Let’s Write A Musical!!!!!!!!!!

Hello everybody!

You know it is probably being worked on in Broadway circles already….Covid-19- THE MUSICAL! Let’s try our hand at our own version. Not to make light of a serious situation, but to bring to light what everyone is going through for the first time in our collective lives.

How do we do this, you ask? Let’s try this:

Some musicals take songs from an artist that already exist and create a story that weaves them all together with a few changes to some words here and there- like Mama Mia!. Some pick songs that fit the story they are going to tell- like Moulin Rouge and make that work. Some are completely original and the music and story are created by the same person- Anything Andrew Lloyd Webber. And many are a collaboration between a songwriter and an author-like all Rogers and Hammerstein shows. My favorites comedy bits are parody songs that take a well-known tune and rewrite the lyrics to fit their situation- like anything by Randy Rainbow or Weird Al Yankovich.

You choose based on your strengths. It can be comedic or serious like the songs in Les Mis. You could come up with your own original melody or use an existing one. Think of each song like it is a monologue that tells a story. Let’s hear about the skills you have picked up during quarantine. (I have personally gotten back into pottery, started taking the wool from my animals and making my own yarn, cleaned like a crazy person, caught up on laundry for the first time in my life, you-tubed how to watercolor, given my dogs baths every week, trimmed turkey toenails (Yes, really!) and have still not managed to cook well but have ordered numerous cooking gadgets on Amazon). Toilet paper, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are an interesting topic. Conference calls, zoom meetings, no school, social distancing, masks, constant close contact with family members when you all were usually almost never home because you were at school doing theatre ALL the time! I never knew what my husband was like at work until now! He seems so ADD at home, going off on tangents all the time. But on his work calls he is that guy who says “OK. Returning to the original problem now…” He gets everyone back on track again. Who is this guy?

Start by either writing your “monologue” and then coming up with a tune or pick a tune that you want to change the lyrics to. I immediately started thinking of songs from my era that would be suitable like “All by Myself” or “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”, "School's Out For Summer", "Another Brick in the Wall" , changing "My Shirona" to "My Corona" or, because of the way it is written with different verses in different musical styles, “Bohemian Rhapsody” with each different style becoming a different problem I am dealing with.

It could be a solo, duet, or group number. Think of all the numbers we were going to do in our showcase. We had the solos, duets, small ensemble numbers and bigger group numbers. Let your imaginations go crazy. Then submit it to me and we can put it together as a group.

Let’s have some fun doing this! I miss hearing from all of you and would love to see us do something fun together. What do you think?

Hi everybody!
All my critters and I say HELLO!!!!! We miss seeing people!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Feel free to send me an email at nelsonkm@pwcs.edu to let me know how
you are spending your time, what new and exciting things you have learned how to do, or ask any questions. I will do my best to answer them and would love to hear from everyone.

I have posted some fun activities in my "Useful Links" part of my webpage.Feel free to look through and watch some musicals, see some theatre documentaries or even excercise with Broadway stars.You can also go to fredtix.com/muchado this Thursday at 7:00 PM to watch a production of Much Ado about Nothing being performed by UMW students.

Seniors- I know you all are done on May 1st. I am hoping we get to see each other before you all leave for colleges and your next steps in life. I want the best for each and every one of you! 

Juniors- I can't wait to see all of you again for your senior year. Keep checking back here for more updates.

I miss all of you!
Mrs. Nelson




Charles J. Colgan, Sr. High School


“Preparing and Inspiring Students for their Future”

Kristina Nelson

Directing for the Stage and Screen 2019-20 Course Syllabus

571.874.6550      nelsonkm@pwcs.edu

Course Description: The student learns how to create a vision for the production and share that vision with actors and the designers and bring it to the stage and screen.  Students will select and analyze scripts.  Students will learn to develop calendars, designs, story boards, and shooting techniques.  The students will learn technical vocabulary, direct for various theatrical spaces, as well as for the camera.  Students will study different styles of theatre and various techniques.   

Required Class Materials:





Paper (Looseleaf)

Units of Study:

Unit 1- Script Analysis

Unit 2- The Collaborative Process  

Unit 3 – One-Act 

Unit 4 – Theatrical Styles  

Unit 5 – Camera Techniques 

Unit 6 – Film Styles

Unit 7 – Film History  

Grading/Missed Work: Grades are reflective of a student’s level of mastery of an objective. Students will be given multiple opportunities to master objectives. 

Retakes/Redo’s: In theatre, the curtain goes up and there is no opportunity to try and engage that audience ever again.  However, in class, sometimes we just need that extra shot.  All students can retake any written assignment (except the final) within the same marking period.  Students can redo a performance they feel they can make stronger after they complete an additional writing assignment associated with the performance.  The redo on the performance must occur before or after school.  If it is a scene with a partner/partners it is the student’s responsibility to reassemble the ensemble.   Redo’s must be completed by the end of the current grading period, though it is strongly encouraged students make the work up as close to the original performance date as possible to avoid overlap performances. 


Contact Information:

 The best way to contact me is through email at nelsonkm@pwcs.edu. Please be proactive and self-advocate. Both students and parents should check The Hub weekly and address any concerns as soon as they arise. I am flexible and willing to help in most circumstances, however, it is very difficult to provide assistance at the last minute or at the end of the quarter/semester/year. The use of The Hub and email will be extremely beneficial in monitoring your student’s progress.



Classroom Expectations:

  • There will be respect for yourself.
  • There will be respect for others.
  • There will be respect for property.


After School Help:  I am available often after school by appointment.

“During the school year, your child will read several texts in his or her Theatre class. Some of these texts will be required for whole class or small group instruction. Other texts that students select for independent reading are not necessarily included on the PWC Instructional Reading List. If for any reason, you are not comfortable with your child reading a certain text, please contact me so that we can work together to find and appropriate alternative.”

See Student Handbook for BYOD Policy, Grading Scale, Attendance Policy and Tardy Policy 


Productions at Colgan: Students are strongly encouraged, though not required, to participate in the after-school theatre program.  However, students are required to attend at least one performance per mainstage production.  Students must attend one student-directed one-act performance during the year.

If a student is unable to attend any of the performances, they must give adequate notice and will be given an alternative assignment. 

Film Analysis:  In the second semester as the course shifts to film, we will watch and analyze multiple cinematic classics.  Some films may contain material of a more mature nature.  Current titles under consideration include: A Night at the Opera, It Happened One Night, Gold Rush, Do the Right Thing, Wings, Bringing Up Baby, Metropolis (1930s), All About Eve, Psycho, and Sunset Boulevard




          2019-20 Course Syllabus



Jamie Howes- Dance (howesjk@pwcs.edu)

Dr. Mary-Hannah Klontz- Vocal (klontzm@pwcs.edu)

Kristina Nelson- Acting (nelsonkm@pwcs.edu)


Course Description

The Musical Theatre class is being taught as a hybrid class by three instructors, each specializing in one area of musical theatre. The primary focus of the class will be to address the student’s development as a dancer, singer, and actor. Students will focus on fundamentals and techniques in each area and then apply the learned skills to the unique demands of a musical theatre production. Dance Technique is an exploration of styles of dance designed to create confidence in the dancer and non-dancer. Students will create a foundation of movement in space, time and energy in a way that can apply to any dance technique. Vocal Technique will allow students to explore various warm-ups, exercises and musical theatre repertoire to develop a vocal foundation for the study of singing techniques for the theatre. Students will practice solo, small group, and ensemble vocal techniques for the stage singer and learn the importance of musical score interpretation.  Acting Technique helps students understand the seamless connections between scenes as they move into and out of songs and musical moments in musical theatre. Extensive work on the song as a monologue, characterization, commitment, and making bold choices will be explored in class and in performances.  Musical Theatre is a performance based class and while rehearsals are held in class, the Showcase Performance is a required event and is held in the evening. Please set aside these dates now to avoid any possible conflicts.


Performance Showcase Dates (required participation and attendance)

December 20- In-School Performing Arts Holiday Assembly Performance for student body.

 (During the school day)

March 25 and March 26- Showcase Performance (Evening Performances)


Required Class Materials

  • One inch Binder 
  • Pencils
  • Highlighter
  • Clothing and footwear suitable for movement in class (dress code appropriate)



  • Grades are based on a point system. Students will be given opportunities to redo performances to demonstrate mastery if warranted. Performances are mandatory and comprise the summative grades in the course.



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