January 28, 2010 / Posted by TRW
By Fred Stuart
Father Shawn Clerkin, the director of theatre at Gannon University in Erie, PA, knew that Edgar Allan Poe’s NEVERMORE was a perfect fit as soon as he read it and heard the music. “We have a tendency to do the smaller musicals and we’re always interested in things that have a social justice and a literary-academic side. Once I had a chance to read it, I knew we had to do it!” When Clerkin speaks, he has an incredibly infectious energy that draws you in and takes you on an entertaining and informative journey. He is very popular with his students and I can see why. We spoke by phone recently about his experience with directing NEVERMORE at Gannon.
“Matt Connor‘s music is challenging but very tuneful and singable. The music really lifts up Poe’s words and grows right out of the scenes. In the space of just a few moments it is purely melodic and then beautifully dissident,” Clerkin said, praising the score. “It’s a challenging score but very achievable-we don’t want to lay out anything that isn’t a little challenging.”
The reaction to the show from the students who attended was equally as positive, according to Clerkin. “The Students LOVED IT and so many said it was new and innovative and brought so much vitality to the material that it made it accessible and exciting. They were enthralled to see a musical like this.”
Clerkin’s program operates out of an intimate black box theatre space in a three-quarter thrust configuration that was ideal for a show like NEVERMORE. “We actually don’t want to do the big shows as much-we like the small undiscovered gems like NEVERMORE. It ‘s what we can really offer. A chance for people to see something new, cutting edge and really quite vital,” Clerkin said.
“Our student designers were delightfully challenged by the period and the ghostly feel,” Clerkin continued, ” Their imaginations were ignited. The first night we looked at it under lights with a black scrim featuring candelabras and Poe’s face sort of appearing in shadows, we were thrilled. They used the scrim to conjure up creative and beautifully dark images. They were very excited by the sheer theatricality of the piece.”
Clerkin was quite gratified by the composer’s willingness to let students reach out to him and was very communicative during the process. “Matt (Connor) was absolutely wonderful. Some of the cast reached out to him and he responded and was very helpful and very supportive.”
Clerkin went on to say how well he thinks the show can do at community theatres and especially in the college and university environment. “This is a piece for smart people. It is a thinking person’s musical. Grace Barnes has woven a truthful book that illuminates what causes people to write. She does a great job of tying the Poe stories into his life and plays the imagery and the sense of anguish in his work, but also the sense of artistry and wonderfully complicated emotion.”
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January 28, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Hillcrest High School in Midvale, Utah presented the Utah high school premiere of CURTAINS, November 18-21. TRW’s Broadway blockbuster features a book by Rupert Holmes, based on a concept by Peter Stone, with a classic score from the legendary Kander and Ebb. Theaters throughout the world are now getting their chance to produce this phenomenal show!
CURTAINS played over 500 performances on Broadway, and received eight 2007 Tony® Award nominations including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Actor (A Winner for David Hyde Pierce), Best Actress, Best Featured Actress, Best Direction and Best Choreography. Kander and Ebb’s amazing score is perfectly woven into the fabric of the unfailingly clever book.
CURTAINS is set in the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast & crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan!
CURTAINS is perfect for Community Theatres, High Schools and Colleges, mixing a delightful new book and score with a very traditional musical theatre style. A plethora of featured roles provide stellar opportunities for everyone who auditions, making CURTAINS a sure-fire winner for audiences and actors alike! Check out these awesome pics from the Hillcrest High production…
These photos are from the Hillcrest High School Production of CURTAINS, directed by Paul Winkleman. Mr. Winkleman had a great experience working with TRW. “I wanted to thank you for all your assistance with the production of Curtains. It was extremely successful and the students had a great experience. I plan to work with your company for many years to come, ” Winkleman said.
Hillcrest’s production involved over 200 students with the cast, orchestra and crew. TRW salutes the Hillcrest High School Drama Department and their wonderful premiere production!
CURTAINS is taking musical theatre to the next level. License this Broadway gem now and you might be the first in your area to produce this terrific tuner from TRW. Get a reading copy of CURTAINS at our PerusalsNOW™ store and get ready to book your production of CURTAINS!
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January 4, 2010 / Posted by TRW
2009 brought exciting new shows, products and theatrical licensing news from around the globe. As always, this past year saw thousands of productions of Theatrical Rights Worldwide titles. And, TRW continued to lead the industry with innovative, customer service-oriented practices that have revolutionized the Musical Theatre Licensing business. Here’s a look back at some of the top stories from the TRW Newsletter and Blog archives:
SPAMALOT closed its five year run on Broadway on January 11th, 2009 after an incredible 1575 performances! Housed at the Shubert Theatre, the TRW tuner was a smash hit throughout its half-decade engagement and saw a bevy of Broadway’s best known stars in the cast. Hank Azaria, Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce, Clay Aiken and Marin Mazzie were just a few of the stars to grace the Shubert stage during SPAMALOT’s reign.
The National Touring Company of SPAMALOT played to sold-out houses across the nation and a new tour is scheduled for 2010-2011.
Theatrical Rights Worldwide published our authoritative 104 page, full-color catalogue that set the standard for excellence in showcasing musical theatre titles. After a year of design, editing and production, thousands of catalogues were mailed to theatre groups worldwide. Peter Filichia, New York theatre critic for Theatermania.com reviewed the book: “Gotta give credit to Steve Spiegel, the president and CEO of Theatri©al Rights Worldwide. He just released his dazzling, full-color catalogue of musicals, with four-page spreads for such Broadway musicals as All Shook Up, The Color Purple, Curtains, and Monty Python’s Spamalot. But here is the best part: The shows that didn’t make Broadway get astonishing play in the catalogue, too. Ace, Bare, I Love You Because, and 25 others get dynamic and dramatic two-page color spreads that are bound to attract some customers. If you’ve seen some of the other licensing houses’ catalogues, you’ll have noticed that they often give their lesser-known works a half page at best. If I were a… musical theater writer with Theatri©al Rights Worldwide, I’d be mighty proud and happy.”
September 2009 brought the release of TRW’s PerusalsNOW™. Hailed by thousands of customers as a brilliant time and money saving innovation, our digital delivery of reading copies of our entire catalogue of musicals-complete with links to the songs-immediately became our most popular perusal format.
October 2009 brought the launch of the Theatrical Rights Worldwide Partnership Team. The TRW Partnership Team is our corporate partner outreach program. Our mission is to reach out to communites that don’t have resources to provide a musical theatre program for young people. TRW believes that all kids should have a chance to participate in a musical theatre program. Our pilot project is a partnership with The Family School in the Bronx, NYC. In October, TRW’s Fred Stuart and Andrew Rainbow began teaching a three week after school drama class with a music component to Kindergarten through 2nd graders. Over 60 kids took part in the process which culminated in a performance for the student’s families and friends. Immediately following the performance a second session was planned which will begin in January of 2010.
2009 brought accolades for Theatrical Rights Worldwide, honored with an award from the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) which was presented at AACTFest ’09 in Tacoma, WA, June 24, 2009. The Corporate Award is presented to businesses and corporations for significant financial support of community theatre on a regional or national basis.
In 2006, Steve Spiegel proudly launched Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), a musical theatre licensing agency with an array of new
business practices and a state-of-the-art online catalog of shows from Broadway and Off-Broadway, plus shows originating in regional theatres and international venues. Speigel is an advocate for the arts whose pioneering efforts have nurtured educational, community and professional theatre throughout the world. He received AACT’s Distinguished Merit Award in 1996. His thirty years of experience listening to and learning from community, school, and professional theatres enabled him to found TRW and create practical, customer-friendly products. Theatrical Rights Worldwide quickly became a supporter of community theatre needs and efforts, locally and nationally. TRW was a sponsor of the national AACTFest in Charlotte, NC in 2007 and a major sponsor of the AACT 2008 NYC Convention. TRW’s support continues as it was also a supporter of AACTFest Tacoma. -From Broadwayworld.com
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