About Sam & Derek

Sam Carner and Derek Gregor were included in Playbill.com’s 12 Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know, and their songs can be heard frequently in concerts around the country and world, having been performed on all 7 continents–including Antarctica! They won the 2014 John Wallowitch Award for songwriters under 40 and were finalists for the 2014 Fred Ebb Award. They won a 2016 MAC Award for “Best Comedic Song” and have garnered 10 “Best Song” / “Best Comedic Song” MAC nominations.

Their musical Unlock’d was produced Off-Broadway at the Duke Theater in the summer of 2013 (“gorgeous” –NYTimes “Astounding, enveloping” –Talkin’ Broadway). Previously Unlock’d won a Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was produced at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2007, where it won the “Best of the Fest” audience prize and received Talkin’ Broadway citations for “Outstanding New Musical” and “Outstanding Original Theatrical Score.”

Their musical Island Song, which boasts five MAC-nominated songs, was workshopped in the summer of 2013 at the Balagan Theatre in Seattle and the Indiana Festival of Theatre, following fall 2012 concerts at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York and at Crawfish in Tokyo (in Japanese). The show was presented at the Bloomington Playwright’s project in February of 2014 (“mesmerizing… vibrant, supercharged” –Herald Times).

Other current projects include additional songs for Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (original songs by Michael Devon, book by Todd Graff, directed by Susan Stroman), a musical adaptation of Rex Rose’s novel Toast, and The Great Cookie Quest (a children’s musical with book by Jim Weitzer).

Sam and Derek’s short children’s musical Love, Splat has been touring the US since 2013 in the TheatreWorks USA revue The Teacher From the Black Lagoon and Other Stories. Their song “Sleep Song” was featured in Cait Doyle’s Hot Mess In Manhattan in its Araca Project production in 2012, and their song “Eleven O’Clock” was part of Unsung Musicals’ Passing Show in 2014. They wrote two songs for the popular web series My Gay Roommate. Their ten-minute musical Flash-Priest was presented by the Prospect Theatre Company in Rites of Passage in the spring of 2012.

In 2013, Sing, But Don’t Tell, an evening of Carner & Gregor songs sung by West End performers sold out London’s Matcham Room, and Sam and Derek returned to London in 2014 for a series of concerts at the St. James Studio. Notable New York concerts include Sing, But Don’t Tell at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, Buzzed: Tribe Members from Hair Sing Carner & Gregor (2010), and The Songs of Carner & Gregor at 54 Below (2014). They also created the “Barely Legal Showtune Extravaganza” series, which brings some of the country’s most talented college performers to New York every summer for a blow-out concert.


CP_130401_Carner007Sam Carner won the 2015 Kleban Prize for Most Promising Librettist. He received his BA from Yale University and received his MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program on a Departmental Fellowship. He won the Children’s Theatre of Maine’s Young Playwrights Contest in 1992 with his political satire musical, The Rise of FTR. In 1995, his children’s musical, What a Cat! was performed on the mainstage at SUNY Plattsburgh and was later performed at the Children’s Theatre of Maine, who also commissioned and produced his 2000 children’s musical, Barnyard Follies. His one-act play, Brady, was performed at the University of Southern Maine in 1997, and his 1920′s-style college musical, Just Call Me Eli! won the John Golden Prize for Best Original Musical by a Yale Undergraduate in 2000.

Sam wrote the book and lyrics for Unlock’d, which was produced Off-Broadway at the Duke Theater in the summer of 2013, having previously won a Richard Rodgers Award, had workshops around the country, and been produced at the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival (“Best in the Fest” audience awards and Talkin’ Broadway citations for “Best Musical” and “Best Original Theatrical Score”). Sam wrote the words for Island Song, which has been workshopped around the country, was produced at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in February of 2014, and boasts 6 MAC-nominated songs.

Over the past several years, Sam has lectured regularly on various musical-theatre-related topics at Yale. Sam has taught Musical Theatre History and Analysis at NYU and Yale.


Derek GregorDerek Gregor received his BA from Skidmore College and his MFA from the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Derek composed the music for Unlock’d, which was produced Off-Broadway at the Duke Theater in the summer of 2013, having previously won a Richard Rodgers Award, had workshops around the country, and been produced at the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival (“Best in the Fest” audience awards and Talkin’ Broadway citations for “Best Musical” and “Best Original Theatrical Score”). Derek wrote the music for Island Song, which has been workshopped around the country, was produced at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in February of 2014, and boasts five MAC-nominated songs,

Derek writes country music with Laura Bell Bundy, and one of their songs was recently featured on her CD, Longing for a Place Already Gone. In 2001, he founded the rock band, M-Lab. Their new CD, A Bold and Hopeful Spark, is now available.