I’m currently reading Julian Woolford’s book, How Musicals Work. (http://www.julianwoolford.net/) It’s a very good resource and I can see myself referring to it over and over again as I continue to create this musical.
One thing that I may be a little out of step with though is whether a musical should begin with the book or the music.
According to Julian, the traditional and best way to write a musical is for “the bookwriter to write a play, without songs, and present it to the composer and lyricist to add the songs.”
In my case, although I do have the basic story, my characters still need a lot of development before I can begin writing the play. However, I do already have most of the songs. I guess every musical is different and I can draw some comfort from the success of musicals such as Mama Mia, which certainly wouldn’t exist if Abba’s music hadn’t been here first.
So I’m thinking the songs or book question may be a little like the chicken or the egg … reasons for both, equally valid, and food for stimulating, productive ideas.
The quest continues for collaborators. In the meantime, I’ve cut down the number of songs in the musical to twenty – I may need to write a few additional pieces but shall see how the book goes.
(That which was referred to as ‘libretto’ is now ‘book’ … I’m learning … 😀 )
Just saw an exciting opportunity for Australian musical theatre writers. It’s an Australian/American musical theatre project run by the American-based Academy for New Musical Theatre in consultation with Kevin Purcell, one of Australia’s most accomplished musical composers, directors and conductors.
In a nutshell, it’s a 24-month program taking six select musical projects from the go-to-whoa of production. What’s so exciting about this is that right now there really is nothing in Australia like it. And it’s the first time the Academy has offered such a course online outside of the US AND only to Australia.
Now, I don’t know what kinds of strings had to be strummed, played or plucked behind the scenes to get this deal up but it’s certainly well worth it and I’m grateful that they did it.
More details can be found over at Kevin Purcell’s blog here