Robert Horn
  • Playwright
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active2002–present

Robert Horn is an American playwright, screenwriter and producer. He is best known on the stage for his Tony Award-winning book for the Broadway musical adaptation of Tootsie, as well as 13, Disney Theatrical's Hercules, and the Broadway musical Shucked. For film and television, he is best known as the screenwriter for Netflix's 13: the Musical and the Disney Channel Original Movies Teen Beach Movie, Teen Beach 2, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, and The Suite Life Movie.

Life and career

Horn, a New York native, had "a grim, grinding, achingly humorless childhood only Charles Dickens could do justice to," according to writer Harry Haun. His single mother gave up his twin sister and older brother to foster homes; his brother died of pancreatic in prison in 2019, and his sister died of the same illness months later. “I think, because I had the upbringing I had, I was fearless," Horn told Haun in a 2023 article.[1]

Horn studied theater at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and New York's Circle in the Square Theatre School. Soon after, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career in film and television. His first major job was as a writer/producer on the television series Designing Women, followed by the Fox series Living Single and the CBS comedy High Society.

After moving to Los Angeles, Horn was signed to an overall production deal with Warner Brothers Studios, where he developed, wrote, and executive produced dozens of network pilots and series. He then signed a script deal at Sony Studios, followed by an overall pilot deal at ABC studios. Along with Bob Boyett, Horn created and wrote the FX series Partners.

Horn wrote pilots for Car Wash (developed with Will Packer),[2] Jenni starring Jenni Rivera, Sunnyland starring Jennifer Hudson, Left of Center (developed with Gail Berman), Taxi 22 starring James Gandolfini, and 13: the Musical on Netflix.

For Disney Channel, Horn wrote The Suite Life Movie as well as TV musicals Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure and the record-breaking Teen Beach Movie and Teen Beach 2, the former pulling in the third highest viewership ever for the channel, on the heels of High School Musical 2 and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.[3] Horn also wrote Wild Life for Walt Disney Feature Animations and Good Advice featuring Charlie Sheen.[4]

Special projects include The RuPaul Christmas Special on BBC, Bette Midler's Divine Intervention Tour, and a digital musical series co-written with Jason Robert Brown for Sony's digital Crackle network.

Horn's writing for the theater stage includes Dame Edna, Back with a Vengeance, 13, Disney's Hercules, the Broadway musical Shucked, and the musical version of Tootsie. Horn's work on Tootsie received widespread acclaim upon the musical's pre-Broadway premiere in Chicago – Vanity Fair says "the humor of Tootsie arises from writer Robert Horn’s bull’s-eye deployment of zingers – and the cast’s infallible delivery of them."[5] The Chicago Tribune says that "Tootsie is a very funny show, mostly due to Horn’s book."[6] Horn won a Tony Award for the musical's book. For Shucked, Horn received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Book.[7]


Year Award Category Work Result
2019 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical[8] Tootsie Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical[9] Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)[10][11] Won
2023 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical Shucked Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical Pending
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway) Pending


  1. ^ Haun, Harry (March 29, 2023). "Robert Horn On Growing a Broadway Musical, 'Shucked,' From the Ground Up". Observer. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 8, 2016). "'Car Wash' Reboot From Will Packer Set at ABC (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ "'Teen Beach Movie' Breaks Records, But What's Your All-Time Favorite Disney Channel Original Movie? (POLL)". HuffPost. 2013-07-20. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  4. ^ "Robert Horn". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  5. ^ Collins, Amy Fine (2019-03-27). "Santino Fontana on the Broadway Return of Tootsie and All That Jazz". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  6. ^ Jones, Chris (2018-10-01). "In the boffo Broadway-bound 'Tootsie,' Dorothy sings". Archived from the original on 2019-05-19. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  7. ^ Filichia, Peter (May 9, 2023). "THE WORLD IS SHUCKED'S OYSTER". Masterworks Broadway. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  8. ^ "Full List of the 2019 Tony Award Nominees". The New York Times. 2019-04-30. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  9. ^ "Drama Desk Awards". Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  10. ^ "Hadestown Tops List of 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award Winners". TheaterMania. 2019-05-13. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  11. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (2019-04-23). "Hadestown, Tootsie & Oklahoma! Lead 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations". Retrieved 2019-05-08.