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From Judi in New Jersey:
Who discovered Camille Claudel as a subject and how did you decide that this would be a good project for a musical?

Thursday, 26 June 2003

Dear Judi,

Frank (Wildhorn) and Linda (Eder) came up with the idea of Camille Claudel as a musical. They were both looking for a subject that would feature a woman, in particular so that Linda could have a wonderful character to play in her return to Broadway. Camille seemed the perfect choice. She was an artist and Linda, too, is an artist, which many people don't know- she draws and paints beautifully and is now learning to sculpt in preparation for the show. And Linda has such emotion and passion that the match felt very exciting to all of us. I was hesitant at first to do Camille as I usually like writing happy-ending stories and am so at home with comedy. But after reading some books about Camille, I was completely sold. She was such a feisty woman with a great sense of humor, and I quickly began to see where natural character humor could fall and how truly uplifting the end could be. There is such nobility in fighting the status quo and ultimately conquering. And she did conquer- we are remembering her and writing about her today. She is timeless and inspirational to all women, all artists. I also personally found so much to identify with- being a woman working in what is essentially a man's world, all the complex psychologies of women artists, of being an isolationist, of having to somehow blend the obsessive need to work around the clock with pregnancy and childbirth. - As for Camille being a good subject for a musical, sometimes you just feel it, you know it's right, you hear where the story wants to go into song. And from the beginning Frank and I knew that our statues would move, would be "dancers" whom we would watch emerge into statues, and the music fell into every curve of the sculptures. - What's going on right now is galvanizing- I think we're into something quite unusual and beautiful, and cannot wait to start rehearsals at Goodspeed. - Thanks for your question, Judi. - Nan

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