Introduction / History
Works Selected
Writers & Composers
The Annual Competition
_________"Stories 1.0"__________

How Stories 1.0 Was Created

Stories 1.0 is comprised of twelve complete short musicals, written and composed by a surprisingly eclectic collection of talents from American and Canadian music and theater. With inventive transitions, diversions, and a bracketing device and through-line which tie the show together into a single cohesive and compelling evening—Stories 1.0 is a musical and dramatic roller-coaster. And it’s also, incidentally, surely one of the most complex stage musicals ever created.

The development process was arduous and exacting. From analyses of workshops held in San Francisco, New York City, Nashville, and Miami, the full-length musical Stories 1.0 was created. While there are clear antecedents and influences, Stories 1.0 remains unique in the history of world theater. Not a revue, not a “sampler” or evening of one-acts—it pioneers a revolutionary new path on the stage, albeit one firmly rooted in the earliest foundations of theatrical production and presentation.

The amount of work required to make each segment work, both intrinsically and within the context of Stories 1.0, is impressive. Only one segment in the show hasn’t been extensively revised since first being selected by The Ten-Minute Musicals Project. In all, nine new songs have been composed. An entire book was created for one segment which existed previously only as unconnected songs. Two of the segments went through four complete top-to-bottom revisions. Seven others were set aside entirely after workshopping showed immutable internal problems affecting the overall structure of Stories 1.0. Cutting six minutes from a two-hour show is a minor trim; excising that much from an eighteen-minute work, as was done in two cases, is major surgery—a full third of the show has been lost! Similarly, adding five minutes to a nine-minute piece, as was done in another case, creates a much grander and comprehensive experience. The larger context is an unusual variation of the tried-and-true “play within a play” format, and is carefully designed to keep audiences off-guard and engaged throughout. The primary consideration, always, was the affect any revision, re-alignment, or substitution might have on the tensile strength of the whole. The goals, always, were economy and elegance.

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