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Have You Seen the Big Bad Piggie? Close-up on TRW’s Brand New TYA Title with Simmons & Howard

Thu, 2014-07-10 08:24

Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) is proud to announce the acquisition and immediate release of a brilliant new Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) musical from the team of Bret Simmons and David Howard (CHANGING MINDS, FALLING FOR EVE). THE THREE LITTLE WOLVES AND THE BIG BAD PIG is a beautiful adaptation of the perennial best-selling kid’s book of the same title by Eugene Trivizas. Simmons & Howard, currently are hard at work on their next title, THE FIRST GENTLEMAN, set for an Off-Broadway run in 2015. I recently spoke with them at their Los Angeles offices to discuss their entry into the exciting world of adapting great literature aimed for young people into a TYA musical.

David Howard (Book & Lyrics) is the writer of DreamWorks’ hit science-fiction movie parody Galaxy Quest. I asked him about the genesis of the project. “Steve (TRW President & CEO Steve Spiegel) approached us with the idea some time ago and told us about his TYA@TRW collection and urged us to find a book we loved that would be a great musical,” Howard said. And find one they did! Trivizas book, with illustrations by Helen Oxenbury, became an international best seller after his adaptation of the classical fairy tale had languished because  publishers were not eager to take on a book in which the wolf is not evil, but good. It has since been translated into seventeen languages and incorporated into the Heinemann collection of the ten best classic picture books ever published. Howard continued, “As soon as I read it, I knew that this source material was truly great.”

Bret Simmons (Music) said that he took his inspiration for PIG from the story’s “joyous and really, truly fun” take on the old tale. “I adored writing it,” Simmons said. It shows in the music. Simmons is always at home in a variety of styles, while keeping the show’s narrative moving forward with bright, inventive songs that really make the book come to sonic life. Great source material is the key and getting the author’s permission to adapt the book to a musical format almost didn’t happen. Howard explains:  ”We had never met Eugene (Trevisaz), so we Googled him and found that he lives in the U.K. I sent him an email and didn’t hear from him, so we figured it was a no-go. Then some months later, from out of nowhere I get this email back from him and he apologized that it had hit his SPAM folder. He readily agreed to the prospect of a musical and we started working.”

Simmons and Howard are frequent collaborators and their partnership has honed a trusting bond from which they work. “Bret is very involved in storyboarding early as we develop. Sometimes lyrics come first, sometimes music,” Howard said. “We get together and talk about what it means and then we storyboard it.”

Click Image for Larger View

The story begins as it comes time for the three little wolves to go out into the world and build themselves a house, their mother warns them to beware the big bad pig. But the little wolves’ increasingly sturdy dwellings are no match for the persistent porker, who has more up his sleeve than huffing and puffing. It takes a chance encounter with a flamingo pushing a wheelbarrow full of flowers to provide a surprising and satisfying solution to the little wolves’ housing crisis.

Now that THE THREE LITTLE WOLVES AND THE BIG BAD PIG is released, the team is back to work on THE FIRST GENTLEMAN. Simmons said, “At present there is a great production team in place and we’re excited that it looks like the show will open in NYC in 2015.” The duo last hit New York at the York Theatre with 2011′s FALLING FOR EVE.

To get a 99 Cent perusal copy of THE THREE LITTLE WOLVES AND THE BIG BAD PIG, click HERE and enter code PIG at check-out!

Click HERE to visit the show’s homepage.


Unforgettable Moments from the 2014 EdTA HS Thespian Festival: True Connections

Mon, 2014-06-30 14:35

Perhaps our favorite visitor at this year's festival: Wendy Frye from Fremont HS, CA as Wednesday ADDAMS

One of our biggest and best opportunities to meet our customers happens at the end of June each year in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) International Thespian Festival is held in this lovely and welcoming city each summer on the campus of the University of Nebraska. This year, nearly 4000 Thespians and their directors descended on the festival by trains, planes and automobiles (OK, mostly on 17 hour bus rides) and attended hundreds of high school shows and workshops with world-class presenters and teaching artists.

Team TRW attends the festival to have facetime with the people who make theatre happen with high school kids from around the globe. From as far away as Canada, London, Dubai, Qatar, and Saipan and Mound City, TX and…everywhere, these young people and their teachers come to show what they can do and learn more about their craft as they meet their peers and share their stories. The connections are real and they are invaluable as the world of high school theatre is elevated and celebrated through the magic that is the EdTA International Thespian Festival.

Complementing our convention headquarters in the lobby of the beautiful Lied Center for the Performing Arts, we lead a series of workshops at the festival that promote our musicals through sharing our experiences, our stories and our love of theatre arts. Our session focusing on MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT takes on the casting, directing, marketing and themes of the show, while discussing its production history and design elements. As happens throughout the festival, the resulting discussion is a great venue for getting and giving ideas and sharing the challenges and rewards of this amazing world of the high school musical.

The whole company of the Thespian Musicalworks 2014 (Photo by Jim Talkington, courtesy of EdTA)

TRW is the proud ongoing sponsor of the Thespian Musicalworks, which is a super exciting new program from EdTA. Our friends at Samuel French have long supported the Thespian Playworks program, and the model for the Thespian Musicalworks is similar, but with a few innovations for making it suitable for budding musical theatre writers.

Musicalworks is a program designed to promote original musical writing by high school Thespians. It also gives student lyricists and composers the chance to workshop their creation with working professionals and student musical theatre actors. Beginning each October, aspiring Thespian writers submit only the opening number to an original musical for review by the Musicalworks staff. One is chosen for workshop and a performance at the annual festival. If you are or are mentoring a young writer of musicals, you can find out more at this EdTA Facebook page link.

TRW's Jim Hoare (L), 2014 Thespian Musicalworks winner Billy Recce (C), & Julie Woffington, Executive Director, EdTA (photo by Jim Talkington, courtesy of EdTA)

In our new titles workshop we explored the brand new Broadway musical releases BIG FISH, THE ADDAMS FAMILY and GHOST THE MUSICAL. Their connection is death and it’s a perfect theme for musical comedy…and drama. Our Workshop Pro is TRW’s Director of Licensing, Jim Hoare, a 30+ year veteran of teaching and directing high school theatre. Upon retiring he was promptly hired by TRW’s President & CEO Steve Spiegel, a longtime leader in industry support of educational theatre, as the company’s Director of Licensing. Over the years of his teaching career, Jim brought hundreds of student actors and scores of shows to the Thespian Festival and is now a rock star for TRW at the convention.

“Whether I was the director of a mainstage production, directing a one-act or helping another school’s late-night strike backstage, my time spent at the International Thespian Festival was a highlight in my 31 years teaching high school theatre. When the opportunity arose to return to the festival as a workshop presenter, adjudicator and vendor for TRW, I was thrilled. The dedication, commitment, and sheer joy for making theatre displayed by students and teachers alike is inspiring.” His empathy and understanding of the unique challenges for high school drama teachers is unparalleled in the licensing industry. It’s a joy to watch him interact with the hundreds of teachers and students he connects with here each year.

The workshop takes a look at the theme of mortality in musical theatre history then examines that theme and its looming presence in FISH, ADDAMS and GHOST…and every other show ever written. The discussions with these directors never fails to amaze us as they make clear why they are leading top-notch drama programs for their schools and students. The value we get from being able to meet with them one-to-one is immeasurable.

This pic says it all: Happy Thespians on the bus! (Photo by Cori Johnson, courtesy EdTA)

The EdTA’s commitment to educational theatre is not limited to high school drama. They present a growing Junior Thespian Festival each year for Middle School/Junior High programs that is vital in creating a professional enrichment experience for the all-important drama directors and actors at the 6th-8th grade level. Their festival is a welcoming place where schools can present titles from any licensing company, making it a true festival environment. TRW is proud to be an ongoing sponsor of the Junior Festival, coming up in March of 2015 in Nashville, TN.

If you haven’t attended a Thespian Festival with your troupe or you aren’t a member of EdTA yet, you can find out all about the benefits at www.schooltheatre.org. It’s a week that zooms by, and over all too soon. Jim noted, “At breakfast on Saturday morning, a first-time attendee said how surprised she was that the week flew by so quickly. I said that it’s like when you’re in a great show – you’re never aware of a moment while you’re in one. It’s only when you leave that moment at the end of the show (or during a curtain call) that you become aware that you had one. I am grateful for the ‘moments’ spent at Thespian Festival 2014. It was a quick week – and I look forward to 2015!”

-Fred Stuart, Theatrical Rights Worldwide

6/30/2014

7 Crazy Good Reasons You’re Gonna Produce ALL SHOOK UP….These 7 Photos from Cortland Rep!

Thu, 2014-06-19 08:42
Cortland Rep’s Got It All!

Cortland Repertory Theatre‘s got blue suede shoes and are ready to shake, rattle and roll with their production of  ALL SHOOK UP, THE MUSIC OF ELVIS PRESLEY. They run June 18 – July 5 at the Rep in Preble, NY.

The Cortland Rep’s show looks like a spot-on ALL SHOOK UP. The joy of some of the world’s greatest music shines through their staging, design and exuberance, as evidenced by these awesome production photographs by Blatchley Photos, from the Rep’s Facebook Page:

Click HERE to view the whole gallery on Facebook

ALL SHOOK UP

Cortland Repertory Theatre

Directed by Bert Bernardi

Choreographed by Robin Levine

Music Direction by Logan Culwell

Featuring:  Kailey Prior, Andrew Conners, Thomas Mothershed, Debra Thaïs Evans, Hannah Zilber, Patrick Brady, Jasmine Harris, Will Vickers, Rebecca McGraw, Bill Lee, Courtney Blackmun, Denzel Edmondson, Joel Pellini, Jordan Silver, Kelsey Thompson, Michaela Vine, Imani Pearl Williams, Anthony Wright

Click HERE for more information on the Cortland Repertory’s production of ALL SHOOK UP.

Click HERE to find out more about producing your ALL SHOOK UP!

Close-up: The Color Purple at Virginia Rep

Wed, 2014-06-18 14:13

Watch this terrific close-up video with the cast and creative team of the Virginia Rep’s THE COLOR PURPLE. The entire team’s connection with the show is remarkable and a story we’ve seen time and again from our friends who have produced the show in their communities. Kudos to Virginia Rep on this great promo clip!

Drama Learning Center’s GHOST THE MUSICAL Premiere!

Tue, 2014-06-17 14:48

.@DramaLearningCt scores with their Premiere of 'Ghost'! Great theatre from young artists! http://t.co/FLlGaz8dEe pic.twitter.com/ifFi8SzNpV

— Theatrical Rights (@TRWMusicals) June 17, 2014

Now is the Time to Secure the Rights to Your Next Show…And TRW is Here to Help!

Thu, 2014-05-22 12:58

Click to view our latest E-Message!

Grand Opening of the Theatrical Rights Worldwide Shop on the ScenePartner Webstore: 6 e-Script Titles Now Available for the Awesome App!

Wed, 2014-04-02 11:17

Theatrical Rights Worldwide

April 2, 2014

New York, NY

Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) announces the Grand Opening of the Theatrical Rights Worldwide Shop on the Scene Partner WebStore. After launching three titles in 2013 (Spamalot, All Shook Up and Curtains), the Scene Partner App, from leading theatrical app developer MyTheaterApps.com, is now available for The Addams Family, Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Memphis, and Ghost The Musical. With the ScenePartner debuts of these three musicals, TRW customers can now rent six of our best-selling show librettos with their licensed productions.

Scene Partner is a powerful iPhone®, iPad® and iPod Touch® app that helps actors with the age-old problem of how to memorize lines. The ScenePartnerApp WebStore gives licensors a secure way to offer theater organizations and actors access to e-Scripts to memorize lines while mounting officially licensed productions.

According to Steve Spiegel, President and CEO of Theatrical Rights Worldwide, “We’re proud to be launching these three new titles and opening the TRW shop. Scene Partner®, the premier theatrical app developer, is an integral part of our top tier rehearsal and production tool resources. TRW’s customers are telling us they want what the Scene Partner App provides. Everyone can see the value of getting their actors off-book early.”

J. Kevin Smith, owner of MyTheaterApps.com and the developer of Scene Partner®, stated, “We are excited to add three new TRW titles and announce the Grand Opening of their new e-Script Shop! TRW’s customers depend on these essential tools to help make their productions a top-notch experience for both their audiences and the actors who perform in their productions.”

Scene Partner customers can find available TRW titles at ScenePartnerApp.com. Theaters can rent multiple copies of an officially licensed TRW musical and distribute the e-Scripts to their casts during the term of performance licenses through a secure, online theater library. Actors who are participating in TRW- licensed productions can rent a copy of the e-Scripts for their personal libraries as well.

You, TRW & The Addams Family Musical: Let’s Do This!

Mon, 2014-03-24 10:59

Are You Ready for Some Addams?
THE ADDAMS FAMILY musical is available in North America and the UK! (Other territories, please contact us for availability.) If you haven’t submitted your license application, now is the time to secure your preferred production dates and then get ready for the excitement around casting and ticket sales for this musical blockbuster. Featuring a Broadway dream team of writers, with score and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (BIG FISH) and book by Marshall Brickman (JERSEY BOYS) and Rick Elice (PETER & THE STARCATCHER, JERSEY BOYS), THE ADDAMS FAMILY is taking the world’s musical theatre scene by storm, a terrific tempest, with some of the most beloved characters of all time. And, THE ADDAMS FAMILY offers a flexible-sized ensemble with truly featured roles that drive this wonderful musical story.

Rachel Weisbart as Morticia from the French Woods Festival for the Performing Arts 2013 Production

THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is Now in Wide Release…You Can Do It!

Get Your .99 Cent E-Perusal Now and Get Started!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY is available for professional, community and school theatre groups everywhere! This irresistible show is brilliantly successful with casts & audiences alike. Whether for your community theatre group or school organization, THE ADDAMS FAMILY offers amazing lead casting opportunities for 5 females and 6 males and a super-featured, any-size ensemble of Addams Ancestors that can steal the show! As a TRW E-Club Member you can get the only discounted ADDAMS FAMILY perusal offer available. Click HERE to go to the PERUSAL STORE. ENTER CODE:  ADDAMS at check-out.

All Photos courtesy The French Woods Festival

THE ADDAMS FAMILY Tour is Almost a Wrap!

Click HERE for Tickets to all remaining Tour Dates

3/25 – 3/26   Yakima, WA

3/27   Bellingham, WA

3/29   Logan, UT

3/30   Butte, MT

4/01  Grand Forks, ND

4/3   Texarkana, TX

4/4   Tyler, TX

4/5   Fort Smith, AR

4/6   Saint Charles, MO

4/8 – 4/13   Columbus, OH

4/27   Cleveland, MS

4/28 – 4/29  Columbia, SC

4/30   Athens, GA

5/2   Jacksonville, FL

5/3   Daytona Beach, FL

5/5 – 5/6   Peoria, IL

5/7   Springfield, IL

5/8 – 5/9  Paducah, KY

5/10  Bowling Green, KY

5/11  Opelika, AL

5/13 – 5/18  Indianapolis, IN

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE FRENCH WOODS PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL