In the fall 1999 he entered the MFA Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University. It was there that he met Chris Miller (music) and they wrote their thesis musical THE BURNT PART BOYS with book by Mariana Elder. In 2006 it was given its premiere production at Barrington Stage Company, and then in 2008 an Off-Broadway co-production by Playwrights Horizons and Vineyard Theatre.
FUGITIVE SONGS with music by Miller and lyrics by Tysen premiered Off-Broadway theatre in a production by Dreamlight Theatre Company in 2005. It is a song cycle. Differing from classical musical song cycles, FUGITIVE SONGS is written to be staged and acted out with the various singers assuming specific characters, all connected by being fugitives. It received a Drama Desk nomination for Best New Revue (2008) Rick Dines, director of this production, was a MSU BFA theatre acting major contemporary with Nathan.
Nathan has had a varied and impressive career. He has written material for SESAME STREET, ELMO'S WORLD, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY and Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus.
TUCK EVERLASTING with music, Miller; lyrics, Tysen; book, Claudia Shear opened on Broadway in 2016. It received nominations from Drama League and Outer Critics Awards for Best Musical.
AMELIE with music, Dan Messe; lyrics, Tysen; book, Craig Lucas opened on Broadway in 2017. Missouri Stage University presented a production that was significantly revised with new orchestrations and expanded repertory of songs. The new version opened in London’s West End in 2019. It received Laurence Olivier nominations for the Best Musical and Best Original Score or New Orchestrations. The cast recording of the new London production is currently a nominee for the 2021 Grammy Award. According to Wikipedia productions have been given in Japan, Germany, Finland, Australia and The Netherlands.
Nathan graduated from Salinas, Kansas, High School. When he returns home he reunites with his buddies in the rock band Joe’s Pet Project. In 2015 Nathan wrote the book and lyrics for STILLWATER with music by him and Joe’s Pet Project. It was given a workshop production by Kansas City Repertory Theatre—literally a workshop. The Spencer Theatre was undergoing renovation. A temporary performance space was created in the backstage working area of the theatre. At that time Jerry Genochio was Producing Director for KCRep. He had been on the design/technical theatre faculty at MSU when Nathan was a student. STILLWATER is hometown inspired, and in this production Nathan also played the lead role. He said afterwards that acting on stage was the scariest part of the whole experience. He had not acted since he graduated from MSU.
In 2014 he won both the Edward Kleban Prize for most promising lyricist and the Fred Ebb award for excellence in musical theatre songwriting. He is the recipient of awards and grants from Jonathan Larson, Richard Rodgers, Daryl Roth, Kitty Carlisle Hart Foundations and Trusts, ASCAP and the NEA.
He is married to writer Kait Kerrian and father to Lucy and Tess.