VIDEO: Stephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori Talk Storytelling Through Song for DGF's 'The Legacy Project'

By: May. 02, 2017

The announcement of today's Tony Award nominations marks this as a week for celebration and reaffirms the commitment of organizations that protect the survival of the arts. For those organizations, like the Dramatists Guild Fund (DGF), that commitment likely means shouldering a larger burden of funding and support. Today's celebration also coincides with the launch of the latest installment of "The Legacy Project: Volume III" from DGF, featuring one of Broadway's best known and loved composers/lyricists, Stephen Schwartz, chatting with Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home) about storytelling through song. Watch the interview below!

Fueling the future of the American Theater by supporting those who create it, DGF assists writers at all stages of their careers through educational programming, development opportunities, providing space to create new works, and awarding emergency aid to writers in critical circumstances. Along with these initiatives to promote and support the work of writers, composers, and lyricists is the Legacy Project, a docu-series that preserves the creative process of America's most esteemed dramatists in intimate conversations, each featuring an established stage author (or team of collaborators) and an emerging one. These exciting conversations reveal first-hand details behind the creation of some of Theater's greatest works, and thanks to the generous help of Roe Green and the Roe Green Foundation, the most recent volume of the Legacy Project, including Stephen's episode, is now available for free on YouTube.

"We are thrilled to share this video interview with Stephen, who has devoted so much of his time and energy into supporting DGF and ushering in a new generation of theater makers," notes Rachel Routh, Executive Director of DGF. "Stephen Really gets personal in this interview and drives home the importance of mentorship in the arts. He talks about composers, like Leonard Bernstein, who inspired and helped him, and shares some of his struggles and pieces of advice with the interviewer, the phenomenal composer, Jeanine Tesori." Tesori's critically-acclaimed work includes Fun Home, Shrek the Musical, and Caroline or Change. In sharing his perspective with DGF, Stephen joins past Legacy Project artists like Stephen Sondheim, Alan Menken, Mary Rodgers Guettel, Charles Fuller, and Tony Kushner.

While many know Stephen for his work on the Tony Award winning show, Wicked, Stephen's other work includes contributing music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags and Children of Eden. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein's Mass and wrote the title song for the play and movie Butterflies are Free. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son Pinocchio. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera.

The Legacy Project was originally conceived by Jonathan Reynolds. Producers include Nancy Ford, Carol Hall, Peter Ratray and Jonathan Reynolds. The interviews are filmed and directed by Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest of Transient Pictures. The Dramatists Guild Fund's Media Advisor is Leonard Majzlin.


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