Leslie Arden is an Ontario based award winning composer, lyricist, librettist, performer, director and music director who has written and composed over a dozen musicals, including the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning The House of Martin Guerre and the Chalmers Award winning The Happy Prince. Leslie also collaborated with Norm Foster on the oft produced The Last Resort and Ned Durango. She wrote the scores for Harvest Moon Rising, A Meeting of Minds, and The Boys Are Coming Home, which was produced by Chicago’s American Musical Theater Projects in 2006 and was chosen to be presented at NYC’s National Alliance for Musical Theatre later the same year. Leslie composed the music for Canadian Stage Company’s productions of The Beard of Avon and It’s a Wonderful Life, in which she also performed. She’s been commissioned by choirs all across Canada, and she’s spent five seasons as a composer with The Stratford Festival. She composed the score for Jeannette Lambermont’s production of Goethe’s Faust, and she wrote the book, music and lyrics for Moll, a contemporary musical adaptation of Dafoe’s Moll Flanders. Leslie is currently at work on a new commission for Queen’s University’s Dan School of Music Theatre, where she served as the inaugural writer-in-residence since from 2019 – 2022. Leslie Arden has also had extensive experience writing musicals for young audiences, and teaching and working with kids.
Leslie was Artistic Director of her own award winning Theatre For Young Audiences company, The Children’s Trio, which toured North America with Prologue to the Performing Arts. Leslie also participated in Artists-in-Schools projects for both The Canadian Stage Company and The Canadian Opera Company. One of the COC projects culminated in a music theatre piece called A Hero’s Story, which was subsequently featured in a CBC documentary. In 1990 Leslie was one of thirteen professional musical theatre writers chosen from around the world by Cameron MacIntosh to study with Stephen Sondheim at Oxford University.