For Writers: So many writers, playwrights and screenwriters are trying their hand at writing musicals, but the process of musical theater creation can be bewildering, especially if you're a writer who has only written non-musical projects and may not be acquainted with even the most basic principles of music. If Mom didn't force piano lessons on you, if you weren't in a high school garage band, how do you, as a writer or scriptwriter, navigate that daunting world of tempos, rhythms, verse-chorus, legatos and back beats? This course provides, for writers, a place where your questions about music, no matter how basic, can be safely asked.
Your script writing skills will be valuable in writing musicals, but they're going to have to be adapted. All you've learned about laying out a narrative line, story structure, characterization, plot points, all of it, will be just as crucial in musicals. (Don't let the songwriters convince you otherwise!) But on occasion, some bending will have to occur. For example, sometimes, in musicals, it's OK to let forward plot motion stop.
In learning about creating musicals, we will never call this 'book writing.' The craft is not creating lead-ins to songs, though that may occur. You are writing a start-to-finish dramatic piece for the stage, whether the story is original or adapted.
For Composers: It's equally important for a composer / songwriter starting out in musical theater to know something about the basic principles of dramatic writing: story structure, plot points, engaging an audience, and the crucial matter of making an audience wonder what's going to happen next. And, of course, becoming familiar with the sight of index cards on the corkboard. Your instrument, the one you'll be playing in musical theater, is your audience. So how do you get the right responses at the right times? How do you find the perfect place in the narrative to put a song, and the perfect song for that place, remembering at all times you are writing a score, not just a song? How can you to avoid the trap of too many passive songs in which characters do nothing but reflect on plot events? Also important: Deciding when a song is the right solution, and when it's better to musicalize an entire scene.
For both composer / songwriters: and script writers Collaboration Fundamentals: This will be Couples Counseling (or in some cases, Trio Counseling) for creative teams -- Learning to communicate directly, in clear language, not jargon. Making sure all collaborators are writing the same show. Making sure the script writing side is able to contribute knowledgably to the musical elements, and that the songwriters are respectful of the dramatic writing rules that can make or break a show. Examining how the team can advance their project from an idea on a page to a finished draft to the process of readings, workshops and production.
Instructor: Mark Saltzman
Course Meeting Schedule: Tuesdays, September 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Course Meeting Time: 7 - 9:30 pm
When & Where
Learning Curve is an alternative adult education and empowerment program expressly committed to improving and elevating the lives and lifestyles of LGBT people and their friends and allies from all over Southern California. This is accomplished by presenting a wide array of powerful, educational, enriching and inspirational courses, workshops, seminars, panel discussions, special events, conferences, social- and empowerment-groups.
Learning Curve's varous offerings include courses that fall under a large variety of categories, including: Language & Culture, Career Development, Arts & Entertainment, Performance, Creativity & Fun, Dating & Intimacy, Computer Technology, Photography & Video Production, Self-Improvement, Health & Wellness and Wealth & Security.
Learning Curve is a program of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Everyone is welcome to take part in Learning Curve various course and program offerings regardless of sexual- or gender-identity. A part of Learning Curve's mission is to offer high-quality courses for adults, geared toward serving the needs of LGBT people, our friends and allies.
For more information, visit us at LearningCurveLA.org