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Creating the Musical

Students in the Creating the Musical Module will explore the arts of book writing, lyric writing and composition, while also cultivating an understanding of what constitutes effective and healthy collaboration in Music Theatre. Offered in collaboration with The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP), the Creating the Musical Module is designed to maximize the opportunity for the highest caliber of Music Theatre writers to offer mentorship, master classes and course work to the module’s students. Northwestern already offers an unprecedented variety of extra-curricular writing opportunities (Mee-Ow, The Waa-Mu Show and the Johnny Mercer Workshop); this module advances knowledge and practice of the Music Theatre writing craft through focused curricular opportunities. These include courses in Music Theatre book and collaborative writing, musicianship, composition, music direction, lyric writing, theatre orchestration, and song styles and genres.  The module also offers a wide variety of co-curricular opportunities. AMTP will construct master classes, seminars, focus discussions, and mentoring experiences, as part of the professional artists’ participation at Northwestern while producing a workshop, reading or production of their new musical work. Students will be encouraged to observe or participate in the creative process, as world class professional composers, lyricists, book writers, directors and music directors are in residence at Northwestern. AMTP annually brings fifteen to twenty international artists to the university and will encourage unprecedented access for our students to engage with them. The module also offers extensive practicum opportunities on musical productions both at the university and beyond.

Courses

Creating the Musical Course Requirements

Co-Curriculars

The Creating the Musical module offers a wide variety of co-curricular opportunities. AMTP will construct master classes, seminars, focus discussions, and mentoring experiences, as part of the professional artists’ participation at Northwestern while producing a workshop, reading or production of their new musical work. Students will be encouraged to observe or participate in the creative process, as world class professional composers, lyricists, book writers, directors and music directors are in residence at Northwestern. AMTP annually brings fifteen to twenty international artists to the university and will encourage unprecedented access for our students to engage with them. The module also offers extensive practicum opportunities on musical productions both at the university and beyond. 

Capstone

The “Capstone” Experience is a mentored process that creates an hour long musical from a concept “pitch,” through the plot outline, to a full script. An informal reading of the completed script will result in a re-write of the entire script, prior to a formal presentation of the hour long musical in an AMTP reading. The script will then be in consideration to be presented at the internationally acclaimed Edinburgh Festival. The final reading will be accompanied by the presentation of a complete portfolio of writing (scenes, lyrics, music), orchestrations and arrangements completed during the module. 

 

Sponsoring Department: Theatre 

Module Coordinator: David Bell 

Instructional Committee:  Masi Asare, Ryan S. Cunningham, Ryan T. Nelson, 

Module Advisor: John Haas 

How to Enroll 

This module is open to all NU undergraduates.

The application process closes on the last day of spring quarter classes of the student’s sophomore year, and after the completion of the prerequisite course(s). The application should include a short (300 words) description of a musical you intend to create as a capstone project and a sample of the applicant’s writing by submitting one of the following: 

  1. A song composition, with a piano/vocal score and a demo. 
  2. A complete song lyric, with a scene that leads into the song (5-10 pages).