Spring 2017 Issue

Students Help Develop Musical

Makes you want to sing

By Jennifer L. Williams

The former director of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Bill Schermerhorn ’82, is assisting director Christopher Owens in walking students through a professional production development process. Schermerhorn wrote “Swing Wings,” a musical based on the World War II experiences of songwriter Milton DeLugg and the Air Corps musicians, and has handed it to Owens and his students in the musical theatre workshop pilot class to develop. “It’s also piloting a COLL 400 capstone course,” says Owens. Schermerhorn and Owens encourage students to suggest changes to the script and songs, to observe compromise between playwright and director. Owens is also considering another possibility: soliciting other new musicals looking for workshop development. “There are a variety of playwrights looking for places to develop their shows,” says Owens. “If we put ourselves on that market, I have no doubt that we would have a plethora of scripts to look at each year.”