Making Musicals with Holly Yurth Richards

Making Musicals with Holly Yurth Richards

Hello and welcome to Making Musicals with me - your host - Holly Yurth Richards. I am an award-winning playwright, composer, lyricist and librettist who is passionate about crafting new stories for the musical theatre stage. I created this podcast as a way to share my story about how I got started in this fascinating field of work and to offer insight and guidance to other writers about my process, about other writers’ processes, and on the available resources out there - which are surprisingly plentiful, when you know where to look for them. Come make musicals with me!


July 22, 2023 31 mins

Holly's back! In this episode, Holly shares 6 points of advice for staying sane in the journey of writing musical theatre.

1) Let go of the fact that there is no set path to success
2) Listen to others' work and applaud them; keep abreast of what's happening
3) Work on your mindset - there is room for everyone to be successful
4) Make your bed and work in a different space
5) Celebrate your w...

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Oh, no! You can't mean it! Not my favorite song! Noooooooooo.....

Yes. She does mean it. Sometimes we have to be willing to "kill our darlings" in order to make our show the best it can be. Join Holly as she discusses just a few of the reasons why we must, at times, make the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of our art.

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What makes a strong melody? What is it about certain songs that people simply cannot resist singing along ("Sweet Caroline...Ba Ba BA")? 

In this episode, we take a look at things like melodic patterns, melodic leaps, melodic range, and more.

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This episode marks the first of many in the fascinating and satisfying realm of lyric writing. Today Holly talks about three main concepts to keep in mind while writing lyrics for your show: 

  • You Get One Chance
  • Write the Way People Speak
  • Find Integrity in True Rhyme Schemes

The subject of lyric writing is so vast and nuanced that Holly looks forward to exploring more with you in subsequent episodes. Also, shout out to NAMT and...

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In this episode, I go more in depth into the beginnings of my show Welcome to Zion and why its premise matters. It's no secret that LGBTQ people can often feel on the outside of their faith communities, for many reasons. There is no denying that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - aka Mormon or LDS - has an especially troubling dichotomy between what is taught to be necessary for salvation and the experience and ...

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In this episode, Holly talks about her music training and the wide spectrum of skill level that exists in the world of theatre writing. She also shares some resources for learning music theory without having to pay for a college degree.

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In this episode Holly discusses her recent time in the recording studio with Austin Comfort laying down some demo tracks for Welcome to Zion. She also gives a brief overview of her trip this week to New York City, as well as discussing why the magic and voyeuristic component of live theatre is important.

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Today Holly discusses the question she gets asked the most - what comes first, the music or lyrics?

Every writer gets to find what process works best for them. Learn about Holly's process and glean some tips to discover your own!

For show notes, visit my website at

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In this episode, Holly gives you a glimpse into her upbringing and history as a writer of musicals, as well as insight into how she began writing Welcome to Zion and why.

The teen suicide rate in Utah has been rising exponentially in the last decade, especially among LGBTQ+ youth. This new musical follows one Mormon family who, upon learning their son is gay, must confront the beliefs that have been the foundation of their...

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September 3, 2021 3 mins

One thing that you learn reeeeally quickly in the musical theatre writing world: there aren’t a whole lot of us out there doing this. 

Because of that, there isn’t a sure-fire, beaten path to follow when it comes to building your career as a playwright/composer. And that’s okay. You’re gonna do it ANYWAY. Because a life spent creating what you know you were born to create is ALWAYS a life worth living, no matter the challe...

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