Musical Theatre Factory is committed to providing structural support for artists to champion their holistic development as a creative. Borrowed from the world of business startups, MTF uses concepts of the incubator and the accelerator to create a framework for musical theatre artists to develop and deepen their practice.
Our artistic practice incubator™ focuses on artistic development from the ground up. By this, we mean starting from exactly where an artist is. What curiosities do they have? What questions exist in their practice? What skills and tools are required to manifest their goals? Our incubator programs provide the knowledge and opportunities artists need to hone in on their unique voice to ultimately refine their artistic practice.
Through our 18-month MTF Makers program, an artist works in a cohort to develop their unique voice and perspective, acquiring skills along the way that will support them in the creation of their new works. Through our Research and Dramaturgy program — which includes consultations, retreats, and MTFxR™ — artists can apply their learnings without the expectation of a finished product. These spaces are sandboxes for exploration; continued avenues to discover oneself through process. MTF additionally works to strengthen artists’ musical theatre literacy, and through advocacy empowers artists to hold their own in the industry.
During our 18-month MTF Makers program, artists meet monthly as a cohort to discuss form, content, process, and product. These monthly sessions challenge artists to consider the ways musicals are traditionally made and lays the groundwork for how artists can create innovative, holistic musical theatre processes and practices that have the potential to change the field itself. Suppose traditional approaches can be hierarchical, linear, and inaccessible. In that case, MTF Makers subvert this by developing works in a collaborative way that centers cyclical learning, including a desire to expand their process to communities often neglected from the creation process. Throughout the course of their 18-month journey, artists are provided paired dramaturgical support and paid Research & Dramaturgy time to deepen their artistic procession in these ways, and in ways that are specific to their interests, skills, and desires. With the support of MTF’s artistic staff, dramaturgs, and working professionals in the field, artists are provided tailor-made support to champion expansive new ways of creating dynamic, rigorous, authentic storytelling.
Research & Dramaturgy™
Research & Dramaturgy can help artists understand how their new works can achieve their greatest potential and is a critical component of any artist’s developmental process. In order for works to achieve their greatest desired impact, an artist must first interrogate their own practices, processes, and motivations. Questions such as Why is this story important now?, Who is this piece for and how does it serve them?, What is the most dynamic expression of this work?, and How might I achieve it? are the sorts of questions that artists bring into this sandbox space of R&D. Through our R&D program, artists enter a paid, short-term developmental process meant to deepen their understanding of their own process so that their works ultimately become more rigorous and intentional. By providing this time early in the artists’ process and intermittently throughout the musical creation process, works become more robust and refined.
Research & Dramaturgy can be experienced in a variety of ways. They can take the form of MTFxR, where artists work with our MTF Artistic staff to interrogate how technology can be used as a dramaturgical tool to elevate how stories are told and experienced. They can exist in the form of retreats where artists engage with cross-sector partners to deepen their understanding of a particular subject area specific to their story. MTF also provides consultation opportunities, where artists are paired up with partner organizations who aid in providing an artist with rehearsal space and resources to deepen their artistic craft. All of these opportunities center the artist and their learning as a way to develop more robust musical theatre practitioners.