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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Break Into Song at ANMT!

ANMT; The Academy For New Musical Theater, is a North Hollywood institution that is paving the way for fresh new musical theater projects. Through development deals and workshops, ANMT partners with book writers, lyricists, composers and theatrical venues and organizations to produce these new musicals.

ANMT's roots go back 40 years to the original theater workshops of Lehman Engel, the preeminent Broadway musical director. The remarkably knowledgeable and passionate John Sparks has been the sole Artistic Director for two decades. Executive Director Scott Guy expanded the historic writer's workshop to include actors repertory company and a professional wing to develop musicals directly for producers and theaters. In 2003 Elise Dewsberry was brought on as resident dramaturg and Associate Artistic Director.

John Sparks, Scott Guy & Elise Dewsberry

I came to ANMT a few years ago with my dear friend, fellow musician and co-writer Brian Woodbury. We were collaborating on a stage musical called KILLA VANILLA! I sat in on the developmental workshops and was completely smitten by the program. It was there I met brilliant ANMT dramaturg Elise Dewsberry, who I am proud today to call a mentor and friend. It was the experience of auditing that workshop that inspired me to formally join ANMT and go through their core curriculum.

There are few forms that are as collaborative as musical theater. There are also few disciplines that are more rigidly structured. As a screenwriter, I have seen my understanding of my own work grow immensely! If you have the time and the reasonable amount of money to attend these workshops, I can't recommend them enough. Especially if you're a professional writer who is already in a groove. These workshops will kick your ass in the best possible way.

You can come see the results of these workshops when this year's core curriculum class presents their 15-minute Musicals at the Colony Theater (Burbank) in June!

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