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) 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 three 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 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 New Musicals Lab Residency at Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, VA.
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!
The Latest Draft Podcast
In an effort to create a platform for themselves and their fellow artists, Sam and Elspeth decided to design a podcast, The Latest Draft, that premieres new musical theatre works from emerging artists. The pair enlisted Noah Mutterperl to be the show's producer and host and began to curate a list of short form musicals and stand-alone songs. The Latest Draft's first season was eight episodes long and releases a new episode every Friday via Apple Podcasts. Read about it in Broadway World here!
The Latest Draft will return in February 2021 with a ten episode season of brand-new musical theatre works from over twenty artists. Each episode will contain either a new short-form musical with an interview or ten stand-alone songs, cabaret style! Sam and Elspeth will continue to promote the work of new artists along with Noah Mutterperl and Joe Badore.
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!