Photo by Kathryn Hayden
Sonya Hayden (she/her) is a lyricist, composer, librettist, and playwright originally from Virginia, now based in New York. In musical theater, her work includes Wanda Does the Water Cycle (book/music/lyrics, Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival), Sing a Song of Six Pants and It Ain't Over 'Til the Bat Lady Sings (co-book/music, NY Public Library for the Performing Arts), Crazy But True (book/lyrics, CAIM Creative Co.), and The Luckiest Girl (book/music/lyrics, Princeton University). Her song “If I Didn’t Know Better” (music/lyrics) was selected for the Lotte Lenya Competition Songbook ($1,500 award), “Our Little Life” (lyrics) was recently performed by Tony nominee Karen Akers at Urban Stages, and “Away From It All” (music) was selected for a Maestra-Circle in the Square Theatre School Collab and performed on their Broadway stage.
As a playwright, Sonya's recent work includes Cassie Goes to Congress (New Perspectives Theatre), There's Always Tomorrow (Piccolo Spoleto Festival; Finalist, Tennessee Williams Festival Play Contest), Just Like Magic (Little Fish Theatre), and The Clumps (Pittsburgh New Works Festival, MainStage Series).
She is a member of the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre & Librettists Workshops, New Perspectives Theatre’s Full-Length Play LAB, the NY Songwriters Alliance, the Dramatists Guild, and ASCAP. She was previously a member of Maestra Music’s Mentorship Program (mentor: Broadway Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell), the Recording Academy’s Musical Theater Mentorship Program (mentor: Grammy Award-winning Music Producer Kurt Deutsch), and the Princeton Triangle Club Writers Workshop (Milton Lyon Award for Outstanding Writing). She was the English Script Consultant on the Equity reading of a new South Korean musical by Hansol Kim and Boram Han, directed by Kenneth Ferrone. She was a 2023 artist-in-residence at Marble House Project and is the Co-Director of Maestra Music's Mentorship Program.
She holds a Master’s in Playwriting with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh, a Bachelor's of Music (summa cum laude) with a minor in Theater from Princeton University, and the world record for cups of Earl Grey tea downed while writing.