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Event Details
  • The World and the Want
    October 17, 2021
    12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Details Price Qty
-TRU submission fee $10.00 (USD)  
-TRU new participant, balance $75.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
September 30, 2021
-TRU returning participant, balance $65.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
September 30, 2021
-Non Member submission fee $20.00 (USD)  
-Non-member new participant, balance $80.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
September 30, 2021
-Non-member returning participant, balance) $65.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
September 30, 2021
-Additional Collaborator $25.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
September 30, 2021
-Observer fee, TRU $35.00 (USD)  
-Observer fee, non-member $55.00 (USD)  
-Observer fee, CreateTheater member $35.00 (USD)  

2021 – (Virtual) FEEDBACK WORKSHOP #2: CONFLICT AND OBSTACLES

Sunday 10/17/21, noon to 7pm eastern time
Reformatted to virtual presentation on ZOOM
Submission deadline: Wednesday 09/29/21

This workshop is dedicated to fostering a conversation about musical theater structure not only for writers but also for producers, directors and everyone involved in the creation and production of new works. Each workshop will accept up to 10 writing teams and/or producers who will share works in progress and get feedback from a panel of expert evaluators. Audience members will also have a chance to offer their observations, and participate in discussions.

In "Part 2: Conflict and Obstacles" we will focus on three main aspects of your show: 1) Songs that express differing points of view, or conflict; 2) "Turnaround Songs" in which a character changes his course of action; 3) Plot complications that keep your characters from achieving their wants, and drive the action forward; in particular, the climactic moment (sometimes the first act finale) that drives us forward into the resolution (note: the actual "resolution" will be in workshop #3). In addition, we will continually explore the delicate balance between script and song, so it is important that you present a continuous portion of scene and song from your show.

  • Due to the virtual issues of lag and latency, we will need writers to record and edit any musical presentations that involve more than one singer. We have a team of tech advisors to help you: music directors and editors who will be available to play and record your tracks, and in some cases may be able to edit duets, trios and ensemble numbers from single tracks and sync them with your video recording. The suggested rate they will charge is $30-35/hour.
  • You may, of course, use your own music director, editor or other resources to help you produce a professional presentation.
  • We do NOT need a recorded presentation when you submit, only when you are accepted.
  • Writers or producers are invited to submit no more than the 25 pages of a show you are working on, plus mp3s of the songs within those pages that demonstrate conflict. These pages should be well after the opening number and the introduction of the main characters and their wants - think of it as the middle third of the show. Submission fee is $20 ($10 for TRU members).** 

Click for application as a writable PDF: TRUBeginnings-HWMusical2-newapp3
fill it out, and email to TRUPlaySubmissions@gmail.com - submission fee is $10 for TRU members, $20 for non-members.
Submission deadline Wednesday 09/29/21

**If accepted for presentation, in addition to the submission fee there will be a participation fee of $80 ($75 for TRU members), which includes two places for the entire day workshop as well as a 20-30 minute presentation-plus-feedback slot. Space is limited. Any additional attendees from the musical team (including music director, additional collaborators and cast members) who wish to observe the entire workshop must reserve in advance and will be charged $25 per person. There is an additional price break for writers who presented the same show at previous parts of the How to Write a Musical workshops. For clarification: you presentation is limited to 8-12 minutes including a song plus scenes leading into and/or out of the song. The remaining time is for panel feedback.

Our professional panel of commercial producers, directors and writers will include:
  • Ken Cerniglia, former dramaturg and literary manager Disney Theatrical Group;
  • Cheryl Davis, Kleban and Larsen Award winning librettist and lyricist (Barnstormer), Audelco Award winning playwright (Maid's Door), general counsel for The Author's Guild;
  • Paul Gordon, composer/lyricist (Broadway Jane Eyre; off Broadway Daddy Long Legs; regional Emma; virtual Estella Scrooge)
  • Tamra Pica, London, off-Broadway and TV producer 
  • others tba

Bob Ost, executive director of Theater Resources Unlimited, and TRU Literary Manager Cate Cammarata will facilitate. The TRU Selection Committee will determine what song and scene from your show we want you to present, although you may tell us your preference. We will provide a zoom room, access to a music director and editor, actor and director suggestions, panelists, and an audience.

Those selected for presentation are required to create their presentation using a music director providing a solid piano track, and zoom-savvy talent. A sound engineer will be needed to help mix the separate tracks for each voice. You may have a solo number performed "live" with a track, but make sure your singer has adequate virtual tech set-up and a pre-recorded track that they can play from the location where they are performing. We will also have a tech advisor to help you.  

Those not selected will be invited and encouraged to attend the workshop as observers. The price is $55 ($35 for TRU members). We will be promoting this to writers, directors and producers, with the hope of generating a useful conversation to help us all develop the skills to create successful works for musical theater.

All writers are expected to be in attendance for the entire day, or at least the full half day session in which your work is presented. (You will learn a great deal from hearing presentations and feedback of the works of your fellow writers.)

Schedule

12:00-12:15 - check-in

12:15 pm to 12:45 am - Discussion: How to musicalize conflict, and are certain actions better expressed by dialogue or by song? How a character's deep want, and the dramatic obstacle, become plot points that drive the story forward.

12:45 am to 3:15 pm - Five writing teams will explain their work’s overall concept (in 30 seconds or less) and present up to 12 minutes of a scene and song that show one or more characters in conflict, including disagreements, shared wants and persuasion songs. After each presentation, panelists will provide feedback.

LUNCH/ZOOM BREAK
(Stretch, rest your eyes)

4:15 pm to 5:00 pm -
Discussion: The dramatic journey of characters, including their "escalating want" and turnaround songs. Plus effective first act finales and engaging second act openers. Panelists will comment and invite additional audience feedback.

5:15 pm to 7:15 pm
- Four writing teams will explain their work’s overall concept (in 30 seconds or less) and present up to 12 minutes that include one or more of the main characters' challenges, plus first act finales and second act openings. After each presentations, panelists will provide feedback.

**All writers are expected to be in attendance for the entire day, or at least the full half day session in which your work is presented.

Panelists
  • CHERYL DAVIS

    received the Kleban Award as a librettist for her musical Barnstormer, (written with Douglas J. Cohen) about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. The show received a Jonathan Larson Award through the Lark Play Development Center. Her play Maid’s Door received great reviews, won seven Audelco Awards, and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize. Her play The Color of Justice (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA), received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her musical Bridges, which was commissioned by the Berkeley Playhouse, received its world premiere in February 2016 to great reviews and three award nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. She received a Writers’ Guild Award for her work on “As the World Turns”, and was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center.  She is the General Counsel of the Authors Guild.

  • KEN CERNIGLIA

    is a veteran dramaturg, writer, and creative executive. He dramaturged the innovative Broadway hits Hadestown (8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical) and Peter and the Starcatcher (5 Tony Awards). As resident dramaturg and literary manager for Disney Theatrical Productions for 16 years, he developed over 60 titles for Broadway, touring, international, and licensed productions, including The Hunchback of Notre DameFreaky Friday, Aladdin, NewsiesThe Little MermaidHigh School Musical, and Tarzan. He recently conceived and developed Marvel Spotlight, a collection of one-act plays with teenage super hero protagonists who tackle real-world problems in a diverse society. Other dramaturgy includes the chamber opera Blood Moon (PROTOTYPE 2020); the new musical Bridges (Berkeley Playhouse); Passion Trilogy (Fisher Ensemble/Loyola Marymount University); and Bud, Not Buddy, The Gift of NothingThe Cricket in Times Square, and OLIVERio: A Twist on Dickens (Kennedy Center). Ken is a frequent guest lecturer, artist, and adjudicator at conferences, universities, and festivals around the world. He is immediate past president of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), co-founder of the American Theatre Archive Project, and Artistic Director of Two Turns Theatre Company. He holds a Ph.D. in theatre history and criticism from the University of Washington.

  • PAUL GORDON

    was nominated for a 2001 Tony Award for composing the music and lyrics to the musical Jane Eyre. He won the 2015 Jeff Award for Best New Work for his book, music and lyrics for Sense and Sensibility, commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. He is the recipient of the 2009 Ovation Award for his music and lyrics to Daddy Long Legs which has had productions all over the world, and was nominated for 2 Drama Desk Awards, an Off-Broadway Alliance Award and 3 Outer Critic Circle awards. Paul has been an advocate for capturing theatre on film while creating new revenue streams for theatre artists. His company, StreamingMusicals.com, has been on the forefront of this movement and his musicals Pride and PrejudiceEmma and No One Called Ahead can currently be streamed on Amazon Prime and other online platforms. Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist was released in 2020 on StreamingMusicals.com. Knight’s Tale, written with John Caird, opened at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, 2018 and is slated for its second production in 2021. His other shows include: Being Earnest, Analog and Vinyl, The Front, Juliet and Romeo, Sleepy Hollow, The Circle, Ribbit and The Sportswriter. In his former life, Paul was a pop songwriter and wrote several number one songs. paulgordonmusic.com

  • TAMRA PICA

    producer and casting director for Write Act Repertory, and the new Park Performing Arts Center’s (PPAC) in Union City, NJ. Tamra's theater and television work spans 33 years and over 250 productions as a prop designer, AEA Stage Manager, producer and casting director of plays, musicals, dance and ice shows. She produces both Off Broadway, as well as, managing the Los Angeles theater presence for Write Act.  Recent credits include the long-running Frankenstein, Wicked City Blues, and Swing.  Other credits include: Lili Marlene, Caldwell’s Bomb for the New York Venus/Adonis Theater Festival, RenewalYour Name on My Lips at Theater for the New City and the long running musical Fabulous! Queen of the New Musicals where she served as a casting director and producer.  Alongside theater, Tamra’s work production, casting, and development television work can be seen for companies such as Disney, Sony, Cartoon Network, NBC Studios, TBS, CBS, MTV, ABC and FOX.  She currently works on the animated Disney series Mira, Royal Detective.

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