Developing Great Canadian Musicals

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Sing & Tells

Informal, supportive, monthly gatherings. 

Open to anyone who has an interest in the Canadian Musical Theatre - writers, performers, directors, designers, producers, students, etc. 

Everyone gathers around the piano, and one by one we sing Canadian Musical Theatre songs - writers might bring in songs from new or long-dead shows; performers might bring songs they use as audition pieces, or songs they sang themselves in Canadian Musicals.  We'd talk about the songs and the shows they're from.  We go one person at a time, one song each, until everyone who has a song has sung, then we can start round the circle again.  We're not gathered to tell people how to write their songs or their shows, we're there to share enthusiasms, experiences, anecdotes and dreams.

There is no admission fee, although everyone is encouraged to become a member of ScriptLab.

Solo Sing & Tells

Occassional informal concerts featuring writers or performers singing their favourite Canadian Musical Theatre songs, and relating their favourite theatre stories and anecdotes.

Any admission donations will go towards supporting ScrtiptLab's ongoing development activities.

Writers' Classes, Workshops, Dramaturgy & Intensives:

  1. The Craft Of Musical Theatre Writing - an introduction to i) the principles of writing book, music and lyrics for a musical, ii) dramatic structure and synopses, and iii) the history of musical theatre on Broadway, internationally and in Canada - [an 8-week program, admittance by application - $275 (plus GST) per participant.] 

  2. The next set of Classes will be Thursday evenings, 7-9 PM, beginning Thursday September 20th, 2007.  This class is highly recommended for beginning writers, or for any writers who are unfamiliar with the basic principles and vocabulary of the Musical Theatre.  Email Jim Betts to register your interest.

  3. The Lehman Engel Advanced Workshop - based on the model developed by Broadway composer-conductor-teacher Lehman Engel, an ongoing series of workshops where professional writers may bring scenes and songs from their works in progress for analysis and constructive feedback - [an ongoing, bi-monthly, workshop designed for working professional writers, admittance by application]; and

  4. The ScriptLab Musical Theatre Intensive - designed for writers, and teams of writers, who wish to concentrate seriously on a particular project over a short period of time - [10 sessions over 2 months, limited to 5 projects per session, admittance by application].
Please indicate your interest in
any of these programs by emailing
ScriptLab Artistic Director Jim Betts @

Individual Dramaturgy
is available upon request.

Readings, Workshops, Showcases

ScriptLab's Readings, Workshops and Showcase Initiative will:
  • identify works of Canadian Musical Theatre whose continued development would benefit from the participation of professional actors, directors, musicians, designers, etc.;
  • choose from both "new" works-in-progress, and "previously produced" works that may be deemed to not yet having reached their full potential; and

  • schedule and produce  Readings and Workshops of these works, with as many creative artists, and for as many days or weeks, as is deemed appropriate for each individual piece;
If you have, or know of, a work that would benefit from this initiative, you can submit it to ScriptLab for consideration at:

ScriptLab Submissions,
10 St Mary Street,
Suite #603,
Toronto, ON.
M4Y 1P9

Or emailed to:

Anyone may submit an interest in becoming part of the producing, or administrative, team that will oversee ScriptLab's ongoing development projects.

"Show And Sell" - a  Canadian Musical Theatre Festival

All the activities of this 6 month series of initiatives will culminate in a "first annual" "Show And Sell" - a weekend Canadian Musical Theatre Festival that will showcase a variety of Canadian-written musicals that have gone through a ScriptLab reading/workshop/development process and have, as a result, been identified as being "ready for production".  This Festival will present these production-ready shows in a variety of formats: from a 10-15 minute mini-presentation to a full-length "staged reading".

More information to come...