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Meet The Writers: Allison Wither

In our "Meet The Writers" series, we're learning more about the participants of the CMTWC Writer's Workshop. The Writer's Workshop meets every two weeks in Toronto where, under the guidance of head teacher Leslie Arden, participants learn and practice the craft of composition and lyric-writing. Check back every Monday to meet a new writer!

What was your introduction to the theatre?

My parents would always take my brothers and I to the theatre when we were really young. I was too young to remember, but my parents tell me that when I saw Beauty and The Beast onstage for the first time, I was so enthralled that I tried to climb up onstage. My love for Theatre just kind of grew from there.

When was the moment you decided to write for the theatre?

I had never even thought about writing until my third year at Sheridan College for Music Theatre. We had a Theatre writing class and were given an assignment to write a ten minute musical, and I found that it was all I could think about. I was thrilled to be writing and I found I absolutely loved it.

Who is someone's work you admire, and why do you admire it?

Well this is a hard question to answer. This answer changes the more and more I listen to new works, and new writers. I have gone from a love and admiration for Stephen Sondheim to Stephen Swartz to Jason Robert Brown and so on. I find every writer has something different to teach you. So I love to learn and study from all of the greats, so that one day I might be able to write something half as good as them.

How do you like to write? What is your process? Where do you find inspiration?

I go for a drive. I get in my car, I put on whatever music I am listening to at the time, right now it is Kpop, and I drive. I drive for 30 min to an hour, and clear my mind. Then I get home, sit at my computer and put myself in exactly the circumstances of the character, and then the writing just kind of happens.

What do you want to see more of on stage?

I want to see more Canadian works. I think Canada has a beautiful voice and background and I would love to see that onstage.

If you had to pick one musical cast recording to be your "desert island record" which would it be?

“Into the Woods it’s time to go...”

Complete this sentence: "I write because..."

I write because it allows me to express a part of me that I can’t keep inside any longer.

Why did you join the Writers Workshop?

I just felt like I still had a lot more to learn about writing.

What is your favourite thing about the Writers Workshop?