Hi all.

I was wondering if any of you has experience in composing music for theater.
Not strictly speaking of musical or opera, so not a singed song in the middle of the play but more a soundtrack for the play.
i think that to some extent is the same principle of scoring for films, unless you have more freedom.

There's a lot of thread here about film scoring, but i do really prefer theater and moreover the idea to became a "note factory" ( if you had the chances to ) is not appealing to me.

anyway i don't want to start a debate cinema vs theater

I'm more interested in collecting some experiences and advices

I'm currently done with my first experience, and I'm starting a second one.
Music is not my primary job, so I'm not a pro, but I hope to became it.

I have a quite good music training, and a quite vast music knowledge.
i actually work in the IT so no problem at all with computer and technology.

My first project is something completely "amateur", and it is an adaption from an ancient greek comedy ( lysistrata ) so the music is primarily intended to be sung by the "chorus" on stage.
Plus, we decided to add some music for some particular moments. It is mainly orchestral music with mixed influences. (vsl+sibelius+reaper for mixing)

In this case, the author and director is a friend of mine so I had the chance to have an important amount of freedom and anyway the most part of the job was to create songs, in the end not so complicated.

The other project I'm going to start is quite another level, all the people involved have already some experience and their goal is to became pro. I call it a semi-pro project.
It is something written from scratch, and it will be a mix of theater and modern ballet, and also in this case the author and the director is the same person.
I'm less confident with this person, but when, after having red the text, I proposed to her a 2 mins of mock-up, she was so happy about my music that she asked me to go wild with my workflow and bring to her as much music as i could, then she will choose some parts, and will eventually ask me to fix them for her needs or on the contrary she will tailor the scene around the music (this is the way she loves to work, and I find it great)

All this introduction is to say that, until now I've been lucky, and even if I think that composing music for theater gives you more freedom I think that it is not always so simple.

So if anyone of you had similar experience, can you tell me how things are for real ? Am i just living a dream because I'm working with inexperienced directors ?
Once this project finished, which are the things I missed that I need to know for searching other projects ?
I mean, how people work in this field ? How much pain ? :D

Ah btw, I live in Paris where theater is strongly appreciated and the are a lot of young companies out there waiting for my cheap/free music :P but before to proclaim myself as an apprentice theater composer I want to be sure I'm not missing smtg important about how it works
and if you have some books to suggest about the technical part of composing for theater it would be great, you know smtg like rimsky-korsakov principle of orchestration, or shoenberg fundamentals of composition, even more modern of course ! :D

thank you very much