Calling All Teen Songwriters: TheatreWorks Hosts Musical Making Workshop

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TheatreWorks is putting out the call to budding songwriters, seeking teen songbirds and rappers ready to create the next Hamilton or Dear Evan Hansen, giving them the tools to tell their own story through music. Bay Area high school students will learn from pros how to compose and create a new musical in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's TheatreWorks Musical Making Workshop.

Led by a TheatreWorks teaching artist/playwright, this six-week online program explores the basics of theatrical songwriting and storytelling. TheatreWorks Musical Making Workshop also features instruction by guest artists, including award-winning composer and librettist Min Kahng (The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga) and TheatreWorks's Resident Musical Director William Liberatore, who has helped bring new musicals to life on TheatreWorks stages for decades. Meeting three times a week in two-hour sessions over Zoom, students will work with these professional theatre-makers to craft scenes and songs inspired by the theme of "2020," investigating current events through theatre. Each participant will compose and then create a scene driven by music, exploring and practicing how artists choose to use songs as a storytelling device in the professional world. For more information or register for this program ($600 per participant) the public may visit theatreworks.org/education/ or email education@theatreworks.org with any questions.

Joanna Glum (TheatreWorks teaching artist and playwright) is a film and theatre-maker, director, writer, dramaturg, teacher, and actor. Her works have been developed at the Philadelphia and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals through the Penn Plays Fellowship. She is a finalist of the 2018 American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition and semi-finalist of Sundance Screenwriting Lab. Glum's experience includes film editing and production-she has worked on feature films such as Bumblebee and Lady Bird and has created original documentary theatre pieces. She holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and Masters in Playwriting from the University of Edinburgh.

Min Kahng (Guest Artist) is an award-winning Bay Area playwright and composer. Kahng's musical The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga received its World Premiere at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in 2017. A favorite since its performance in the 2016 TheatreWorks New Works Festival, the musical received acclaim from audiences and critics alike, deemed "smart, funny, touching and visually stunning, it's simply wonderful" by Palo Alto Weekly. The production won seven San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (SFBATCC) awards, including the top award for "Entire Production - Bay Area." Kahng's other produced works include GOLD: A Midas Musical, Inside Out and Back Again, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: A Musical Adaptation, The Song of the Nightingale, Tales of Olympus: A Greek Myth Musical, and Story Explorers. Kahng has been featured in American Theatre Magazine as one of the "9 Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know." Kahng is a recipient of the Theatre Bay Area Titan Award for Playwrights and is a resident playwright with Playwrights Foundation. He recently workshopped new musicals in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's Writers Retreat and Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Ground Floor, and his short play Half a Dozen of the Other was commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre as part of the Play at Home initiative during theatre's shutdown due to COVID-19. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Theatre Communications Group, Theatre Bay Area, and Theatre for Young Audiences USA.

William Liberatore (Guest Artist) is TheatreWorks's Resident Musical Director and has worked as a Choir Director at Gunn High School for more than 30 years. Liberatore has conducted more than 40 shows, including the World Premieres of Pride and Prejudice, The Prince of Egypt, and The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga, as well as TheatreWorks's hit productions of Tuck Everlasting, Fun Home, Rags, The Life of the Party, Sweeney Todd, Once on This Island (TBA Award), Crowns, Ragtime, and Pacific Overtures. He has been a frequent recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Direction. Mr. Liberatore was the recipient of the Principal's Cup, Gunn's Teacher of the Year award, is an accomplished pianist and has served as the accompanist for the Coastal Region and California All-State Honor Choirs.


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