The Dramatists Guild has stepped in to help support the new musical theatre writing program, Musical Theatre Writers Collective, by offering them the use of the Mary Rodgers Room at the Dramatists Guild of America under the umbrella of its Dramatists Guild Institute program.
The Musical Theatre Writers Collective (MTWC) was founded last fall, in association with the Institute for American Musical Theatre, as a full-time, two-year certificate program. Offered at a low cost to students, MTWC provides every student in the program with the ability to learn their craft without accruing tremendous debt. At the heart of the program’s philosophy is the notion that all students, be they composers, lyricists, librettists, directors, or music directors, will study each other’s skillsets, thereby fostering a shared language and furthering the students’ understanding of both craft and industry.
The Dramatists Guild Institute, which also offers a certificate program in theatrical writing, shares a similar goal in wanting to create affordable opportunities for writers to hone their skills in a collaborative, rigorous educational environment.
“The Dramatists Guild and the Dramatists Guild Institute are glad to be able to support the young writers of this Musical Theatre Writing Collective, continuing our long commitment to advocating on behalf of writers and serving their needs whenever we can,” shared Emmanuel Wilson, Executive Director of Creative Affairs at the Dramatists Guild of America.
When MTWC lost its space at the Institute for American Musical Theatre one month before classes were set to resume for the spring semester, they were scrambling to find a new home.
“The Guild found us at our lowest point and gave everyone the material support we needed to move forward and the sense that there was a community that cared,” said MTWC Program Director and founder Sam Carner. “That spirit has galvanized our whole collective.” He went on to add, “Everyone has discovered new facets to their writing, taken bold risks with their writing, explored new aspects of the form, and found new anchors in the form to help them communicate their visions with clarity.”
By opening up the Mary Rodgers Room for the collective to use not only for its classes but for student rehearsals as well, the Dramatists Guild Institute has enabled MTWC to continue to provide “a really rich, rewarding, collaborative educational experience” that is affordable and accessible to young writers from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.
Additionally, the Musical Theatre Writing Collective has received a contribution from the Miranda Family Fund in support of the Collective during this transition.