Asian American Arts Alliance

Theater Resources Unlimited

TRU Beginnings: Opportunities for Early Development

How to Write a Musical that Works!

Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 10am


Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents the first of three TRU Beginnings: How to Write a Musical that Works! feedback workshops on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 10am at NOLA Studios 250 W. 54th St., 11th Fl., NYC. Submission DEADLINE: Friday October 9, 2015.


This is a unique 3-part workshop for writers, directors and producers exploring the traditional structure and dynamic interplay of an effective libretto and score. We will examine successful musicals, discuss basic dramaturgical principals and why they work, and hear presentations of submitted new works and works-in-progress. The first of these workshops is “The World and the Want,” and will consider effective ways of setting the stage and tone of a musical and introducing the main characters.


Each workshop will accept up to 10 writing teams and/or producers who will share works in progress and get feedback from a panel of expert evaluators who will discuss how successful the songs and scenes presented are in fulfilling their purpose. Panelists this time will include Jane Abramson, Creative Development Manager at Disney Theatrical Productions; Ryan Bogner, Director of Creative Development at RKO Stage; composer/lyricist Skip Kennon (Herringbone, Don Juan DeMarco, Time and Again), former Artistic Coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and teacher for two decades; and Tom Polum (The Toxic Avenger, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, All Shook Up). Bob Ost, executive director of Theater Resources Unlimited, and TRU Literary Manager Cate Cammarata will facilitate.


This 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. Observers are welcome and will also have a chance to offer their observations, participate in discussions and network sessions and enjoy refreshments.



Observers who are interested in the structure of an effective musical are welcome to attend. The cost for non-participants to attend for the full day is $50 ($30 for TRU members). Visit to sign up as an observer.



Submission fee is $10 for members, $20 for non-members. If accepted, it will be applied to a participation fee of $100 ($80 for TRU members).

For application as a writable PDF:
For guidelines on the application:

To pay the $10 admission fee or balance due for participation:


Writers or producers are invited to submit no more than the first 25 pages of a show you are working on, plus MP3s of the songs within those pages. In the workshop (part 1) we will focus on two main aspects: 1) the opening number (or any number that invites the audience into the world of the show); and 2) the songs and scenes in which you introduce your characters. We will discuss "I want" songs, "I am" songs and "I feel" songs, and the function of each, with special attention to the way they move the action. In addition, we will continually explore the delicate balance between script and song.


NOLA Studios is at 250 W. 54th St., 11th Fl., NYC, NY. THE FULL SERIES IS AS FOLLOWS:

- FEEDBACK WORKSHOP #1: THE WORLD AND THE WANT, Sunday, October 25th, 2015


You may apply for each workshop separately as we schedule them. Currently accepting submissions for Workshop #1, deadline October 9, 2015. See application and guidelines for instructions on emailing materials. Priority space will be given to those who have taken previous workshop(s).


**If accepted for presentation, there will be a participation fee of $100 ($80 for TRU members), which includes two seats for the entire day workshop as well as a 30 minute presentation-plus-feedback slot. Space is limited. Any additional attendees from the musical team (including music director, additional collaborators and cast members) may attend their portion for free; those who wish to observe the entire workshop must reserve in advance and will be charged $20 per person.


** The TRU Selection Committee will determine what song and scene from your show we want you to present, although you may tell us your preference. We will provide a room with a piano, refreshments, panelists, and an audience.

** Those selected for presentation are required to bring performers and accompanist. (We can make suggestions for locating talent.) If you are unable to produce a full 10- or 15-minute presentation, you may write on your application "Song Only".


** Those not selected will be invited and encouraged to attend the workshop as observers.


**All writers are expected to be in attendance for the entire day.


Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is a twenty-three 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 theater. 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; TRU offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York Theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop the business skills they need. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include the Annual Combined Audition and quarterly

Resource Nights and “Speed Dating” as well as free monthly actor workshops.


Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, 9th district Council Member Inez Dickens; and with support from the Montage Foundation and the Friars National Association Foundation.


For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit or call (212) 714-7628.




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