Rebecca Hillman, 25 January 2015

Thank you for coming and brainstorming with me.

I called this session because I want to write a show but I am too scared of the final

product not being good to start the process.


- Workshops

- Need a great hook to engage the audience

aka subject, style (for example Avenue Q)


- audiences want more from a musical then from a play

Successful musicals vs good musicals –> catchy songs


- moves the story forward leaps & bounds

- AVOID - do a scene, sing a song, do a scene, sing a song (without that connection,

that emotional drive)

- Musical theatre is like stage combat –> so emotional you have to hit something (sing


- it's a way to test does this song need to be here, why can't we just talk?

- THE SONG - the ideal place to work out the fork in the road

- the complexity in the music & lyrics come out in that struggle

- the ‘oh i’m in love (and that's it)' has no struggle for the music & lyrics to work off of

Let go of the idea of writing something good :)

People coming up in the world, making their mistakes


- wants to be entertained

- want something that challenges the spectators

It needs a disaster situation

vignettes - create vignettes and get scenes together

- this vignette, don't know where it will go, that's ok

- get 20 together, conversations, etc –> then find the theme


- focussing too much on the whole ('this is where I'm going to set this, that, etc')

Watching human beings interact, figuring out what it means to be alive, that's at the

core of every story

- ‘I thought the story was going to be about this but turns out it’s about that'

You can't write a Farce musicals (discussed examples)

AVOID - interllectualizing songs instead of expressing emotions

AVOID - lyrics being written by someone other then who wrote the book


- What's the kind of story you want to tell?

- Are you rooting for somebody (Protagonist) or is it contemporary vignettes

- What are the kinds of shows that you like –> then try to tell that sort of story

- Sum up the story in a few lines

(Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - There's a young boy & he's honest, but people

try to get him to currupt his values… etc)

re: Adaptations

- take what you want, then leave the rest

Chisel a storyline out of real events…

- then, only use what helps you tell the story (what serves the story – trim the fat)

e.g. the block of stone, & you only chip away stuff that isn't the statue

- cut away, the more you do, the more you get to what is telling the story

'Why' - why does the story need to be a musical?



#directorsanonymous, #howtowriteamusical, #escapismthemusical,

#theresastoryinmysoul, #hostelliving