UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) is a not-for-profit production company focused on researching and developing prescient projects that explore the vibrancy of the American musical theatre canon, and how past works influence the artists and repertoire of today and tomorrow. Founded in 2009, UMC embraces both live-action documentary entertainments as well as original and adapted book musical programming, with the aim of presenting works which speak directly to the influence of the past on the present and future. Dedicated also to the preservation of rare musical material for future generations, the company will be receiving its own archival collection in the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
Ben West (Founder & Director) is a director, producer, performer, and musical theatre historian. His current projects include two new documentary entertainments: Show Time! The First 100 Years of the American Musical, and 45 Minutes from Coontown, a celebration and history of Black musical theatre. West’s directing credits include Unsung Carolyn Leigh for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook; Gatsby: The Songs in Concert, a world premiere featuring an original score written circa 1969 by Carolyn Leigh and Lee Pockriss; and downtown productions of Make Mine Manhattan by Arnold B. Horwitt and Richard Lewine, and The Fig Leaves Are Falling by Allan Sherman and Albert Hague. On Broadway, he served as assistant director and dramaturg for Old Acquaintance; assistant producer for both August: Osage County and The Homecoming; and production assistant for Talk Radio. He has also worked in various capacities on productions at Hartford Stage, Paper Mill Playhouse, Vineyard Theatre, and Ravinia Festival. He is a recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award.