I was on a phone call the other day with my friend in Licensing & Theatre Development at BMG—The New Music Company and she asked me what inspired me to write Shakespeare (Remix), a rock revue. At that moment I didn’t know what to say except I wrote what I saw in my head. Giving my answer a bit more consideration, I thought ya’ll might like to know how the idea came about?
NEEDED AN IN….
The project came about because in order to really make a mark in the theatre world you can’t be just another Joe producing a somewhat new interpretation of a classic play or musical. You’ve got to be different. I myself am so tired of seeing the same bloody show done over and over and over again so I wasn’t going to spend my meager purse of coins in that direction. I needed something NEW, something UNIQUE, something WOW. And one day driving home from work I heard 30 Seconds from Mars’ song “Kings + Queens” and thought “What a great song to pair with a fairy tale story.” BAM the idea for Fairy Tales, a new musical, was born.
Wait, weren’t we talking about the idea for Shakespeare (Remix)? Yup. See once I sat down to draft up Fairy Tales I realized what a HUGE undertaking it was going to be, especially having to create all the dialogue when I’ve never written anything like this before. Hell I’ve never taken a creative writing class or a play writing seminar, nada, zilch, zero, no experience whatsoever. I needed help. I need a crutch. And that crutch was my love and knowledge of Shakespeare.
Shakespeare’s dramatic works gave me the characters, the motivations, the interactions, and the dialogue necessary to start formulating the concept of a musical. But what type of music was I interested in incorporating in a Shakespeare musical? CLASSIC ROCK, baby! What else? Okay maybe a contemporary rock song here and there too. Now I was moving forward. I had a concept idea.
SHAKESPEARE (REMIX) STORY STEPS FORTH…
Now saying that I wrote what I saw in my head is absolutely true. Once I had the concept it was as if the characters stepped forward and spoke to me. I saw them all in a glorious mix of plays, dialogue and desires, all mixed up or remixed to tell a completely unique, new production. And I just wrote down what they told me. Sounds a bit schizophrenic I know, but it’s true.
Simultaneously in this writing process were hours and hours of listening to classic and contemporary rock songs to find those that matched my characters, further exposing who they were to the audience. Finding a total of nine songs I weaved the story to easily incorporate them. Once I had the story structure all that was left was to write out a treatment of sorts. For me this was an entire story arch broken up into scenes with basic dialogue to establish the dramatic structure.
Next I needed to secure the rights to use the music or this story was going NO WHERE. But that journey is a topic for another day…