The Shen Family Foundation Musical Theater Composers Initiative
Yale Curriculum Initiative

The Shen Family Foundation has provided the funding for the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater at Yale University since the program's inception in 2005. The 2018-2019 curriculum offers accredited courses in musical theater composition, musical theater libretto and lyric writing, history of American musical theater, collaboration in musical theater performance, and "Stephen Sondheim & The American Musical Theater Tradition." The curriculum is administered by the Department of Music, with some courses cross-listed by the Department of Theater Studies and the Yale School of Drama.

Shen faculty members are scholars and professional composers, directors, lyricists, librettists, directors and performers. The program director of the curriculum is Daniel Egan, who is joined by Scott Frankel, Annette Jolles, Michael Korie, Joshua Rosenblum, Andrew Gerle and Marsha Norman as instructors for 2018-2019. Past instructors include: Victoria Clark, Emily Coates, Joel Fram, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jeffrey Klitz, Tina Landau, Nancy Opel, Lonny Price, Rachel Schienkin, Vicki Shaghoian, Jeanine Tesori, Joseph Thalken, Richard Pearson Thomas and Anne Tofflemire.

In addition, a flourishing extracurricular program led by the weekly "Friday @ Five" series offers links between the study of musical theater in academe and how musical theater is created and practiced in the field. Illustrious guest artists take the train up from New York on Friday and conduct master classes in performance and critique new composition.

A principal goal of the curriculum, besides developing basic knowledge and skills, is to encourage its students to challenge both their own creative limits and the boundaries of musical theater convention in their approach to musical composition, lyric and book writing, direction and performance.

Additional information can be found through the following links: