This is just a quick post to congratulate Drew Lane on his occasional blog feature on the Aussie Theatre Web site. In his own right, Drew is a burgeoning talent in the current generation of young Australian songwriter/composers who invest their time and energy in developing new works for the musical stage.
Drew’s ability to synthesize and redact the principles of good craftsmanship as espoused by Stephen Schwartz in writing for characters and situations in a Musical should be read, analysed, absorbed and implemented by all writers (young or old; novice or experienced). Terrific stuff and good to see.
It’s a source of ongoing frustration that, other than the itinerant work of New Musicals Australia, there continues to be no formal avenue for training musical theatre writers in Australia. The single best training opportunity remains the ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop. Australian writers are permitted to apply for this program and have successfully submitted works for inclusion in previous workshops.
This neglect in availing young writers with opportunities; commonly available and in increasing number overseas (see the Resources page on this Web site for a list) is a function of the neglect of the artform (from a development perspective) by our Higher Education institutions. It is remarkable that we do such a good job of training theatre practitioners in Australia, but we regard musical theatre ‘creatives’ as being entirely inconsequential to the health of an important; and as it transpires, commercially profitable industry within the Entertainment sector. Well, whilst we continue to do this, all the money (and it accounts for 10’s of Millions of dollars per annum) will continue to go offshore. Genius!
Getting off the soapbox now.