Michael Light Oosterhout
COMPOSER / LYRICIST / MUSIC DIRECTOR / BOOKWRITER / PLAYWRIGHT
Hi! My name is Michael Light Oosterhout ([ˈmaɪk(ə)l laɪt oːstɜːhaʊt], he/him), and I write musical theatre. I’m excited by creating music and stories which blend genres, feature the journeys undergone by queer youth, and examine the relationship between the ancient and modern worlds—but mostly, anything that explores what makes us human.
Michael Light Oosterhout (he/him) is a composer/lyricist, music director, and playwright based in the greater NYC area. A composer who genre-bends and blends myriad styles into contemporary musical theatre, he is passionate about highlighting the dynamic synergy of words and music combined. He is chiefly interested in writing pieces which explore the relationship between the ancient and modern worlds, issues affecting youth, and stories uplifting queer gender and sexuality.
A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Michael graduated from Vassar College in 2018 with a dual B.A. in Music and Greek & Roman Studies. Michael also recently received his M.F.A. in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts.
Michael's current projects include Evelyn Evans (playwright), a Brechtian comedy following an eccentric Midwestern family whose members all have the same name, The Right Reasons (composer/lyricist), a song cycle examining the trials and travails of reality dating show contestants, and Riverbend (composer, with bookwriter/lyricist Caroline Game), a modern adaptation of Greek mythology which follows the young sailor Daphne as she navigates tests of love, grief, and learning how to live after loss.
Past projects include Ariadne: A New Musical, Sparta! The Musical (book/music/lyrics with Caroline Smith and Anika Hanson), Euripides' Medea (arragnements), Judith Walsh White's Winnie the Pooh (arrangements), and the 20-minute musical The Advice Column (book/lyrics by Kim Bixler). Music direction credits include Fly By Night, Mr. Burns, Formerly Known (arrangements, with George Luton), and Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard.
May 2023 - NYU Graduation
Michael will graduate from the 2-year Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in May 2023.
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts - 2021-Present
Master of Fine Arts, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing (Composition), Expected 2023
Vassar College - 2014-2018
Bachelor of Arts, Dual Major in Music and Greek & Roman Studies (Classics)
Composition / Music Direction (selected)
Arranger/Music Director, Columbia University School of the Arts - 2022
Arranged and taught instrumental tracks to vocalists for karaoke-style performances of popular music in Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, adapted by Siting Yang and Danica Selem.
Writer/Director, NYU Tisch School of the Arts - 2022
Co-wrote, directed, and performed in collaborative production by Interactive Telecommunications and Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Programs: “Halloween Expo and Immersive Theatre Event." Managed all aspects of immersive narrative and physical production.
Composer/Lyricist/Music Director, NYU Tisch School of the Arts - 2022
Composed, wrote additional lyrics, music directed, and produced film and audio recordings for 20-minute musical production The Advice Column with bookwriter/lyricist Kim Bixler.
Composition Student, NYU Tisch School of the Arts - 2021-Present
Composed large number of original musical theatre pieces individually and collaboratively in a wide variety of styles, genres, and instrumentations. Studied practical dramatic writing, compositional technique, orchestration and arranging, works for animation, dance, and immersive theatre, etc. Current projects include a full-length collaborative thesis musical adapting Greek mythology.
Arranger, Traveling Players Ensemble - 2018
Arranged and recorded settings of Judith Walsh White’s original songs for Winnie the Pooh and Friends. Prepared recordings for premiere production at professional theatre arts education organization.
Composer/Lyricist/Bookwriter/Music Director, Vassar College Greek & Roman Studies Dept - 2017-2018
Full-length original musical Ariadne: A New Musical as Greek & Roman Studies senior thesis project.
Composer/Arranger/Music Director, Vassar College - 2017
Production of Euripides’ Medea. Composed and recorded settings of all choral odes in original Greek for dance performance.
Arranger/Music Director, Vassar College Future Waitstaff of America - 2015-2016
Productions: Formerly Known, Fly By Night, Mr. Burns: a post-electric play. Teaching/conducting all vocalists and instrumentalists in all productions. Recording and producing tracks for theatrical production Mr. Burns. Arranged popular music and conducted voice/pit orchestra for student-directed devised musical Formerly Known, including Sara Bareilles, Roberta Flack, Queen, David Bowie, Tracy Chapman, The Who, etc.
Composition Student, Vassar College Music Department - 2014 - 2018
Composed several original works as part of composition and music theory classes, including works for classical string quartet, orchestra, choral ensemble, instrumental and vocal chamber ensembles, a cappella groups, musical theatre, and solo voice/accompaniment.
Composer/Lyricist/Bookwriter/Music Director, Georgetown Day School - 2012-2014
Full-length original musical Sparta! The Musical as senior capstone project. Writing/teaching/recording/conducting all vocalists and instrumentalists, as well as acting in and producing production. Professional documentary This Is Sparta! by York Zimmerman, Inc. documents the production process (available on YouTube).
Instruments: piano/keyboard (very proficient), voice (baritone, very proficient), organ (proficient). Very proficient sight reader (Western notation and leadsheets/chord symbols). Composition/arranging/performing styles: Jazz, classical, musical theatre, pop, rock, contemporary, a cappella, choral, art song, opera, and others. Music direction for theatrical productions in all aforementioned styles. Recording engineering and sound design for theatrical productions and original music (proficient). Voice, piano, and music theory pedagogy at K-12 and beginner-adult levels.
Mac, PC, iWork Suite (Pages, Numbers, etc.), Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), GSuite (Gmail, Google Drive, etc.), Finale (music notation software), Sibelius (music notation software), MuseScore (music notation software), Apple Logic (DAW), Garageband (DAW), Audacity (DAW), and others.