March 25, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Bishop Ireton High School, in Alexandria, VA, hit the beach for their 2010 Spring Musical, GO-GO BEACH. This irresistible musical about the shift of consciousness in America in the mid-sixties is told in the style of the popular California beach party movies. The Bishop Ireton Drama Department mixed a little Spring Break into their hard work as they put on their Huaraches, shouted “Cowabunga!” and hit the stage!
Check out the ShowBizRadio review:
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March 12, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Upper Darby High School in Drexel Hill, PA presented ALL SHOOK UP February 26 through March 7 at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. After the show closed we received a wonderful letter of thanks from the show’s producer, Harry Dietzler, who is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Performing Arts Center. I spoke with Mr. Dietzler recently and he graciously agreed to let us share his letter here:
I want to thank you for ALL SHOOK UP. I have been producing high school theater for over 35 years and ALL SHOOK UP is one of the best high school shows we’ve ever produced. It has a funny and touching story, great message, fabulous music, lots of girls roles and featured solos, plenty of chorus numbers with lots of dancing, a great orchestration and the draw of Elvis.
We had a great time producing it and the kids LOVED being able to keep their scripts. And we loved not having to erase them and send them back! Your service and materials were excellent and I look forward to producing many more of your shows! I have attached a few photos of the Upper Darby High School production.
Harry Dietzler, Executive and Artistic Director Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, Drexel Hill, PA
The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is a professional venue for a variety of performances. Each year more than 50,000 audience members travel from all areas of the Delaware Valley, from Chester, Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware Counties as well as Philadelphia and New Jersey for more than 80 performances at the Center. Seating 1,650, the center is an exceptional performance facility ideally suited to musical, dance and theatrical productions. Its uniqueness is further accented by its diverse programs and an involvement by people of all ages that is a model for communities across the nation. The Upper Darby High School’s musical is one of many events that brings the community together at the performing arts center.
We appreciate Mr. Dietzler’s kind words and invite you to experience the difference when licensing your musical from TRW.
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March 11, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Welcome to the inaugural article here at Spiegel’s Spiel, a place at TheatricalRights.com where I can share my thoughts and plans with you, our valued customers, and you can give feedback to me on your theatre organization’s activities. Through this interaction you can help keep TRW at the forefront of theatrical licensing. I have always very much valued our customers input throughout my many years in the business.
Next week I travel to Auckland, where I will deliver the keynote speech at the New Zealand Musical Theatre Conference. Attended by artistic and managing directors, this year will mark their 50th anniversary as an association serving the needs of community theatres in their territory. It’s a great honor and I’m the first foreigner to have this privilege.
And, I’d like your help. I’m writing my speech and I have 5 decades (1979 to present) in the theatrical licensing business to draw on. I’ve visited your theatres. I’ve met with you at conferences. I’ve talked with you by phone. But, I’ve never run a community theatre.
What should New Zealanders hear about community theatre in America? Economic issues? Marketing issues? Audience building issues? Backstage stories? What would you like me to say? Please post your responses here or email me at: President@theatricalrights.com
I look forward to hearing from you!
*Spiel (speel, shpeel) Informal n. A lengthy or extravagant speech or argument usually intended to persuade. intr. & tr. v. spieled, spiel·ing, spiels
To talk or say something at length or extravagantly.
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March 6, 2010 / Posted by TRW
The following Keynote Address was delivered by TRW’s President & CEO Steve Spiegel, at the New Zealand Musical Theatre Conference in Auckland, NZ on Saturday, 3/20/2010.
You’re about to create a new civilization and for your starting point, you want a center of this new town. A town square. To start, you will build an environment where artists can converge. Poets, painters, dancers, storytellers and musicians. And, all will be fine until the government realizes that these artists influence people. So, the artists get rounded up but quickly society realizes that without art, there is no community. And without community, there is no environment for self-expression, interactivity, socialization, mentorship, personal creativity and growth, friendship, knowledge, risk taking, and yes, without community, there is no environment for debate or leadership. So, this new civilization learns the value of community, especially that of its artists. Herein lies the fabric of your society, your gathering place, your social circle, your opportunity for learning and improving. And from this realization is the birth of community theatre, a wonderful leveler of people.
Here’s how significant this birth of community theatre has been in the United States:
The American Association of Community Theatre boasts a membership of 7,000 theatre organizations. These theatres involve more than 1.5 million volunteers (from actors to musicians to costume designers and set builders) and produce over 46,000 shows a year. They entertain yearly audiences of 86 million people and have a combined annual budget of over 980 million dollars. In America, Community Theatre involves more participants, presents more performances and plays to more people than any performing art. It’s clearly an influential and essential component of the arts landscape. And this statement, being an essential component of the arts landscape, applies to community theatre in every corner of the world.
To achieve this standing, community theatres must promote their success stories and have a strategy to face challenges in an ever changing civilization.
These challenges include: Audiences
We hear about erosion of audiences. Thankfully not everywhere and not equal in places that share this problem. However, if this is an issue, contributing factors include a decline in subscription renewals, difficulties in attracting single ticket buyers and a shorter window for family social event planning. Even with great product on your stage, these buying habits impact marketing departments, financial stability and box office protocols. And it’s not getting easier when a typical American gets bombarded with over 3,000 different marketing messages every day. Many consumers, of all income levels say they are simply too tired to do things. They say the activity they most want is a good night’s sleep.
Are we fully able to understand the impact of technology on the performing arts? While the advantages, featuring attractive websites, on-line ticket purchasing, a 24 hour, seven day a week source of marketing, information and sharing are so wonderful, technology has also emerged as our biggest competitor for leisure time. A new blog is being created every second of every day. People can get their culture on demand through You Tube and iTunes at any time they want it and at little or no apparent cost. What are the ramifications of 99 cents a song or a free download when we, producers and guardians of musicals are asking someone to pay $50 or more for a theatre ticket?
Over time, community theatres, like all businesses are faced with the transfer of leadership, as the founding members retire or depart. Will new leaders bring expectations that are counterproductive to the goals of the long established environment they now control? Will they expect shorter hours, higher compensation and a shift in the artistic ambitions established by their predecessors? Can creativity prevail along side the protection of a theatre’s identity?
I briefly mention these challenges, and there are many more that can be added to this list, without providing any thoughts on solutions or next steps. Those answers will come from you.
For challenges, like success stories, require daily attention, energy and knowhow. The spirit, dedication, talent and artistic sensibilities of those involved today, specifically all of you sitting in this room, will foster excellent health of community theatre for decades to come.
And why will you do this?
Because, a community theatre does hold a special place in that town square.
When a tour production comes to town-it’s a destination.
When a performing arts venue books a show-it’s a location.
But, a local community theatre is a foundation.
Nothing can be built without a strong foundation.
I’ve spent my entire career in the theatrical licensing industry, and therefore I’ve held many jobs and many job titles. In one of my jobs in the early 1990’s, I was responsible for management of the amateur licensing department. At an event, the President of the company introduced me as the Amateur Manager. I was not particularly keen on how he grouped those two words, and said to myself that I’m going to have your job one day. A few years later, I did, and I introduced my staff person in that job as the manager of amateur licensing. My point is simple, amateur theatre which is community theatre, provides capable, talented, entertaining, performance with actors of all ages who love the craft and embrace the opportunity.
And as leaders of your theatre companies, I applaud your efforts, admire your vision and salute your contribution to musical theatre. The performance on your stage is top quality. Nothing Amateur about that!
Throughout my 31 years, I’ve been blessed in working with notable authors including Joe DiPietro, Eric Idle, Henry Krieger, Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick, Martin Charnin, Thomas Meehan, Richard Maltby & David Shire, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse, Tim Rice, Dean Pitchford, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Richard Adler, Meredith Willson, Jeanine Tesori, Jim Jacobs, Hal Prince, Marsha Norman, David Yazback, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, to name just a few. And I’ve been responsible for licensing, copyright administration, marketing and sales for well over 400 hundred musicals.
So, I’m often asked, how did you get to where you are today?
It started when I was 10 years old and my parents took me to see Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.
I wasn’t happy that I needed to put on a suit and I didn’t fully understand why my parents were so overjoyed in taking me and my brothers to “live” theatre. My parents had saved for months and bought 5th row, center orchestra seats. The music started and I leaned forward in my seat now realizing that real people were walking across the stage. And when they all started to sing, spit was coming out of their mouths! I thought, how cool is that. They’re spitting while they’re singing.
Surrounded by my family, it was a night of pure magic.
I mention this because there are things that happen to us, influences at an early age that land us in the business of theatre. Not sure a plumber or a shoe salesman necessarily has these same experiences.
And it’s these life experiences that make Community Theatre a centerpiece to our existence; an unmatched component to the very core of our neighborhoods, towns and cities.
Truly, the words, Let’s Put On A Show, are intended for Community Theatre.
During my career, I’ve had the privilege to work with tens of thousands of theatrical organizations running the gamut from schools to professional companies throughout the United States, Canada and around the world. Of these organizations, I’m most proud of my affiliation with Community Theatres.
Thank You for letting me be a part of your New Zealand Musical Theatre family.
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March 2, 2010 / Posted by TRW
Vital Theatre Company’s production of PINKALICIOUS, the Musical has extended its run at Off-Broadway’s 45 Bleecker Street through May, 2010!
PINKALICIOUS, book and lyrics by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann and music, lyrics and orchestrations by John Gregor, is directed by Teresa K. Pond. Following a sold-out run at NYC’s New World Stages, Vital Theatre Company’s production began performances at the Bleecker Street Theatre Nov. 1, 2008.
The musical is based on the popular children’s book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann. The irresistable story in a nutshell: Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe — a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.
In addition to its amazing run here in NYC, TRW has licensed PINKALICIOUS for performance by theatre groups worldwide including an upcoming production at Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre in Wichita, KS, February 19, 2010 – April 3, 2010.
If you live in or will be visiting the New York City area, check out PINKALICIOUS at the Vital. Tickets, priced $29.50 can be purchased by visiting www.iseats.net or by calling (212) 579-0528. The Bleecker Street Theatre is located at 45 Bleecker Street.
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March 2, 2010 / Posted by TRW
The Theatrical Rights Worldwide Partnership Team was created in 2008 to provide human resources to schools in New York City that need a helping hand with their Arts programs. In October 2009 the Partnership Team began working with over sixty kindergarten, first and second graders from the Family School, coordinated through Music Specialist Justin Dayhoff and Principal Pamela Lee. The first session was a huge success, ending with an after school performance of several short plays.
After the success of the first session…the Morning Project took shape and by mid-January, over thirty Family School kids were ready to meet Mondays through Thursdays from 7:20-8:20am each morning to discover the fun and beauty of exploring acting through storytelling. The time flew by as the class prepared to share what they experienced at an All School Assembly.
Each morning began with a physical warm-up, tongue-twisters, good old fashioned exercise and a menu of theatre games that quickly became favorites of the Family School kids. “What Are You Doing,” a game that teaches dramatic multi-tasking, focused the students on listening and reacting. The classic “Mirror” honed their eye for detail and observation. “Once Upon a Time” gave each student just one word to build a story together, and the runaway favorite, “I Am the Tree,” gave each child a unique place inside of an instantly improvised play.
Finally, on Friday, February 12th, the school auditorium was packed with students, teachers and parents who were treated to a demonstration of a what we accomplished each day in class and finished with a beautiful performance of “A Day at the Beach,” improvised through the “I Am the Tree” exercise.
Plans for the continuation of the partnership are underway with discussions for expanding the program. TRW believes firmly that every kid deserves a chance to reap the benefits of participating in the Arts. Our partnership with the Family School has proven to offer that opportunity to a group of very wonderful kids at P.S. 90.
TRW President and CEO Steve Spiegel has long been an advocate of Arts education. “We are delighted and proud to help introduce Arts participation into the lives of these wonderful young people at the Family School. Having our Partnership Team initiate this program here in our own neighborhood is a truly rewarding opportunity to experience firsthand the educational, social and interpersonal benefits that Theatre Arts bring to schools and their communities,” Spiegel said.
The TRW Partnership Team is built, in part, on the findings and recommendations of the landmark study commissioned by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, “Coming Up Taller.” The president’s Committee produced this report to identify community programs in the arts and the humanities that reach at-risk children and youth and to describe the principles and practices that make these programs effective. “Coming Up Taller” calls attention to the variety and vitality of promising arts and humanities programs for children and youth. It also describes common characteristics that these programs share.
Distinguishing aspects of these programs is their ability to take full advantage of the capacity of the arts and the humanities to engage students. Beginning with this engagement, programs impart new skills and encourage new perspectives that begin to transform the lives of at-risk children and youth. Community arts and humanities programs provide crucial “building blocks” for children’s healthy development. These programs:
* Create safe places for children and youth where they can develop constructive relationships with their peers.
*Offer small classes with opportunities for youth to develop close, interactive relationships with adults.
*Place a premium on giving youth a chance to succeed as a way to build their sense of worth and achievement.
*Use innovative teaching strategies such as hands-on learning, apprenticeships and technology, often giving youth concrete job skills.
* Emphasize excellence and expose children to quality staff and programming.
* Build on what youth value and understand and encourage voluntary participation.
* Establish clear expectations and reward progress.
* Maintain sustained, regular programs upon which children can count and provide youth with opportunities to be valued community members.
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