There are a million ways to make a musical from scratch.
Here's what our timeline has looked like from the perspective of Librettist, Austin Lamewona
I am a budding playwright with aspirations to one day act and write professionally. I have what I think to be a cool concept for a musical about two feuding singing groups. I title it “The Octets.” After writing a few poorly constructed scenes (No really, they were bad) on the blank pages of a red notebook, I realize that I do not have the musical ability or even a solid enough idea to continue writing.
In frustration, I toss the notebook in the back of my closet to separate myself from what I thought to be a pathetically embarrassing writing experiment. Despite this, the concept of this musical lingers in my mind.
Over a year has passed. Over that time, I experience a few small successes as a playwright, publishing one play with an online company, and having another win an international student playwriting competition. I am about to embark on my Freshman year at Miami University, which, for various reasons, does not include theatre as a major or minor.
Fearing that my aspirations for a career in theatre would completely vanish, I search for a project that I can deep-dive into. I stumble upon the notebook for Octets and read the atrocious scenes (did I mention they were bad?) that I had written a year and a half prior. I decide to take another stab at it.
Nick Witzeman had graduated from my high school two years ahead of me and was going into his junior year at Miami University. He is an extremely talented musician that I had always looked up to, so I send him a Facebook message, asking for help on the music-making front of writing Octets. Fortunately for me, he is receptive. We meet up and begin to talk through and develop the plot I have in mind.
After this first meeting, Nick asks me what my end goal with this project is.
I have no idea.