Ideas For A Musical

by chefkeem

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
REBECCA, the European Hit Musical by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, will have its Broadway premiere October 30, 2012. Update: The show has been cancelled!
Watch the European hit-musical ELISABETH in videos with English subtitles. Read the amazing story of Elisabeth of Bavaria, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.
Dr. Kunze is the most successful librettist in the history of German musical theater. His musical workshop is based on his unique structure of a dramatic story...
Musical author Michael Kunze is the creator of the drama musical, a new genre of popular musical theatre now appearing on Broadway. Meet the man and his work on this page.

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.


Updated: 11/19/2012, chefkeem
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DerdriuMarriner on 11/28/2018

chefkeem, Thank you for the practicalities and the video about Michael Kunze's inspiration (often as interesting as the end product with creative people). Do you know that the link and the video about the musical Elisabeth do not work?

nickupton on 04/25/2012

The Lord of the Rings musical was the weirdest thing I ever heard of. However, I want to see a musical about birdwatching!

katiem2 on 11/22/2011

I love theater, adore plays musicals and such. I enjoy both writing and directing scripts, plays and the like. I enjoyed your ideas for a musical.

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