Bruce Coughlin, Michael Starobin, Mel Marvin and Michael John LaChuisa to Lead O'Neill Orchestration Symposium, 7/3

Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director of the National Music Theater Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, will conduct a public symposium on orchestrating musical theater in today's world on Thursday, July 3 at 1:00pm. The Orchestration Symposium comes as the summer conference continues its focus on exploration and role of orchestration and arranging in the development of new work.

Featured panelists include Tony-Award winning orchestrators Bruce Coughlin and Michael Starobin, and composers Michael John LaChiusa and Mel Marvin.

Says Haupt, "We are honored to have Bruce Coughlin, Michael John LaChiusa, Mel Marvin and Michael Starobin join us for the National Music Theater Conference's first orchestration symposium panel here at the O'Neill. This amazing panel will address general concepts on orchestrating, arranging, and the relationship between composers and orchestrators to participants of all the programs here this summer. It is another example of the symbiotic relationship that continues to grow between the Music Theater Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute and TheaterMakers programs."

Coughlin and Starobin serve as orchestration mentors, guiding discussions around "Dream Orchestration" options for works in development. Dream Orchestration is a feature unique to new work development only at the National Music Theater Conference. Mentors meet with Jim & Ruth Bauer (developing The War Dept.) and Julia Gytri & Avi Amon (developing The White City) to explore each writing team's vision for their musical. They delve into the personality and characteristics of the work to provide a springboard for orchestrators in the early stage of the process.

Haupt continues, "Orchestration is a critically important element in the advanced development and completion of a new music theater work. I can think of no one better than Michael and Bruce to help flesh out both 'dream' orchestration concepts - as well as more practical orchestration considerations - that are so specific and unique to the needs of each individual work."

Dream Orchestration compliments the "Dream Design" model unique to the O'Neill's National Playwrights Conference, whereby playwrights meet with staff design professions to explore idealized set designs for the practical, physical world of a new work on stage. Dream sessions are vital to the success of the O'Neill process of new work development, providing playwrights and composers a deeper exploration of their work and process.

For more information about the 2014 National Music Theater Conference, visit Tickets to NMTC staged readings are available online at or by phone at (860) 443-1238.

Orchestration Panel:

Bruce Coughlin: As arranger/orchestrator - Broadway: 9 to 5, Light in the Piazza (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), Grey Gardens, Urinetown, The Wild Party (LaChiusa), Scandalous, Annie Get Your Gun, others. Regional/International: Giant (LaChiusa), Far From Heaven (Frankel/Korie), Floyd Collins, Finding Neverland (UK), Tales of the City, A Room With A View. Singers: Audra McDonald and others. More info:

Michael John LaChiusa is an American musical theater and opera composer, lyricist, and librettist. He is best known for shows such as Hello Again, Marie Christine, The Wild Party, and See What I Wanna See. He was nominated for four Tony Awards in 2000 for his score and book for both Marie Christine and The Wild Party and received another nomination for his libretto for Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

Mel Marvin's long career as a composer includes scores for 30 musicals, 47 plays, 3 films and 2 operas; all of them produced. Broadway shows include How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Yentl, Tintypes, A History of the American Film, and Fascinating Rhythm. His musical Elmer Gantry will receive a new production opening in October 2014 at Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA. He is the Head Faculty Composer and Director of Production for the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Michael Starobin is a well-known orchestrator and arranger working on Broadway and in Hollywood. He has been the orchestrator for some of Broadway's most innovative musicals such as If/Then, Falsettos, Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins (2004 Tony Award, Best Orchestrations), and Next to Normal (2009 Tony Award, Best Orchestrations with Tom Kitt). He was the conductor and orchestrator for Disney's Hunchback for Notre Dame, orchestrated songs for Tangled, and contributed orchestrations to the film versions of Nine and Chicago.

Founded in 1964, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center is the country's preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for American theater. In the bold tradition of its namesake Eugene O'Neill - four-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and America's only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature - the O'Neill has been home to more than 1,100 new works for the stage and to more than 2,500 emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O'Neill have gone on to full production at other theaters around the world, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, and major regional theaters.

Recipient of a 2010 Tony Award for Regional Theatre and 1979 Tony Award for Theatrical Excellence, O'Neill programs include the National Playwrights Conference, National Music Theater Conference, National Critics Institute, National Puppetry Conference, Cabaret & Performance Conference, and National Theater Institute (NTI). NTI offers intensive theater training programs for academic credit, including the Moscow Art Theater Semester (MATS), the National Music Theater Institute (NMTI), and six-week summer program, Theatermakers.

The O'Neill owns and operates the Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. The childhood summer home of Eugene O'Neill, the Cottage is a National Historic Landmark.

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