty Directory

Graduate Musical Theatre Writing

Mel Marvin
Resident Composer / Director

Phone: 212 992 9325


Mel was most recently represented on Broadway in the 2007-2008 season with the score for Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which has also been running for 12 consecutive sold-out seasons at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and began a yearly national tour in 2008-2009.   In the same season he also wrote the score for Shakespeare’s Cymbeline for Lincoln Center Theater.  He received a Tony nomination as a co-author of Tintypes and wrote the music for the Broadway productions of Yentl and Chris Durang’s A History of the American Film.  He has had 9 shows produced Off-Broadway, including The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, (originally commissioned by the Guthrie Theater) at The Melting Pot, Sybille Pearson's True History and Real Adventures at The Vineyard,  Marvin’s Garden and Prizewinning Plays at MTC,  Chris Durang’s Das Lusitinia Songspiel, Polly, The Prince of Homburg and Lincoln  at Chelsea Theatre Center, etc.  He has served as composer or director of scores of productions in most of America’s major regional theatres, including Hartford Stage Company (where he wrote the music for many of Mark Lamos’s Shakespeare productions), Lincoln Center Theater, Arena Stage, The Guthrie Theater (where he most recently wrote a new incidental score for Hamlet), ART, La Jolla Playhouse and the Mark Taper Forum (where he was an associate artist and wrote the original music for the world premiere production of both parts of Angels in America).  His work as a director includes both classical and contemporary plays, as well as a focus on new opera, with Different Fields, by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger developed for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and, most recently in New York, The Scrimshaw Violin, an opera by Bruce Saylor and Jonathan Levi directed at the 92nd St. Y.   After The Grinch, his best-known musical is probably Elmer Gantry, which has had several regional productions and is slated for reappearance again soon.  Other work includes Great Expectations, written with author John Jakes,  produced by Goodspeed Musicals; The Perfect 36 with Laura Harrington (for Tennessee Rep in Nashville),  The Book of Candy with Susan Dworkin (produced at the Passage Theatre and New Jersey Playwrights Theatre ); Gold with Timothy Mason, commissioned and produced  by England’s National Theatre; and two operas. Guest from the Future, with libretto by Jonathan Levi, commissioned by Nine Circles Chamber Theatre, premiered at the Bard Summerscape Festival in August, 2004 ; and Buwalsky, A Road Opera, commissioned by Holland’s Opera Spanga, premiered in The Netherlands then toured in the U.S. the same year, including performances at NYU's Skirball Center.  His new musical, Eden,  received a developmental workshop at the Eugene O'Neill Musical Theater Conference in July, 2010.    He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, as well as the recipient of many grants and awards, including three from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a member of many grants panels.  He began at the Graduate Musical Theatre Program as a guest mentor in l989, became an adjunct composer and director in 1991, joined the full-time faculty in 1995, became Head Faculty Composer in 1998, and became Associate Arts Professor in 2004.