If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I wish I could write a song,” this is your chance! In this beginner’s workshop, participants will learn the basics of songwriting, including how to use music and lyrics to communicate content, feeling, and message. Beginning with a discussion of blank page syndrome and how to overcome it, we will uncover tips and tricks that help songwriters create clever and vulnerable work based on a need without relying on the ever-elusive drive of inspiration. In addition to creating lyrical content that is both compelling and pragmatic, we will learn how to manipulate musical mechanisms to set a mood and enhance a story. Whether it be introducing a character, sending a message, or illustrating the passage of time, songs are a wonderful way to add variety and life to a theatrical experience. Participants can expect to walk away with the beginnings of a brand new song, either based on provided prompts or catered to a project/idea of their own. So grab your guitar, trombone, shaker egg, or whatever instrument makes you happy and come demystify the songwriting process! (Instruments are recommended but not required!)
Kathryn O’Shea is a singer/songwriter and puppeteer based in Asheville, NC. She began studying puppetry under the tutelage of Lisa Sturz (Red Herring Puppets) in 2014, quickly became one of the company’s principal performers, and toured nationally. She now contributes to the development of new RHP shows as a writer, composer, and builder, and puppeteer. She was also cast as Clarice in the Center for Puppetry Arts’ 2017 production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
As a musician, she recently placed second in the year-end finals of the 11th annual Brown Bag Songwriter’s Competition at The Asheville Music Hall. Last fall, she opened for internationally-renowned artist Terra Naomi at 7 Stages Theatre in Atlanta. Kathryn is known best for her hauntingly poignant lyricism and masterful vocal play. As Immersive Atlanta put it in their review of her debut single, “The moment Kathryn O’Shea’s enormous voice slips into the jaunty bustle of ‘Snow,’ you’ll surely wonder what record label she’s gunning for. With a timbre as dynamic as Florence Welsh, the singer/songwriter strips back the sentimental mush from falling snow to tell a clever tale about getting holed in for the winter.”