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Interview: Broadway Sinfonietta CEO Macy Schmidt Talks Orchestrating the Music for the TikTok Musical FOR YOU, PAIGE

Schmidt is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree whose work can also be heard on Broadway's TINA: The Tina Turner Musical, She Persisted: The Musical and more.

Interview: Broadway Sinfonietta CEO Macy Schmidt Talks Orchestrating the Music for the TikTok Musical FOR YOU, PAIGE

TikTok is presenting a re-broadcast of their first official commissioned TikTok musical, For You, Paige, tonight, June 9 at 11pm ET! Inspired by real TikTok creators, For You, Paige follows music nerd Landon, who collaborates with his best friend Paige on a song inspired by her favorite book series. When Landon's TikTok goes viral, and a producer offers him an opportunity to adapt the book series into a musical, Landon enlists the help of Paige and the TikTok community.

Co-directed by Maria Goulamhoussen and Emily Maltby with choreography by Emily and Katie Spelma, For You, Paige features James Henry as Tyler, Krystina Alabado as Kaia, JJ Niemann as Jarek, and others, with songs written by Daniel Mertzlufft, Julia Riew (who recently wrote her own musical), Katherine Lynn-Rose, RJ Christian, Blake Rouse, Morgan Reilly, Alex Engleberg, Kate Leonard and Gosz & Fotos and orchestrations by Macy Schmidt.

In addition to orchestrating For You, Paige, Macy Schmidt is also the co-EP of For You Paige, CEO of the The Broadway Sinfonietta - an all-women, primarily women of color, orchestra- and a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree whose work can also be heard on Broadway's TINA: The Tina Turner Musical, She Persisted: The Musical, an adaptation of Chelsea Clinton's acclaimed children's book, and Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.

BroadwayWorld spoke with Macy about her involvement in the creation of For You, Paige, her work with The Broadway Sinfonietta, her hopes for the future of TikTok musicals and more!


Interview: Broadway Sinfonietta CEO Macy Schmidt Talks Orchestrating the Music for the TikTok Musical FOR YOU, PAIGE Tell me about how you became involved in the creation of For You, Paige!

I became involved in For You, Paige after being brought in by the show's brilliant creator and mastermind, Daniel Mertzlufft. Dan and I had worked together previously on Ratatouille as Arranger & Orchestrator (respectively), and we learned pretty quickly that our musical languages and influences are nearly identical - we've become each others' musical mind-readers, so to say. After creating For You Paige with Media.Monks' Joshua Asen, the two of them brought me on board to both Co-Executive Produce, as well as orchestrate the music and lead the Sinfonietta's recording process when the time came.

Can you tell me about the process of orchestrating the music for this show?

Well first of all, the process was fast! Much faster than a traditional orchestration process for a new musical would be. From my first day orchestrating to our studio recording was probably around 14 days - also not unlike our process on Ratatouille! Each day or so, our Arranger Daniel Mertzlufft would feed me a piano sketch of each song as it was completed and I would orchestrate it for our 20-piece orchestra (The Broadway Sinfonietta) that recorded the score.

How has it been working with the team behind For You, Paige?

It's been magical and collaborative and I am beyond lucky to get to work with such brilliant and talented teammates. It was particularly special to get to work again with the writers of the TikTok community, who have breathed such life into the musical theatre form and industry these past couple years.

You are the CEO of The Broadway Sinfonietta. How does it feel for the Broadway Sinfonietta to be a part of For You Paige, and this whole new way of creating musical theatre?

I'm so very proud that The Broadway Sinfonietta has now been the recording orchestra for not one, but two professionally produced TikTok musicals! It's been nothing but a joy. I'll never forget how after the Ratatouille airing, we received DMs on the Sinfonietta's Instagram account (@thebroadwaysinfonietta!) from people sharing how surprised and moved they were to see all women (and majority women-of-color) musicians playing on screen. TikTok, and digitally recorded musical theatre in general, has the power to reach an audience in numbers far beyond any live stage audience, so it's been extra special for the Sinfonietta to get to be part of that reach.

You previously worked on Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical. How was the process different for you this time around with For You, Paige?

There were so many different things about this process - first, this was the first ever liveInterview: Broadway Sinfonietta CEO Macy Schmidt Talks Orchestrating the Music for the TikTok Musical FOR YOU, PAIGE and commissioned TikTok musical, so getting to work closely with the TikTok team created a whole new dynamic and allowed us direct insight into how to honor the TikTok theatre community and its writers in creating this show. The live capture was a feat unlike anything I've ever seen - our directing team, Maria Goulamhousse, Emily Maltby, and Katie Spelman really changed the game with their approach to this capture, pulling off a heroic task in an unimaginably short period of time. Though the capture lives on as a pre-recorded piece, the fact that it was captured live rather than edited together in advance definitely changed the approach of every creative on the team from our approaches on Ratatouille - which came with both advantages and disadvantages!

What are your hopes for the future of TikTok musicals?

I hope that TikTok musicals continue to push the boundaries of gatekeeping and access that so often come with creating professional musical theatre. We're already seeing so much of that, and I would love to see the lines blur even more between who is considered a "TikTok writer" and a writer for the Broadway stage. So much talent has been discovered on TikTok that is already reshaping the way the industry looks and sounds, and I'm excited to get to be part of a generation where such a shift is happening.


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