Polly Pen is a 1996 Obie Award winner for the score of Bed and Sofa which received seven Drama Desk nominations and has been recorded by Varese Sarabande. Her first Off-Broadway production as both composer and co-author, Goblin Market, received five Drama Desk nominations and the BEST PLAYS Special Citation for Musical Composition and Adaptation. It has been performed throughout the United States and most recently in Kyoto, Japan. Other works include Her Lightness for Sarasota Opera; The Dumb Cake, a radio musical broadcast over NPR and Christina Alberta's Father for the Vineyard Theatre where it received a Richard Rodgers Award, an Obie and a drama desk nomination for Outstanding Music. Polly is the 1998 recipient of The Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Award and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a recent recipient of the TCG/Pew Grant, serving as a National Theatre Artist-in-Residence at the McCarter Theatre. Polly serves on the board of Dramatists Play Service, the council of The Dramatists Guild and on the nominating committee of the Tony Awards.

One of the characteristics that makes Pen's shows interesting is that her source materials are often obscure literary texts--a sexually charged 1862 Christina Rosetti poem inspired Goblin Market, her acclaimed debut work; a 1920s silent Russian film about a ménage à trios was the nucleus of Bed and Sofa, a minor work by H.G. Wells provided the plotline for the whimsical, proto-feminist Christina Alberta's Father. And now, with her latest work, The Night Governess, based on a long-lost Louisa May Alcott novella called Behind a Mask, Pen continues to craft musical portraits from a bygone age. The Night Governess received its premiere last May at Princeton, N.J.'s McCarter Theatre.