Melisa Tien
United States



Melisa Tien, making her HGO debut, is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist invested in making formally unconventional, socially relevant, and emotionally evocative work. A resident playwright with New Dramatists, she is the author of the plays Best Life (JACK, 2021), Yellow Card, Red Card (Ice Factory, 2017), The Boyd Show, and Familium Vulgare; co-author of the operas Family Heirloom (Experiments in Opera, 2023), Forever (Washington National Opera, 2024), Song of the Nightingale (On Site Opera, 2023), and The Beehive (University of Northern Iowa, 2023); co-author of the music-theater works Swell (HERE, 2021), Daylight Saving, and Mary; and co-creator of the podcast/auditory experience Active Listening. She has been published in the anthologies Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater (Tripwire Harlot Press, 2020) and Modern Music for New Singers: 21st Century American Art Songs (North Star Music, 2021). She is currently a member of WNO’s American Opera Initiative, and has been a member of Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 2022 Ground Floor Residency Lab, Experiments in Opera’s 2022 Writers’ Room, and The Assembly Theater Project’s 2021 Deceleration Lab. She is the recipient of a 2020-21 grant from the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre, as well as a 2019 Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan commission. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University.