Early Musicals and One Acts

Still Life With Toe Shoes


The Lovers


Book and lyrics by Joshua H. Cohen
Music and book by Marisa Michelson

When Leslie announces he’s walking out on his marriage to Avery, she does the only thing she can think of: she throws a canvas bag over her head, offering him a blank slate on which to project his fantasies. When he doesn’t want to play, she makes him, and her fantasies prove more powerful than he can handle. Inspired by Rene Magritte’s painting of the same title.

“The Lovers was commissioned and produced by Prospect Theater in New York, NY 2008, directed by Stephanie Sertich, with the following cast:
LESLIE – Doug Shapiro
AVERY – Sarah Corey

It was subsequently produced by Calliope Theatre Company in August 2011 and by The Vineyard Playhouse in October 2011.

Measure the Heart

Words by Rinne Groff
Music by Marisa Michelson

Commissioned and produced by Prospect Theater, part of “The Dome” project


A couple in their late 30s become accidentally pregnant. This one-act musical for two soloists and vocal ensemble (omnipotent presence/voice of the unborn baby) follows them and their relationship as they wrestle with what it means to be a parent.


Hotel Sarajevo


Book, Music, Lyrics by Marisa Michelson
Additional material by Orion Stephanie Johnstone

Inspired by Jack Kersch’s novel of the same name. As seen through the eyes of 14-year old Alma, HOTEL SARAJEVO is the story of nine young people struggling to survive in an abandoned hotel during the recent siege on Sarajevo. Their story is told by Alma who confronts her own mortality as she explores what it means to become a woman in a war-torn city. HOTEL SARAJEVO was work-shopped in NYC’s hotInk Festival (where it was directed by Rebecca Holderness), at CAP 21’s Barbara Woolf Reading Series, and at Smith College.