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.”

3 Little Wolves Graphic

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.


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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

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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!

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Close-up: The Color Purple at Virginia Rep

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!

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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.

ScenePartner App

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Addams Family

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

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Plus: Official Press Release from TRW on GHOST THE MUSICAL’S SPECIFIC AVAILABILITY DATES


As the hugely successful U.K. Tour of GHOST THE MUSICAL drew to a close this past weekend, the creator of the show reached out to the hundreds of thousands of fans of the show with this beautiful statement, released via the tour’s official social media sites on Saturday, March 8, 2014:

To All of Our UK fans,

Bruce Joel Rubin

“When I wrote GHOST as a movie nearly 25 years ago I never dreamed that people would still be talking about it all these years later. And I never ever imagined that they would be singing its songs (I never imagined that it would even have songs) or that people would see it repeatedly in theaters all over the UK. I am told that there are people who have seen it 50 times (besides the producers) and I am overwhelmed by the love and support you have offered all along the way. From the moment we opened in Manchester, almost three years ago, I could feel the roar of approval and joy that filled the theater night after night. I can even feel it now. Thank you for that gift. Thank you for embracing our show, for caring about it, for believing in it. You are why we made it. It is my deepest hope and prayer that the love inside – you take it with you.” —Always, Bruce Joel Rubin

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Get Your Perusal of GHOST THE MUSICAL for Just .99 Cents! The E-Club Code is Here

We’ve just announced the general release of Performance Rights for this hot new pop-rock show!

Adapted from the film by Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Bruce Joel Rubin, GHOST THE MUSICAL features a hot rock-pop score by Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard. This exciting “new show release” is for pro & community theatres everywhere. Read for .99 Cents. Believe.

Read, listen…BELIEVE! We are so excited for the hundreds of productions around the world that will be coming for GHOST THE MUSICAL!

To receive your .99 Cent Perusal Script Download (That’s a $6 savings!), simply enter CODE: GHOST at check-out from the PerusalsNOW store. Click HERE to get yours!

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Official Press Release from TRW on GHOST THE MUSICAL Acquisition

GHOST THE MUSICAL JOINS THEATRICAL RIGHTS WORLDWIDE’S BROADWAY DIVISION

MARCH 6, 2014, New York City, New York

Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TRW President & CEO Steve Spiegel

Leading musical theatre licensor Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), announces exclusive representation for stock and amateur rights for GHOST THE MUSICAL. The show was nominated for three Tony Awards, five Olivier Awards and is still successfully touring North America and the U.K. The musical joins a roster that includes Tony Award-winners MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT and MEMPHIS, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, and THE COLOR PURPLE.

Based on the Paramount Pictures film written by the musical’s book writer Bruce Joel Rubin, GHOST THE MUSICAL features a pop-rock score by Dave Stewart (EURYTHMICS) and six-time Grammy Award winner Glen Ballard. The iconic “Unchained Melody” written by Hy Zaret and Alex North, complements the musical journey of this beautiful story.

Dave Stewart

GHOST THE MUSICAL’s national and UK tours will end August 17 and March 8, 2014 respectively. The title will then available for production by all stock and amateur groups in these countries. Perusal copies are available now at www.theatricalrights.com.

TRW President & CEO Steve Spiegel, celebrating his 35th year in the Broadway musical theatre licensing industry, said in a prepared statement, “Once again we are proud to announce the representation of a new Broadway/West end musical that we can immediately offer to thousands of our pro and amateur theatre groups. GHOST THE MUSICAL magically portrays the beloved story of Sam and Molly in a heartfelt, riveting theatrical telling,” he said. Spiegel pursued representation of the show after seeing both the London and Broadway engagements. “It will be a perennial favorite with professional and community theatres along with high schools for years to come.”

Key Regional Theatre and other professional productions are already booked through TRW including Atlantis Productions in Manila.

Glen Ballard

TRW's Director of Music David Abbinanti

TRW’s Director of Music, David Abbinanti, has created new orchestrations for the show, making it accessible to theatres everywhere. “We have a new orchestration that is scored completely for live musicians and geared for the expertise and budgets of our stock and amateur organizations,” Abbinanti said in a recent interview.

Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) represents musicals from Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as shows originating in regional theatres and elsewhere. It is our mission to cultivate and introduce new work along with extending the production life of musicals to all theatrical marketplaces.

For further information contact:

Theatrical Rights Worldwide

marketing@theatricalrights.com

570 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2100

New York, NY 10018

http://www.theatricalrights.com/ghost-musical

____________________________________________________________

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“…scored completely for live musicians and geared for the expertise and budgets of our stock and amateur organizations.”

GHOST THE MUSICALTheatrical Rights Worldwide is proud to now represent GHOST THE MUSICAL. The Broadway production was both visually and aurally stunning, with spectacular special effects surrounding the well-known characters first introduced in the award-winning movie. One of the big differences between the Broadway production and the version which TRW licenses is a brand new orchestration. We recently sat down with our Director of Music and Materials, David Abbinanti, to discuss this process and what to expect from our new version of GHOST THE MUSICAL.

TRW: Let’s start with the initial decision to create new orchestrations for the show as opposed to using the orchestrations from the Broadway production. What led to that decision?

DA: Obviously we were big fans of the musical when we saw it on Broadway. The songs are wonderful and the Broadway orchestrations, using live players in combination with recorded tracks and technological attributes required a specific environment. However, our role as the licensing source is to provide performance materials, especially orchestrations that are best suited to our marketplace. Therefore, the decision was made to create a new orchestration that is scored completely for live musicians and geared for the expertise and budgets of our stock and amateur organizations.

TRW: Is there a difference in the size?

DA: Yes. The Broadway orchestra was a 17-piece. Ours is a 9-piece.

TRW: And you did the orchestrations yourself?

DA: I did.

TRW: So take us through the process. How did you decide on the instrumentation?

DA: I spent a great deal of time studying the script, the characters and their storytelling and planned out the instruments based on musical styles associated with each moment in the show. Modern orchestration is very different than traditional orchestration. More often than not, the conductor plays piano. Most orchestrators today use at least two keyboards. So that was an immediate decision. After that, I had to examine the music and what styles were used. There is a good deal of “rock” so that immediately adds drums, bass and guitar. There are lush, romantic ballads which beg for strings. So I decided on a common pairing of one violinist and one cellist. For power I added a trumpet player and for color, one reed player who plays four instruments. Also, because of the rock nature of the score, I made the Keyboard 2 part into a Utility. The Utility primarily plays Keyboard 2 but also doubles on Acoustic Guitar. It’s all about the authors’ intent. The music will dictate which instruments are chosen. Once I had decided, I had a phone conversation with Glen Ballard and Dave Stewart and they approved the new instrumentation.

TRW: You also use some non-traditional instruments and techniques. Tell us what they are and why you incorporated them.

DA: GHOST is first and foremost, a love story. But three main characters also get killed. Two of the death sequences suggest demons taking the spirit away, so eerie effects needed to be used. The first thought I had was to double the violin on an instrument called a waterphone. When played with a bow, it sounds like a “door creaking” from an old horror movie. There are numerous times when I call for the guitarist to use an e-bow. There are also moments when the percussionist is called upon to use a violin bow on the cymbals. Little things like that can certainly provide the audience with a sense of uneasiness and fear. (It’s also fun for the musicians to do something different.)

TRW: Is the waterphone a common instrument that a violinist would have?

DA: I would guess that 99.9% of violinists don’t own a waterphone. But theatres do. If there is not one available, ad lib. harmonics on the violin can achieve a similar effect.

TRW: I understand there is one moment when the orchestra plays with a recorded track?

DA: Yes, there’s one time but it’s a plot point. Molly turns on the radio and UNCHAINED MELODY comes on. Sam sings along with the radio and the orchestra. Here, I made sure to score the scene very sparsely with just a few instruments—remaining sensitive to the fact that some Music Directors might be working solely with the sound coming out of the onstage radio. That number has minimal orchestration.

TRW: Will the keyboard patches be made available?

DA: Yes they will.  They are in the final stages of creation right now and will be available to all of our customers.

For more information about GHOST THE MUSICAL, including specific orchestra breakdown, visit:

www.theatricalrights.com/ghost-musical

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