Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) announces virtual feedback workshop: How to write a musical that works Part Two: Conflicts and Obstacles Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. This workshop is dedicated to fostering a conversation about the structure of musical theater not only for writers but also for producers, directors and everyone involved in the creation and production of new musical works. The submission deadline has been extended to Sunday October 3, 2021. For more information and to submit, visit https://truonline.org/events/2021-virtual-feedback-workshop-2/.
Each workshop will host up to ten writing and / or producer teams who will share the work in progress and get feedback from a panel of expert reviewers. Members of the audience will also have the opportunity to provide comments and participate in the discussions.Part Two: Conflict and Obstacles will focus on three main aspects of your show: 1) Songs that express different points of view or conflict; 2) “Reversal songs” in which a character changes his course of action; 3) Plot complications that prevent your characters from achieving their desires and advance the action; in particular, the culminating moment (sometimes the finale of the first act) which takes us forward in the resolution (note: the real “resolution” will be in workshop # 3). Additionally, we will continually explore the delicate balance between script and song, so it is important that you present a continuous portion of the scene and song on your show.
Due to virtual lag and latency issues, we will need writers to record and edit all musical presentations involving more than one singer. We have a team of technical advisors to help you: Music Directors and Editors who will be available to play and record your songs, and in some cases will be able to edit duets, trios and ensemble numbers from single songs and synchronize them with your video recording. You can, of course, use your own music director, editor, or other resources to help you produce a professional presentation.
We do NOT need a recorded presentation when you submit, only when you are accepted.
Authors or producers are invited to submit no more than 25 pages of a show you’re working on, as well as mp3s of songs from those pages that demonstrate conflict. These pages should be well after the opening number and the introduction of the main characters and their desires – think of them as the middle third of the series. The submission fee is $ 20 ($ 10 for TRU members). Our professional panel of commercial producers, directors and screenwriters will include:
- Ken cerniglia, former playwright and literary director of Disney Theatrical Group
- Cheryl davis, award-winning librettist and lyricist Kleban and Larsen (Barnstormer), award-winning playwright Audelco (The maid’s door), General Counsel of The Author’s Guild
- Paul Gordon, composer / lyricist (Broadway Jane eyre; off broadway Daddy long legs; regional Emma; virtual Estella Scrooge)
- Tamra pica, London, off-Broadway and television producer
- Others to be determined
Bob Ost, Executive Director of Theater Resources Unlimited and Literary Director of TRU Cate Cammarata will facilitate. The TRU Selection Committee will determine which song and scene from your show we want you to feature, although you can tell us your preference. We will provide a zoom room, access to a music director and editor, suggestions for actors and directors and panelists.
12h00-12h15 – registration
12:15 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. – Discussion: How to musicalize the conflict, and are certain actions best expressed by dialogue or by song? How a character’s deep desire and dramatic obstacle become plot points that move the story forward.
12:45 to 3:15 p.m. – Five writing teams will explain the overall concept of their work (in 30 seconds or less) and present up to 12 minutes of a scene and song that shows one or more characters in conflict, including disagreements, shared desires and songs of persuasion. After each presentation, the panelists will provide their comments.
LUNCH BREAK / ZOOM (Stretch, rest your eyes)
4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Discussion: The characters’ dramatic journeys, including their “growing desire” and turnaround songs. Plus effective first act finals and engaging second act openings. Panelists will comment and invite additional comments from the audience.
5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. – Four writing teams will explain the overall concept of their work (in 30 seconds or less) and present up to 12 minutes that include one or more challenges from the main characters, as well as the finals of the first act and the openings of the second act. After each presentation, the panelists will provide their comments.
“A fantastic resource! If anyone is writing a musical and wants constructive but gentle feedback on your work, I highly recommend the TRU Workshop led by Bob Ost and Cate Cammarata. They explain in detail the requirements of each section of a new musical…. The panel of listeners is truly stellar…. A great way to hear how others are seeing your show, with a fresh eye and extremely intelligent suggestions on what could be clarified and how to move forward. ~ Larry Daggett
“WOW! I can’t begin to tell you how informative, stimulating and helpful it has been for me to: a) hear my piece sung in front of an audience and b) get the critical feedback from professionals. I’ve rewritten already. [and] took most of the reviews to heart and to be honest… I LIKE IT BETTER !!! ” ~ Richie Abanes
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading theater professional development network, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization established for twenty-eight years to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the world of the arts. Membership includes self-producing artists as well as career producers and theater companies. TRU publishes an e-mail community newsletter on services, goods and productions; presents monthly panels and discussions at Town Hall, as well as weekly community gatherings; offers a producer development and mentorship program taught by leading New York theater producers and general managers, and also presents producer training workshops to help aspirants develop their business skills. TRU serves writers through the TRU Voices Play Reading Series, Writer-Producer Speed Date, a hands-on drama writing workshop, How to Write a Musical that Works, and a Director-Writer Communication Lab. Theater Resources Unlimited programs are supported in part by the Montage Foundation, The Storyline Project and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation. For more information on TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org.