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Theater Resources Unlimited presents How to Write a Musical That Works, Part 3: Reckoning and Resolution

June 2, 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Theater Resources Unlimited
presents a lab for musical development,
How to Write a Musical That Works, Part 3: Reckoning and Resolution
Sunday, June 2, 2019
Submission Deadline: Wednesday May 22, 2019

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents the June Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works, Part 3: Reckoning and Resolution on Sunday, June 2, 2019 from 10:00am to 6:00pm at Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th Street, 11th floor. This 3-part workshop is dedicated to fostering a conversation about musical theater structure not only for writers but also for producers, directors and everyone involved in the creation and production of new works. “Part 3: Reckoning and Resolution” will focus on the last scenes of a musical and how songs help resolve the story and the characters’ journeys.

Up to ten teams will present a song and scene from their shows to a professional panel of commercial producers, directors and writers, including: Ken Cerniglia, dramaturg and literary manager of Disney Theatrical; Cheryl Davis, Kleban and Larsen Award winning librettist and lyricist (Barnstormer), Audelco Award winning playwright (Maid’s Door); Nancy Golladay, literary consultant (NY Shakespeare Festival, O’Neill Conference, more), moderator of the BMI Librettists’ Workshop; Skip Kennon, composer/lyricist (Herringbone, Don Juan DeMarco, Time and Again), former artistic coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and teacher for two decades; Bob Ost, executive director of Theater Resources Unlimited, and TRU Literary Manager Cate Cammarata will facilitate.

The workshop will focus on three main aspects of a show: 1) songs that express the resolution of a character’s “want,” or the overcoming of obstacles, and how it leads to a final choice; 2) “eleven o’clock numbers,” the big dramatic show stopper that sums up the (usual) main character’s journey; 3) the finale, an effective and emotionally satisfying way of concluding the story. The panel and teams will discuss the function of songs, with special attention paid to the way they move the action. In addition, they will continually explore the delicate balance between script and song. Writers (or producers!) are invited to submit no more than 25 pages of a show they are working on. The panel wants to see the last section of the show heading towards the summing up and conclusion of the plot and the resolution of the characters’ wants. Include MP3s of the songs within only those pages. Also send a concise synopsis of the preceding action of the show, and how it leads to the resolution in the section presented.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, May 22nd, and the application can be downloaded at TRUBeginnings-HWM3-app, to be filled out and emailed to TRUPlaySubmissions@gmail.com to sign up. This workshop is scheduled to run from 10am to 5:30pm with a lunch break, and brief end-of-day reception. Submission fee is $10 for TRU members, $20 for non-members. If accepted, it will be applied to a participation fee of $100 ($85 for TRU members). Prices are discounted for those who have taken previous parts of this workshop. The cost for non-participants to attend for the full day, to observe the presentations and be part of the discussions, is $55 ($35 for TRU members).  All tickets go on sale May 24th, 2019.

Accepted applicants will present 10-15 minutes including one song and scene, followed by about 15 minutes of feedback. There will be a participation fee of $100 ($80 for TRU members), which includes 2 seats for the entire day workshop as well as your presentation slot. Because space is limited, any additional attendees from the musical team (including music director, additional collaborators and cast members) who wish to observe the entire workshop must reserve in advance and will be charged a nominal $25 per person.

10 am to 10:15 am – check in.

10:15 to 11am – Discussion: How do you bring the action of your show to an effective dramatic (and musical) conclusion? Is resolution better served by song or by dialogue? Do all shows need a big “eleven o’clock” number, or are there other ways to leave an audience emotionally satisfied?

11:00 am to 1:30 pm – Five writing teams will explain their work’s overall concept (in 30 seconds or less) and present 10-15 minutes of a song and scene that demonstrates a resolution of the show’s major conflict or a coming to terms for one of the characters, the resolution of their ongoing “want.” After each presentation, panelists will provide feedback.


2:30 pm to 3:00 pm – Discussion: The dramatic journey of characters: how wants and goals may evolve over the course of a show. Panelists will comment and invite audience feedback.

3:00 pm to 5:30 pm – Five writing teams will explain their work’s overall concept (in 30 seconds or less) and present 10-15 minutes of a song and scene that musicalizes the action leading to the resolution, or leads up to (and includes) a satisfying finale that leaves the audience with a sense of completion.

A full description and breakdown of the workshop can be found at https://truonline.org/events/feedback-workshop-3-2019/

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-six year old 501c3 nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of the arts. Membership includes self-producing artists as well as career producers and theater companies.
TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents the TRU VOICES Annual New Play Reading Series and Annual New Musicals Reading Series, two new works series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings to nurture new shows as well as new producers for theater; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program taught by prominent producers and general managers in New York theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop business skills. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include the Annual Combined Audition, happening May 18th and 19th at The PIT, 123 E. 24thStreet.

Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as the Montage Foundation and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visitwww.truonline.org.


June 2, 2019
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM


New York, NY United States + Google Map