An interview with Duane Poole

On Writing Musicals for the Christmas Season

Duane Poole has written the book for not one, but two Christmas musicals, including a recent hit, Scrooge in Love!, staged at the 42nd Street Moon theatre of San Francisco, and an earlier piece staged in New York City. In our interview we covered a range of topics, including tips for writing this type of show, size of casts, and types of shows. He also shared his journey from idea to full production, which is instructive for showing what kind of steps are involved.

Carol de Giere: I wonder if you could begin with a quick tip for musical writers. Do you have any advice on making a holiday show unique enough that it won’t seem like just another Christmas musical?

Duane Poole: Around the holidays, audiences seem to like — to actually prefer — the familiar, so I’m not sure that “just another Christmas musical” is something bad. With the price of theatre these days…and with the desire to make sure their whole family will like it…I think the familiar is actually a plus. Grinch and Elf and White Christmas and, we hope, Scrooge in Love! all offer some expectation that the experience will be joyous and worth the time and effort and price of admission.