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 Music for Plays




Written and Directed by James Lapine

Based on the 1959 memoir by writer/director Moss Hart

Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, 2014 (Instrumental music) 

Recipient of 5 Tony Nominations, including Best Play (James Lapine) and Best Actor in a Play (Tony Shalhoub).

Broadcast on PBS' Live From Lincoln Center, November 2015. 



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THE RAINMAKER by N. Richard Nash

Roundabout Theater, Broadway & Williamstown Theater Festival, directed by Scott Ellis, 1998/2000 (Instrumental music)

 “from the costumes...to the whining guitar of Louis Rosen’s original music, Ellis strikes a balance with accuracy and panache.”  Broadway Snap-Shot

“Louis Rosen deserves mention...for perfectly constructed scene music.” Albany Times-Union



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PICNIC by William Inge

Roundabout Theater, Broadway, directed by Scott Ellis, choreographed by Susan Stroman, 1994 (Three Dances and additional music)

 “Susan Stroman’s choreography to Louis Rosen’s simple, evocative music, is striking.” NY Daily News

 “From Louis Rosen [Ellis] got the right, ingenuous music.” NY Magazine



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by George Bernard Shaw

Circle in the Square Theater, Broadway, directed by John Malkovich, 1985 (Incidental music)





Lincoln Center Theater, directed by Gerald Gutierrez, 1995 (Instrumental music)




TITUS ANDRONICUS by William Shakespeare.

New York Shakespeare Festival, Delacorte Theater in Central Park, directed by Michael Maggio, 1989 (Instrumental score)

 “Maggio’s staging is powerful, Louis Rosen’s background score splendid…. If only the better plays were this solidly done.”  NY Daily News



ORCHARDS, seven original one-act plays  

by Michael Weller, John Guare, Maria Irene Fornes, Spalding Gray, David Mamet, Wendy Wasserstein and Samm Art Williams based on short stories by Anton Chekhov .

The Acting Company, Off-Broadway, Goodman Theater and National Tour, directed by Robert Falls, 1985-86 (Instrumental music for five of the seven plays)

 “Louis Rosen’s high-flying music and Guare’s zaniness carry this piece to the clouds.”  Chicago Sun-Times




by Trish Johnson,

MCC, directed by Steve Albrezzi, 1985 (Instrumental music)





Circle Repertory and Public Theaters, 1982 & 1984, directed by Elinor Renfield. (Instrumental scores for four one-act plays)



Regional (Selected Productions)

MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN  by Bertolt Brecht, translation by Haniff Kureishi

Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., directed by Michael Kahn, 1993 (Eleven songs)

 “Ordinarily you don’t walk out of “Mother Courage and Her Children” humming a tune. But you just might after listening to Louis Rosen’s newly commissioned score at the  Shakespeare Theater’s current production…. Rosen has managed to retain both the hard-edged, thoroughly unsentimental tone of this great play and to infuse his songs with melodically memorable passages, bracing rhythms and a real sense of what each character is about…. There’s a definite emotional payoff.” Washington Post Profile. Read complete profile

 “...musically solidly effective…. Louis Rosen’s songs for Brecht’s anti-war masterpiece mostly shunned the temptation of grabbing Kurt Weill’s Brechtian style. The Chaplain for instance...got a crucifixion song brimming with a musical fire…. A freshly imagined, musically seasoned epic." New York’s Village Voice. Read more...  


THE BUNGLER by Moliere, translation (world-premiere) by Richard Wilbur

Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT; directed by Doug Hughes, 2000 (Instrumental score)

“...The strolling four-man band...punctuates the action with clever Klezmeresque original music by Louis Rosen.”  NY Times

 “Louis Rosen’s music is an important part of the production, which opens with three musicians wandering onstage and tuning up. They are joined by actor Horne as a drummer and eventually launch into a jaunty, deliberately out-of-tune overture. Throughout, the musicians punctuate and underscore the play with a score that ranges from woozy waltz to lugubrious funeral march….” Variety. Read more…



GALILEO by Bertolt Brecht, translation by Adrian Hall and James Schevill

Goodman Theatre, directed by Robert Falls, 1986 (four songs, two dances, vocal interludes and instrumental score)

  “Louis Rosen’s original music...consistently gives the play the clear forcefulness it demands.” Chicago Tribune 

“Much credit should go to...the pulsing dynamic score by Louis Rosen whose pungent songs are reason enough not to miss Galileo.” Chicago Reader. Read two profiles and more reviews...



PEER GYNT by Henrik Ibsen

Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., directed by Michael Kahn, 1998 

 (Seven songs, three dances and instrumental score)

 “The production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt that opened at the Shakespeare Theater is brilliant, cold—phantasmagorical...an astonishing achievement.” Washington Post

“Woven through the production is evocative music by Lou Rosen. And it is with a lullaby….that the play ends.”  Potomac News Review     



TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare

Seattle Repertory Theatre, directed by Doug Hughes, 1991 (Overture, five songs and instrumental score)

 “The familiar verses have effective new settings by Louis Rosen…” Seattle Times

“Wisps of astringent music by Louis Rosen...reinforce the tough melancholy of Shakespeare’s songs.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Read more...  



SCHOOL FOR HUSBANDS by Moliere, Translation by Richard Wilbur

Westport Country Playhouse, directed by Doug Hughes, 2004 (Instrumental score, conductor, pianist and actor - LR's debut!)

 “The music composed, directed and performed by Louis Rosen is imaginative and underscores the action….”  WMNR Fine Arts Radio

“Louis Rosen’s original music...intersperses the story...and captures the play’s times and spirit.” Westport News



THE WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare 

Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, directed by Doug Hughes, 1992 (Prelude, 5 songs, 3 dances and instrumental score)

 “...a group of seven musicians provides the kind of dramatic musical background that deepens the play's magical aspects.”  Des Moines Register



A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens, adapted by David Thompson

McCarter Theatre, Princeton, directed by Scott Ellis, 1991-1999 (Prelude, 4 songs, two dances and instrumental score)

 “Louis Rosen is credited with original music and the adaptation of familiar music to its new context, and his work is excellent….” NY Times, 1991 

“...Louis Rosen’s vibrant, and often chillingly dramatic musical score endures splendidly.” NY Times, 1998.

 “The large ensemble [is] handsomely accompanied by the musical score created by Louis Rosen from traditional Christmas carols. The music is so familiar and subtle at times that your ear may not register it. But your heart will.” The Star Ledger.  (for additional reviews)



THE LITTLE FOXES by Lillian Hellman

Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., directed by Doug Hughes, 2003 (Incidental music)



THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare

Goodman Theatre, Chicago, directed by Robert Falls, 1987 (Prelude, five songs and instrumental score)

 “...other works of magic include...Louis Rosen’s haunting music of the spheres.” Chicago Sun-Times 

“Throughout the evening, Falls’ eclectic imagination—aided by set designer Adrienne Lobel and composer Louis Rosen—creates bits of witty make-believe.”  Chicago Tribune 

“Louis Rosen’s music...the really magical element in the production, helps hold things together.” Hyde Park Herald



AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare

 Shakespeare Theatre, directed by Laurence Boswell, 1997 (Prelude, 5 Songs, dances and instrumental score)




DOCTOR FAUSTUS by Christopher Marlowe

Oak Park Festival Theater, Chicago, directed by Patrick O’Gara, 1981 (Instrumental score)

 “Louis Rosen’s original score was the evening’s hallmark. It paced an outdoor staging that integrated simplicity with splendor. The tape recorded music set the tone so vigorously that it seemed a necessary part of the text—filling out the mood, cuing in the actors, even cradling the evening in it’s sonorous orchestration.”  Chicago Sun-Times




by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare Theatre, directed by Michael Kahn, 2000

 (Instrumental score)




by Eugene O’Neill

Portland Stage Company, Maine, directed by Barbara Rosoff, 1986 (Incidental music)

 “Particularly fine were … Louis Rosen’s unobtrusive score for flute and piano.” The Eugene O’Neill Newsletter


ON THE VERGE by Eric Overmyer

Huntington Theater Company, Boston, directed by Pam Berlin, 1986 (Instrumental score)




MACBETH by William Shakespeare

Court Theater, Chicago, 1978, directed by Patrick O'Gara (Instrumental score)

 “Good work by Louis Rosen (with overtones of Bernstein)…Chicago Sun-Times

THE WINTER'S TALE by William Shakespeare

Court Theater, Chicago, 1978, directed by Michael Maggio (Vocal/ Instrumental score)



THESMOPHORIASOUZAE (LADIES’ DAY) by Aristophanes, translated and directed by D. Nicholas Rudall 

Court Theater, Chicago, 1977 (Prologue and four choral odes)

 “Louis Rosen’s music gives beauty and festival to the play. The spring-like melodies are memorable. The music helps to soften ‘Thesmo,’ giving it a femininity and serenity.” Hyde Park Herald