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Faculty Directory

Graduate Musical Theatre Writing

Rachel Sheinkin
Adjunct Instructor


B.A. Brown
M.F.A. Yale
M.F.A. New York


Rachel Sheinkin has been writing book and lyrics for musical theater since beginning to explore the form in Cycle X of Tisch's GMTWP. She tends to look for unusual collaborations that stretch some aspect of the form and/or her abilities within it. In 2005 she received the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for best book of a musical for her work on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, with a score by William Finn and an acting company mixing improvisation and musical backgrounds. Other work includes Little House on the Prairie (Guthrie, 2008) written with fellow faculty member Donna DiNovelli and composer Rachel Portman; two projects with the rock trio GrooveLily: Striking 12, a hybrid concert/play, written for and with the band (Off Broadway, 2006, Lucille Lortel nomination, outstanding musical) and Sleeping Beauty Wakes, a commission from the acting company Deaf West (CTG Los Angeles, LA Stage Ovation Award, world premiere musical). Serenade, her GMTWP thesis with composer Nils Olaf Dolven received developmental support from the Norwegian Consulates in New York and London, a Baryshnikov Dance Foundation Fellowship, and was produced by Jaradoa Theater Company. Blood Drive, her NYU one-act, with music by Joel Derfner, was produced by Bridewell Theater London, and an expanded form workshopped at the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference. Before her unexpected turn to musicals Rachel studied playwriting with Paula Vogel at Brown University, and at Yale School of Drama, where music began to sneak into her work. Fellowships and commissions have included Manhattan Theater Club, MacDowell Colony, and Playwrights Horizons. A member of Dramatists Guild, Rachel joined the adjunct faculty at GMTWP in 2002 and is also a visiting instructor at Yale School of Drama.