“Seriously Creative in a Commercial World” with musical theater composer RYAN SCOTT OLIVER


Saturday, October 1, 2016, 1:00pm


Farkas Hall - Studio

Presented by: Learning From Performers
Admission: Open to Harvard students only; register here
Related event“Actor Therapy at Harvard” workshop with musical theater composer RYAN SCOTT OLIVER and actor/vocalist LINDSAY MENDEZ

“Seriously Creative in a Commercial World” with Ryan Scott Oliver

In a class designed for anyone who makes art of any kind (and also for the actors who are thinking about it), composer-librettist Ryan Scott Oliver discusses what it means to be creative: from the idea (What are you making?), the cause (Why are you making this? After years and maybe boredom, why are you still making this?), to planning and structuring your process, going about the process itself (Experience. Imagination. Above all, research!), and then what to do with the material once you’ve completed an initial draft (getting feedback, organizing presentations, revising/rewriting) and of course, at last, pitching and selling your projects in our commercial world. RSO will also discuss his own process and his own career with a Q&A throughout. This comprehensive seminar is designed for serious creatives and anyone who is interested in being seriously creative. 

Ryan Scott Oliver is “shaking up musical theater with his dark, twisted and genius work…[he] could very well be musical theater’s answer to an auteur filmmaker or a gothic novelist,” according to Huffington Post. Most recently his music and lyrics were heard in Jasper in Deadland (book by Tony Award-nominee Hunter Foster), first Off-Broadway in a Spring 2014 run, and then presented at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in May 2015, both starring Matt Doyle. Oliver is a Jonathan Larson Grant Recipient, Richard Rodgers Award Winner, Lortel Award Nominee, ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award Winner, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, and the recipient of residencies at 5th Avenue Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Weston Playhouse, Cap 21, the York Theatre, Running Deer Ranch, Pace University, San Diego State University and Playwrights Horizons.

Oliver wrote the music and lyrics for 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, which has been produced over 50 times around the world in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, England, Australia and Japan; it will premiere at Harvard at Adams Pool Theatre October 7-9. His other works include Darling (under option with Walk/Run/Fly Productions); Mrs. Sharp, read at Playwrights Horizons in July 2009 starring Jane Krakowski; Out of My Head; and the The Frog Prince Continued, a TYA musical commissioned and premiered in Chicago. A revue of his work, Rated RSO, played the Kennedy Center, Joe’s Pub, New York Musical Theatre Festival, and others.

Oliver is the Director of New Musicals at Pace University in downtown Manhattan and the Artistic Director of the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program. His songbook, Music+Lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver: Vol. 1, was published by Hal Leonard in 2011. He is currently at work on a trilogy of new musicals about American desperation in war-time: the first, a southern Gothic thriller set in small-town Missouri, 1945 entitled We Foxes (commissioned by Broadway Across America, 2013); the second, a Civil War drama called Rope (commissioned by Grove Entertainment, 2015); and the final part, a contemporary “marriage play” called Three Points of Contact.

Supported by the Bernard H. and Mildred Kayden Artist in Residence Fund through Learning From Performers, a program of the Office for the Arts at Harvard.