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Thursday, June 26, 2014

How To Write A "Historic" Musical

Having heard about the success of Lady Bess in Japan an Italian journalist asked me the other day to explain my method for creating shows based on history. Made me think. I did not know that I have a "method". But maybe I have one. I do research for many months, often years. One by one the main characters come alive in my imagination. Some of them even start to talk to me. That's when the structural work starts: I need to find a theatrical concept based on the historic facts. That means reducing the number of characters and giving them dramatic goals. All drama is conflict, and all convincing characters change by trying to cope with opposition. Life is extremely complex, art is focusing on certain aspects of reality. So, at this stage I free myself from being glued to the facts. Not easy for a studied historian. I always feel a bit guilty. But drama has its own logic. It must never try to be a documentary. It's a creative work. Fiction.

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