Score (Photo by Michael Brosilow)


March 2002
Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio

Score is a study of ecstasy, articulation and genius alive in the gloriously passionate relationship between Leonard Bernstein (as portrayed by Tom Nelis) and the music he encountered, played, conducted, wrote and loved. Adapted from print and media interviews with and the writings of Leonard Bernstein, Score takes the form of a slowly unraveling lecture about music. As Bernstein reaches a point of crisis, unable to leave the stage and his audience, the relationship between the performer and the audience, the actor and the play’s scenography, particularly sound design, is palpably tensed.

Note about process:

Score is about a passionate relationship between a man and music. The man in our play is based upon the conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein. The object of his passion is the music he encountered, played, conducted, wrote and loved.

The conductor is played by Tom Nelis. He is found, perhaps in the middle of the night, amidst the detritus of hundreds of music stands, still in tails, and suddenly ready to engage. Is the audience his musicians? His audience? His friends? All of these?“The theatrical ingenuity, vivid imagery and aural tapestry on display are so beguiling and unpredictable that even Bogart’s biggest fans will find new treasure.” —Columbus Dispatch

With Score, SITI Company completes the third part of a trilogy about the artistic process: Bob was based on the life and work of Robert Wilson, Room was inspired by the life and writing of Virginia Woolf, and Score is centered around Bernstein’s articulations about music. What joins these three works is the great obsession of these individuals with their art. Each is a journey to appreciation and new vistas. The entire trilogy is available as a complete cycle to festivals worldwide.

Score is a study of ecstasy, articulation and genius. It lives in the glorious atmosphere of great music. It honors one of the greatest of American figures.

“Nelis’s balletic choreography and the graceful fluidity of his fingers and arms as he conducts Bernstein’s life story brought the audience completely under his spell.” —The Courier–Journal

Directed by:
Anne Bogart


Adapted by:
Jocelyn Clarke


Created by:
SITI Company



Tom Nelis



Lighting Design:
Christopher Akerlind


Sets Design:
Neil Patel

Costume Design:
James Schuette


Sound Design:
Darron L West           


Associate Lighting Designer:
Brian H Scott


Original Stage Manager:
Elizabeth Moreau


Production Stage Manager:
Kris Longley-Postema


Associate Producers:
Roberta Pereira
David Roberts


Executive Director:
Megan Wanlass


Made possible by generous grants from The Rockefeller Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts.



Commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University, Actors Theater of Louisville and SITI Company