Lawrence Siegel Verbatim Projects

Westmoreland Village Store, inspiration for Larry Siegel's Village Store VerbatimIt began with simple conversations – snippets picked up at the Village Store in Westmoreland, New Hampshire.  There’s wisdom to be found in the everyday dialogs of people as they go about their lives. What fun it might be to put these conversations into a musical context, to create a theatrical experience which would enrich both the participants in the project, and the community they represented.

Village Store Verbatim turned out to be the beginning of a series of projects, each one unique, but each one based on a common process: using the words that people have spoken, the stories they have told, setting them to music, and presenting them to the public.

Larry’s role is twofold: he writes the music, or in some cases works with the musical ideas of participants to help them flesh out their ideas. And he serves as theatrical director for the production, facilitating what are often large groups of people in organizing their collected words into a script, and then the rehearsals, where he tirelessly coaches a cast of young and old (and in between), people of diverse backgrounds, some of whom have never appeared on stage before.

The results are profound and exhilarating. New friendships are formed, new skills are discovered, new insights into the community enhance understanding of the past, and nurture the future.

Verbatim projects can be customized for towns, social organizations, schools, churches, businesses, and more. Contact Larry to start the conversation for your project.

“The new connections of people who might never interact create new possibilities of what might be and what will be… To imagine a community where people freely interact across the boundaries that normally divide us is to create that community.”Kathleen Bollerud
re: Harrisville Weavings”I worked with people with entirely opposite political views. We acknowledged each other’s differences, and recognized the worth of others. It was good for people on both sides of the political spectrum.”Nell Conkright
re: Peterborough Verbatim
“It is a project that provided benefits for all the participants, was phenomenally well supported by the community, and produced a work of quality and profound substance that will contribute to the quality of community life for years to come.”Deborah Klein
National Coordinator, Artists and Communities, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation
re: Bridge of Dreams”This is a democratic version of the creative process.”Susan Peery
re: Hotel Nelson