WHY WRITE MUSICALS?
I love writing musicals because I love telling stories. No matter who you are or where you come from, when you step into a dark theater and the orchestra starts to play, you suspend your disbelief and give in to a world where anything is possible. Unlike film and television, musicals are inherently further from reality, which in turn allows them to comment more freely upon it.
My goal as a storyteller is to entertain and move audiences by telling stories with compelling characters that really speak to people. It doesn’t matter if those characters are Martians or magicians, everyone can relate to characters who are committed to pursuing their dreams, however daft and dangerous they may be.
Benjamin Velez is a composer/lyricist and Columbia University graduate where he studied film and wrote the 114th Annual Varsity Show. He has been a member of the BMI workshop since 2010 and won the Jerry Harrington Award in 2012. His original musical AFTERLAND has been workshopped at the Yale Institute for Musical Theater in 2014 and had a reading at the York Theater in 2016, both directed by Mark Brokaw. His music has been featured at NYMF, Joe's Pub, Cutting Edge Composers, the Civilians, 4@15, and the York Theater, where he had a NEO residency in 2015 -2016. He is currently developing an original musical, PAIN IN THE AZTEC, with John Leguizamo and David Kamp that is set to be workshopped in NYC this coming year. Originally from Miami, he is now happy to call himself a Brooklynite.