Tiny Shows – an innovative response to creating musical theatre

“There’s no innovation in musical theatre…”
“Juke-box musicals dominate the West End…”
“Where are the women writers?!”

– three (of many) constant refrains from audiences, press and producers about the state of musical theatre today. In response to these comments, Jenifer Toksvig of The Copenhagen Interpretation is launching TINY SHOWS in association with Women Who Write Musicals (WWWM) and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Over a weekend in June, a group of 30 writers and composers (mainly WWWM members with a sprinkling of men thrown in) will gather to take an existing story, break it down into small dramatic moments, and turn them into Tiny Shows. A performance of these mini works will take place on the Sunday afternoon. It’s a rare opportunity for writers to experiment, take risks, form new collaborations and contribute to a broader collective of their peers.

As most opportunities for new musical writing are competitive, which puts writers continuously at odds with one another and makes it feel risky for them to share work with their peers, Jenifer wanted to create something that allows writers, instead, to support each other. She says,

“Tiny Shows will encourage writers to take risks: exploring and challenging the boundaries of our writing, and our own creative processes. This event is intended to bind us more strongly as a community of theatre-makers, and facilitate some writing that is not only permitted to, but welcome to, fail.”

The suggestion that such an ‘open-entry’ may compromise the quality of the output was confounded by the results of the WWWM members survey who, between them, have written 241 full length musicals, 39 one-act musicals and 30 musicals for young performers plus a healthy number of devised works, song cycles and revues.

Jenifer is especially pleased that, having secured ACE funding for the event, every writer will be paid for their contribution.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for me to spend all weekend writing, with 29 other like-minded individuals, to be pushed into taking risks and also, to get paid!” B Sharpe, Book and Lyric Writer

For further information and to receive an invitation to the performance on Sunday, please contact:
Linda Walton, WWWM, Marketing and Press – tinyshows (at) gmail (dot) com

There are some provocations for the participants in the lead up to the event, and you can watch them on YouTube: Tiny Shows Playlist

We’re delighted to be collaborating with performers who are Ambassadors from The Musical Theatre Academy. The MTA is moving to a new venue, and you can support them in that endeavour if you are so inclined, by clicking here.

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