Wherein we ask the Moderators of the Dramatists Guild Fellowship three questions of monumental significance.
I really never had a specific mentor. I grew up in an artistic family. There were always interesting creative people around. I know this seriously dates me, but among our family friends were Arthur Schwartz and Oscar Hammerstein. I went to musicals and operas; I read voraciously and was always fascinated with the way music could tell stories. My musical passion was classical. I was a singer and studied opera and art songs; I became a folk-singer and singer/songwriter. When I started writing for the musical theater, I filtered all of this into story-telling. My mentors then were my collaborators and still are. Michael Korie, as you may have noticed, is a brilliant collaborator and mentor.
I have always been interested in translating emotion into music. Emotion doesn’t always follow rules. I want to encourage composers to find their own voice and not be afraid of where it leads them. Melody is supremely important and is often left behind in favor of cleverness and sophistication.
I never anticipated that Disney would take up so much real estate on Broadway and lower the common denominator of musical theater. Let’s fight back!