Michael Collins Writers Residency Grant

  • Bell, David Howard (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


We are presenting the very first reading of this new musical by the team of Salzman and Cunningham. The writers are finishing the first draft and our reading will be the first time they have heard this work aloud. Our reading will be 8 days long, with rehearsals in the evening to accommodate students' schedules. We provide airfare, housing, and transportation for the writers and they are in residence for the entirety of the reading. The presentation will likely be filmed, so the writers can use it as a reference as they move forward. Since the show is so early in its process, Ryan Cunningham will be our director and we have already cast the reading with 20 Northwestern undergraduate music theatre students. Northwestern faculty member Ryan T. Nelson is signed on as the Music Director and I am looking to hire a guitarist to improvise guitar scores for the reading. I have also talked with Northwestern's resident voice teacher, Linda Gates, to work with the students on Irish and English dialects, which they will work on prior to and during the reading. As I mentioned, this is the first reading of the show, so the goal is to throw it up and see what works. Since the writers will be working with students and not professional actors, their work cannot hide behind an experienced actor who is skilled at finding the intention behind every line/lyric, be it good or bad. With the undergraduate actors, they will see their work for what it is. Ryan and Josh are hoping to walk away with a long list of notes and edits to then work on the next draft. They will also have a video recording of the reading to refer to later as the rewrite, or to use in submissions as they look for the next reading, workshop, or even production. 
Effective start/end date1/1/176/30/17


  • National Alliance for Musical Theatre (Agmt 12/21/16)


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