The moment the musical A Strange Loop was announced for Playwrights Horizons’ 2018-19 season, Shoshana Greenberg knew she wanted to write about it, as she’s been impressed by playwright/composer Michael R. Jackson’s work since catching it in a workshop in 2006. His “unique and engaging perspective on the world, and his authenticity, always come through in his work and in his life,” says Greenberg, herself a writer of musicals. As she talked with Jackson about how all his varied interests—from social media to soap operas to politics—come together in his work and life, she thinks she may have glimpsed the future of the art. “It’s heartening to talk to theatre professionals invested in the future of the musical form,” she says.
Another musical-theatre aficionado, Suzy Evans, found it “a dream writing assignment” to talk to creators about current trends in the form. Though initially concerned that this year on Broadway was looking thin for new musicals not based on Hollywood films or hit song catalogues, she needn’t have worried, as before long “a diverse crop of new shows popped up for the spring season, and things got more exciting.” There was almost too much to talk about, in fact, she noted. “I could have written a book with all the reporting I gathered during this process—where you see a single quote, imagine a 10-page transcript!”