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Photo by Kathryn Hayden

Sonya Hayden (she/her) is an award-winning 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 Festival, soon to be licensed by MTI through a partnership with Theatre Now New York), 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), “The Plant Song” (music/lyrics) won the MAC 2023 John Wallowitch Award for songwriting ($500 award), “Our Little Life” (lyrics) was performed by Tony nominee Karen Akers at Urban Stages, and “Away From It All” (music) was selected for a Maestra Music-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 2021 Play Contest), Just Like Magic (Little Fish Theatre), and The Clumps (Pittsburgh New Works Festival 2022, 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, and she was a 2023 artist-in-residence at Marble House Project. She was previously a member of the Recording Academy’s Musical Theater Mentorship Program (mentor: Grammy Award-winning Music Producer Kurt Deutsch), Maestra Music’s Mentorship Program (mentor: Broadway Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell), 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 directed by Kenneth Ferrone. She 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.

Sonya Hayden

Lyricist
Composer
Playwright

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