New Work in Progress: From Page to Stage

This month, we chatted with Katy Lipson, the Company Director/Producer at Aria Entertainment, about their upcoming new musical showcase, From Page to Stage. Featuring readings and showcases of new and developing musicals, this year’s group of musicals includes a show written by Festival alumni Hyeyoung Kim and Michael Cooper (Fest ’06, Sunfish) and one by Elliot Davis, who will be featured in this year’s Festival with Soho Cinders.

What is Aria Entertainment’s mission, and how does From Page to Stage fit into that larger picture?
Aria Entertainment is passionate about commissioning, developing and producing new musical theatre. Over the past four years as we have built the company, we have produced over 35 productions many of which have been world premieres or UK premieres of new international musicals. In 2013, I created the From Page to Stage season of new musicals as a platform for creators of new musicals. This was my opportunity to find new writers and give them development opportunities, as well as to introduce audiences to the process.

What is the selection process for From Page to Stage?
We have an open submission policy in the run up to the season and allow writers to submit their musicals through our website. In the first instance we ask for three MP3 demos, three scenes and a synopsis. This work is then read by our literary team and then myself before the selected shows are offered the opportunity to be a part of the season.

Can you tell us about the process for writers and what developmental work happens over the course of the season?
We first decide if a show will enter the season as a 30-minute showcase, a full book-in-hand, semi-staged reading, or our headline musical which is fully produced with costumes, set and band. We assign each piece a Musical Director and Director and then we work with a casting director to cast the show. We invite the writers to the rehearsal room and rehearse for five full days with the group of actors. This culminates in a public presentation of the work in the season to a paying audience and invited industry guests over three to four weeks in a central London venue.

What can audience members expect to see throughout the course of the program?
They will have the ability to see work in progress from songs alone, which make up our gala evening, to a fully executed piece of theatre in our headline show. If they come to all events they will see over 12 new musicals in all different stages of development.

Why should people plan a trip to London to see these new musicals?
This is a unique season in the UK in that allows audiences to take a glimpse at the work that goes into the development of new musicals. It is the only public platform of its kind and it is growing year by year.

For more information about From Page to Stage, visit their website.

Leave a Reply