Six Archetypal Shows

July 13, 2016

As I mentioned, the 2016 Musical Theater Lab surrounds the 12 Jungian archetypal characters. Now that you have a layout of how the full production will run, here’s some information about a few of the shows!

I’m always interested in how writers come up with ideas, and how their ideas blossom into full-fledged productions. I interviewed several pairs of writers from the MT Lab about their projects, and here’s what I learned!

First up, Miss Metcalfe Goes to College
Book and Lyrics by Sarah Mucek, Music by Karl Hinze
Which archetypes did you pick?
The Magician and The Explorer
Did you have any ideas going in?
Karl: We went into this process pretty open to whatever—but once we saw our archetypes we had lots of ideas!
How did you get the idea for your show?
Sarah: We brainstormed a bunch of possible conflicts between magician-types and explorer-types. Because the explorer, by nature, needs to explore, we wanted to find a way that the magician (magical, but controlling) could get in the way of exploring. We had some fun ones we couldn’t use, including Astronaut vs. Astronaut’s Wife and Sea Captain vs. Siren. I sincerely hope someone on the subway saw me writing these phrases.
Describe/explain your show in around 25 words
High School Senior Laura Metcalfe is packing to leave for college the next morning when her mother reveals a weird and important secret.
What are you most looking forward to in this experience? / What was the most valuable part of this experience?
Karl: It’s been wonderful to work with Sarah, who is a friend and writer I’ve admired for years. Also the entire Prospect team has been great about letting us just be writers on the piece (as opposed to writer/producer/SM/director/etc.), which is a rare and valuable thing.
Sarah: What Karl said, but about Karl instead of me.
What do you hope audiences will take away from your show?
Sarah: That people of all ages deserve an adventure.
What was the biggest challenge of writing this type of show (a short, thematic, workshop)?
Karl: I think telling a complete story in a short piece can be challenging. Lucky for me, Sarah has an extensive background in improve and sketch comedy so she was totally prepared to help assemble our story beats into something that I think really works.
Sarah: It’s easier to impress the audience when they know you’ve just made it up. When you have time to write, the challenge is to make sure it has the fun and the polish to warrant 10 minutes of their time.
Next up, Salon, A Cautionary Tale
By Barbara Anselmi and Mindi Dickstein
Which archetypes did you pick?
The Hero and The Caregiver
Did you have any ideas going in?
We knew, before we picked our archetypes, that we wanted to do something political, something to do with the current race for the presidency. But we didn’t know which players would become the focus of our story. We figured that would become clear once we knew our archetypes.

How did you get the idea for your show?

As soon as we picked our archetypes we batted around some ideas about Hillary, Bernie and Trump via text. Here’s a slightly edited version of the initial text conversation we had:

MINDI: Could do Bernie and Hillary – but leave people guessing which is which (caregiver or hero)?
BARBARA: Interesting.
MINDI: Or maybe do Trump as false hero and Hillary as one who cares. Or what if Trump is secretly the caregiver… just kidding.
BARBARA: Although he does care for his hair.
MINDI: I love that. Caregiver to his hair and his image.
BARBARA: Oh, interesting.
MINDI: Set it in a hair salon.

After thinking it over, we took it from there.

Describe/explain your show in around 25 words
A cautionary tale about hair and politics? If we say more, we give it all away. Come see it!

What are you most looking forward to in this experience? / What was the most valuable part of this experience?
Working with Dev, Greg, Austin, and Daniel on our piece and being a part of the Prospect Company process as a whole has been a real pleasure. We look forward to the continuation of that as we draw nearer to public performances. It’s wonderful to exercise the creative juices on something short like this and to write on a subject matter we don’t often get to address.

What do you hope audiences will take away from your show?

A call to action.

What was the biggest challenge of writing this type of show (a short, thematic, workshop)?
Working very fast and scheduling.

Sounds exciting, right????? I know I can’t wait to see these shows, as well as the other four! See you there!
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