In our "Meet The Writers" series, we're learning more about the participants of the CMTWC Writers Workshop. The Toronto Writers Workshop meets every two weeks where, under the guidance of Leslie Arden, writers learn and practice the craft of composition and lyric-writing.
What was your introduction to the theatre?
When I was very little I went to see a production of Beauty and the Beast with my family, and was in awe of the 'magic' on stage. But it was really after seeing my older brother perform in a play, that made me realize I could do it too. I haven't looked back since.
When was the moment you decided to write for the theatre?
It wasn't really a moment per say, but I've always loved writing and always loved theatre- the two sort of merged naturally.
Whose work do you admire and why?
Stephen Sondheim, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Pasek and Paul, Stephen Schwartz. Phenomenal writers and true masters of the craft.
How do you like to write? What is your process? Where do you find inspiration?
I like to immerse myself in the character(s) I'm writing for, and let the lyrics grow from that. The process changes slightly with who I'm working with, but always has to be about staying true to the character. Cliche to say, but I can find inspiration really anywhere.
What do you want to see more of on stage?
Truthful work. Something that you can tell means a great deal to the writers and that make you think as an audience member.
If you had to pick one musical cast recording to be your "desert island record" which would it be?
I have to say Wicked. Mostly because its the music I find myself still singing in the car, ever since I first saw it.
Complete this sentence: "I write because...”
it's my way of expression.
What's a tip you have about collaboration?
Be open to suggestions, and flexible with timelines. Communication is key.
Why did you join the Writers Workshop?
To grow and expand as a lyricist from the very best in the profession, and from my fellow peers. You can never stop learning.
What is your favourite thing about the Writers Workshop?
Having Leslie Arden listen to my work and give amazing feedback is still a 'pinch me' moment. Mostly collaborating with my peers and being challenged with writing new songs. I find even when I don't think I am, I am growing and honing my skills.
Quite humbling being in the room with so much talent.
Aubrey is a freelance lyricist and book writer, having written both the book and lyrics for Becoming Me in the 2017 Toronto Fringe. A graduate of the performance production program at Ryerson University, he has experience in costume design, prop work and stage management. As well as currently being a theatre instructor for Electric Moon theatre company. Instagram: aubzroth