Kerry Livgren, composer and musician for the 70s progressive rock group Kansas (and always one of my favorites – check out Proto-Kaw), once said that he loved the opportunity to re-record a track that he had written. In essence, anyway that it can be improved he loved to do it.
Well, I made a determination a short time ago to do a re-staging of one of the plays/musicals which I wrote about seven years ago entitled “A Tad of Trouble.” It was only the second play I had written, and it turned out to be a huge audience favorite. The story line is as follows:
In 1903, a troubled, mute boy, Tad, is sent off by his father to work for a traveling salesman, who turns out to be a crook. Tad’s guardian angel discovers unexpectedly that when she sings, Tad can hear her. So she decides to give Tad the voice of song if “he agrees to right the wrongs.”
It’s a really fun and funny play with a large dose of music added to it since everything that comes out of Tad’s mouth is a song.
Now, I get to do a Kerry Livgren and re-think and re-form the play into a full-fledged musical with many new songs, edited scenes, and crisper dialogue. This is one of the projects I am working on now and it is extremely enjoyable. I’ll be working with some young, talented composers on some of the new songs, and then we will put the whole script into full production starting in January.
Most things that I write I am happy to keep in the past and just move on to something new. But every once in a while, it is good to go back and “do it right”, improve a piece of writing, look at it with fresh eyes, and be creative once again on an old piece of writing.
Give it a try sometime. I bet you will be amazed at how many new ideas you have now compared to when you originally wrote it.