Musical Theatre Writing – Book & Lyrics (DRA4154.01)

Sarah Hammond

“Words can be graceful, but music is grace itself. Music is a blessing that enters the soul through the ear.” -Tony Kushner, from the foreword to Caroline or Change

How do we write words that sing? What drives a character to sing? How can a words-writer best use the constraints of the musical form to make a character come alive in the theater? In this creative writing course, students will learn the craft of lyric writing and explore larger musical theatre structures (book) through writing exercises and readings. From Oscar Hammerstein to Lynn Ahrens to Adam Gwon, we will study lyrics from the golden age of the American musical in combination with today’s up-and-coming musical theatre makers. Assignments will include written responses to readings and creative writing exercises, culminating in the script of a one-act musical. Composers who wish to explore book and lyric writing are welcome.

Prerequisites: Submit writing sample by November 5 (10 pages of dramatic writing, 5-10 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction [can be an excerpt] or 4-6 poems). Please submit sample(s) to Linda Hurley, in person, or at
Credits: 4
W 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, Drama, Four Credit, Music, 4000, Sarah Hammond, and tagged , .