In The Musical Theatre Writers Survival Guide, award-winning musical dramatist and teacher David Spencer provides a guide-to-the-game that helps you negotiate all thoseand more. If you try to second guess, or bend to, some perceived marketplace, your show will betray your mercenary intentions and fail. With that out of the way - This book is a wonderful resource, an absolute gem! It's rarely a good idea to set a musical in a contemporary, present-day setting. Such help could make us all more Combined! Does this sound like a by-the-numbers formula? That said, Spencer's book is immensely useful as a reference tool and learning guide, if only for the experience and advice of a seasoned practitioner. All of lin manuel mirandas ongoing and upcoming projects in theatre film and television.
That doesn't mean a supporting character can't react to a situation set up by the main character and push the goal over the top sometimes the main character is on a quest that requires some ultimate approval by another ; but you should never employ deus ex machina, an ending that is not a direct result of your lead's design and ambition. But perhaps the pictures and journey will help a little. Believability of the Universe As a corollary, verisimilitude should never diminish, even if you leave the real world behind for a more fanciful one. If you're taking your first steps, Spencer's counsel, anecdotes, and instructions will save you years of blindly stumbling about without results. Spencer apparently remembers everything he's ever learned about the art of making a musical and passes it on in this splendid, concise, and entertaining volume. He has been the lyricist-librettist for two musicals with composer Alan Menken: Weird Romance and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. It is unlike any book on writing Ive ever seen.
In the craft of musical storytelling, ultimately, as with any good writing, form follows function and content dictates style. Category: Music Author : Raina S. You learn by doing, and by hands-on experience, much more than you learn from any primer, class or list of techniques. I am sure I will continue looking back to this for frequent reference as I continue pursuing this career. Anyone maneuvering the treacherous waters of musicals will find it not nearly so lonely or baffling with t David Spencer has written a book full of truths a young writer will not find articulated anywhere else. I was more looking for tips on how to write a Broadway Musical, Character development etc.
The ability of the musical to take us to otherworlds -- of its music and poetic language to evoke those worlds -- is key to the magic that sets it apart from any other art form. I very much appreciated the chapter on directorsas I often find myself in the position. I hasten to add: if you are driven to musicalize a certain contemporary story or theme, you must follow your muse as dated as Company is, look at all the innovation that has occurred in its wake; no one says it was unnecessary. Klein draws upon the lessons he has learned from his associations with numerous established theatre folk, many from the start of their careers. This is the no-nonsense manual for making Musical Theatre.
As a main character, he's attractive because he's a constant, and how he'll solve the puzzle is what drives the story; not who he is and what he has personally at stake. Every map-maker in the world is waiting for your decision! They might have kept their document intact, for all the difference it will make. This professional handbook will walk you through: getting your name and your projects into the hands of producers, instead of the rejection pile choosing the right producer, agent, or director, instead of surrounding yourself with people uninterested in your work and your career-or interested for the wrong reasons bringing your vision to life through stage-savvy writing, instead of watching it sputter due to flaws in craft living a happy, healthy life in musicals, instead of dying a slow, showbiz death. There is no record as to why Judge Wilson suddenly changed his allegiance. It's a different language, and audience expectation adjusts accordingly. But you should know them, think about them and understand the risks of putting them aside.
As well as an account of the day-to-day life of a writer, he also discusses what an aspiring playwright should expect as they navigate the industry and how to make yourself stand out from the crowd. The main characters go through profound personal growth, and indeed the stories were selected because in each, the main character embodies the idea being explored. Footnote to second secret: In the foreword to his screenplay for Maverick, in Five Screenplays with Essays Applause Books This does not mean musicals aren't plotted. He can be emailed at for , readings, public appearances or lectures. This review is based entirely on the book. And take note of how he made every deceptively small step along the way count. Prior to the anticipated release of 's The Musical Theatre Writer's Survival Guide, the comprehensive reference book about creating musical theatre, a dedicated website has been launched featuring a weekly serialization and sneak peek at the industry secrets required to create a successful musical.
To wit: the act break of Fiddler on the Roof , when the Cossacks disrupt the wedding. If you can't hang out with David and get an earful of his interesting opinions and smart observations, this book provides the next best thing. My only warning is -- you might not put this book down and, if you have a tendency to highlight insightful and useful passages, you might find you have highlighted the entire book. Strictly speaking, How To's Finch and Hairspray's Tracy start off as unremarkable civilians -- but only insofar as they are perceived by most of the rest of their world. Little is deadlier to a musical than a delay in the audience getting its bearings. Many of us thanks a lot in advance for being ready to go to meet up with you! I felt that Spencer jumped the track toward the end with a lengthy discussion of setting up one's own recording studio, which would have been much better as an appendix, rather than in the main body of the book.
More on this in the chapter on adaptation. But I would say this should be required reading for anybody interested in writing musicals, reading musicals you literary managers and dramaturgs take note! We have all of the examine, and when everything are usually genuine, we're going to post on the website. The character complements the intention as well as the intensity of the form. Dave Hudson This is a great book if you're interested in the Broadway Business Industry. All this talk about the kinds of characters that best populate a musical leads us inevitably to the next principle.
Your main character wants something, and that need puts him or her at odds with powerful forces opposed to the goal. It is also jam-packed with useful information regarding the 'knit-picky' details of standard conventions such as formatting scripts, creating and distributing demos, etc that are worth the price of purchase alone. You can't manufacture it, so don't even try. One way or another, every good musical -- profoundly or lightheartedly -- is about something beyond its story: Fiddler on the Roof is about the breakdown and evolution of tradition in modern society; Into the Woods is about community and responsibility; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is about the madness of corporate America; The Fantasticks! Ones opinions to reserve The Musical Theatre Writer's Survival Guide ePub - different audience can come to a decision in regards to a publication. A pact delivered in theatrical shorthand. It is worth more than every penny! A passionate character on a quest fits naturally into an intense universe. Davids book lets you gain the 'experience' and skip the mistakes part.
A more subtle -- and terribly interesting -- example is librettist Peter Stone's portrayal of Judge James Wilson in 1776. Save for Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's Titanic, which approximately coincided with the release of James Cameron's film, I can't think of a musical that managed the trick. Do you learn as much about Spencer as his intended subject? Likewise, if you've been around the block a few times, The Musical Theatre Writer's Survival Guide can rescue you from the kinds of career-stalling traps, bad habits, and false assumptions that lead to dead ends. Credit original playwright Christopher Bond and adapting librettist Hugh Wheeler for the construction -- and Sondheim for abetting it with an infamous musical clue. The marketplace -- a term which does, sometimes regrettably, inform film, records and television -- moves too quickly for a developing musical to ever keep pace with it. He's both a brilliant musical theater writer and an extremely keen observer of every aspect of musicals; from opening numbers to closing nights, from the agony of reviews to the ecstasy of a standing ovation, from hits to flops and everything in between…If you can't hang out with David and get an earful of his interesting opinions and smart observations, this book provides the next best thing.