Blog 10 – A Producer’s way to create a musical
A PRODUCER’S WAY TO CREATE A MUSICAL
I know a lot of composers, and I know how they go about creating a show. They get an idea and they write the script, build songs. And they look forward to the day they’ll see their show “live.” But until that day, it’s their “baby,” and theirs alone.
As a producer, I am creating NUMBERS N3RDS differently. You might find this alternative process helpful.
- I started by selecting a composing team to work with. Although I have an artistic background, no producer can substitute for the artistic talent of the creators. So I searched far and wide, till I found a wonderful team: librettist, lyricist, and composer.
- Intermittent goals – My business background tells me that it helps to set short term goals. In three months, for example, we want four songs and the dialogue to weave them together.
- Then — what’s most important — at each of these target points, we hold private readings, with only the composing team and me as audience. I hire actors to read the show as written so far – speaking the dialogue and singing the songs. All of us learn amazing things that lead to immediate changes: The librettist makes cuts and additions. The lyricist hears what rhymes work, which lyrics are clear and which just go by too fast. The composer sees where a key change or new harmonies will help. We try alternatives on the spot. And then we invite the actors to comment: What do they know about their character? What needs clarification or expansion …. Or deletion!
In the process of creating NUMBERS N3RDS, we have now moved through this process three times: goals leading to readings. My composing team has worked together before, but they’ve never had the luxury of “seeing” their work along the way. This time, though, they are able to nurture the work, refine it, adjust it – even enjoy it! – every step of the way. And I am thrilled with what they are creating.
Well, that’s a producer’s way. Join us on this journey. Any thoughts? I would love to hear them. Any advice? Need that as well.
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