Writing a Musical in Austin, Texas

Hi, I’m Miriam and welcome to my blog. Since I write musical theatre (mostly as
a composer and lyricist, but sometimes as a bookwriter), this blog will be about my
journey in creating and producing my work. In addition, since I tend to have an opinion
about things—especially musical theatre (and food)—I will be commenting on what I
experience as I’m “out and about” in the musical theatre world. I hope you will join me
as I embrace this adventure of bringing stories to life via music.

Some may think that one would not want to write a musical in Austin because we are in
the center of Texas and that is far, far away from Broadway. When I started composing
music for theatre about ten years ago, I figured I was the only one doing so in this town
that celebrates “weird” and births high-tech companies like rabbits. Yes, we have an
amazing theatre community and with the University of Texas, St. Edwards University,
Texas State University and countless other higher learning institutions in the area, one
would think that the musical creative juices would have continued flowing since Jones’
and Schmidt’s The Fantasticks first graced the UT campus over 50 years ago. But, thus
far, no new hits and fifty years is a very long time ago—“Try to Remember”. . . (sorry, I
couldn’t resist).

Yes, writing a musical in Austin was a lonely process at the beginning; however, within
the last three to four years, it feels like the momentum is picking up and now it seems
that everyone is writing a musical. What happened? I am wondering if it’s like the
phenomena when you buy a new red Jeep and think that no one else will have anything
like it and then you suddenly notice that every other vehicle on the road is a Jeep—
and red! Well, I don’t think it exactly happened that way but since my friend network
now includes ten times the number of musical theatre people, it only makes sense that
everyone is churning their creative juices hoping to create the next “Wicked”. And
somehow, during the last few years, the NYC musical theatre fairies have waved their
wands over UT and Texas State University and both programs have now become
catalysts for some fun and innovative musical theatre projects—not to mention some
amazing triple-threats. These projects and the people that are running them are creating
plenty of buzz and no one could be happier than me! They are here and are bringing
their ideas and momentum giving Austin another reason to be called “The Live Music
Capital of the World”.

Combining this newly found local inspiration and support with other organizations (i.e.
The Dramatist Guild of America, ScriptWorks Austin, etc.), I am excited about the
creative possibilities for writing/composing musical theatre. And, I’m so glad you are
joining me on this journey–from Austin.

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