The ASCAP Foundation and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts' first annual Musical Theatre Fest, which launched July 11, offered emerging musical theatre composers an opportunity to learn from industry leaders such as Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Stephen Schwartz, and more.
The two weeks of programming began with three days of educational panels led by top composers and industry executives. The panels discussed the future of musical theatre and how it converges with the film industry and Hollywood. Speakers included Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land composers Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, Schmigadoon!'s Cinco Paul, and songwriting duo Michael Kooman and Chris Dimond. There was also be a panel for song feedback led by John McGrew, Samantha Hilscher, Sarah McMullen, Elisa Rice, and Netflix's Stephen Chesley.
July 17–20 featured the return of the ASCAP Foundation/Universal Theatrical Group Musical Theatre Workshop, led by Stephen Schwartz. This was the first time the workshop had been hosted since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants had the opportunity to workshop their developing musicals through sessions with producers, directors, performers, and composers.
“Providing a mentorship program of this caliber with artists and executives of this stature has transformed The Wallis and Beverly Hills into a hub of innovation for musical theatre," says Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts CEO Robert van Leer.
All panels and workshop sessions were free for the public to attend as audience members. For more information, click here.