Melisa Tien

Melisa Tien

Melisa Tien is a playwright, lyricist, librettist, producer, and educator.  She is the author of the plays UNTITLED LANDSCAPE, BEST LIFE, THE BOYD SHOW, YELLOW CARD RED CARD, FAMILIUM VULGARE, and REFRAIN.  She is co-author of the music-theater works SWELL and MARY. SWELL was part of the HERE Summer Sublet Series in July 2019. BEST LIFE will be produced at JACK in March 2020. MARY will have a reading at New...
Melisa Tien is a playwright, lyricist, librettist, producer, and educator.  She is the author of the plays UNTITLED LANDSCAPE, BEST LIFE, THE BOYD SHOW, YELLOW CARD RED CARD, FAMILIUM VULGARE, and REFRAIN.  She is co-author of the music-theater works SWELL and MARY. SWELL was part of the HERE Summer Sublet Series in July 2019. BEST LIFE will be produced at JACK in March 2020. MARY will have a reading at New Dramatists in June 2020. A New Dramatists resident playwright, Melisa is a recipient of an EST/Sloan commission, and has been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting, a resident at MacDowell, Millay, and Tofte Lake Center, and a member of the 2010-2012 Women’s Project Lab. She has presented work at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Women Playwrights International Conference, and the National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival.  She teaches experimental theatrical writing at Sarah Lawrence College. BA, UCLA; MFA, Columbia University. Website: www.melisatien.com

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.