Masi Asare

Dr. Masi Asare is a composer/lyricist, playwright, voice teacher, and interdisciplinary performance scholar. She teaches courses in musical theatre studies, vocal performance, and musical theatre writing. Her book project Voicing the Possible: Technique, Vocal Sound, and Black Women on the Musical Stage examines the impact of blues singers on Broadway belting and makes the case for the need to feel the racial history in contemporary practices of musical theatre performance. Masi has presented on her research about race, voice, musical theatre, and popular singing at conferences held at the University of California, Los Angeles; New York University; and the EMP Pop Museum. As a voice teacher, her students have performed on Broadway, in major regional theatre productions, and on international tours.

Masi wrote music and lyrics for the secret agent musical Sympathy Jones (published and licensed by Playscripts), with over 30 productions to date internationally; and book, music, and lyrics for The Family Resemblance, an original musical about a mixed race family, commissioned by Theatre Royal Stratford East, presented at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and in development with Playwrights Horizons. Other projects include book, music, and lyrics for a new musical about racial passing, commissioned by Barbara Whitman Productions and Grove Entertainment; and lyrics for the Broadway bound new musical adaptation of Mira Nair's film Monsoon Wedding. Masi is a past participant in musical theatre writing workshops at BMI, ASCAP, New Dramatists, and the Dramatists Guild Fellows program. Her work has also been performed at New York City Center, Playwrights Horizons, Dixon Place, HERE, New World Stages, the New York Musical Festival, 54 Below, the York Theatre, and Lincoln Center.

Education

PhD, Performance Studies, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
MA, Performance Studies, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
BA, magna cum laude, Performance Studies, Harvard University

Selected Presentations

“Belters of Color in Broadway’s Golden Age: Lessons from the Vocal Techniques of Pat Suzuki and Leslie Uggams,” Song, Stage and Screen XIII: The Musical and Its Others, Then and Now, University of California, Los Angeles, June 2018.

“The Pitch: How to Get Your Musical Produced in the 21st Century,” Panelist with Broadway producer Larry Hirschhorn and Broadway publisher Sean Flahaven. BroadwayCon. January 28, 2018.

“Women Composers Panel,” Co-Moderator with composer Julianne Wick Davis, New York University Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program Sessions, March 26, 2017.

“Singing Unhealthy: Lauryn Hill and the Limits of Vocal Sound,” EMP Pop Conference, From a Whisper to a Scream: The Voice in Popular Music, EMP Pop Museum, Seattle, April 15, 2016.

“Affective Techniques,” The Listening Salon, New York University Department of Performance Studies, April 16, 2014. 

Selected Awards

  • Paulette Haupt Composition Prize, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, 2018
  • Georgia Bogardus Holof Lyricist Award, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, 2018
  • Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, 2018, 2017
  • Franco Coli Dissertation Award, New York University, 2017
  • York Theatre NEO (New/Emerging/Outstanding) Writer, 2017
  • Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award for a woman musical theatre composer, 2015
  • Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Fellow, 2010

Masi Asare

Assistant Professor

Department:

Theatre

Office:

70 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208