The Official Blog of the
Williamstown Theatre Festival

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fellowship Musical | Western Country Sneak Peek Part 2

by Rachel Lerner-Ley, Dramaturg

Nashville-based composers Kellys Collins and Ryan Tyndell have worked for over a year with book and lyrics writer Noah Haidle on crafting the music of WESTERN COUNTRY. Together the trio has written over 30 songs.

Kellys and Ryan share their thoughts on collaboration, bringing Nashville to the stage, and their first foray into the world of summer theatre.

On Collaborating…

Kellys Collins: The way that our trio works is really cool. Noah writes the lyrics, then I look at the lyrics and create the melody to the song. And then Ryan comes in, and he’s kind of like the editor.

Ryan Tyndell: I throw down the groove and edit it.

KC: He throws down the groove, and you know flip-flops words here and there. It’s a good little trio we’ve got going on.

On Bringing Nashville to the Stage…

KC: The songs are really real so it makes it really easy for the actors to get into that real broken down place. You know: the lyrics to the song and the way the song sounds. And it’s really cool to see that happening on a stage. And it’s really cool for us because we normally write songs and hear them sung by people, but with this, you’re getting a visual with your song and it’s live. It’s all happening right in front of you.

RT: It’s been a really freeing experience for both us. Kellys and I usually spend most of our time writing songs that have to fit in a little box. There’s all kinds of rules in Nashville: your song has to be three and a half minutes if you want a radio single. There’s limited subject material you can write about. With this, like Kellys said, there’s a visual. It sort of frees you up to be more expressive and a little more abstract than normal.

On being in Williamstown…

RT: I love it.

KC: It’s great! In Nashville, there’s a lot of song writers and I wasn’t sure how it was going to be up here. But it’s like a big family of artists, of people just like you. So it’s really neat.

RT: There’s lots of hugging.

KC: Lot’s of hugging! And crying.

RT: I’ve hugged and cried more than I have in all my 30 years.

Anything else you want to tell our audiences?

KC: You can wear your boots!

RT: Wear your boots!

You can hear Kellys’ music at

Check out Ryan’s music at

Western Country plays two nights only! Monday July 19th and Tuesday July 20th at 7 pm & 11 pm. Directing Studio at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance. Tickets are free, but reservations are required. Call early and call soon: 413. 597.3400

Photos--1. Allison Yates, Ray Roberts, Emily Ryder Simoness, Justine Lupe-Schomp by Sam Hough 2. Kellys Collins by Jane Martin Photography 3. Ryan Tyndell by Tiffany Wayne

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