Discipline: Theatre – musical theatre

Niko Tsakalakos

Discipline: Theatre – musical theatre
Region: Somerset, NJ
MacDowell Fellowships: 2022

Niko Tsakalakos is the composer-lyricist of several musicals including Fall Springs (BSC World Premiere, 2019; NAMT Festival of New Musicals, 2017), Pool Boy (Spark Festival, Pittsburgh PLO, 2018; Provincetown Playhouse, 2012; BSC, World Premiere, 2010), Off the Map - working title (Encore, 2012; Developed with Playwrights Horizons, Goodspeed, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat). He was recently commissioned to write a new musical by a Broadway producer to be announced soon. He is the recipient of numerous awards and his songs have been performed in various concerts and cabarets in New York, and regionally. He has an M.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied under two-time Tony award winner, William Finn.

At McDowell, he explored a few versions before writing a new opening number (musical and lyrics) called "My World" for the new musical he is writing with Ngozi Anyanwu called Hearts Beat Loud, based on the film with the same title written by Brett Haley and Marc Basch. The show is being produced by Tamar Climan. He also explored the mother's role in the overall story and brainstormed ideas for a second act song for this character. He wrote a new song (music and co-lyrics) called "Supertramp," for the musical he is writing with Janet Allard called Alexander Supertramp (working title) based on the true story of Christopher McCandless documented in the best-seller Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. He wrote new music and lyrics for the prologue and opening number of Fall Springs, a musical he is writing with Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Stephen Brackett.

Portrait by Luke Redmond



Niko Tsakalakos worked in the Sprague-Smith studio.

In January of 1976, the original Sprague-Smith Studio — built in 1915–1916 and funded by music students of Mrs. Charles Sprague-Smith of the Veltin School — was destroyed by fire. Redesigned by William Gnade, Sr., a Peterborough builder, the fieldstone structure was rebuilt the same year from the foundation up, reusing the original fieldstone. A few…

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