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Stephen Schwartz

By special arrangement with Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked), Musicalwriters.com offers some of his commentsand tips about making musicals. These have been collected from live question/answer sessions, emails, and elsewhere. Copyright is maintained by Stephen Schwartz. Be sure to also see the new book on Schwartz's career that is full of songwriting ideas. Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked

Stephen Schwartz - Tips for writers

Stephen Schwartz official photo

Starting Your Musical

Finding Material - About adaptations

Finding mentors, role models, agents - Mentors and Agents

Working with collaborators - On Collaboration

Songwriting for muscials: starting with story...

Stephen Schwartz Q and A about creativity: Creativity and Musical Writing

Writing Musicals - Book, music, lyrics

Structuring a musical

How the book, music, and lyrics fit together

Writing principles Write from your truth, introduce conflict, about using a narrator.

Tip to avoid Writer's Block

Writing Songs

Main page - writing songs



"I want" songs Schwartz believes "I want" songs, often the second number in a show, serve an important role in setting up a storyline.

On Writing Lyrics

Music Production and Orchestration Here Stephen answers questions on getting music notated and sharing it with orchestrators.

Getting Feedback

Making the best use of Feedback through Readings and Advice

Career Advice

Schwartz on songwriting career and importance of persistence

Career advice for aspiring writers

Stage vs film

Study Stephen Schwartz's Work

Stephen Schwartz Scores and sheet music

Read his discussion forum at www.Stephenschwartz.com

Read interviews. See links on www.musicalschwartz.com/schwartz.htm

Enchanted from Disney includes lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. For notes about the songs see www.musicalschwartz.com/disney-movies-enchanted.htm

Godspell and Godspell Jr.: See www.musicalschwartz.com/godspell.htm for recordings, DVD, history and stories behind the songs, etc.

The Godspell film is available on DVD and video, however it is quite different from the show. To view a schedule of local stage productions check www.stephenschwartz.com/schedule.htm

Pippin: See www.musicalschwartz.com/pippin.htm for recordings, DVD, history, etc.

Books Mentioning Pippin:

Pippin's producer Stuart Ostrow wrote A Producer's Broadway Journey and includes an interesting chapter on Pippin. A Producer's Broadway Journey (Opens new browser window to Amazon.com [new browser window]

See Scott Miller's book From Assassins to West Side Story: The Director's Guide to Musical Theatre for a complete chapter on Pippin. Buy From Assassins to West Side Story. [new browser window]

Check the index of this Martin Gottfried's book on Fosse for Stephen Schwartz (and for Carole Schwartz). There's a few interesting tidbits. All His Jazz: The Life and Death of Bob Fosse. [new browser window]

Bob Fosse's Broadway includes some Pippin information. Buy Bob Fosse's Broadway. [new browser window]

The Fosse book Razzle Dazzle: The Life and Works of Bob... (opens new browser window to Amazon.com [new browser window]includes Pippin material, and is particularly strong on the dance aspect.

Michael Shurtleff's Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to...[new browser window] also has insights on the formation of the show.

Wicked - music. Read articles that provide details on how Stephen Schwartz structured the score.
The Baker's Wife
Follow links to background information on the source material, some show history, etc. Note the list of songs and how they varied through three decades of development www.musicalschwartz.com/the-bakers-wife.htm
Prince of Egypt
DreamWorks, 1999

The Prince of Egypt [new browser window]

Don't miss the DVD features

The feature on "The Making of The Prince of Egypt" is videotaped or filmed spots with many of the people involved including Speilberg, Katzenberg, Val Kilmer, and all the other stars plus animators, Hans Zimmer, etc. It has a fairly long section (well, maybe 4 minutes) with Stephen Schwartz, where he makes comments on some of his original songs, plays the piano, and talks to performers. We also see a few seconds with him in Egypt during his November 1995 trip to the region with Katzenberg and about a dozen others.

This segment on him shows what I might call the "focused" Stephen, so it's only a tiny window on the guy and his work but I think it gives people who have never met him a little bit of a sense of who he is, in the context of one of his favorite projects. We also see Steve Hickner and others explaining the significance of Stephen's contribution to the film. The whole feature will really add to your awe of what is already an awe-inspiring film.--Carol de Giere, webmaster

All other Schwartz musicals


For the story of how Stephen Schwartz got started, see our Career Advice page - at the bottom.

Complete bio at stephenschwartz.com


Above: Stephen Schwartz biography, Defying Gravity. Below: The making of Godspell book with Foreword by Stephen Schwartz.


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