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Episode 39
DG Controversies and Their Resolutions

The Guild’s President Stephen Schwartz, former President John Weidman, and its Executive Director of Business Affairs Ralph Sevush discuss the critical issues and controversies that have been facing the Guild and its membership in recent years, including such topics as subsidiary rights, directors’ claim to copyright, censorship, dramaturgy, and contests & festivals.

Extended Version Play Episode 39


Composer, Lyricist

Stephen Schwartz the current president of the Dramatists Guild, wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hits Wicked and Pippin, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, The Magic Show, The Baker’s Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, and Children of Eden. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s Mass and wrote the title song for the play and movie Butterflies Are Free. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son Pinocchio. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and writing the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. His first opera, Séance On a Wet Afternoon, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. A book about his career, Defying Gravity, has recently been released by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies.

Works include: Butterflies are Free (title song/ play and movie) 1969;Godspell (music and new lyrics) 1971; Mass (English texts/in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein) 1971; Pippin(music and lyrics) 1972; The Magic Show (music and lyrics) 1974; The Baker’s Wife, (music and lyrics) 1976; The Perfect Peach (children’s book), 1977; Working (adaptation, four songs, direction) 1978 (co-directed television adaptation with Kirk Browning for PBS-TV, “American Playhouse” 1981); Personals (music, three songs), 1985; Captain Louie (children’s show/ music and lyrics) 1986; Rags (lyrics) 1986; Children of Eden (music and lyrics) 1991;Pocahontas (lyrics) 1995; The Hunchback of Notre Dame (lyrics) 1996; Reluctant Pilgrim (CD of eleven songs) 1997; The Prince of Egypt (music and lyrics) 1998; Geppetto (music and lyrics) 2000 (re-named My Son Pinocchio); Uncharted Territory (CD of eleven songs) 2001; Wicked(music and lyrics) 2003; Mit Eventyr/ My Fairytale (music and lyrics, 9 songs) 2005; Seance on a Wet Afternoon (music and libretto) 2009.

Stephen Schwatz’s DG Member Profile: http://www.dramatistsguild.com/memberdirectory/getmembership.aspx?cid=7791



John Weidman has written the books for a wide variety of musicals, among them Pacific Overtures (Tony nomination, Best Book), Assassins (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), and Road Show (Lucille Lortel nomination, Best Musical), all with scores by Stephen Sondheim; Contact (Tony nomination, Best Book; Tony Award, Best Musical), co-created with director/choreographer Susan Stroman; Happiness, score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman; Take Flight and Big (Tony nomination, Best Book), scores by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire; and the new book, co-authored with Timothy Crouse, for the Lincoln Center Theater/Roundabout Theatre revivals of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes(Tony Awards, Best Musical Revival; Olivier Award, Best Musical Production). Since his children were pre-schoolers, Weidman has written for Sesame Street, receiving more than a dozen Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children’s Program. From 1999 to 2009 he served as President of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Works Include: Pacific Overtures (1976); Anything Goes (1987); Assassins (1991); Big(1996); Contact (2000); Take Flight (2007); Road Show (2008); Happiness (2009).


John Weidman’s DG Member Profile: http://www.dramatistsguild.com/memberdirectory/getmembership.aspx?cid=10285