This national festival ran between 2009-10. Designed to foster much needed development opportunities for Australian writers of musical theatre, the project was a collaboration between the Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania, and the music theatre division of The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) overseen by Michael A. Kerker (Assistant Vice President, Musical Theatre & Cabaret). External funding was provided through the Tasmania Government Department of Economic Development, Tourism with additional in-kind support from APRA.
The 2009 festival hosted Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty (Rocky, Ragtime, Seussical, Once On This Island) with concerts, masterclasses and workshops in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. The 2010 festival hosted legendary composer/songwriter, Stephen Schwartz, in two separate and spectacular orchestral concerts in Sydney and Hobart with the Tasmania Discovery Orchestra and 120-voice Southern Gospel Choir choir (Dir. Andrew Legg) and the ASCAP Foundation Music Theatre Workshop.
Several Australian musical theatre writers have subsequently gone on to receive mentoring from the above internationally acclaimed writers, including Matthew Robinson, the 2011 recipient of the THE GILBERT SPOTTISWOOD CHURCHILL FELLOWSHIP to study book-writing, composition and lyric-writing for musical theatre under the mentorship of Stephen Schwartz – USA.
Festival on Broadway on You Tube:
‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked (Stephen Schwartz) with Silvie Palladino (AUS) and Liz Callaway at the 2010 Festival of Broadway, Australia (Concert 1).
‘Meadowlark’ from The Baker’s Wife (Stephen Schwartz) with Emmy-Award singer/actress, Liz Callaway, at the 2010 Festival of Broadway, Australia (Concert 1).
‘Out There’ from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Film) with Michael Rose (USA) and Michael Lampard (AUS) at the Festival of Broadway, Australia (Concert 2).