SETH BISEN-HERSH is a prolific and versatile New York City based musical theatre composer/lyricist and author who works as a pianist, accompanist, musical director and vocal coach.
Bisen-Hersh grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey where he started piano lessons at 8 and began composing songs at 13. He graduated from MIT with two Bachelors degrees (Computer Science and Music); then he completed his Masters in Music Technology at NYU. He began performing in shows in community theatre and summer theatre at a very young age, and was the musical director of EB’s Children’s Summer Theatre for many years. He directed many independent shows in EB, at MIT and NYU, creating many original revues of standard songs as well as his original ones.
Bisen-Hersh has completed the score (music/lyrics) for: Meaningless Sex, The Spickner Spin, More to Love , Stanley’s Party, Love Quirks and The Diamond as Big as the Ritz. Meaningless Sex premiered at the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival where it won the coveted Audience Favorite Award out of two-hundred shows. The following year in 2004, The Spickner Spin also won the Fringe Festival’s Audience Favorite Award.
More to Love had a successful reading at Theater1010 in July 2009, was featured in the West Village Musical Theatre Festival in June 2014 where it won “Best Lyrics” in its series. Stanley’s Party is a childrens musical based on the children books, “Stanley’s Wild Ride” and “Stanley’s Party” by Linda Bailey and had a critically acclaimed 6 week production at Manhattan Children Theatre in the Spring of 2010.
Love Quirks is a new musical about finding love despite all the quirks (your personal quirks, other people’s quirks, the quirks of having love). It features some of Bisen-Hersh’s most popular cabaret songs, as well as half a dozen new ones, and a poignant and hilarious book by Mark Childers. The show had a critically-acclaimed, audience-adored 3-week run in 2014 and a wonderful revised reading in 2015. The concept cast recording was launched October 1, 2013 and is available here.
Finally, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz has a book by R.C. Staab. Set to the rhythms of early 20th century music, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s comic novella is told through the eyes of young foreign woman seeking to immigrate to the U.S. With Fitzgerald’s deliberate satire involving impossibly wealthy Americans and the author’s cavalier treatment of race issues, the story takes on added comic satire and an edgy, engrossing perspective. A mostly non-white cast of five actors bring to life characters from the present and the 1920s. We are doing our first industry reading of the show on November 9th/10th, 2017.
In 2009, Bisen-Hersh developed two annual concerts of his work starring Broadway performers, where the proceeds go to charity: Broadway Meows for The Humane Society of New York, each July and Broadway Can!, a can collecting concert for City Harvest, each November. In 2018, both concerts will be having their 10th Annual presentations.
In 2010, Bisen-Hersh premiered his web series, Every Day a Little Seth which was used as a precursor for a sitcom. Each season features 6 hilarious episodes with songs, stories and cat cameos. The first season premiered in 2010 and the final season, season 5 concluded July 2015. The sitcom pilot of the show was filmed in April 2016, and premiered on October 1st, 2016 here.
In addition, Bisen-Hersh is a published author. In 2015, he published a memoir filled with unabridged journal entries, real emails to friends, therapy recollections, medication analyses, and heart wrenching poems and song lyrics of his dark year of insomnia, anxiety and depression brought on from deep loss entitled Sleep. Write. Now. In 2016, he published his second book Every Page a Little Seth, which is a book of 30 essays tangentially related to the topics of the 30 episodes of his web series. In 2018, he is publishing his third book Millennials are Ruining the World!, a book of humorous essays on the generational divide. For more information on his books, please visits his Amazon Author Page, here.
In the summer of 2002, Bisen-Hersh made his professional cabaret debut at Don’t Tell Mama with Two Singular Sensations, a battle of the ego through Broadway showtunes, co-starring Rori Nogee. Starting in 2003, Bisen-Hersh began doing nearly annual cabarets of his own material, commencing with solo acts then expanding to ensemble casts. Each cabaret consisted of 16-18 new songs grouped by theme: And Then She Dumped Me (2003), The Gayest Straight Man Alive (2004), Meaningful Sex (2005), Neurotic Tendencies (2006), Why Am I Not Famous Yet? (2007), Writers Block (2008), I’ll Relax When I’m Dead (2010), If Adele Can Do It, So Can I (2013) and Not Your Grandma’s Cabaret (unless she’s really naughty) (2014).
Bisen-Hersh has played for Broadway auditions, as well as for hundreds of off-Broadway, LORT, summer stock, cruise line, reading, workshop and festival auditions. Furthermore, Bisen-Hersh has been musically directing and accompanying cabarets, readings and showcases in the city since 2003. (Details are available on his resume.) Since 2005, he has served as a vocal coach to actors, giving advice on auditions and building repertoires with the help of the over seventeen hundred CDs he owns. In 2006, Bisen-Hersh began offering Audition and Cabaret workshops and master classes. In 2007, Bisen-Hersh began producing/emceeing/accompanying weekly talent showcases at Don’t Tell Mama. In the spring of 2018, he will have produced over 500 showcases featuring approximately 2500 singers, a dozen of which have gone on to the Broadway.
In his limited spare time, Bisen-Hersh watches his favorite TV shows on his DVR and Netflix, writes and solves puzzles including these for the 2014 MIT Mystery Hunt, and plays Chess and Scrabble. He also enjoys world traveling and has been to 16 countries so far. Details of his traveling can be found in his Ledger Blog.
He lives in Hell’s Kitchen in a studio with his (mostly) loving cat, Smee.