Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

Artists Statement: Arianna Rose, Musical Theatre Writer and Playwright (and sometimes composer)

I play a travel game on long car rides. When driving through an industrial area or place that I perceive as ugly, I play “Find Beauty”. Sometimes it’s how a shaft of fading sunlight hits the side of a building. Sometimes it is the starkness of a crane arced against the sky, or a repeating pattern of the metal exterior of a factory. Sometimes a reflection in a puddle, shimmering and seemingly limitless. I challenge myself to find what is beautiful and unique, in the landscape – where can I find God? I notice how this shift in perception of my surroundings changes the surrounding and my experience of it.

I apply this same vision to my theatre works. I strive to find the beauty in a scene, in a song, in the beat between the lines, and I am relentless in its pursuit. I repeat the quote “Music is what happens in the space between the notes” and I believe that is just as true for theatre. I want to leave this world trailing beauty behind me in a myriad of artistic expressions.

How do I find the beauty? Details. Research. I love researching a new topic, something a character is interested in, and finding new ways to incorporate that into the work. I delight in new rhyme schemes that come about from a particular vocabulary. Like the puddle, my ability to create becomes limitless.

I use quite a bit of art in my writing. I work with encaustic wax art – fusing colored wax with heat – and have always been drawn to texture in art pieces. The roughness of the edges, color – lots of color – something that is weighty. I also rehab old dollhouses and give them new life. When I am working on a play or libretto, I feel like I am fusing all the ideas, all the research I’ve done and creating a colorful word palette. I surround myself with artifacts – an artistic altar, if you will – to inspire me to find those moments of beauty when the blank page becomes too terrifying and the voices of doubt increase their volume.

So. Research. Art. Yes, and heart. I strive to write pieces that are filled with heart, that come from the heart, that will touch the heart. A piece that matters. Not “Dryer Lint – the Musical”. Not that there is anything wrong with that – there is a place for all kinds of art, I believe - but I want to work with more substance than that. Back to texture. Creating scenes and situations not solved sitcom-style but that address the bigger questions we have about life and love. A snark-free art zone. To that end, I am careful in my everyday and writing life about what I ingest – through all my senses – and to connect via meditation, time in nature, and just simply pondering the current artistic project. Wayne Dyer often told a story about an elderly Arthur Miller. When asked if he was currently writing a play, he responded “I don’t know. But I probably am”. I want to always swim in that creativity soup in my mind.

I am in the research stages of a brand new theatre piece - a bold one – addressing how heart transplant donor recipients take on the characteristics of their deceased donors. So many questions about that. And how best to communicate that through the form of a musical theatre piece. Drums – hand drums – I am sure of that. Simulating the heart beat. Dance, because what is it if not a cellular dance between donor and receiver? And ultimately, if we all constantly change throughout each physical lifetime, then what is it that makes me, “me”?

Having graduated from both the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop and the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, I know the value of a support group, of mentors, of critiques as you craft a new piece of work. The training we received at the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre training program, and in particular from our lab team of Mindi Dickstein, Sybille Pearson and Randall Eng, has allowed me to be fearless and ruthless with myself.

I am committed to a lifelong career of musical theatre writing and carving a niche for Arianna Rose in the tradition of Kander & Ebb and Frankel & Korie. I strive for thoughtful, plot-driven stories, music and lyrics and that illuminate some aspect of the human condition in my own unique style.