• a composer longing for lyrics?
  • a lyricist looking for a composer?
  • a singer searching for new songs?

This summer, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts wants to help you find your artistic soul mate and bring beautiful new musicals into the world!

Every two weeks, we will post a prompt from a musical theater professional. Responses to the prompt and to the work of others can be posted as comments to the prompt on this blog. Post either lyrics OR music in direct response to the prompt, or else write music for lyrics or lyrics for music as a "reply" to another "comment." If you are a performer, find a song you like and perform it on YouTube! [More details...]

At the end of the project, some of the songs may be performed in a concert on the stage at the Bruno Walter stage at Lincoln Center (where they announce the Tony Award Nominations!).

Now, start collaborating. To paraphrase Stephen Sondheim, "You have always belonged together...give us more to see!"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Celebrity Challenge 6: Submitted by Thomas Kail

If you're in the NYC area next month, be sure to sign up for the Across A Crowded Room meetup in the new Library cafe.  In the meantime, this week's prompt comes to us from Thomas Kail:

   "As the door closed, Jordan realized it was happening again."

Thomas Kail is the director of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights and the Broadway plays Magic/Bird and Lombardi

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Meetup at the Library Cafe!

I'm excited to announce that the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center is hosting the first in-person meet-up for Across A Crowded Room.  Read more about it on my NYPL blog and signup to join the fun!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Celebrity Challenge 5: Submitted by John Weidman

Sorry for the delay, folks.  I'm hoping to announce our first in-person meet-up soon (to be held in the newly opened cafe at the Library for the Performing Arts!).  In the meantime though, book-writer John Weidman has a fantastic prompt for the week's challenge:

Ho Chi Minh, a busboy at the Ritz Hotel in Paris in 1919, has applied for credentials to represent the Vietnamese people at the Paris Peace Conference.  Waiting in an antechamber at Versailles, he rehearses how best to present himself before the committee which will rule on his request.

John Weidman has written the books for a wide variety of musicals, among them Pacific Overtures, Assassins, and Road Show, all with scores by Stephen Sondheim, and Contact, co-created with director/choreographer Susan Stroman. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrity Challenge 4: Submitted by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner

Just in time for the opening of their new Broadway musical, First Date, the songwriting duo, Zachary and Weiner, have issued the following songwriting challenge:
After Trevor and Sara meet in a bar and have an ensuing night of passion, the two uncomfortably sing a "morning after" duet, having just realized that they are… related.
Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner's new musical, First Date, is currently in previews at the Longacre Theater on Broadway where it will open on August 8.  They are also working on a musical version of the film, Secondhand Lions, scheduled to open at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater in September.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Celebrity Challenge 3: Submitted by Joshua Schmidt

Great songs coming through!  Keep it up, folks!  And stay tuned for news about a planned party at Lincoln Center!

In the meantime, our third prompt comes to us from Joshua Schmidt:

  George debates the pros and cons of his brand new surgically attached third arm.

Joshua Schmidt is a composer and sound designer whose off-Broadway musical adaptations of The Adding Machine and Candida (retitled A Minister's Wifeare two of the most exciting and challenging scores to have been performed in New York this century.  Schmidt is reportedly working with Disney on an adaptation of the movie, Father of the Bride.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Celebrity Challenge 2: Submitted by Nick Blaemire

Wow!  So many great responses to our first challenge (including two full songs)!

Our second challenge comes to us from actor and composer/lyricist Nick Blaemire:

Write the "I want" song for Kim Kardashian's dastardly world takeover musical.

Nick Blaemire wrote the music and lyrics for the 2008 musical, Glory Days, and has appeared in Godspell and Cry Baby on Broadway.  His band, Nick Blaemire and the Hustle regularly performs around the New York City area.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Celebrity Challenge 1: Submitted by Jason Robert Brown

Write a song for Annie and Neil in the following scene:

"Standing in the kitchen of their loft in Williamsburg, Annie tells her husband Neil that she's realized that she's a lesbian."

Jason Robert Brown is the composer and lyricist of many popular musicals including 13, The Last Five Years, Parade, and Songs for a New World. His new works, The Bridges of Madison County and Honeymoon in Vegas will open out-of-town later this year. Visit for more information.