​​​​Dramatic and Comic Action in Musical Theatre Songs - A Song and Scene Master Class

Saturday Oct. 24, 10AM – 2PM Pacific Time. Presented by Elise Dewsberry and Scott Guy of New Musicals, Inc.

REGISTRATION & DETAILS: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/playcafeinc/434146


Some of the most thrilling moments in musicals are when songs deliver emotional wallops, or contain moments of comedy, or drama, or tension.  How do musical theatre songs DO that?  Join us for a masterclass with two experts from NMI, Elise Dewsberry and Scott Guy.  They’ll guide you through such topics as:


-Finding the emotional highpoints in the storyline

-Identifying moments in the book that make for great song possibilities

-Tracing story beats and character arcs

-Translating characters’ wants into lyric structure

-Crafting the lyric to dramatize moments of decision and action

-Transitioning from dialogue into lyric

-Incorporating stage direction/stage action into the song

-Dramatizing song cycles

After a short overview, Elise and Scott will lead you through a number of examples, and a writing exercise.  You’ll “song-spot” a text, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of different possibilities for how it might be musicalized.

This workshop is limited to 12 participants on a first come, first served basis. An unlimited number of auditors may register, but their video and audio must be muted throughout the workshop.

REGISTRATION & DETAILS: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/playcafeinc/434146


Elise Dewsberry, NMI Artistic Director

Elise has been involved in the development of new works for over forty years: as an actor/singer, as a director, as a dramaturge, and as a writer. While living in Toronto, Elise served as the Assistant Artistic Director of the Muskoka Festival; the Co-Ordinator of the festival’s annual Musical Theatre Writer’s Colony, the Associate Dramaturge of the Canadian Stage Company; the Resident Dramaturge of the Smile Theatre Company; and was the co-founder of Toronto’s Script Lab. Elise spent many years touring Canada with Nine Months – a one-woman musical which she commissioned from writers Carl Ritchie and Stephen Woodjetts. Elise and Carl also co-wrote Any Body Home?, which was produced by the Cordova Bay Theatre in Victoria, British Columbia, and published by Dramatic Publishing. Elise joined ANMT as Associate Artistic Director in 2003; joined Founding Artistic Director John Sparks as Co-Artistic Director in 2010; and became Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc. in 2013. Elise has served as a member of the Selection Committee for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s annual Festival of New Works, and is currently a Los Angeles Ovation Award Voter. Elise is also the author and evaluator of the Book Lab and the Outlining Lab, offered online through www.writingmusicaltheatre.com


Scott Guy, NMI Executive Director

Under Scott’s tenure, NMI has developed over 100 musicals for producers across the country, and over 200 independent musicals by ANMT writers. Scott has produced several NMI musical theatre festivals and multiple seasons of concert readings and concerts. Scott has been actively involved as a writer and producer in both theatre and television.  He has six Emmy nominations, and over 100 produced television scripts for Warner Bros., FOX-TV, Disney, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc.   Upcoming/recent projects:  Disney (musical version of Pirates of the Caribbean); Corday Productions (Days of Our Lives); and Manson’s Girls for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018.  If all goes according to plan, next year Scott will have productions of The Fish Whisperer, Manson’s Girls, and Der Strunkenwhitenlieder, as well as nearly 30 episodes on three different musical webseries:  The Ghosts of Stowell Hill, Tales from a Darkening Wood, and The Last of Its Kind.  Scott is currently the Executive Director of New Musicals Inc. where he supervises online writers’ workshops, lyric labs, and script consultations. www.scottguy.biz





The Dramaturgy of Worldbuilding

Sunday, Nov. 29, 4PM – 5:30PM Pacific Time.

Play Cafe is pleased to announce that dramaturg Melissa Hillman is presenting a free virtual workshop on The Dramaturgy of Worldbuilding.


Workshop Description: How do we create worlds that our audiences find compelling? How do we create worlds that "feel real" even when we're not working within realism? How does character building impact the world of the play? How do we navigate the need for both continuity and reveals? In this course, we will examine the ways in which engaging worlds are created through playwriting.


REGISTRATION & DETAILS: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/playcafeinc/438795

Suggested donation of $10-$20. Registrants will be sent an email with a Zoom link




Melissa Hillman has been working in new plays development in the Bay Area for over 20 years, most notably as the Artistic Director of Impact Theatre. She holds a PhD in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley, and has taught there, CSU East Bay, the Berkeley Digital Film Institute, and the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. She currently provides private dramaturgical consulting (melissahillman.com) in addition to her work as a dramaturg with PlayCafe. Her specializations include developmental dramaturgy and JEDI-focused dramaturgy (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion). 

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