Sunday June 26th, noon to 7pm eastern time
Reformatted to virtual presentation on ZOOM
Submission deadline: Monday 6/6/22
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 1: The World and the Want" we will focus on two main aspects of your show: 1) the opening number (or any number that invites the audience into the world of the show, and sets the storytelling rules); and 2) the songs and scenes in which you introduce your characters and invite us to follow their journey. We will discuss "I want" songs, "I am" songs and "I feel" songs, and the function of each, with special attention to the way they move the action. 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. Music director Benjamin Doyle will be available to play and record your tracks, as well as edit duets, trios and ensemble numbers into a recorded format that we can play for the feedback panel and the room, and he is offering his services at a very affordable rate.
- 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 first 25 pages of a show you are working on, plus mp3s of the songs within those pages. Submission fee is $20 ($10 for TRU members).**
Click for application as a writable PDF:
fill it out, and email to TRUPlaySubmissions@gmail.com - submission fee is $10 for TRU members, $20 for non-members. Submission deadline Monday, 6/6/22.
**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.
- 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;
- Nancy Golladay, literary consultant (NY Shakespeare Festival, O'Neill Conference, more), moderator of the BMI Librettists' Workshop;
- Skip Kennon, composer/lyricist (Herringbone, Don Juan DeMarco, Time and Again), former artistic coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and teacher for two decades;
- Tamra Pica, London and off-Broadway producer
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). You submission fee will be applied to the Observer fee. 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.
12:00-12:15 - check-in
12:15 pm to 12:45 am - Discussion: how do you engage an audience in the world of your show? What constitutes an effective opening number? What does the audience need to know?
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 the opening scene and song. After each presentation, panelists will provide feedback.
LUNCH/ZOOM BREAK (Stretch, rest your eyes)
4:15 pm to 5:00 pm - Discussion: How does the audience know whose story to follow? Who is the engine of your show? Do all of your characters have "wants"? Do they need to? 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 the main characters' “I Want” song or songs. 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.