Planning and Producing the Musical Show

Planning and Producing the Musical Show

Planning and Producing the Musical Show

Planning and Producing the Musical Show

Excerpt

Broadway is the only professional theater in America which can claim an uninterrupted life. Because of this, the major evolution in theater practice has taken place on Broadway. It is in the field of musical drama in particular that the most indigenous American growth has come. Many of the musical shows produced each year are offshoots of original Broadway productions. They are frequently presented through the efforts of nonprofessional groups who are attracted to productions carrying the magic label "Broadway."

On Broadway, where the production of new musical shows has gone on year after year, certain operating procedures have evolved. While these sometimes represent artistic trends they are most often the results of accumulated experience, the demands of labor organizations and the state of the current economy.

In this book I have discussed the Broadway working methods because they do exist and because they may constitute an improvement over some method currently employed by a local theater group. From my knowledge of Broadway theater (which nobody has ever claimed was the be-all or end-all) and of off-Broadway companies in the heart of America, I have attempted to distill the fundamentals of theater practice and to point out how these principles may be applied to musical theater anywhere.

Of course differing budgets and facilities will make each community group or stock company an individual ease and the prescription for blending the ingredients to make a successful musical show will depend on how many "cooks" have a finger in the concoction. To avert chaos, both at rehearsals and during performance, it is wise to delineate the areas of responsibility--and abide by them.

New York, New York --Lehman Engel June, 1957 . . .

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