Monday, October 15, 2007

Creativity: A Curriculum

I was combing through old VHS tapes this weekend, recording any useful tidbits of footage into my Mac. One that I stumbled across was a Steven Sondheim episode of Inside the Actor's Studio on Bravo (back when they were actually an Arts channel and not just another reality-show landscape).

Sondheim talked about how his mentor Oscar Hammerstein (Showboat, Oklahoma) had read his very first musical at age 15 and told him "Are you sure you want me to critique this as if I didn't know you?" and when Steven nodded, he said "Well in that case it's the worst thing I've ever read." Ouch. But then Oscar laid out a curriculum for him, the gist of which I think could apply to any craft or artform you're trying to get better at:
  1. Write a musical version of a play you like
  2. Write musical of a play that you like but find flawed
  3. Write a musical adapted from a work of prose fiction
  4. Write an original musical

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posted by Brian at 4:34 PM


Blogger Stephan said...

The thing Senor Hammerstein seems to have forgotten is the crucial penultimate step:

4.5. Write a musical set in space.

Honestly, I don't know why so many people forget that one.

October 16, 2007  

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