There's something both exhausting and reassuring about the length of time it takes to create a piece of musical theatre. Exhausting because, yes, it can take many years, but reassuring because if something isn't working, there's still opportunity for another round of rewrites.
One of our shows that is reaching it's final leg of rewrites is THE BACHELOR GIRLS and in February we spent a happy week workshopping it with a great group of students from Guildford School of Acting (GSA). I've always found that writing for musical theatre is all just an educated guess until real voices are reading and singing it. It can be surprising and exciting to see what happens when actors get hold of the material.
This workshop was unique in that it didn't have a performance at the end of it. Strangely, I've never before had a chance to work in a room with actors without the weight of the final performance hanging over my head. We went through the script page by page, hearing it read, stopping often to make changes, trying out some new music and ultimately, just focusing on what the show itself needed rather than the added pressure of costumes, lighting, blocking, sound, etc...
THE BACHELOR GIRLS is an all female cast and at the end of our week, we sat down to get feedback from the students. Jen and I were both impressed by their comments and how they enjoyed working on a show that had good female roles. It's so strange that decent female roles should still be a novelty...
Thanks GSA for the chance to do this work!