Creating Stories for Musicals: Screen and Stage
ABOUT THE WEBINAR
Musicals are among the most popular and beloved forms of entertainment around the world. Something magical happens when an unforgettable story is told through powerful songs, high-energy performances, and brilliant sets, lights, and costumes. Whether on a Broadway stage or the silver screen, audiences can’t get enough of wonderful music and lyrics and all that showy razzmatazz.
The sentiment has long been that when an audience loves a musical they leave the theater humming the tunes, but when they hate the show they blame the book writer. Crafting the story for a musical is, perhaps, among the most difficult writing challenges of all. Getting a musical tale to work well requires a deep understanding of narrative storytelling, character and plot development, subtextual scenes and dialogue, how and where to place the emotions best expressed through song, how to tell a story economically, and the patience to weather what is typically a long and arduous development process. It often takes top pros years to produce a draft of a musical worthy of production – and even longer to see it reach those pinnacles of musical presentation, Broadway, London’s West End, and Hollywood.
Creating Stories for Musicals: Stage and Screen will include an examination of various facets of what makes a musical a musical. Among the topics to be discussed are: adapting existing underlying source material, structure, plot points, opening and closing moments, character development, lyrics and subtext, song and dance spotting, writing a song versus saying it in dialogue, and the importance of staged readings and “out of town” tryouts. This webinar will also include a dissection of the structure of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” to examine the differences between the stage show and its movie adaptation.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
- Where most story ideas for musicals can be found.
- Musical genres.
- How to structure a winning musical story, including plot points, opening and closing moments, and where to place an intermission.
- How to develop unforgettable 3-dimensional characters.
- Why write a song when you can say it in dialogue?
- Subtext in dialogue and lyrics.
- Song and dance spotting.
- Writing an economical book.
- The importance of staged readings and “out of town” tryouts.
- The challenges of finding a producer.
- The structural differences between the stage and screen versions of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
- Writers, composers, and lyricists with a great idea for a musical.
- Writers, composers, and lyricists seeking to develop and write a musical.
- Writers, composers, and lyricists of existing musicals looking for ways to make their work more sellable.
- Writers, composers, and lyricists seeking inspiration and tools to supercharge their musical theatre writing.
BONUS: With purchase of this webinar, you will receive $79.99 off of a yearly subscription to the Screenwriting Tutorials website, which has specialized tutorials from experts that explore screenwriting topics covered nowhere else on the web!
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Meet the Author: Steve Cuden
Steve Cuden is perhaps best known for co-creating the Broadway and international hit, Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical, writing the show’s original book and lyrics with noted composer Frank Wildhorn. Not only has Jekyll & Hyde been produced twice on Broadway, the show has been translated into more than 20 languages resulting in the staging of numerous productions throughout the United States and around the world. Cuden and Wildhorn also co-conceived the international hit musical, Rudolf: Affaire Mayerling. Steve is the author of two popular books on writing, Beating Broadway: How to Create Stories for Musicals That Get Standing...