Writing the 10-Minute Musical

Learn advanced musical theatre storytelling techniques by creating original work in this compact, ten minute form from industry professionals. Writers and/or writing teams will create a 10 minute musical inspired by open-ended prompts. You’ll share work in class every week, culminating in a Zoom workshop with actors and a director in the final class sessions.

In addition, 10 Minute Musicals from this class will be eligible for a very special opportunity: a few select songs will be presented at Underscore Theatre Company's 10 Year Anniversary event in November. 


Instructors: Cheri Coons, Michael Duff

Director/Video: Tony Gibson

Music Director: Michael Duff

Class Fee: $295 per team

Class Dates:

Week 1: Sunday, October 17

Week 2: Sunday, October 24

Week 3; Sunday, November 7

Week 4: Sunday, November 14

Week 5: Sunday, November 21

Week 6: Sunday, December 5


Cheryl Coons

CHERI COONS serves on the National Council of the Dramatists Guild, and has co-written more than a dozen musicals. Her work as bookwriter/lyricist has been recognized with the Joseph Jefferson Award, the ASCAP Foundation Harold Arlen Musical Theatre Award, the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Original Script and Score, the Theatre for the American Musical Award, and the Carbonell Award for Best New Work. Her work has been published by Music Theatre International and has been seen on the stages of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Northlight Theatre, the Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Florida Stage, and Marin Theatre Company, as well as other theatres across the US, and internationally. She has been a featured instructor for musical theatre for the Kennedy Center’s National Playwrights Conference, and teaches courses in musical theatre writing for the Dramatists Guild Institute. She has been a guest instructor in musical theatre writing at Northwestern University and Columbia College Chicago. Her songs have been featured on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, and NPR’s Morning Edition.  Cheryl has appeared at Carnegie Hall, performing her original material in an evening hosted by Michael Feinstein. 

Michael Duff headshot.jpg
Cheryl Coons headshot from website.jpg

Michael Duff

J. MICHAEL DUFF has had a 40-year career as a musical director, conductor, keyboardist, arranger, orchestrator and composer. He has co-written five musicals. Four of them have had productions and one of them is published by Music Theatre International. His work has received nominations from the Joseph Jefferson Award Committee, and he has also been given the Carbonell Award for Best New Work. His work has been produced on the stages of the Marriott Theatre, the Northlight Theatre, Florida Stage, and Pegasus Players, as well as other theatres across the U.S. and internationally. Listed in Who’s Who in Entertainment, Michael has been Musical Director for well over 100 different professional productions including 22 years of national and international tours. He has been a guest conductor of the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago and performed on Broadway in The News. From 1981-88 he was Resident Musical Director for the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre, and from 1991-96 was Resident Musical Director at Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre. He was recently honored to work with The Bernstein office on a new orchestration for the 360 Stage Around production of West Side Story in Tokyo.