Event Details
  • How to Write a Musical... submit now!
    July 16, 2017
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
FEEDBACK WORKSHOP #3: RECKONING AND RESOLUTION

PART 3: RECKONING AND RESOLUTION
NOLA Rehearsal Studio
244 W. 54th St.,  11th Floor
Sunday, July 16th, 10am to 5:30pm
EXTENDED Submission deadline: Wednesday July 5th
(Download application: TRUBeginnings-HWM3-app)

This 3-part 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. "Part 3: Reckoning and Resolution" will focus on the last scenes of a musical and how songs help resolve the story and the characters' journeys. Up to ten teams will present a song and scene from their shows to a professional panel of commercial producers, directors and writers, including:

  • Cheryl Davis, Kleban and Larsen Award winning librettist and lyricist (Barnstormer), Audelco Award winning playwright (Maid's Door);
  • 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;
  • Jim Kierstead, producer (Indecent, Natasha Pierre..., Sunset Boulevard, Waitress, Yank!, Tony Award winner for Kinky Boots and Pippin revival)
  • Tom Polum, producer (The Toxic Avenger, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, All Shook Up).

Bob Ost, executive director of Theater Resources Unlimited, and TRU Literary Manager Cate Cammarata will facilitate.

We will focus on three main aspects of a show: 1) songs that express the resolution of a character's "want," or the overcoming of obstacles, and how it leads to a final choice; 2) "eleven o'clock numbers," the big dramatic show stopper that sums up the (usually) main character's journey; 3) the finale, an effective and emotionally satisfying way of concluding your story. We will discuss the function of songs, with special attention paid to the way they move the action. In addition, we will continually explore the delicate balance between script and song. 

Writers (or producers!) are invited to submit no more than 25 pages of a show you are working on. We want to see the last section of your show in which we head towards the summing up and conclusion of the plot and the resolution of the characters' wants. Include MP3s of the songs within only those pages. Also send a concise synopsis of the preceding action of the show, and how it leads to the resolution in the section presented.

Submission deadline: Saturday, July 1st (extended to July 5th). Download application: TRUBeginnings-HWM3-app, fill it out, and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com to sign up. This workshop is scheduled to run from 10am to 5:30pm with a lunch break, and brief end-of-day reception. Submission fee is $10 for TRU members, $20 for non-members. If accepted, it will be applied to a participation fee of $100 ($85 for TRU members). Prices are discounted for those who have taken previous parts of this workshop.

The cost for non-participants to attend for the full day, to observe the presentations and be part of the discussions, is $55 ($35 for TRU members). 

**If accepted, you will present 10-15 minutes including one song and scene, followed by about 15 minutes of feedback. There will be a participation fee of $100 ($80 for TRU members), which includes 2 seats for the entire day workshop as well as your presentation slot. Because 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 a nominal $25 per person.

SCHEDULE

10 am to 10:15 am - check in.

10:15 to 11am - Discussion: How do you bring the action of your show to an effective dramatic (and musical) conclusion? Is resolution better served by song or by dialogue? Do all shows need a big "eleven o'clock" number, or are there other ways to leave an audience emotionally satisfied?

11:00 am to 1:30 pm - Five writing teams will explain their work’s overall concept (in 30 seconds or less) and present 10-15 minutes of a song and scene that demonstrates a resolution of the show's major conflict or a coming to terms for one of the characters, the resolution of their ongoing "want." After each presentation, panelists will provide feedback.

LUNCH BREAK
(On your own. Great time to make new friends in the industry!)

2:30 pm to 3:00 pm - 
Discussion: The dramatic journey of characters: how wants and goals may evolve over the course of a show. Panelists will comment and invite audience feedback.

3:00 pm to 5:30 pm
- Five writing teams will explain their work’s overall concept (in 30 seconds or less) and present 10-15 minutes of a song and scene that musicalizes the action leading to the resolution, or leads up to (and includes) a satisfying finale that leaves the audience with a sense of completion.

Panelists
  • CHERYL DAVIS

    was a recipient of the Ed Kleban Award for her work as a librettist, and her musical Barnstormer, written with award-winning composer Douglas J. Cohen, received a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, under the auspices of the Lark Play Development Center. Her play Maid’s Door was produced at the Billie Holiday Theatre received seven Audelco Awards; and was also presented at the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival. Her play Carefully Taught was performed at the Astoria Performing Arts Center. Her new musical, Bridges, was produced by the Berkeley Playhouse in February 2016 and received great reviews, including from the San Francisco Examiner.  Cheryl’s play about the desegregation of the nation’s school system, The Color of Justice, which was commissioned by Theatreworks/USA, received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her play Winnie the Pooh KIDS was commissioned and is currently licensed by the Disney Theatrical Group; Cover Girls, which is an adaptation of the Bishop T. D. Jakes novel, was produced and toured by ClearChannel Entertainment.   She has written commissions for the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project, the Red Mountain Theatre Company (Mandela and The MLK Project), and the Birmingham Children’s Theatre (Tuxedo Junction, about Alabama Jazz musician Erskine Hawkins).  Bridges was written on commission from the Berkeley Playhouse.  Her play Swimming Uptown has received developmental readings at the Lark Play Development Center, the Abingdon Theatre, and the Classical Theater of Harlem. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Kennedy Center, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She received a Writers’ Guild Award for her work on the daytime dramatic serial “As the World Turns” and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on that show as well. Her musical Barnstormer, which is about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer, has received a developmental production at the Red Mountain Theatre in Birmingham Alabama, and readings at the York Theater Company, Stamford Center for the Arts, and as part of Hartford Stage’s “Brand:NEW” Festival; it has also received a BareBones presentation at the Lark Play Development Center and has been presented as part of the National Alliance for Musical Theater’s Annual Festival. Her play Corner Office was a finalist in the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest. Cheryl is a musical theater librettist and lyricist, and is an alumna of the Advanced Workshop of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and the co-founder and Vice President of Theater Resources unlimited.

  • NANCY GOLLADAY

    has served as a literary consultant with the New York Shakespeare Festival, Paul Sills, the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Ellis Rabb, Warner Brothers Films, Punch Productions, the Nederlander Organization, Tenterfield Productions, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and Davenport Theatrical. Nancy was actively involved in the founding of the U.K.'s Book, Music, and Lyrics (BML) Workshop, an evolving group focused on the development of musical theatre writers and choreographers. She was an invited speaker at Mercury Musical Developments writers' conference in London, and appeared on the original Dramatists Guild "Art of the Synopsis" panel in New York. Nancy has worked for many years on the Drama League, Drama Desk, and Tony-honored BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop as a member of the faculty and Advisory Committee. As Moderator of the Librettists Workshop, she has recently created a popular program of in-house table readings of its members' new projects.

  • SKIP KENNON

    was the overall Artistic Coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the teacher of the first year there for two decades. He wrote the music for the one-man musical Herringbone (Playwrights Horizons - starring David Rounds, Hartford Stage - starring Joel Grey, Edinburgh Festival, Philadelphia's Prince Music Theater, Chicago's St. Nicholas Theater, 2007 season opener at Williamstown Theater Festival - starring B.D. Wong), the music for Here's Our Girl (workshopped at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater), and the music and lyrics for the musical version of The Last Starfighter (Storm Theatre, Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals - summer 2006, New York Musical Theatre Festival readings - fall 2006), Blanco (Goodspeed Opera House at Chester, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, National Music Theater Network), Feathertop (WPA Theater, Pennsylvania Stage Co.), and Time and Again (Manhattan Theatre Club, San Diego's Old Globe Theater, Eugene O'Neill Center National Music Theater Conference). Kennon also wrote the music and lyrics for the one-act musical Plaisir d'Amour (book by Terrence McNally), which was produced at New York's Triangle Theater and seen in workshop at Circle Rep, as well as the music for the one-act musical Afternoon Tea (book & lyrics by Eduardo Machado), which was performed at Theater Row Theaters in 2005 by Ed Harris and Amy Madigan. He was a classical music critic at the Hollywood Reporter for five years.

  • JIM KIERSTEAD

    is a two-time 2013 Tony® Award-winning producer of the Broadway, touring, Toronto, and London productions of Kinky Boots and the revival of Pippin.  He also is involved with the international hit musical Matilda on Broadway and on tour and is a co-producer of the 2016 Broadway musicals Waitress and Natasha & Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 starring Josh Groban.  He has been a co-producer of the Broadway productions of The Visit (Tony nominated), You Can’t Take It With You (Tony nominated), Side Show, It Shoulda Been You and Rocky.  Jim has worked in New York theatre since 2000 investing and raising money for shows including Something Rotten, The Glass Menagerie, the revival of Hair (Best Revival), American Idiot, The Addams Family, Catch Me If You Can, among others. Jim began his career by developing and producing the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere of Thrill Me – The Leopold & Loeb Story (nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical in 2005) and produced its original New York production in 2003.  He founded his production company Kierstead Productions, Inc. in 2004.  In 2010, he produced the Off-Broadway premiere of Yank! – A World War II Love Story.  Jim has been an Executive Producer on the films Between Love and Goodbye, Kiss Me, Kill Me, and the upcoming Wakefield starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner. Currently, Jim is developing a new musical entitled Unexpected Joy with book & lyrics by Bill Russell (two-time Tony® nominated for Side Show), a play entitled Cover by Bill McMahon, and a play entitled The Dodgers by Diana Amsterdam about the draft dodgers during the Vietnam War which had its World Premiere production at The Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles.  Jim is on the Board of Directors of The York Theatre Company and The New York Theatre Barn.

  • TOM POLUM

    produced the Houston production of The Toxic Avenger, following the off-Broadway New York premiere of The Toxic Avenger, a musical comedy about the first superhero from New Jersey by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) and David Bryan (keyboardist and founding member of Bon Jovi) and directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando. He also co-produced Last Call, a musical documentary by Broadway director Christopher Ashley (Xanadu, Rocky Horror Show, All Shook Up) and is developing the musical comedies Mambo Italiano (based on the Canadian film starring Paul Sorvino) and Zombie Honeymoon, as well as other musicals, including Heloise and Abelard, The Toxic Avenger Christmas Chaos and Finding Frida Kahlo. Past credits include the tour of Broadway’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination for Best Musical).

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