November 2013
Review from Theatremania
"Michelson's challenging and tonally complex music is some of the most unique and beautiful I've heard in musical theater. The high-flying trills, warm harmonies, and legato articulation of singular words ("God" sung in about 20 descending notes, like a wail) really help establish the emotional landscape of this alien world struggling with the same issues we face in our own. When she writes music for the river one imagines that this is what the prophets heard when receiving the word of God."

Buy tickets here
Tickets are now available for TAMAR OF THE RIVER, running Sep. 21st to 0ct. 20th..

Fundraising Campaign update!
We've just launched our fundraising campaign for the upcoming Prospect Theatre production of TAMAR OF THE RIVER! Check out the video, and donate if inspired to do so.

May 3rd, 2013
Scheherazade Reading at York Theatre
A musical adaptation of Jason Grote's acclaimed play 1001, a deconstruction of the Arabian Nights tales, retells the famous stories of Scheherazade through a decidedly 21st century lens. Directed by Seth Bockley, with Jason Tam, Thom Sesma, Gabrielle Stravelli, Nicolette Robinson, Chad Goodridge, Bill Gross, and music direction by Ian Axness.

THIS WEEKEND!!! March 9 and 10, 2013
Buy tickets for Tamar of the River Oratorio
This compelling work, and adult fable, follows young Tamar on her quest for peace in times of war, as she journeys to the River's source to hear the voice of God. The project will fuse the best of the choral and theatrical worlds to create a new hybrid form of emotionally live storytelling.

Feb, 15th and 18th, 2013
Tamar of the River Developmental Reading!
The reading will be directed by Daniel Goldstein (Broadway's GODSPELL). Starring Margo Seibert, Thom Sesma, and Theresa McCarthy. Click on the link above for more info.

--> Jan. 26, 2013
Update! Great coming events! Save the dates!
I'm excited to share a few wonderful upcoming opportunities to experience my work:

Feb 15th and 18th - A reading of TAMAR OF THE RIVER - this is a read-through, the most up to date version of the show. Produced by Prospect Theater, directed by Daniel Goldstein

March 9th and 10th - This is a full production of TAMAR ORATORIO - an experimental hour-long version of TAMAR OF THE RIVER. Audience-immersive with puppetry, fabrics, and a professional choir Choral Chameleon. Not to be missed!
May 3rd - A reading of SCHEHERAZADE, which I've written with Jason Grote. Produced by York Theatre, directed by Seth Bockley.

Dec. 19th, 2012
Singin' at the Sidewalk Cafe
I'm a special guest! Wednesday night I'll sing a couple new songs as part of an evening hosted by Ryan Scott Oliver. Come experience an evening of new songs for the theatre!

Dec. 16th, 2012
New York Theatre Barn asked Josh and me to sing at their holiday concert in the D-Lounge. This was a rare opportunity for me to actually do the singing, and I had an amazing time. Joined by Margot Bassett, Patrick Cragin, Clare Maloney, Joseph Bellion and percussionist extraordinaire, Alvaro Perdomo. Click on the link above to watch the video of the performance!

October 18-20, 2012
A creativity fund at New Dramatists to continue developing my new musical with Jason Grote. Like 1001 toggles between various literary and theatrical styles. Scheherazade uses various musical styles, ranging from contemporary music-theatre to spoken word to Meredith Monk. Developed in Montclair State University's New Works Initiative, New Dramatists' PlayTime and Creativity Fund programs, and TheatreWorks' Writers' Retreat, 2010-11.

Monday, August 27th, 2012
An intimate concert of songs from four of my musicals, including Still Life with Toe Shoes; Tamar and the River; Scheherezade and The Grid. The songs have lyrics by playwright and television writer, Jason Grote; playwright Joshua H. Cohen, and playwright Frank Terry. Marisa will be joined onstage by Chad Goodridge (Broadway's PASSING STRANGE), Margot Bassett (Meredith Monk's SONGS OF ASCENSION), Maggie Brothers, and the Vineyard's own Paul Munafo.
Click the link above for tickets.

May 21st, 2012
NEO 8 at the York Theatre!
I am thrilled to be one of the composers represented in this NEO (New, Emerging, Outstanding) concert of new work. Not only will the extraordinary Adam Guettel introduce me, but we'll be sharing the entire ten-minute "Finale" from TAMAR AND THE RIVER.

May 7th, 2012, Stephen Sondheim Theater
Broadway Lullaby Project

Joshua H. Cohen and I were excited to be asked to contribute an original lullaby for Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project, a beautiful collection of original lullabies and illustrations featuring music by some of Broadway's biggest stars and brightest composers with illustrations by acclaimed Children's artists and Broadway set designers. Tony-Award winner Nikki M. James recorded our song, "All New." Proceeds from sales of the CD go to fighting breast cancer through awareness and research. Come to the Free Concert
hosted by Edie Falco next Monday, May 7th at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, NYC!

April 25th, 7pm Flea Theatre
Tales from my Parents' Divorce

A quick song with the wonderful Jason Grote! The song is based on audience responses to questions about divorce, and I'll sing it as part of the post show events the Civilians Theatre Company is holding. I'll be sharing the stage with Jason and the New Yorker's Michael Schulman.

February 2012
Broadway Lullaby Project

Long time collaborator Joshua H. Cohen and I were honored to be asked to write a lullaby for the Broadway Lullaby Project, an album of songs sung by amazing Broadway singers (like Sutton Foster, Kelli O'Hara, Raul Esparza...). Tony-Award winning star of "Book of Mormon," Nikki M. James recorded our song! Proceeds from the CD and accompanying children's book will be devoted to helping find a cure for breast cancer. The CD will be released in May.

Jan. 15-22, 2012
Writer's Residency at Millikin University

Along with collaborator Frank Terry, I'm writing THE GRID, a piece about off-grid living, what it means to create a home, and how we choose our families. We were awarded a writer's residency grant from the National Alliance for Music Theater (NAMT) to work with the very talented students and faculty at Millikin University.

December 5th, 9:30pm
New Musical Theatre Concert

Come hear a song from my musical, "TAMAR AND THE RIVER" at this evening of songs by Broadway's next generation of composers! The concert will be at the Duplex at 9:30 pm

October 14 and 15, 2011
"The Lovers" at the Vineyard Playhouse
"The Lovers", a short musical I co-wrote with long-time collaborator Joshua H. Cohen, was originally commissioned by NYC's Prospect Theatre Company in 2008. Our musical is based on Rene Magritte's painting of the same title. Catch this expanded version directed by MJ Munafo this weekend at the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard!

sep 15 - oct 1, 2011
"Voice Becoming" goes to Switzerland!
Faye Shapiro and Marisa have another two week residency to continue work on their two person vocal/movement piece. This second incarnation will culminate in performances at the Goetheanum in Dornach.

Aug 7 - 8, 2011
"Voice Becoming" - an a cappella movement/voice piece
Along with Israeli singer/composer Faye Shapiro, Marisa has created four short pieces exploring how the voice moves between people and through space, finding its own true nature and the rainbow of colors it can embody. Where do these colors come from and what do they evoke? When is something sounded through you, and when do you grab it and sound it out with will? "Voice Becoming" will have a performance on August 7th at 8 pm at the Basilica (110 Front St., Hudson, NY) and on August 8th at 7:30 pm at the Christian Community Chapel in Hillsdale, NY.

July-August, 2011
Residency with Free Columbia, Harlemville, NY

Marisa co-teaches a week long workshop on vocal improvisation and free singing with Israeli singer/composer Faye Shapiro as a part of their residency to create a piece for two voices. They will perform this piece in upstate NY and NYC. More details to follow.

March 29th, 2011, 4:30pm - 6pm
American Theatre Wing's 2011 Jonathan Larson Award Ceremony
The amazing Ashley Brown will sing Marisa and Josh's song "Something Unexpected" at the award ceremony at the B.B. King Blues Club.

March 8, 2011
Marisa wins the American Theatre Wing's 2011 Jonathan Larson Award!!
The American Theatre Wing announced today the recipients of the 2011 Jonathan Larson Grants,which are given annually to emergin composers, lyricists and book writers to help continue the late Tony Award-winning composer's dream of "infusing musical theatre with a contemporary, joyful, urban vitality." Joshua H. Cohen and I won one of this year's awards.

March 2-3, 2011
Still Life with Toe Shoes at Emerson College!
The Musical Theatre Society at Emerson is producing Marisa's musical (written with Joshua H. Cohen) this week! Click on the link above for info and to reserve FREE tickets!

February 3 - 13, 2011
Interdisciplinary Artist's Residency at Earthdance
Marisa will be collaborating with other selected artists to create new work at the EMerge Artist's Residency week. There will be two performances at the end of the week.

January 16 - 23, 2011
Writers Retreat with Theatreworks, Palo Alto

Marisa and Jason Grote will continue their work on their musical Scheherezade
in sunny California, hosted by Theatreworks, Palo Alto.

November 29 - December 11, 2010
"PlayTime" residency at New Dramatists

Marisa and Jason Grote will spend two weeks working intensively on their musical Scheherezade
PlayTime is a two-week in-house retreat for five New Dramatist resident playwrights and their collaborators to develop ambitious work. It grows out of New Dramatists mission: to support the artistic growth of writers by giving them space and time in the community of other artists. The studio/retreat will stress two things: 1. investigating and working on the plays themselves and fostering a collaborative community.

October 21, 2010, 2:30pm
NAMT Songwriter Showcase at New World Stages
The duet, "Follow" from Tamar and the River will be performed by Lauren Worsham and Zach Young with Margot Bassett, Matt Pearson, Erika Rose, Shawn Shafner and Kate Hamilton as part of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 22nd Annual Festival of New Musicals!

September 6, 2010, 6pm
American Musical Voices Project at the Kennedy Center
Works by composers in Signature's American Musical Voices Project: Matt Connor, Adam Gwon, Marisa Michelson, Chris Miller, and Scott Davenport Richards

August 18, 2010, 9:30pm
Illumination Night on Martha's Vineyard!
Marisa will be singing traditional theatre songs, classical arias, and a few of her own pieces in the beautiful open-air tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard. Come walk around the campground, see the hundreds of lighted lanters, and enjoy some music.

July 9, 10, 2010
Tamar and the River at the Signature Theatre!
A three-week workshop directed by Matt Gardiner at the Signature Theatre. With wonderful actor/singer/movers, piano, and percussion. For more information on Tamar and the River, see the Music page.

June 14th, 2010
Italian arias and Theatre Standards
Marisa will be giving an informal concert of Italian arias and theatre songs to work with ideas of performance as listening and receiving, rather than actively producing the musical expression.

April 29th - May 2nd, 2010
Along with playwright Jason Grote, Marisa has been commissioned to adapt Grote´s play, 1001, into a musical for Montclair University´s New Works Initiative. Info in the NYT.

Singing/Composition Group with writer/performers Raphael Sacks, Faye Shapiro, and Sasha Bogdanowitsch.
Marisa, Sasha, Raffi and Faye came together for a three week immersion to explore questions about singing, movement and music from improvisatory and performative perspectives. Together they began new pieces and planted the seeds for an ensemble they will be forming in the Fall of 2010.

January 4th - 8th, 2010
Tamar and the River at the Signature Theatre
Marisa went to Arlington, VA for one week to work with DC singer/actors on solidifying musical material and to further develop a way of teaching the score in an aural, imitative, and improvisatory way.

December, 2010
Exploratory work sessions for Tamar and the River
Marisa worked with singers Margot Bassett, Amy Carrigan, Gelsey Bell, Gabrielle Stravelli, Jason Tam, Shawn Shafner, Raphael Sacks, and Gideon Crevoshay to try out new material in an ensemble setting.

October 21 -25, 2009
Songs of Ascension at BAM Harvey Theatre, Brooklyn , NY
Marisa will be singing in Meredith Monk's beautiful and transcendent Songs of Ascension. Go to for more info.