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Musical Writerzine #37 - Spring 2017

Newsletter for Writers of New Musicals - Intro

Carol de Giere, author and editor of the Musical Writerzine newsletterFrom Carol de Giere

Are you springing forward with your new musicals? This issue could help. You'll find articles to support your writing work, a new resource for finding collaborators, and submissions deadlines.

Before you plan your summer schedule, check out the two sections here: "A Musical Summer in NYC" (Soundbites, TRU, NYMF, and more) and "A Musical Summer in LA." Both include festival events and other listings. I'm also inviting you to attend a world premiere and meet-up session with Stephen Schwartz in October.

The Musical Writerzine has about 900 subscribers. The mailing list is now on MailChimp with a new email address: carol@musicalwriters.com so please add that to your email contact list.

To read future issues of our Musical Writerzine newsletter, if you have not already subscribed, please fill out the form on Musical Writerzine. To view back issues, see the links to the left.

Carol de Giere is the website publisher for MusicalWriters.com and author of Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked, and The Godspell Experience.

Tips Articles

It's spring and time to ponder new beginnings!

Beating BroadwayTIPS ARTICLE: Sweet Treatments - Steve Cuden explains first steps: logline, beat outline, and treatments.

Cuden is the author of a very helpful book for musical writers: Beating Broadway and the new book Beating Hollywood. He is also one of the consultants listed on our Critiques page

TIPS ARTICLE: The Research Phase - For musical writers today, research is essential for exploring ways to transport the audience into the world of a show. This article includes examples from "Come from Away," "Memphis," "Rags," and others. Comments on trips, interviews, eavesdropping, and other forms for research.

Submissions Opportunities for New Musicals

ASCAP 2017 LA

PHOTO: Kevin Bannerman, Karey Kirkpatrick, and Stephen Schwartz on a panel at the ASCAP Foundation / DreamWorks musical theatre workshop in February 2017. Photo by Ryan Luévano. The next LA area Workshop is expected to be in February 2018.

ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop - NYC - by March 17

This year's NYC workshop deadline is coming right up, March 17. As usual, it is directed by Stephen Schwartz who leads a panel that offers expert feedback on a show. The best way to ensure you can be in the audience is to submit your show. ASCAP workshop details. Note that if your musical is selected, you will need to present 50 consecutive minutes from the musical at the workshop.

Fresh Fruit Festival - by March 31

This wide-ranging arts festival in NYC accepts theatrical submissions that are LGBTQ related. For those shows that are accepted, they provide performance venues & insurance, marketing & publicity assistance, ticketing services, professional theater staff, repertory lighting plot & sound system, networking events & more! Fresh Fruit 2017 submissions

Midtown International Theatre Festival - by April 15

The Midtown festival will be July 15th through August 6, 2017. The submissions deadline is April 15. This annual festival is less well known than NYMF but it has its own following. It's usually less expensive to run a show at MITF than at NYMF. MITF site.

Battle of the Christmas Musicals - by April 30

As I announced in the last issue, I'm working on the "Battle of the Christmas Musicals" reading and subsequent production at my local community theater in Connecticut. This program is open for submissions for new musicals that "express some aspect of the holiday spirit such as generosity, acceptance, or family harmony." Basically any show that would be ideal for a community theater to run in December. Holiday Season Musicals - Brookfield

Kleban Award - by May 15

In honor of Edward Kleban, this prize is given annually to both a librettist and a lyricist. The Board sets the amount of the prize annually but in recent years the prize has been in the amount of $100,000 in each category payable in two annual installments. 2017 Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre Submission Window: March 15-May 15, 2016. Kleban award

NMI in Los Angeles - By July 15

My friends at New Musicals, Inc. offer various year-long educational programs, evaluation services, conferences, a talent bank of actors in LA to draw from, and more. Their Search for New Musicals program takes a combined approach of submission for feedback for a fee plus entry into their search. The winner of the Search receives a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and will be given a concert reading in Los Angeles. NMI search for new musicals.

City Theatre - Miami, Short Plays Festival - by Sept 30

Want an excuse to travel to Miami? Consider the City Theatre Short Plays festival, that now includes musicals. This summer it runs June 1 to July 2. Each evening is packed with 10-minute plays and musicals drawn from over 500 submissions. You can be part of next year's event. The next submissions window is August 30 to September 30, 2017. City Theatre - Miami describes itself as "The only theater in the U.S. solely dedicated to the creation and production of ten-minute plays year-round for all ages." Visit Citytheatre.com

Canada

There will also be an ASCAP musical theatre workshop in May in Toronto with Stephen Schwartz: Toronto - ASCAP and although the deadline for submissions has passed, you may be able to attend the workshop as an audience member.

(Canadian writers, do you know about the CMTWC? Some workshop events are coming up. The Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective is the largest organization devoted to supporting and promoting the work of Canadian musical theatre writers. The Collective includes more than 100 Canadian composers, lyricists, and librettists, with members located all across Canada and in major centres globally. CMTWC )

Have a Musical Summer in New York City

Times SquareFor the summer of 2017, New York City will be a sizzling place to be to sample new musicals, network, and get inspired. We're in a particuarly rich time for new musicals on Broadway with the hit Dear Evan Hansen, the powerful Come From Away, the adventurous Groundhog Day, the romantic Amelie, the history-rich Anastasia, the unusual The Great Comet, the colorful A Bronx Tale, the swing-fueled Bandstand, the delicious Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the bold battling divas of War Paint, plus all the longer running shows and revivals. (For discounts try Broadwaybox.com and Theatremania.com).

Manhattan also hosts summer festivals and workshops at a bargain-hunter's price. Here are some recommendations for travelers and for writers in the area:

Memorial Day Weekend Soundbites 4.0

The Soundbites evening of 10-minute musicals has been so successful that it has moved to a large venue for this year's event on May 29. It will be at the Signature Theatre space, which also has a cafe that is ideal for networking. I'll be there and happy to meet up (carol@musicalwriters.com). Tickets go on sale April 1st. See the Soundbites site for a list of the 10 finalists who will present their 10-minute shows. I guarantee a colorful,inventive evening. If you're inspired, you can submit your own show in the fall for the 2018 event.

TRU Workshop - June 2017

The third in the "TRU Beginnings" workshop series will be sometime in June. This one focuses on the ending of a show: the "eleven o'clock numbers," and what it takes to create an emotionally satisfying conclusion to your musical. You can submit your own ending piece to be workshopped or just come and participate. I highly recommend the series because the panelists always have valueable insights to share during feedback sessions. Sometimes producers are in the audience (and Tom Pollen is always on the panel) and you might be able to share a business card during the breaks. The best way to learn more is to sign up for TRU's mailing list here: TRUonline - Newsletter

New Works Festivals: NYMF, Planet Connections, and Midtown

NYMFWhere else can you get cheap tickets to a crop of new musicals? NYMF is a fun place to be to explore creative efforts in the vacinity of Broadway. NYMF 2017 - new musicals runs July 10 to August 6. The Midtown Festival listed above runs July 15 to August 6. Planet Connections festival will be June 12-July 9, 2017. Check their site in May for updates Planet Connections.

For networking: writers are often in the back of the room at the performances and if you're bold, you can ask the ushers who they are, say hello, share a business card. NYMF usually has some kind of writer-relevant workshop as well.

Cabarets - Feinstein's/ 54 Below and More

The NYC cabaret scene is always hopping. Feinstein's/54 Below hosts a New Musicals Series with shows presented in concert throughout the summer; plus they reguarly have Broadway performers offering solo or group shows. The Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe hosts Broadway Sessions every Thursday night with Broadway performers. The Musical Theatre Factory will probably have one of their new musical Salon concerts over the summer. You can join their mailing list here. You can schedule your own show at places like the Duplex or Don't Tell Mama.

Summer Reading

Please visit our book store to stock up for your summer reading.

A Musical Summer in LA

A Little New MusicA Little New Music - June 26 submissions; Aug 21 event

June 26, 2017 is the next deadline for submitting songs for the A Little New Music cabaret to be held August 21st. This event series provides an opportunity for musical writers' work to be heard in Hollywood. Songs are often presented by stars of the stage and screen. The program is connected with NMI (New Musicals, Inc.) and they invite people in their network to attend, including producers, directors, writers, and others. Whether or not you submit a song, attending the show is a way to keep in touch with the new musicals scene in LA and meet creative people. A Little New Music.

NMI Invades Hollywood Fringe July 9 - 23

July 9 - 23rd. Have fun at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. NMI has booked 12 musicals into the event. The Fringe musicals are short 20-minute-sized, on a wild range of subjects, from the comic to the serious, and from the traditional to the fringe-y. If it works well, yours could be part of the adventure next year. NMI at Fringe

World Premiere and Meet Up

Invitation to a World Premiere and Lunch with Stephen Schwartz

The DreamWorks animated feature film The Prince of Egypt, with Academy Award-winning song "When You Believe," is now a full-blown musical with a score by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked) and book by the screenwriter Philip LaZebnik (The Prince of Egypt movie and many others). The world premiere will run October 6—November 5, 2017 in the San Francisco Bay area and at the Fredericia Teater in Denmark in 2018. Read more about the production here: TheatreWorks.org - Prince of Egypt.

I invite musical writers to attend a rare premiere at TheatreWorks and celebration over the weekend of October 13 – 15. Both writers Stephen Schwartz and Philip LaZebnik have tentatively agreed to meet up with my group (fans and writers) over a pre-show meal sometime that weekend.

Individual tickets for the show go on sale in the late spring. There are motels near the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts where the show will play. I’ll be finalizing everything in May. To attend this special event, please contact me at carolmusical@gmail.com with the words MOUNTAIN VIEW in the subject heading, and watch for my confirming reply. (Try again if you don’t hear back.)

TheatreWorks is an important company in the world of new musicals. They don't take unsolicited submissions, but for those who get on their radar and for audiences, they do staged readings, workshops, special events, and main stage world premieres.

Finding Collaborators

NEW: NMI Writer Bank

New Musicals, Inc. (NMI) is offering a new solution to the frequently asked question, how can I find a collaborator? Please help them expand the "bank" by adding your listing. Register yourself (free or premium) with NMI , then go to the Writer Bank page. It's a bit time consuming to do this, but having it accessible to registered users helps focus interest and protect the listings from random attention.

Ken Davenport's Writer Bank

Producer Ken Davenport has also started a writer bank that might be seen by directors or producers. Writer Bank

Some Other Collaborator Search Options

Ultimately, the best way to find a partner is to network and watch for talented artistis with whom you feel an affinity. It's a reason to attend festivals like NAMT and NYMF, the Dramatists Guild national conventions, and other gatherings.

There's a Facebook group - SHOW OFF YOUR NEW MUSICAL that allows musical writers to post videos, music, lyrics, and quotes from your new musical. (The idea is not to hawk it so much as share something from your show that will enrich the group.) It is a way to meet writers in cyberspace.

The Dramatists Guild holds Songwriter/Bookwriter Exchange meetings.

You can also try Stage-plays-forum - Collaborators section.

If you're a book writer looking for a composer, you might poke around on You might poke around at broadwayrecords.compsclassics.com, and Sh-k-boom/Ghostlight sites that include recordings a lot of the newer talent. Perhaps someone would be willing to collaborate with a new writer. Or come to NYMF in the summer and see whose work you like.

If you're a composer looking for a bookwriter, you might write to educational programs that train playwrights and see if they might have a way to share your info, or take the training yourself: NYU, Columbia, Gotham Writers, Primary Stage, and others.

Growing Stages, Future Issues, Other Resources

Our "Growing Stages" column will return in the summer issue, along with new articles and opportunities, NAMT information, and networking notices.

For more ideas for getting an audience for your musicals, check through our previous recent issues (see links on left hand menu) and some of the pages in the Production section of the site, such as: Theatres that stage new musicals.

Please also explore other pages on this website, such as critiques and licensing.

For those new to the Musical Writerzine, here are some of the topics covered in recent issues: Festivals, Developmental Readings, Short Presentations, Team Gathering: Directors etc. and original ideas and adaptions.

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To send suggestions, comments, or questions write to carol@musicalschwartz.com

 

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