Stage Writes

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Can't Get Ryan Scott Oliver and Kirsten Guenther "Out Of My Head"

By   Posted 5.27.2016   Backstage, Off-Broadway, Musical, Theatre

I am excited to share a wonderful show with you that is heartfelt, poignant, and a great fit for a theatre of any size. Out Of My Head is a thought-provoking musical portrait by Ryan Scott Oliver and Kirsten Guenther. Minimal scenic and costume requirements make Out Of My Head easy to produce on a shoestring budget. In addition, I think your cast will love delving into the characters — they are complex, deeply-layered, and provide excellent training opportunities in character development. The collaborative nature of the show lends itself to a wonderful ensemble experience. 

Out of My Head Small logo

I caught up with the amazing Ryan Scott Oliver and Kirsten Guenther in December of 2015 to discuss the inspiration behind Out Of My Head, how they met, and what's next for this dynamic duo. 

Q: What inspired you to write Out of My Head?
RSO:  As is true for many young songwriters, you end up trying out a lot of different ideas and styles, and then you don’t know what to do with them, so you create a song cycle.  After we tried it out in a few productions, I realized I needed the help of a book writer — and Kirsten was thankfully interested!  So she contributed a pile of material which has really enriched the show and helped “fill it out.”

Q: Are the characters portrayed in the show based on actual people?
Not actual people, but much of the material is based on situations I found my peers in at the time we were writing it.
RSO: Not actual people, but certainly popular “archetypes” especially created by the early 2000s.


Q: What did you research in order to capture the show’s raw emotional authenticity?
RSO: A case of artists sharing their experiences-of-the-moment into material.

Q: What was the collaboration process like?  How did you successfully weave the music, lyrics, and book together?
RSO: It was really artists creating art independently, and putting it all together.  This one was really easy!

Q: How did the two of you meet?
I remember the first time I heard Ryan play a song he wrote in class - I fell in love!
RSO: At the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program!  And we fell in (artist) love. :)


Q: What’s next for each of you?
RSO: I’ve got some workshops of a few shows happening — We Foxes and Rope — and a concert at Lincoln Center!
KG: I'm wirting stage adaptions of MGM's Benny & Joon as well as RKO's Nocturne

Q: Any plans on collaborating again in the near future?
KG: Hopefully! I am always looking to create something with Ryan.
RSO: We are ALWAYS looking for the next project together!!! 

Q: What is your favorite theatrical experience?
RSO: I recently just saw Spring Awakening the revival and it blew my mind!!!!
KG: David Cromer's Our Town at Barrow Street. The Bacon!