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Spark and Fire

Tell a universal truth

Stephen Schwartz, Composer

Stephen Schwartz has a motto for songwriting: Tell the truth, and make it rhyme. In this episode, Stephen tells the story of composing the Broadway musical Wicked. Not only does Stephen reinvent a beloved classic for the stage, he also commits to drawing out the universal truths — like the experience of friendship, betrayal, and love — that connect us all. This allowed Wicked to resonate with audiences in a real way, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time. Stephen’s story shows that when your work expresses a universal truth, the widest audience will respond.