PART 3: RECKONING AND RESOLUTION
Reformatted to virtual presentation on ZOOM
Sunday, 3/26, noon to 7pm eastern
Submission deadline: Wednesday 3/15
(Download application: TRUBeginnings-HWM3-app)
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.
"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: 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.
Up to ten teams will present a song and scene from their shows to a professional panel of commercial producers, directors and writers, including:
- Ken Cerniglia, former dramaturg and literary manager of Disney Theatrical;
- 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;
- Tamra Pica, London, off-Broadway and TV producer.
Bob Ost, executive director of Theater Resources Unlimited, and TRU Literary Manager Cate Cammarata will facilitate.
Writers (and 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: Wednesday, 3/15. Download application: TRUBeginnings-HWM3-app, fill it out, and email to TRUPlaySubmissions@gmail.com to sign up. 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 ($85 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.
NEW! We will provide you with a music director and tech person at TRU's expense; or reimburse your expenses up to $100.
noon to 12:15 am - check in.
12:15 to 1pm - 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?
1:00 pm to 3:00 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 (Zoom break, leg stretch)
3:30 pm to 4:15 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.
4:15 pm to 6:15 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.
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 Dame, Freaky Friday, Aladdin, Newsies, The Little Mermaid, High 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 Nothing, The 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.
CHERYL L. 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.
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.
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.
is an Off-Broadway producer, director and dramaturg in NYC, dedicated to the development of new plays and musicals. She is the Founder and Executive Producer of CreateTheater's 2022 New Works Fest, the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective and has been the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) for ten years. Off-Broadway: The Assignment, My Father's Daughter. Regional: My Life Is a Musical (Bay Street Theater). Cate's company CreateTheater, has been helping writers develop and produce new work since 2016. During the shutdown of 2020-2022 CreateTheater developed and/or produced more than 70 shows with online readings, workshops and dramaturgical guidance. For this work Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) has honored her with the TRU Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2022. Cate holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from SUNY Stony Brook and is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at CUNY Baruch College. www.CateCammarata.com www.CreateTheater.com
While still a senior at U. of Pa., his one-act Beast was produced by Bob Moss in the first season of Playwrights Horizons. He went on to write book, music and lyrics for the off-Broadway revue Everybody’s Gettin’ into the Act at the Actor’s Playhouse, and Finale!, Grand Prize winner in the 1990 American Musical Theater Festival Competition (presented at NAMT) and the 1992 New American Musical Writers Competition, and a finalist at the O’Neill Music Conference in 1989. More recently his musical Angel in My Heart won Best Musical in the 2014 Fresh Fruit Festival. He won the 2011 New Works of Merit Playwriting Competition for his play Breeders, previously a finalist at the O'Neill, as well as a selection of the TRU Voices New Plays Reading Series. The Necessary Disposal was a 2010 finalist in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, has been a finalist in three other national competitions, and was part of the Shotgun Productions New Play Reading Series and the Oberon Theatre Reading Series, both in NYC; his one-act A Glass of Water was part of the Lovecreek Festival, HomoGenius Festival, Downtown Urban Arts Festival; other one-acts have been showcased all over New York. He won a 2004 OOBR Award for the review "Songs Are Like Friends", and is a 3-time MAC nominee. While he was producing his own musical revues at cabarets around Manhattan he discovered he could combine his artistic talent with the business skills he was picking up in the advertising world. The idea of Theater Resources Unlimited was born, with the help of co-founders (and fellow writers) Gary Hughes and Cheryl Davis in 1992. He has gone on to produce musicals Civil War Voices and Rip in the Midtown International Theater Festival, and the classic Chinese musical, Romance of the Western Chamber.