Tuesday, June 27, 2006

SISTER ACT the Musical - The Making of a Musical

Director Peter Schneider’s three-part column on the development of the world premiere of SISTER ACT the Musical.
Finding a theatrical home to develop a new musical is usually not an easy process, but with Sheldon’s and the Playhouse’s instant commitment that hurdle was cleared.

With a wonderful and award-winning team (Alan Menken, music, Glenn Slater, Lyrics and Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, Book) we created the first draft of our show and then with the assistance of Kappy Kilburn and the Playhouse’ Hothouse reading series we spent 29 hours rehearsing with an amazing group of actors, and presented 2 staged readings of the show with the actors at music stands, script in hand, with no costumes, set or lights.

As with all first readings, the entire creative team was, of course, nervous but excited. The week of rehearsal had been quite magical and inspirational as we all had worked hard to improve and change the first draft.

As with all theatrical development projects, the audience is an essential part of the creation process.

Where they laugh, clap, cry and, at times, get bored, is part of our guide to what is “working” and what needs re-thinking.

Although there is more work to be done, it was a thrilling beginning and I look forward, with much joy, to the rehearsal process that will begin in September and the opportunity to share with you the World Premiere of SISTER ACT the Musical!
Watch for Peter Schnieder’s third installment on the development of Sister Act the Musical in a future post.

SISTER ACT the Musical
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner
Based on the Touchstone Pictures motion picture Sister Act written by Joseph Howard
Directed by Peter Schneider

October 24 - November 26

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