Developing a musical


I Edition
April 9-11, 2024​​​​​
Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore  in Milan, Italy



Developing a musical

Milan Musical Workshop



Director: prof. Armando Fumagalli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Coordinator: dott.ssa Annalisa Gandossi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore



The workshop provides aspiring musical composers, lyricists and bookwriters with the opportunity to present and develop their work, during a workshop led by three world class experts, Philip LaZebnik, American screenwriter (Mulan, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt) and bookwriter for the West End hit The Prince of Egypt, Pippa Cleary one of the most prolific and successful English musical theatre composers of her generation (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, The Great British Bake Off Musical,West End) and Ronald Kruschak writer and producer based in Germany (Snow White and Me, A Little Peace).

In the workshop, there will be two kinds of participants:  
writers of projects that will be selected and developed
other participants, who will take part in the activities during the three-day workshop, providing feedback during development process.


Who can apply?

The workshop is aimed at students and/or aspiring professional musical bookwriters, composers and lyricists.
The maximum number of participants who will be added as non-writers is set at 32.


Duration and Location

The 20-hour workshop will take place from 9 to 11 April 2024 at Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy.


Deadlines to apply

February 15, 2024: for those who want to participate as writers
March 20, 2024:  for those who want to participate as non-authors 



The workshop will be divided into six sessions of approximately 3.5 hours each (9.30 AM-1 PM and 2.30 PM – 6 PM), located in The Apollonio Laboratory (via S. Agnese 2 – 20123 MILANO), equipped with a piano/keyboard.All workshop activities will be in English:

April 9th 
Session 1: 9.30-13.00: Presentation of the workshop and basic notions of the musical, including background on Pippa, Philip and Ronald’s previous projects. Last 30 minutes to get to know participants and find out their interests. 
13.00-14.30: Lunch break 
Session 2: 14.30-17.00: Presentation and discussion of the first selected musical project. 
Session 3: 17.15-18.00: Open discussion about the industry / craft / etc.


April 10th
Session 1: 9.30-13.00: Presentation and discussion of the second selected musical project. 
13.00-14.30: Lunch break 
Session 2: 14.30-17.00: Presentation and discussion of the third selected musical project. 
Session 3: 17.15-18.00: Open discussion about the industry / craft / etc.


April 11th
Session 1: 9.30-13.00: Presentation and discussion of the fourth selected musical project. 
13.00-14.30: Lunch break 
Session 2: 14.30-17.00: Summary and closing session.



Armando Fumagalli: full professor of Semiotics, also teacher of History and Industry of International Cinema and Writing and Producing for Animation at the M.A. in The Art and Industry of Narration, at Università Cattolica. He is also founder and director of the Master in International Screenwriting and Production at the same University. Since 1999 he is a script consultant for Lux Vide, one of the biggest and most successful European production companies for TV and cinema.



Philip LaZebnik: American screenwriter, he wrote worldwide successes such as Pocahontas, Mulan, The Prince Of Egypt, of which he also wrote the book for the theatre musical version, which premiered in 2020 in the West End. The West End production was filmed and is released digitally. He has written numerous other films (especially in animation) and International musicals, both in Europe and United States.

Pippa Cleary: is the first female British composer to have had three musicals produced in the West End, The Great British Bake Off Musical, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ and My Son’s a Queer (But What Can You Do?), which is due to open on Broadway next Spring. Pippa wrote the first original opening number for this year’s Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, performed by Hannah Waddingham. With Philip she is currently writing two animated movies for Storm Films. Other musicals include Prodigy (The Other Palace), A Midsummer Nights Dream (BBC), In The Willows (UK Tour) and Jet Set Go! (Jermyn Street Theatre). 

Ronald Krushak: After three decades as a writer and producer in the film and television industry, Ronald Kruschak’s career as a writer of musicals started when he had originated and co-written the family entertainment project Snow White and Me with Philip LaZebnik and Pippa Cleary. Since then he has written several further musicals and celebrated a successful production of his original A Little Peace in Germany this year. Currently he is adapting The Great Gatsby for the stage. Kruschak has his own film production company and has been tutoring and teaching screenwriting and film production for twenty years. He was educated at the University of Göttingen, Germany, King’s College London and the The School of Theatre, Film and Television, Los Angeles (UCLA). 


Workshop Coordinator

Annalisa Gandossi: screenwriter and songwriter, editorial consultant at Sky Studios Italy, she is also Tutor and Lecturer at the Master in International Screenwriting and Production.


Fees and Structure

Thanks to the collaboration with the Master MISP (International Screenwriting & Production) the cost will be extremely low:
The course fee is 250 euro + VAT for non-writers.
The course will be free of charge for all the writers of the four selected projects. We require them to provide at least two actors, who are going to perform approximately 30-40 minutes of  the show and sing at least 4 songs during the workshop.
Prior to the workshop, the writers will be informed exactly which date and time their musical extract will be performed so they can prepare their actors accordingly. 



Participants who have attended the Workshop will receive a certificate of participation from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.


How to apply

The workshop will select four projects.

We ask applicants to supply:
1. Four (4) songs from the musical. These should be recordings (mp3 or mp4). Please do not send scores at this stage
2. Lyric sheets for each of the four submitted songs. If the original lyrics are in a different language, we require both the original and an English translation. 
3. A brief description of the plot placement of each song within the show
4. A brief synopsis of the musical.
5. Biographical information for each composer, lyricist and bookwriter, including any previous theatrical experience.
6. Contact information (including e-mail address, phone number and mailing address).

Writing teams may comprise between 1-4 people, but must cover the three disciplines of book, music and lyrics. 
The dialogue must be performed in English. The songs preferably should also be performed in English, but we can also accept songs performed in the original language with an accompanying written English translation. 
Participants who apply as writers have to send all materials no later than February 15.
Every team will choose a person who sends all the material for the team and will be the main contact for all following communications.

Writer Applicants will send all the materials to: workshop.musical@unicatt.it



Students and aspiring professionals who apply as non-writers have to send their CV and a short motivation letter, before 23:59 of March 20, 2024, to: workshop.musical@unicatt.it
The participants will be informed if they have been accepted into the workshop by March 30, and shall pay the fee before April 4. If they do not pay within that date, their place will be given to another applicant.



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