TRU Announces Feedback Workshop #3 'How To Write A Musical That Works'; Featuring Skip Kennon, Margot Astrachan, and More
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) announces How To Write a Musical That Works feedback workshop #3: Reckoning and Resolution onSunday, August 5, 2018 from 10am-6pm at Studios 150, 150 W. 46th Street, 7th floor Studio 7.5. Submission deadline is extended to July 27, 2018. Applications are available at https://truonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/TRUBeginnings-HWM3-app.pdf. Details of the workshop may be found athttps://truonline.org/events/feedback-workshop-2018-3/ Submission fee is $10 for TRU Members ($20 for non-members); if accepted, additional participation fee is $80 for new TRU Member and non-member participants ($55 for returning TRU Members, $60 for returning non-members). Additional collaborators are $25, and Observer fees are $35 for TRU Member ($55 for non-members). TRU will match you with a music director for your presentation, and help with casting.
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:
- Margot Astrachan, producer (A Gentleman's Guide..., Ghost the musical, Around the World in 80 Days, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...), Vice-Chair: NYMF The New York Musical Festival;
- Cheryl Davis, Kleban and Larsen Award winning librettist and lyricist (Barnstormer), Audelco Award winning playwright (Maid's Door);
- Peter Filichia, theater reviewer, author of six books on musicals, including Let's Put on a Musical!;
- 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
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 extended to Friday, July 27th. Download application: https://truonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/TRUBeginnings-HWM3-app.pdf, fill it out, and email to TRUPlaySubmissions@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 ($90 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. Participation feeincludes 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.
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.
Margot Astrachan is a commercial theatrical producer based in New York. Producer: the National Tour of Ghost the Musical, the Tony Award winning Broadway musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and the Broadway play The Realistic Joneses, as well as the recent Nice Work If You Can Get It on Broadway; in addition, she was a producer of the musical Busker Alley and the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever among others. She was the American Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre in London, and The Kings Head Theatre in London, and has had over 30 years' experience producing special events for Arts Organizations such as The York Theatre Company, The Theatre Museum, and BritArts of The St. George's Society, which featured British and American theatre professionals in readings and panels in New York. She is a Director of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), a Director of The League of Professional Theatre Women, a Director of The Episcopal Actors Guild, a Director of the Theatre Wing Board of the Kaufman Cultural Center, and a Director of The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Astrachan is a member of The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, The National Alliance For Musical Theatre, The Broadway League, The Dramatists Guild, the Advisory Board of TRU, British American Business, Inc. and BAFTA. She is a graduate of CTI (The Commercial Theatre Institute).
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.
Peter Filichia has spent most of his life writing about theater. He's written reviews and features for a daily newspaper (The Star-Ledger), a magazine (TheaterWeek), and the Internet (Playbill,Theatermania, Music Theatre International, Broadway Select, Masterworks Broadway and Kritzerland). He's authored six books on musicals. He's been president of the Drama Desk Awards and now serves on its current nominating committee. Since 1995, he has been critic-in-residence for the Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music; the chairman of the Theatre World Awards, whose ceremony he annually writes and emcees; and the musical theater assessor for ASCAP's annual awards. In 2009, he was chosen to be an assessor for the National Endowment for the Arts. On most Sunday evenings, he can be heard as a podcaster on Broadway Radio.
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.
Cate Cammarata is a New York-based producer, director and dramaturg. She most recently presented a workshop production of My Life Is a Musical at The Duke on 42nd Street, and directed a musical reading of Your Name On My Lips at Emerging Artists Theater; she also co-directed a multimedia devised performance of Antigone with her students at SUNY Stony Brook. She dramaturged the world premiere performance of Harold I Hate You at the HERE Arts Center for CakeFace Performance Company last December, and is currently the US Representative for Hamilton Dramaturgy. Cate's other credits include Famous: The Musical for the TRU Musical Reading Series 2011 (producer), Robeson a new play about the legendary Paul Robeson for Stony Brook Mainstage (director), Body Language for The Active Theater (dramaturg), searchers.com for the TRY Voices Play Series, among others. Cate is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute's 16 week Producing course, the CTI-O'Neill Summer Workshop, a member of TRU's Producer Mentorship Development Program and has worked with the HERE Arts Center as Associate Dramaturg and with the Broadway producers Jana Robbins and R. Erin Craig as Producing Associate. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from SUNY Stony Brook and a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University, and is currently the Literary Manager for TRU and an Adjunct Professor for SUNY Stony Brook Theatre Arts.
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-five year old 501c3 nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of the arts. Membership includes self-Producing Artists as well as career producers and theater companies.
TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents the TRU VOICES Annual New Play Reading Series and Annual New Musicals Reading Series, two new works series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings to nurture new shows as well as new producers for theater; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program taught by prominent producers and general managers in New York Theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop business skills. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include the Annual Combined Audition, Resource Nights and "Speed Dating" as well as actor workshops.
Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as the Montage Foundation and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation.
For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org or call 212 714-7628.
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