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A Stage Kindly Interview

Posted on 08 October 2010. © Copyright 2004-2018 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to A Stage Kindly, new musical theatre producers

Tell us all about your company- ethos, people involved, aims

The A STAGE KINDLY New Musical Theatre Initiative is an organization dedicated to enthusing about new Musical Theatre writing. We offer services to writers all over the world who are independently developing their own New Musicals, and regularly present new musicals and highlights from new works in a variety of different forums. We are currently looking to present a series of UK Premieres of New Musicals in collaboration with a prestigious and award winning co-producer.

What are you looking for right now?

At the moment we are currently seeking New Musicals of which to produce the UK Premiere here in London. Full details of how to submit your work can be found on our website http://www.astagekindly.com



What excites you about a piece of writing-

Although we are open to producing any fantastic piece of Musical Theatre or Modern Opera, we do prefer sung-through work to plays-with-songs. We welcome distinctively European and British musical dramas (as opposed to American musical comedies) though our main concerns are that the piece has an appeal to an audience, that our audience will enjoy it, and that the show will have been worth producing. Lesser concerns include that the piece should warrant having been written, and particularly justify having been written as a musical as opposed to as a play. What value does the piece give to the world: is it legitimately entertaining, educative, groundbreaking, or otherwise? Who would want to see it, and why? This needs to be clear and apparent. Does it showcase the voice as an instrument, or perhaps as a unique tool for emotional expression? Are there any moments when everything comes together in euphony – the music, the poetry, the singing, the movement, and the drama – to send shivers down the spectator’s spine? Is there pathos, catharsis? What keeps us interested depends on the genre of the piece. Is it hilariously entertaining, funny, and either escapist or apt? Or is it tragic and dramatic and moving? Each piece is different, and of course what makes one piece work is not a rule that can be universally applied. And that is essentially what makes writing, producing, or enjoying a musical such special experiences.


and what makes your heart sink?

When a writer clearly hasn’t done their homework. If you listen to musical upon musical, you can establish perhaps not what ‘rules’ to follow but rather what formulas some successful musicals have in common in terms of their dramatic and musical structures. It is fine to break these rules but it is evident when someone hasn’t even tried to understand them, and writes essentially for their own enjoyment. It is heartbreaking to tell someone who has invested so much of their time and faith in a work that in order for their piece to be considered seriously it would have to be widely rethought. The best advice against this is to listen to as many musicals as possible. Identify what the successful ones have in common and likewise the unsuccessful. See if you can chart the changes in form from musicals from the 50s until the most contemporary, and use this to predict how to write the ‘next big thing’. A good musical is not only a collaborative effort, but something that owing to the many different aspects of putting one together takes a long time to write and prepare for the stage, and what may have been a cutting-edge concept may become old-hat by the time it is ready for a production and if you are writing a ‘contemporary’ piece it is important to stay one step ahead of the game in this regard to avoid that happening – so that by the time your work gets to the stage it is still ‘fresh’. Writing more traditional pieces makes this less risky, but you carries its own risks of being stale… It is a massively important part of the writing process that a writer may see their work on stage, else how will they gain the objectivity they need to iron out any such kinks? A writer needs to know how to write, but this is only something they can learn through trial and error. It is a heart-soaring moment to find a piece that works and share the writers joy when you find it but heartbreaking when you tell them you’re not interested in it, or that it needs further thought.




A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.






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