Clay Zambo

Clay Zambo headshot

Theater Faculty


The Hartt School

Ohio University

BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop

Clay Zambo's recent premieres include the musical Mahalo Island (Brooklyn Children's Theatre) and the ballet Blue (Bishop's School, La Jolla). His musicals have been performed in London (I Am Star Trek), Off-Off Broadway (Lost in Staten Island, Downtown Dysfunctionals), in regional theatre (Windjammers, Greenbrier Ghost), and on national tours. Much of his work for young performers and family audiences was premiered at NYC’s Merkin Hall, including the Chanukah favorite, “The Ballad of Thomas the Shammus,” and the jazz-age Passover comedy Shlemiel Crooks. Named by the York Theatre Company one of the musical theatre’s "New, Emerging, Outstanding” composers, Clay is winner of BMI’s Harrington Prize for Achievement in Musical Theatre and American Composers Forum’s “Welcome Christmas” choral-writing award. His poetry has been published in journals including National Forum, Conservative Review, and Cape Rock, and his music heard on audiobooks and NPR’s “Car Talk.” He has served on the faculty of Carnegie-Mellon University and Idyllwild Arts (where he met Donna Cory, which makes accepting that job one of the wisest decisions of his life). He currently teaches musical theatre writing at the Hartt School/University of Hartford and is active as a music director, conductor and keyboardist in CT and NY. A proud member of the Dramatists Guild and BMI and alumnus of Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College, he is a runner, a pretty good cook, and an occasional producer of TV game shows. Recognizing that almost nothing worth seeing or hearing is done alone, Clay is indebted to the writers it is his honor to call collaborators and friends, among them Robin Share, Richard Sheinmel, Susan Murray, and Scott Ethier. Clay lives in Connecticut with his wife Melissa and their cats Aschenputtel and Gus. More than nearly anything else, he believes in collaboration, the power of the finished first draft, and in showing up.