Writing Lyrics for Musical Theatre with Michael Hollinger

640 433 Play Penn

Playwrights and songwriters of all experience levels welcome!

Musical theatre is one of the most challenging – and rewarding – types of dramatic writing, with more moving parts and collaborators than any other form. In this hands-on workshop, playwrights and songwriters will develop their skills as lyricists, from the macro (song plots, types, and structures) to the micro (prosody, meter, rhyme). Students will explore how sung text relates to spoken dialogue, how character is revealed through words and music, and how songs can advance, rather than stop, the narrative. Assignments and in-class exercises complement a shared inquiry into the many jobs theatre songs must accomplish – among them, simply delighting the ear.

July 11, July 17, & July 24 from 6pm-9pm

The Bluver Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

Reading: Craig Lucas’ Reckless. If you do not have a copy of this play please email PlayPenn Education (classes@playpenn.org) and we can help you find one.

Michael Hollinger is a playwright, lyricist and composer, the author of hundreds of songs and over a dozen plays and musicals, including TouchTones (with composer Robert Maggio), Opus, Incorruptible, Red Herring, An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf, Cyrano (co-adapted with Aaron Posner), and A Wonderful Noise (with Vance Lehmkuhl), among others. These works have been produced around the country, in New York City, and abroad. Michael is the recipient of four Barrymore Awards, an ATCA/Steinberg New Play Citation, an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner awards, and multiple fellowships from the Independence Foundation and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.  He is a Professor of Theatre at Villanova University, a proud alumnus of New Dramatists and PlayPenn, and (with Jacqueline Goldfinger and Quinn Eli) co-founder of The Foundry, a core program of PlayPenn.



Register Here

Online registration has been closed. If you would like to sign up, please email classes@playpenn.org.

“PlayPenn is a wonderful organization that works on providing resources and knowledge for playwrights and dramatists in the Philadelphia area. It really is a great organization that focuses on bringing like-minded people together to ironically think differently in order to bring out creativity and individualism. It’s a wonderful organization that I’ve just gotten into in the past half year, and plan to stick with for the unforeseeable future.”

-Devin, 2018 Student

“Gave me an instant cohort of writers to provide feedback, encouragement and inspiration – I was hearing my own voice, and it was great.”

– Ross, 2017 Student