Have you ever wondered how new musicals are created? Want a behind-the-scenes look at the development of a musical? Want to be the first to see the “next big thing”? Then Village Originals is for you!
Through our Village Originals program of residencies, readings, workshops, and full productions, Village Theatre has one of the most comprehensive new musical programs in the nation. No other regional theatre has as much dedication to finding and developing the next great American musical.
Developing new musicals takes time and financial support. Through Village Originals, we involve our audience every step of the way as we take shows from concepts to rough drafts to workshops to world premieres—but only our Members are there from the beginning.
Based on their membership level, Village Originals Members are invited to presentations and asked to provide feedback and response in collaboration with the artistic department. This is truly an exclusive, inside look into the process of musical development that only our Members receive.
In the earliest stage of development, writers travel to Issaquah, and are housed on site at Village Theatre for a week of concentrated writing and workshopping to help complete their first draft. They are provided artistic support, rehearsal space, and professional actors so they can hear their work read aloud for the fi rst time. Producers Circle Level Members are invited to select residency presentations throughout the year. AT THE TABLE RESIDENCIES aim to give amplification and support to voices currently left out of the mainstream musical theatre world through dramaturgical support and readings. Work sessions, readings, and workshops happen in New York City and around the country. It is closed to the public, but Village Original members are given a members-only peek into these exciting projects.
The Festival of New Musicals is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see a new musical before incorporating any staging, costumes, or sets. In the Festival, five new musicals are presented in rehearsed readings (on-book presentations of new works) over a summer weekend full of parties, events, and new musicals. This is a national, theatre-industry event to which Village Originals Members are given exclusive access.
A series of advanced stage readings and developmental productions intended to help authors bring their work to the next step and get it ready for a full-fledged production. With developmental productions, you’ll see sets and costumes, but the designs are intentionally kept simple – that way, if the authors want to cut a character or rearrange a scene, they can do so freely, without worrying about big set pieces or complicated mechanics. Advanced Stage Readings are on-book performances with a full cast, but no design elements, allowing the authors and cast to focus all their energy on the script and songs. This freedom allows for big, bold changes to be made to every performance, based on audience response and feedback, so no two shows are alike! Audiences are encouraged to attend the show multiple times to see the changes that have been made.
As a Member you have the opportunity to actively participate in the development of these new musicals by giving feedback throughout the process. Audience talkbacks are led by our Associate Artistic Director, Brandon Ivie, and written feedback and surveys are encouraged at every level of development.