Khiyon Hursey, 2016–2017 Musical Theater Fellow

Meet The Fellows Khiyon Hursey

What was your first experience with Theater?

My first experience with theater was in high school playing in the pit for the musical Babes in Arms.

When did you recognize you were a writer? Or when did you start writing?

I started writing songs a little over four years ago. I began as a pop writer but when I saw the show SMASH on NBC, I discovered that being a musical theater writer was an option for a career. I began studying the art of theater and have been writing theater for about four years.

Where does your inspiration come from? Or who do you look to for inspiration?

Current events! I look to Beyonce and Frank Ocean for inspiration.

What are you most looking forward to as a Fellow?

I’m looking forward to developing my piece, America had a dream and challenging myself. I’m looking forward to getting input on the piece and I hope to have a solid draft before the end of the year.

What do you find most rewarding about being a dramatist?

The most rewarding thing about being a dramatist is finally cracking a song moment. The perfect moment to dramatize, to make sing and perfecting it and really getting to explore those moments. The most rewarding part of the writing process is when you realize something you wrote makes sense.


Khiyon Hursey is a songwriter and musical theater composer based in New York City. A 2014 graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in Songwriting, he served as music assistant on the off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Hamilton, the American Repertory Theater production of Witness Uganda and its off-Broadway, retitled update Invisible Thread at Second Stage Theater.. In these and other positions, he has worked with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Alex Lacamoire, Diane Paulus, Matt Gould, and countless others. Recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Irving Burgie Scholarship and Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship, Khiyon has had his work featured in concert at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, 2014. http://dgfund.org/fellows/khiyon-hursey/