What do Mrs. Lovett and Darth Vader have in common?
How is Rose’s Turn like the rebels’ attack on the Death Star?
Who’s your “Fun-tagoinist”?
Wait – what IS a fun-tagonist?
Experience how classic screenplay story structure can help us create better musicals. Presented at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in 2013, The Dramatists Guild Fund’s Music Hall and a variety of high schools and universities, this lecture by award-winning librettist, screenwriter, and NYMF alumnus Sammy Buck, shows how classic screenplay structure from a variety of movies translates into memorable characters, song moments, and stories of musical theatre greats – old, new, and yet-to-be.
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“Sammy Buck is not only a talented writer, but a gifted teacher and dramaturg. His understanding of story structure and character development, his encyclopedic knowledge of film and theater, and his way with words are an asset for any writer, novice or experienced, who is looking to bring their script to the next level. Sammy’s courses are entertaining while making the concepts of basic script structure easy to comprehend. He gives you the keys you need to craft even the most challenge story into shape as a film script, play or musical. Whether you have a specific development issue, or you are simply looking for inspiration as you hone your craft, Sammy Buck’s insights and expertise, along with his boundless enthusiasm, are sure to move you and your project forward.”
-Sarahbeth Grossman, Producer
“Sammy Buck is the very best kind of teaching artist – extremely knowledgeable in his field, excited about sharing his wisdom, and generous in spirit. His knowledge of story and dramatic structure is unmatched, and he imparts this wisdom with wit, humor, and plenty of examples from personal professional experience. Count yourself extremely lucky if you find yourself the recipient of Sammy’s awesome instruction.”
-Sara Wordsworth, Writer
“Sammy Buck’s course is a godsend for musical theater writers. I’d always been interested in story structure, and I’d studied many of the popular gurus on the subject – Vogler, Snyder, Field, McKee. But all of their systems are geared toward film and television. What Sammy does that is so incredibly useful is to adapt and apply some of those ideas, supplementing them with his own insights, to create a structural blueprint that is specifically tailored to storytelling in musical theater, illustrated by dozens of well-chosen examples from Broadway shows. I particularly liked his exploration of the role of songs, showing how they can be used to underline and strengthen the key story moments. In a world where we are constantly hearing about musicals that had a brilliant score but ultimately failed because the book didn’t work, Sammy’s course is a fascinating and informative reminder that in the theater—even musical theater—good storytelling reigns supreme.”
-Peter Mills, Writer
“Forget all those dull, boring treatises on Story Structure…and grab a seat at Sammy Buck’s Structure! The Musical. Sammy shows you how storytelling – like life – is a journey filled with unexpected stops along the way. And he breaks it down into easy to-follow Story Steps guaranteed to bring out your Inner Librettist.”
-Susan DiLallo, Writer
“Sammy has an unparalleled knowledge for story structure — like, truly — but the joy, exuberance and passion with which he discusses it is what makes him one of the most memorable and galvanizing educators out there. He deftly juggles the art of the creative process with the science of craft, doing so with humor and enthusiasm, and leaving you all the more empowered to move forward intelligently with your writing. Plus, he’s just simply a top-notch dude.”
-Sam Willmott, Writer
“Great stories have great structure, and Sammy knows from structure. As someone who geeks out in delight over taking apart great stories to see what makes them tick, I love Sammy’s approach: thorough, rigorous, and lots of fun. A wise mentor is crucial to any hero’s quest, so let him be yours – he’ll show you the way down the Yellow Brick Road, through the Narnia wardrobe door, into the Chocolate Factory … to where you make your stories great!”
-Adam Overett, Writer
-Drew Larimore, Writer
**This seminar is not endorsed by or affiliated with Star Wars, Lucasfilm, The Walt Disney Company or the Galactic Empire.