In 2018, Elspeth Collard and Sam Rosenblatt both began their studies at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch. The two clicked instantly as good friends and were thrilled to be paired together in October to write a song for their first year lab. They soon discovered that the ease of their budding friendship carried over into writing collaboration as well; they not only completed the assignment, but also wrote an additional song for fun!
In that moment, Collard & Rosenblatt was born and a beautiful partnership began. Over the past two years, the duo have written over 100 songs together. They have written two full length musicals (A Princess Story, Like the Wind, Heck Week the Tech Week Musical!) as a pair as well as a third full-length musical (The Girl with the Rose-Colored Eyes) with collaborator, Amber Delaluz. Sam and Elspeth have also written two short-form musicals together (Twenty-Six Percent, The People We're Meant to Be).
As two queer female musical theatre writers, Collard & Rosenblatt prioritize writing stories that put women at the helm of the ship. Their stories hope to illuminate queer experiences and to help end the stigma that surrounds mental health. Their style of writing ranges anywhere from classical musical theatre to jazz to pop. Their album, Little Love Notes from Collard & Rosenblatt debuted on Spotify and Apple Music in March of 2021. They have also had songs featured in many NYC venues, such as Feinstein's/54 Below, Green Room 42, Dixon Place, The Duplex, and Don't Tell Mama. Their work can also be heard on Zoomfest: The Theatrical Podcast and The Latest Draft.
Collard & Rosenblatt were semi-finalists for the Eugene O'Neill NMTC in 2021 for their show, A Princess Story. They were also commissioned to write a five minute musical for California's Shotgun Players 3030 Vision Project and were selected for the inaugural New Musicals Lab Residency at Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, VA.
In December of 2021, Collard & Rosenblatt debuted their show, Like the Wind at the Brick Theater in Brooklyn. Daniella Caggiano directed, with Rai Arsa Artha music-directing and Isabel Schwartzberg stage-managing. Renee Kauffman, John Byrd, Remy Thompson, Matthew Harper Stevenson, Sarah Allbrandt, and Diego Bly all reprised their roles from the New Musicals Lab. Alia Cuadros-Contreras and Kalonjee Gallimore joined the company as swings. The run of the staged-reading was entirely sold out.
Collard & Rosenblatt were thrilled to make their Feinstein's/54 Below debut on March 1st in collaboration with the talented students of Christopher Newport University. The show, entitled Quarter Note Crisis, featured songs from their ever-expanding catalogue. They also premiered several brand new songs.
On June 7th of 2022, the duo returned to Feinstein's/54 Below with a concert celebrating queer and women+ stories. The concert, entitled For A Million Miles: The Music of Collard & Rosenblatt, employed a cast of entirely queer and women+ performers, including Lauryn Ciardullo (Disney's Aladdin), RJ Christian (TikTok star), Nathan Fosbinder (TikTok/YouTube star), Mariyea (On Sugarland), and Kaila Wooten, along with many Collard & Rosenblatt regulars.
Continuing their collaboration with the Ferguson Center for the Arts and Christopher Newport University, Collard & Rosenblatt returned to the 2022 New Musicals Lab to record their second album, Collisions: A Concept Album. Working with seventeen NML company members as well as five guest artists, Collard & Rosenblatt plan to release Collisions on January 4th, 2023, following a launch concert at Feinstein's/54 Below on January 3rd.
Collisions: A Concept Album
Collard & Rosenblatt returned to the New Musicals Lab to record their second album, Collisions: A Concept Album, with the talented company of the 2022 New Musicals Lab. Featuring seventeen emerging artists as well as five guest singers, Collisions will launch digitally on January 4th, 2023 after a launch concert on January 3rd at Feinstein's/54 Below. The launch concert will be produced by Jillian Michelle Smith and feature Holly R. Gould, Kalonjee Gallimore, RJ Christian, Cara Rose DiPietro, Alia Cuadros-Contreras, and Matthew Harper Stevenson.
For A Million Miles: The Music of Collard & Rosenblatt
The duo returned to Feinstein's/54 Below on June 7th with a concert centering around women+ and queer stories. The cast included: Kris Bramson, RJ Christian, Lauryn Ciardullo, Alia Cuadros-Contreras, Nathan Fosbinder, Mariyea, Kendall Stroud, Gileann Tan, Brooke Wexler, Mads Witmer, and Kaila Wooten. Music direction was provided by Shoshana Yavneh Shattenkirk, with accompaniment by Eric Fegan.
Collard & Rosenblatt: Quarter Note Crisis
Collard & Rosenblatt made their Feinstein's/54 Below debut with a solo show featuring eighteen students from Christopher Newport University. They are thrilled to collaborate with these incredible young artists, who will also record demos of their songs during their time in New York. The show was on March 1st at 9:30. With a four-piece band including Nick Place, Elena Bonomo, Beth Callan, and Tom Brody, the show is produced through the New Musicals Lab and Colin Ruffer.
Like the Wind at the Brick
In December of 2021, Sam and Elspeth's show, Like the Wind, received a sold out run at the Brick in Brooklyn. The staged reading was helmed by Daniella Caggiano, with music-direction by Rai Arsa Artha and stage-management by Isabel Schwartzberg. All six original actors from the New Musicals Lab reprised their roles, traveling from Virginia to be a part of the production. Like the Wind was well received by the audiences. The production was dedicated in loving memory of Raymond Kauffman.
Residency at Ferguson Center for the Arts, New Musicals Lab
Sam and Elspeth were selected for a residency at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, Virginia for their newest show, Like the Wind. Like the Wind began as a five-minute musical commission from Shotgun Players (see below) in May of 2021.
Like the Wind is a new electronica-pop musical that explores the lives of Bennie and Cai, two queer teenagers running away from a conversion therapy facility in the summer of 2018. Loosely inspired by Bonnie and Clyde, Bennie and Cai choose to change the fate that society has set for them and break through the constraints of expectations and rules. With a queer, female writing team at the helm, Like the Wind explores themes of identity, forgiveness, and queerness in young people.
Shotgun Players Commission
Sam and Elspeth received a commission from the Bay Area's Shotgun Players to create a five minute musical based on Bonnie and Clyde. Sam wrote book and lyrics, directed, and video-edited their five minute musical while Elspeth wrote music, music-directed, and audio-engineered the show, which was entitled The People We're Meant to Be and featured Alia Cuadros-Contreras and Mikey Friedman. The musical will premiere in early July 2021 as part of Shotgun's 3030 Vision Project.
Little Love Notes from Collard & Rosenblatt
On March 14th, 2021, Sam and Elspeth released their first album, Little Love Notes from Collard & Rosenblatt. The album consists of 15 songs, performed by a total of 29 performers and debuted with a launch party hosted by 10glo.com and Noah Mutterperl. Check out the album on any streaming platform, like Spotify!
MFA Recipients from Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch
Sam and Elspeth just received their MFAs (Master of the Fine Arts) in musical theatre writing (words and music, respectively) from New York University. Though their graduation was disrupted by COVID-19, the two still managed to celebrate in style, complete with confetti and cupcakes!