Dramatists Guild Fund

#3Q4M: Michael Korie

#3Q4M – Three Questions for the Moderators

Wherein we ask the Moderators of the Dramatists Guild Fellowship three questions of monumental significance.

Michael Korie: Musical Theatre

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  • We know the DG Fellows program supplies mentorships to the fellows with other fancy Guild members not regularly in the Fellows’ room, but as someone who is in that room week in and week out, you are in many ways a mentor as well.  Who were your mentors when you were emerging and how did you meet them?

I met Richard Maltby when he was leading the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop and I presented an original show I had written music, lyrics and co-book for. He continued to mentor me on the project and encouraged my far-fetched ideas while helping me to find ways to make them theatrically logical. I was lucky to be in the BMI Musical Theater Workshop during the last two years it was led by Lehman Engel himself. He decided he liked my work and wouldn’t allow the other workshop participants to pick it apart.  I would play a song, Lehman would say, “Well, I think that’s just wonderful.  Does anyone else have something to add?”  No one dared to.  It may not exactly have been mentorship, but it certainly was encouraging and that’s what I needed most.

  • The DG Fellows program has enjoyed a long and successful history under the stewardship of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and Janet Neipris.  Now it is in your hands.  What can we look forward to in the coming years?

During the last two years I have stewarded or led or mentored the musical theater Fellows, or whatever the verb is supposed to be – I actually don’t know so I make it up as I go along – I have found that the dramatist-panelists who help choose the participants invariably pick good composers and lyricists.  Everyone in there can write a good song, and they do, frequently. I’d like to help them get their books up to the same level. And so, in addition to leading composers and lyricists, I’m inviting in terrific dramaturgs, noted playwrights, and top notch directors to make the sessions less about songwriting craft and more about the entire musical-in-progress.

  • The need to give back, pay forward or pass the torch is something most artists (with or without notoriety) encounter in their artistic lives.   We’re thinking the same can be said of you.  What, if anything, would you hope to see more of from the next generation of writers as a result of your experience? 

More original musicals not based on a film, and with music that pushes the envelope.

Bonus question:

  • If present-day you could travel back in time to emerging-day you, what would you tell them about your present-day life that they would not see coming?

I would tell me that believe it or not, “Phantom of the Opera” is still running.

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This entry was posted on March 31, 2014 by in 3Q4M, DGFellows and tagged , .
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