Celebrating the Diversity and Creativity of People Within Your Community!

"Creating Music Theatre"
by Gary Rue
(Composer-In Residence for SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development in St Paul, MN, 1994-2014

and co-creater of 85 music theatre scores with over 2000 performances world-wide)

A 3-Day Residency Designed For Youth
(With Variations Available For Young Adults and Adults)

"Creating Music Theatre" Master Classes

Community Wide Capstone Performance



What:       "Creating Music Theatre" Master Class: For elementary school students grades 4-6.

Below is an example of a hands-on workshop experience for young people who want to take a step beyond appreciating art and moving into the creativity through an understanding of the craft:

The 2-day course, to be held at the school proper and under the guidance of school faculty (specifically the drama and/or music departments) will consist of four 2-hour writing sessions, with the goal of creating one song per group of participants. The results will be juried by the instructor and school faculty, resulting in two of these creations to be included in the capstone performance and concert to be held at the Performing Arts Center.


1) Participants will create and shape a lyric from an idea of their choice. (The song ideas, lyrics and indeed the songs themselves will be critiqued and expanded upon by emphasizing collaboration skills, teamwork and respect for each other's opinions and input, in effect making the entire class co-writers of each song.)

2) Participants will then set their lyric to music, choosing melody notes through suggestions from the instructor and, as a group, deciding what is most appealing), and selecting harmonic content (chords) through a variety of suggestive and demonstrative scenarios (for example, the use of a color wheel, where the color blue denotes a major chord, the color red denotes a minor chord, etc.).

3) As part of the final class, finished compositions will be rehearsed and performed in the classroom by vocalists and accompanists from the school faculty, and will, with the permission of the hosting school, be open to family and friends of the participants.

4) Instructor critique, group discussion and Q&A with our audience will follow this short recital.  

5) Two songs resulting from this master class experience will be included in the Capstone Performance. 

What: "Process to Product" The Craft of the Art", Lecture/Demonstration
Qualifications: Open to the general public, especially friends and family of the master class participants, and of course those who have an interest in the craft of composition. Hosted by the Performing Arts Center.

A 90 minute lyceum on creativity, collaboration through the respectful exchange of ideas, and a brief description of song structure and style.
Here we also will explore how to define goals, how to access creativity and how to nurture the collaborative relationship necessary for creating the best result possible through serving the music. 

Capstone Performance 
A two hour performance by The Gary Rue Quartet of past favorites from Mr. Rue's 45 years in the theatre, incorporating young people from the community for select 'sing-alongs' (we'll need a short rehearsal for this part!). Included in the concert will be stories and tall tales about career, performances, the 'hits' and the 'misses' and, of course, two songs from our master class participants!

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Music & Lyrics Recommended Schedule
(Wednesday through Friday)

 "Creating Music Theatre" classes 

(Classes held at elementary school, lecture and concert held at performing arts center)

Day One, 10am-12pm:           Session I: Explanation of song structure, collaborative process, selecting a lyric idea, first steps.

Day One, 1pm-3-pm:              Session II: Completion, presentation and critique of first draft, continue writing .

                                                          Overnight homework 

Day Two, 10am-12pm:           Session III: Critique of 2nd draft, polish 

Day Two, 1pm-3pm:               Session IV: Final polish and performance of all songs.

Day Three, 1pm-3pm:            Lecture/Demonstration: Process vs Product.
Day Three, 4-6pm:                  Performance Rehearsal (for master class vocalists and sing-a-long participants.)

Day Three, 7pm-9pm:           Quartet Performancewith Q&A after, featuring a performance of two songs from the master class, and cameo 
                                                           performances by local vocalists for both Children's and all ages' songs. And the stories...Ah, yes, the stories!



"Milky Way" (sung by Anna Kim Ostroushko, daughter of Peter and Marge Ostroushko). This is a good example of what I'm offering for the younger set. It was written by Delano, MN  elementary school students grades 4-6, in honor of one of their own who had succumbed to leukemia. They wanted to build an amphitheater in their friend's memory, and during the workshops, had decided to call it The Milky Way. The students, in four class sessions, offered up lyrical phrases, mixed emotions amid musical notes chosen from a corresponding color wheel and out of thin air, and harmony selected from a demonstration process ("How does this chord sound with this note?", etc.) Then we put it all in a big pot and stirred. This is the result. Wonderful! Push PLAY below.

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Look up at wonders all around,
Look up at heaven looking down on such a lovely day,
Let's spend it all right here,
Beneath the Milky Way...

 Look up at dancing butterflies,
Look up hear music in the skies,
The hummingbirds will hum us back where we came from,
Back to the Milky Way, 

(Look up) octillions of stars,
(Look up) beyond Jupiter and Mars,
(Look up) get moon dust in your eyes,
(Look up) at glowing fireflies,

Look up, the night is settling down,
Look up, there's quiet all around,
And if you're very still,
Your heart will drink its fill,
Here in the Milky Way.

MEDIA LINK (Click on image)

MEDIA LINK (Click on image)

TECHNICAL RIDERS (Click on image)

TECHNICAL RIDERS (Click on image)