[Insert Musical Here] enables writers to see their works in action

Yaqoob Qaseem, Assistant A&E Editor

A new collaboration between The Dolphin Show and Vertigo Productions will give student writers the opportunity to workshop their musicals.

[Insert Musical Here] will allow writers to develop their skills by focusing on the process of creating a musical. Each writer will receive a cast and director for the week-long workshop, which will culminate in performances of ten-minute segments of each musical in mid-November.

“What we want to see is what individual theater makers are proud of and what they’re composing on their own time,” said said Alex Kramer, co-director of special events for The Dolphin Show and co-producer of [Insert Musical Here]. “We want to enable those stories and those writers.”

Both Kramer and Reed Lancaster, co-producer of [Insert Musical Here], said there are few opportunities on campus for composing musical theater and seeing the written works in action. Kramer said the new push for providing these opportunities began last spring with Vertigo Productions’ New Songwriters’ Cabaret, which revealed the large numbers of students writing musicals relative to the lacking outlets to show these works.

“You have to be able to workshop a musical to realize the problems with it,” said Lancaster, who also serves as New Music Development Chair for Vertigo Productions. “This is how we’re giving people a chance to do that.”

The workshop week will provide feedback to writers during four days of rehearsals and revisions. Writers will then go through the work a final time in a dress rehearsal the day before the performances. Kramer and Alex Wolfe, business producer for The Dolphin Show, said [Insert Musical Here] aims to provide undergraduate students with the same opportunities as NU’s American Music Theatre Project, which allows professional artists to workshop musical theater in a similar manner.

Kramer said the event also provides exciting opportunities for both directors and actors. All of the submitted works are new and thus allow participants to mold their own roles. Additionally, Kramer said the number of directing opportunities at Northwestern is small compared to the number of students interested.

“You can make your own choices and your own character with the guidance of the writers and your director,” she said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for all involved.”

Kramer and Wolfe agree that [Insert Musical Here] represents the The Dolphin Show’s goal to integrate with other theater organizations and be more inclusive on campus.

[Insert Musical Here] will open applications in the first week of October. The event is the first collaboration between Vertigo Productions and The Dolphin Show, and the workshop will ideally be annual, Wolfe said.

The partnership is exciting and valuable due to shared interests and resources, said Kramer and Lancaster. Kramer said she hopes such partnerships will continue in the future.

Wolfe said she heard that one of her friends who had never written songs or musicals before decided to begin writing after learning about [Insert Musical Here].

“I think that’s really cool that it’s motivating people to step outside of their comfort zone and follow new paths and new passions,” she said.

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