Ben West is a musical theatre artist and historian. He is a curator for the forthcoming Museum of Broadway in Times Square, New York City. His book, The American Musical, a comprehensive history of the art form, will be published by Routledge in 2022. He is also currently writing and developing several stage projects including: The Show Time! Trilogy, three new documentary musicals about the evolution of the American musical; Direct from Proctor’s 23rd Street Theatre for One Night Only: January 16, 1920, a new vaudeville documentary; February ’43, a new documentary musical examining the origins and aftermath of the Minstrel Show; and Melodyland, a new documentary about Chicago in the early-1900s. His directing credits include Unsung Carolyn Leigh for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook. West has lectured and spoken at the Library of Congress and Yale University, where he recently curated an exhibit for the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library. He has worked in various capacities on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally. He is the founder of UnsungMusicalsCo. and a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award.
UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) is a nonprofit company focused on researching and developing prescient new works which illuminate the intersection of past, present, and future, and realize the American musical as a reflection of American consciousness. Founded in 2009 by Ben West, UMC relaunched in 2018 after a three-year hiatus for research and development with its renewed focus on past, present, and future, and projects which entertain, enlighten, and inspire. UMC is developing several current projects. During the initial incarnation of West’s company between 2009 and 2014, UMC’s projects included Unsung Carolyn Leigh for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook; Gatsby: The Songs in Concert at the New York Musical Festival; Make Mine Manhattan and The Fig Leaves Are Falling at the Connelly Theatre; and How Now, Dow Jones at the New York International Fringe Festival. UMC also held several readings of new adaptations of existing works, including Barefoot Boy With Cheek, Sounds Like Love, and Peggy-Ann.
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