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Presented by the Dramtatists Guild Institute

Architecture of Musicals:
The Power of the Female Voice

Instructor: Cheryl Coons
Schedule: Saturdays 3-5 EST

Course Duration: 6 weeks (March 16 - May 18) 

Regular: $400

Maximum students: 14

Registration Begins February 27

Powerful women have been at the center of musical theatre stories, climbing every mountain, since the earliest days of the form. Until recently, though, most of the writers who crafted their stories were male. In this 10-week course, we’ll focus on practical insights, culled from musicals written and composed by women, that support bookwriters, lyricists and composers who are in the process of creating musical theatre work. 

We’ll dig deep into both the timeless craft principles and the breathtaking innovations that drive each musical’s success. We’ll look at both the “forest” (musical genre, storytelling style, dramatic structure, song plot), and the “trees” (songforms, lyric craft elements, key scenes.) We’ll talk about the unique story and song challenges the female architects of these musicals faced, and the innovative solutions they discovered. 

Along the way we’ll also explore some questions contemporary musical theatre writers of all genders might ask themselves…Does my musical pass the Bechdel Test, and why should it? And how do I solve a problem like Maria? Or a better question: is Maria really a problem?

Cheryl has been a guest artist instructor for

The Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive

The program consists of rigorous writing workshops and discussions of the art, craft, and business of playwriting led by Gary Garrison with a wide range of distinguished guest artists. 

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