MAKING A MUSICAL, part 1

I think I'll use this blog to chronicle the birth of my new musical, ROSE RED. Seems that my writing about how I write might be of interest to some folks.



So, late last spring, Kari Kraakevik- who has been teaching with me at Actor's Academy for the Performing Arts up in Boulder for the past few years- told me that I should write a musical with her- a musical either for, or to be performed by, young people. Something that would appeal to the kind of audience who likes Wicked.

For those who know me only by my plays, this might sound a little strange. My plays, by and large, deal with lost, crazy, and/or angry people who drink to excess, get high, and swear with authority.  My first play, LAST CALL, had two guys run around naked for about ten minutes of the show, and I used the F word so much that we seriously considered putting the catch phrase "a f#$@ a minute" on the posters. I don't set out to write plays with so much "adult" material- but that seems to be what usually happens.

But I also happen to work really well with young people. No doubt we're emotional equals or something- but regardless the reason, I seem to be able to relate to the young pretty well. Since moving to Colorado, I've directed a lot of shows with young casts, and taught a ton of classes. I am sure I've worked with over a thousand young actors in the past five years.



So writing a musical for young people didn't seem so crazy after all. next, we needed to choose what to write about. I suggested maybe using my play MUSE OF FIRE, which takes place on a college campus- and had lots of swearing, drinking, and people mentioning that fact that human beings have sex. So that was out.

Then I suggested Rose Red and Snow White. It was one of my favorites when I was a kid, and the minute I mentioned it, I got a good feeling. Part of that, no doubt, was nostalgia for days gone by, like the happy feeling I get every time I hear theme song for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But there was something more- just a feeling in my gut that said "yeah, this could be the way to go."



In my life, I seem to only get gut feelings that work out when it comes to writing. I don't know if this is the Universe's way of telling me to be a writer, or to keep me in the poor house, but that's just the way it is. And when the voices in my head talk, I listen.

So Kari and I met at a Starbucks up in Boulder in May, and I sort of hashed out a basic plot for the musical- expanding the story, adding lots of characters and plot twists along the way. Kari wrote everything down, and emailed me the results.

Now it was up to me to write the thing.

I'll start to tell you about that next time. In the interim, please check out these sites where you can buy for a very low price some of my earlier plays:

http://www.indietheaternow.com/Playwright/Playwright/KellyMcAllister

http://www.playscripts.com/author.php3?authorid=1062


 And then go to my short films Facebook page and give it a "like".


https://www.facebook.com/StrongTeaMovie


Up next, how I turned a bear into a wolf.

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