Composer/Lyricist Timothy Huang Launches Crowd Funding Project for New Musical ‘Costs of Living’

Posted by Lia Chang on Wednesday, 01 August 2012.

Award-winning composer/lyricist Timothy Huang (The View from HereAnd the Earth Moved) has launched a crowd funding campaign for a workshop of his latest passion project, a new musical called Costs of Living.

Huang was inspired to create Costs of Living after reading Night and Day, an article which appeared in the New York Times in 2009, that tells the story of two immigrant cab drivers who take opposite shifts off the same medallion.

While the day shift driver (Eng) encounters successes, his night shift partner (Chin) continues to encounter obstacles until the two find themselves on opposite sides of an ever widening gap and in a dangerous escalation that leaves one dead and the other brutalized.

It is, at its heart, a human story, an American story and a cautionary tale lending voice to the unspoken dangers of freedom without social consciousness or oversight. It is a story of love and country, resilience and responsibility, the price of freedom and the costs of living.

Timothy Huang


“The last ten years of my career have been about finding ways to make the things that move me move other people,” said Huang. “And with tremendous support and feedback from the Asian American community and the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop (where this project originated) I feel like Costs of Living has found a unique balance.

It is a musical that isn’t afraid to tell a story of social significance, or allow music to transcend language, but most of all it is unafraid to tell an American story employing people who look like me that isn’t necessarily about people who look like me.”

A finalist for the 2012 American Harmony Prize, Huang’s Costs of Livingwas invited to participate in the 2012 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, hosted and juried by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell), Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once on This Island) and Andrew Lippa (Wild Party,Charlie BrownJohn & Jen), and was featured in the New York Times Cityroom Blog in March.

Huang shared, “My producing team and I hope to develop Costs of Livingwith two readings, the first on September 19th, behind closed doors and at the table, to get feedback from my performers and my director. With these notes I will go back and do a second round of rewrites and present them to you at the second presentation, which will be public, in either October or November. The money I’m raising now will fuel both presentations so that I can present the best possible version to you.”

Costs of Living – a musical, is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes ofCosts of Living – a musical must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Click here to learn more about Huang’s exciting new work and how you can be instrumental in taking it to the next level.

Timothy Huang is a composer, lyricist, and playwright living in New York City. His full length musicals include Costs of Living (2012 American Harmony Prize finalist) And the Earth Moved (Finalist, NMTN’s New Voices Prize), Death and Lucky (MacDowell fellowship), LINES: A Song Cycle(NYMF 2008). Huang is the composer/lyricist of the award winning one-person musical The View From Here (cast album recorded by Shonn Wiley and available on iTunes).

Other works include: Timothy Huang: Chinese or Crazy? (NYTB at the D-Lounge), Crossing Over (National Asian Artists’ Project “Discover: New Musicals”), 2 to Wakefield (York 4@15 with UC Irvine), Short Story Long: The Songs of Timothy Huang (York Theater, NEO Spotlight Series), Missing Karma (Prospect Theatre) and A Relative Relationship (BMI Musical Theater Workshop).

Huang has been a regular participant in TNT Music’s Are You Working On Something New concert series at Don’t Tell Mama and his songEverything I Do You Do, with (co-lyricist Sara Wordsworth) was recorded by Sutton Foster and Stephanie Bast for the album Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project (, Barnes and Noble et al) Huang was listed as one of’s “100 Passionate People,” holds an MFA in Musical Theater Writing from NYU/Tisch GMTWP, is a member of the Musical Theater lab at BMI and a proud fellow of the MacDowell artist colony.