The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, the 40 year-old crucible of creativity that connects musical theatre writers with potential collaborators and colleagues, is accepting applications for its Librettists Workshop through May 1, for those interested in developing their skills for musical theatre script writing.
The job of librettist is considered thankless in the musical making industry — scripts are routinely cannibalized in service of a score. ("It's a musical, not a bookical" is the oft-heard cry at BMI.) However, books have also inspired some of the world's most beloved songs. Spoken scenes, characters and structural ideas within proven shows have helped put those works on shelves beside the best of contemporary dramatic literature.
Applicants accepted into the workshop interact in a moderated group (run by librettist, dramaturg and literary manager Nancy Golladay) where presentations of developing scripts are followed by discussion and critique. Discussion about produced works is also part of the process, and there is an opportunity to work with composers and lyricists in the better-known songwriting section of the workshop. Director Susan H. Schulman, who helmed Broadway's The Secret Garden and The Sound of Music, serves as senior moderator of the Librettists Workshop.
Accomplished writers form all genres are invited to submit samples of their work, whether published, produced or in progress. A resume and completed application are also required.
The BMI Librettists Workshop is a tuition-free, nonprofit program of BMI. It was created by the late Lehman Engel to supplement the composer-lyricist workshops that Engel ran 1961-1982. Those songwriting workshop continue today, moderated by Maury Yeston. The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop consists of 250 lyricists, composers and librettists. For information or an application, call (212) 830-2508 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
— By Kenneth Jones