Ideas For A Musical
If you wish to show your art on a musical theater stage but need help finding good ideas for a musical, REBECCA author Michael Kunze has a few tips for you.
Sources of musical ideas
How to find great stories
- Books, historical or contemporary, can be a great source of inspiration for your quest of "how to write a musical". In fact, European hit-musical author, Dr. Michael Kunze, created his immensely-successful musical ELISABETH after studying the biography of the Empress's Greek companion, who would read to Elisabeth during her long walks. His revelations about the person behind the Nobility showed enough dramatic potential to make Kunze want to tell the story on stage. (Watch the musical ELISABETH with English subtitles!) Similarly, the novel REBECCA (Daphne du Maurier) awakened in Michael the strong desire for a musical retelling of the events. After long runs in consistently sold-out European and Asian venues, REBECCA will finally see its Broadway premiere on April 22, 2012.
- Life - through magazine or newspaper articles, or stories we've heard or experienced ourselves.
Either way, we must feel driven to share our story idea with a theater audience. In addition, our passion for the material should be strong enough to carry us through the long and hard process from the inception to the premiere. Obsession? Perhaps, but in a good way.
At this point it is crucial that we jot down what exactly fascinated us most about our idea, when we first discovered it. That particular concept shall be everpresent while we develop our drama. It is the seed from which everything else will grow.
Is our idea suitable for a musical?
We must ask ourselves: Are there dramatic components in our story idea that could be expressed much better through music than with words?
Is it possible that music and songs could reveal hidden levels for a much deeper exploration of our material?
Certain stories simply scream for a musical interpretation. Don't forget: Drama is all about emotions.
A perfect musical idea...
How Michael Kunze discovered ELISABETH
Does our idea have conflict potential?
Conflict means drama
What is the drama value of our idea? The classic story structure finds a struggling protagonist fighting against strong antagonistic forces in order to reach his goal.
Does our story include such a hero, and is he willing and able to change? Will he (or she) have become a better person at the end of the piece?
Turning points are crucial elements of a dramatic story. They distinguish it from a regular Song-And-Dance Broadway Show. We don't want to write just any musical. We want to create a drama musical.
More about Michael Kunze
and his successful musical ideas
Key scene from the musical ELISABETH
A dramatic change of character
During the second song in this video clip, Empress Elisabeth changes from being a depressed "slave" to the Viennese Court protocol to becoming a mature woman, ready to fight for her freedom.