Melisa Tien

Melisa Tien

Melisa Tien is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist.  She is the author of the plays SWEET TEETH, THE BOYD SHOW, BEST LIFE, YELLOW CARD, RED CARD, and FAMILIUM VULGARE.  She is a co-author of the collaboratively written plays WE PLAY FOR THE GODS and JACKSON HEIGHTS 3AM.  In addition to being a member of New Dramatists (class of 2022), Melisa is a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Playwriting/...
Melisa Tien is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist.  She is the author of the plays SWEET TEETH, THE BOYD SHOW, BEST LIFE, YELLOW CARD, RED CARD, and FAMILIUM VULGARE.  She is a co-author of the collaboratively written plays WE PLAY FOR THE GODS and JACKSON HEIGHTS 3AM.  In addition to being a member of New Dramatists (class of 2022), Melisa is a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting, a Walter E. Dakin Fellow for the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and a recipient of the Theater Masters Visionary Playwright Award. She has been a resident of the MacDowell Colony and the Millay Colony, and was a member of the 2010-2012 Women’s Project Lab. She's also been a finalist for the Leah Ryan prize, the Jerome NY fellowship, and the Princess Grace Award, as well as a nominee for the Weissberger Award and the Smith Prize.  She has presented work at the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Women Playwrights International Conference, and the National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival.  She has co-facilitated Rising Circle Theater Collective’s writers group and taught playwriting through the Eugene O' Neill Theater Center, Center for Talented Youth, The 52nd Street Project, and Columbia University.  She holds a BA from UCLA, an MFA from Columbia University, and a Culinary Diploma from the French Culinary Institute.

Plays

  • BEST LIFE
    An absurd and unsettling comedy about a woman who can rewind time, but only within the last five minutes. She's a person of color, navigating a world in which she's not sure she belongs, as she ponders her relationship, literally and figuratively, to the white woman beside her--in other words, a world not unlike ours.
  • FAMILIUM VULGARE
    A Taiwanese American family comprised of a Buddhist scholar, an amateur filmmaker, and a budding entomologist, navigate the rough waters of life after an unexpected death. A play about the individual rituals we create for ourselves, and the power of the collective ritual.
  • THE BOYD SHOW
    Boyd is a kid just like any other. He likes cars, and he loves PewDiePie. His mom works all day, his dad works all night. Nobody minds him going over to Sam’s house to play video games. Nobody minds Boyd. And nobody seems to know, except Boyd and his growing number of YouTube followers, how hard it actually is to grow up.

    Set in a semi-rural part of the country, THE BOYD SHOW is a slice of...
    Boyd is a kid just like any other. He likes cars, and he loves PewDiePie. His mom works all day, his dad works all night. Nobody minds him going over to Sam’s house to play video games. Nobody minds Boyd. And nobody seems to know, except Boyd and his growing number of YouTube followers, how hard it actually is to grow up.

    Set in a semi-rural part of the country, THE BOYD SHOW is a slice of what it means to grow up white, male, and poor in today’s America.
  • YELLOW CARD, RED CARD
    In a small Muslim town in Northern Cameroon, four young women prepare for a soccer championship that will determine not only the future of the team, but the unique trajectory of each girl’s life. Steeped in fierce, glorious physicality and inspired by a real-life Cameroonian girls team, the play blurs the line between theater and sporting event.

    Note: Though originally envisioned with 5 actors--...
    In a small Muslim town in Northern Cameroon, four young women prepare for a soccer championship that will determine not only the future of the team, but the unique trajectory of each girl’s life. Steeped in fierce, glorious physicality and inspired by a real-life Cameroonian girls team, the play blurs the line between theater and sporting event.

    Note: Though originally envisioned with 5 actors--4 females and 1 male--playing a multitude of roles, the number of actors may be expanded to 19--one for each role--if a director desires it.