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A dash of dastardly deeds and dairy delights!

Book by Peter Welkin, music by Ron Barnett, lyrics by Randi Wolfe

A good ol' fashioned boo-hiss-filled melodrama in which innocent Constance Goodwin's family farm is in danger of falling into the hands of villainous Mr. Fouler.

A villain (boo!), a hero (yay!), a heroine (aww!), and trusty sidekicks in a romp with plenty of audience interaction. “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” Woe-is-me! Mortgage meltdowns provide the recipe for a modern musical melodrama full of madcap mayhem.

Uproarious parody of a melodrama.
– Green Bay Press Gazette, Erin Hunsader

Delectable…filled with cheeky humor…fresh theatrical delights.
– BroadwayWorld.com, Peggy Sue Dunigan

Irrepressibly impish…cleverly constructed.
– Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer

A good ol' fashioned boo-hiss-filled melodrama in which innocent Constance Goodwin's family farm is in danger of falling into the hands of villainous Mr. Fouler.

A villain (boo!), a hero (yay!), a heroine (aww!), and trusty sidekicks in a romp with plenty of audience interaction. “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” “You must pay the mortgage!” “But, I can’t pay the mortgage!” Woe-is-me! Mortgage meltdowns provide the recipe for a modern musical melodrama full of madcap mayhem.

Click here for a Sample Script.

Click here for a Sample Score.

Cast: 4 men; 2 women Set: Multiple locations Instruments: Piano, bass, drums

ACT ONE

The show opens with a Narrator checking to see how well versed the audience is in melodrama fare, and then proceeds to introduce each of the characters in the opening number. At times the actors drop their characters to interact as only actors do. This occurs in various places throughout the show, as the actors “play” outside of their characters. We discover that Constance Goodwin and her cousin, Helena Goodwin, manage the farm and produce stand after the passing of Constance’s Father, Isaiah Goodwin, in an “alcohol induced incident at the brewery less than a year ago”, and that Helena isn’t very happy about having to take care of her rather delusional seeming cousin, and would prefer to be back in Chicago. Of course, Constance is also six months behind in her mortgage payments and the family farm is in dire straits. Next we meet our villain, Frederich von Fouler, a slimy rogue from the East coast with a habit of making shady deals, and his dim-witted protégé, Simon Dewannabe. Fouler reveals that he’s got something on Simon and uses it in return for his silence. Simon isn’t liking his situation, but bears it as best he can. They sport fake European accents to attempt to cover their tracks. They run into our hero, Jonathon “Saphy” Strongfellow, on their way to putting his dastardly plans into play. Jonathon is searching for the largest golden sapphire this side of the Mississippi, foretold to him through his pet raccoon, Bandit. Shortly thereafter, we discover that Jonathon has a surprising skill, unexpected visions that show him the future, or sometimes, the past. Fouler’s intent on marrying Constance to steal her land out from under her. He and Dewannabe arrive at the produce stand, and demand to meet with the owner of the property, Isaiah Goodwin. Constance explains her parents passing along with their dire situation. Fouler pops the question of marriage, convincing her that it’s really her only chance to save the family farm. Fouler leaves with an ultimatum, along with his “references” and a promise to return that afternoon for her answer. She’s torn, but ultimately agrees to the idea. But then, Jonathon shows up and discovers this magical maiden of milk products. Of course, they fall instantly in love. He reveals the vision he’s had about her vast dairy empire and gets Constance excited about her new future. This changes everything for Constance. Fouler returns that afternoon to discover that Constance has changed her mind about marrying him, based on Jonathon’s vision. He leaves aggravated but with a basket of her delicious bread and butter, which Fouler and Dewannabe proceed to eat. Fouler has an epiphany and begins his plan to ruin Constance’s reputation and any chance she would have with Jonathon or a dairy empire. Next, we see Jonathon gulping down a large Sarsaparilla at the local tavern as Fouler and Dewannabe enter disguised as a Norwegian farmer and his wife. They proceed to dole out misinformation about Constance to ruin her reputation, which Jonathon eventually overhears. He’s shocked and dismayed by this discovery but decides that he must act to save Constance’s reputation. Jonathon warns Constance and Helena of the terrible rumors he heard at the tavern. But Constance smells alcohol on him, and due to her Father’s alcohol-related death she’ll have none it and sends him away. (He wasn’t, it was only a purposely spilled beer.) Dejected, he leaves. (End of Act I.)

ACT TWO

At the top of Act II, Simon Dewannabe tries to speak to Helena, who he’s been sweet on since the beginning. But, they get interrupted when Fouler arrives again to claim Constance’s hand in marriage. She flip-flops again due to Jonathon’s lack of character and agrees to marry him. After Constance agrees, Helena pushes Simon to reveal what’s really going on with the bad accents, the fake references, and that Fouler intends to “take care of Constance”. Meanwhile, Jonathon has also had a terrible vision of Fouler’s evil after he picks up one Fouler’s gloves. He tries to stop Constance from marrying Fouler, but Constance dismisses his visions and leaves for the court house to get married. Helena and Simon surreptitiously update the fake references and help put Jonathon on the right path to the telegraph office (which happens to be in the same building as the court house). Helena has her own plan to help save Constance from this unnecessary marriage, which requires some digging at the local cemetery. The second scene of Act II involves numerous back and forth switches for the Narrator character, as both Telegraph Operator responding to Jonathon’s insistent telegraphing needs, while also being the Judge for the wedding of Fouler and Constance in the next room. He swaps hats/voices/etc. as he moves back and forth between his dual jobs at this location. In the back and forth of this scene, Jonathon discovers what Fouler’s real name is, and Fouler and Constance are pronounced husband and wife. Fouler grabs his horse (a hobby horse) and he and Constance leave. Jonathon and the Narrator (who is now the Sheriff as well) take off after them. Fouler takes Constance to the brewery to show her his wedding surprise. Meanwhile, Helena and Simon are at the cemetery digging up the evidence they need to help prove what was going on between Fouler and Isaiah Goodwin. Besides finding what they need in Isaiah’s burial coat, they also get to break the rules about side-kicks not getting their own songs. But, once they’re done here they hurry to find Constance. As they do, they run into Jonathon and the Sherriff (Narrator) on their way to brewery. Once in the right spot in the brewery, Fouler grabs Constance and proceeds to tie her to the chains dangling above the beer making vat, the same vat where her Father, Isaiah, drowned. Fouler reveals what really happened between he and Isaiah, and that Constance is going to meet the same fate. Just then, Jonathon, the Sherriff, Helena and Simon arrive, surprising Fouler. Jonathon reveals Fouler’s real name, Rupert Adelbert Tinklenutter. A fight ensues between Jack and Fouler. At the end of the fight, Constance is released and the Sherriff (Narrator) reads off Fouler’s litany of sins. Helena reveals the unsigned contract and a letter that was in Isaiah’s coat pocket when he was buried. Constance reads the letter revealing that Isaiah was about to make a deal with Fouler, but had recently discovered that their land was riddled with huge golden sapphires. This changed the price that Isaiah demanded during the previous land deal, and was the reason that Fouler pushed him into the vat of beer where he drowned. The letter reveals that the evidence of Isaiah’s discovery must have fallen out of his vest that fateful night and that it must still be in the beer vat. Fouler rushes to the vat, dives in and pulls up a golden sapphire. Jonathon demands that he hand it over, but Fouler refuses. So, Jonathon moves the vat’s lever to the drain position causing Fouler to get sucked down the pipes and eventually into a keg/barrel (ala Bugs Bunny or Wile E. Coyote style sound effects). The Sherriff lets Simon off the hook due to being coerced, and Simon and Helena have their own hero/heroine style moment. The Narrator, as Judge, annuls Constance’s and Fouler’s unfortunate marriage. Constance asks Jonathon if he’ll stay to help her build her dairy empire. He agrees. The Sherriff takes Fouler away, and everybody lives happily ever after. The end.

PETER WELKIN (book) is a graduate of AMDA NY and currently serves as a writer, producer, director, and sight-singing actor with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, which has recently been re-imagined as New Musicals Inc. (http://nmi.org/) This organization is dedicated to training and developing new musical writing talent as well as getting those new pieces to a point where they can be produced in the real world. Peter is also a founding member of the Academy Repertory Company and has been a part of workshopping and presenting an untold number of shows. Monday nights are almost always busy with one new musical project or another.

RON BARNETT (music) is a composer living in Los Angeles, where he is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale. Prior to this appointment, he was for ten years Resident Musical Director and Composer at the Fulton Theatre, a LORT D house in Lancaster, PA. His musical, Around the World in 80 Days, with book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay, premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in March 2007. He wrote music and lyrics for A Christmas Carol, with book by Fulton playwright-in-residence Barry Kornhauser, which received a 2001 Red Rose Award and was published by Dramatic Publishing in 2013.

RANDI WOLFE (lyrics) is an alumnus of Theatre Building Chicago’s Musical Theater Writers Workshop. Born and raised in the Midwest, Randi moved to Los Angeles in 2007. A member of New Musicals Inc. since her arrival, she is proud to be collaborating with fellow NMI members on this show. Her work includes “Mom! A New Musical” which has been performed at theaters throughout the midwest and most recently at the Chameleon Theatre Circle in Burnsville, Minnesota.

When Butter Churns to Gold was developed in association with New Musicals Inc., and Northern Sky Theatre. It received its World Premiere at Northern Sky during the summer of 2015, and was remounted by popular demand in 2016. It received its West Coast Premiere at The Great American Melodrama in spring 2017.

Book & Lyrics by Richard Castle, Music by Matthew Levine

Audio Samples

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Cast: Set: Instruments:

Oklahoma in Wisconsin was developed for Northern Sky Theatre in Wisconsin, and after having been featured as part of the 2015 STAGES Festival of New Musicals, it will receive its world premiere at Northern Sky in the summer of 2017.

Would you do whatever Charlie asks?

Book by Scott Guy, Music by Ron Barnett, Lyrics by Mitchell Glaser

The story of the Manson Family murders, told from the perspective of the girls.

How did Linda Kasabian, the last girl to join the Family, go in thirty days, from being a sweet wide-eyed innocent, to being complicit in one of the most gruesome crimes in all of American history?

With a driving, rock score and book/lyrics which explore the psyche of girls, this story is all-too-relevant today, being a parable and warning to any of us who follows the voice of authority without stopping to question.

Awards at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018:  Pick of the FringeOutstanding Songwriting Award (ALNM);  TVolution Gold Medal Award.

One of the best Musicals I have seen at Fringe.
 - Jack Stroud

Brilliant show. Great approach to a somewhat taboo subject. Phenomenal hummable, toe tapping, memorable songs in a Manson musical, hilarious.
 - John Owen

Manson’s Girls is a chilling story made all too human through a fantastic production.
 - Lacey Pawlowicz www.haunting.net

Loved it! A thoughtful dive into the psyche of Manson’s Girls.
- Media-Geeks.com

The songwriting shines, with crafty, thought-provoking lyrics, skilled arrangements and tight harmonies
 - Carmen Balas

The story of the Manson Family murders, told from the perspective of the girls.

How did Linda Kasabian, the last girl to join the Family, go in thirty days, from being a sweet wide-eyed innocent, to being complicit in one of the most gruesome crimes in all of American history?

With a driving, rock score and book/lyrics which explore the psyche of girls, this story is all-too-relevant today, being a parable and warning to any of us who follows the voice of authority without stopping to question.

Click here for a Sample Script.

Click here for a Sample Score.

Cast: 3 men, 7 women Set: Unit set Instruments: Piano, guitar, bass, drums

Manson Family ranch, July 1969.

Flower-child Zephyr introduces wide-eyed Linda to her wonderful “family”:  a half-dozen mellow, guitar-playing, free-loving hippie types.  Zephyr explains that Linda’s husband left her and a baby without a penny and Linda has no place to go tonight.  Big Patty melts when she sees Linda’s baby, but Squeaky is already on the offensive:  Charlie’s gotta approve her before she can join us.  Squeaky and Zephyr’s territorial battle is cut short by the saint-like appearance of Charlie, trailed by Sadie Mae like a disciple.  Charlie focuses on the new girl like a laser, clamping onto her ankles, calves and then thighs, feeling her energy flow through him to the rest of the family.  Linda freaks out a little and turns inward (Little Girl Lost), but Charlie’s warmth and kindness overwhelms her, so when he asks her to give him her father’s fancy expensive watch, Linda is happy that she seems to have found a new wonderful home for her and her baby.

The next morning, Charlie grills Linda, trying to see if Linda spooks when she learns that the city’s going to rise up, black man versus white man, and Charlie’s preparing his family to become an army to defend themselves against the victorious black man.  Charlie insists there won’t be any killing; killing is wrong…but Linda needs to learn how to protect herself and the family.  Linda says she’s ready to learn, and Charlie tells Zephyr that Linda has his approval.

In the intervening couple of weeks, Linda is put through a series of increasingly dangerous tests, pushing Linda at each step of the way to consult and then ignore her moral compass, always choosing “family” over her own conscience.  The first tests are fairly innocent  (Creepy Crawl) in which the girls sneak into people’s homes in the middle of the night, playing little harmless pranks on them (such as turning the paintings around, or putting a single egg on the toilet seat).  But the pranks become increasingly criminal, beginning with stealing a little food for the family, and then stealing a single five-dollar bill.  When Linda finally questions the rest of the girls, they make it explicitly clear that if she wants to be part of the family, she is not to question Charlie.  If Charlie says to steal money, then you steal money, and you’ll ask no questions.  Does Linda want to be a part of the family or not?  (Gratitude).  Linda, terrified of being on her own with her baby, goes along with the girls and swears her allegiance to them and to Charlie.

Sidenote:  Throughout the musical, each of the seven girls has a “portrait song”, sung from the bandstand, apart from the action of the storyline, presenting a particular point of view or social comment about her relationship to Charlie or family.  These songs include:  Sadie Mae (Whole Lot Outta Life), Big Patty (Color Me Red) and Squeaky (Every Day I Fall in Love).  The other song titles are integrated here into this synopsis:  Linda (Little Girl Lost), Sharon Tate (Little Girl Lost), Marioche (Help Yourself) and Zephyr (Fall Into Night).

Things begin to spiral out of Linda’s control.  She becomes a pawn for the girls to fight over…whoever brings Linda in line is going to receive the most praises from Charlie.  Charlie and the family visit the home of a record producer who supposedly offered them a recording contract.  But it’s an actress who answers the door:  Sharon Tate, from Valley of the Dolls; Roman Polanski’s pregnant 26-year-old wife.  (Little Lamb of God)  Charlie over-reacts to Sharon’s unwillingness to help, and the girls see a Charlie they’ve not seen before:  seething, lethal.  The sound of a police siren saves Sharon’s life, as the family runs away, giggling.

Zephyr didn’t find Charlie’s behavior funny; she’s disturbed by it, and the stealing, and the girls’ decaying morals.  She asks Linda what she thinks about moving on to San Francisco or some place.  The very thought of leaving the family makes Linda sorrowful.  She begs Zephyr not to go.  Zephyr’s torn….

About this time, Charlie begins to put pressure on other family members to step up and get some money from somewhere.  Charlie’s first girl, the wily Marioche, cooks up a scheme to link up with one of the guys, Bobby Beausoleil, and intimidate a rich guy.  (Help Yourself).  But not-so-bright Bobby wants to be Charlie’s financial hero, so he goes by himself.  Things go terribly wrong, and Bobby ends up killing the guy.  Bobby prides himself on not having panicked; instead making it look like some blacks must have done it, writing some anti-white slogans on the wall.

It’s at this moment that Zephyr decides to run away, but it’s clear that Charlie can’t have a stool-pigeon out on the loose, so one of the other guys, Tex, quietly kills Zephyr.  (Fall Into Night)

When the cops arrest Bobby, Charlie decides in a panic that the best course of action now is to make it look like the blacks are committing murders all over the city (so it couldn’t be Bobby who killed the guy, see, because he’s in jail).  Charlie instructs his army of girls to go into the homes of the rich and kill them, making it look gruesome, to ensure that the riots are ignited at last (Helter Skelter).  The girls swear their allegiance to Charlie, even if it means murdering innocent people.  When Linda realizes she and her baby might suffer the same fate as Zephyr, she swears as well, and is finally accepted as a true member of the Family.

Scott Guy (book) - Scott has been actively involved as a writer and producer in both theatre and television.  He has six Emmy nominations, and over 100 produced television scripts for Warner Bros., FOX-TV, Disney, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc.   Current/recent projects:  Deaf West Theatre;  Placido Domingo; Northern Sky Theatre; Disney (musical version of Pirates of the Caribbean); Corday Productions (Days of Our Lives); Manson’s Girls for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018 and several musical webseries including Tales from a Darkening Wood.  Scott is currently the Executive Director of New Musicals Inc. where he supervises online writers’ workshops, lyric labs, and script consultations. www.scottguy.biz

Ron Barnett (music) - Ron Barnett is a composer living in Los Angeles, CA where he is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glendale. Full length musicals, as composer: Manson’s Girls with book by Scott Guy, lyrics by Mitch Glaser, which won a “Pick of the Fringe” award and the ALNM Award for Outstanding Songwriting during the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018, A Christmas Carol with book by Barry Kornhauser, published in 2013 by Dramatic Publishing Company and When Butter Churns to Gold, which premiered in 2015 at Northern Sky Theatre in Door County, WI. Choral music published by MorningStar, GIA, and Lorenz. He is currently a member of New Musicals Inc. in North Hollywood, and was, with lyricist Greg Edwards, a finalist for the 2010 and 2012 Fred Ebb Prize.

 

Mitch Glaser (lyrics)  - Mitchell Glaser is a writer of stories, songs and software. He wrote the book and lyrics for “Thanksgiving in Ithaca” which received the Pick of the Fringe award at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. He also received the Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting award at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival for “Manson’s Girls”. Mitch is one of the founding producers of A Little New Music, the prestigious Los Angeles based musical theater cabaret, and surreptitiously sings in the liberal art attack troop The Billionaires under the stage name Rolan Indo.

Developmental workshops at NMI and UCI Festival of New Musicals; workshop production at the Hollywood Fringe 2018 where it was named Pick of the Fringe and nominated for Best Musical.

The story of a girl... or two.

Book and Lyrics by Chana Wise, Music by Carl Johnson

Post World War I, but just before the 1920's start to roar, Mary Marie is bright, free-spirited, and surprisingly philosophical about her parents' divorce. So much so, that she is actually looking forward to observing and writing about the various romances they are certain to have now that they are no longer married. But in the process of being shuttled between them, she discovers the experience is not nearly as exciting as she anticipated and she only grows more frustrated and confused about romance, friendship and her own identity. Mary Marie is the coming of age story of one teenager with two names, trying to find her place amidst her parents' expectations.

Audio Samples

Post World War I, but just before the 1920's start to roar, Mary Marie is bright, free-spirited, and surprisingly philosophical about her parents' divorce. So much so, that she is actually looking forward to observing and writing about the various romances they are certain to have now that they are no longer married. But in the process of being shuttled between them, she discovers the experience is not nearly as exciting as she anticipated and she only grows more frustrated and confused about romance, friendship and her own identity. Mary Marie is the coming of age story of one teenager with two names, trying to find her place amidst her parents' expectations.

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Click here for a .

Cast: 3 women, 2 men - or flexible Set: Interior of two Boston area homes Instruments: 5 pcs.

It’s 1920. Thirteen-year-old Mary Marie is writing a novel; and it begins with, divorce. As she packs her bags for her trip with her Mother, to live with her Aunt Hattie a short distance away in Boston, she explains the events leading up to the divorce and surmises that her parents are like vinegar and baking soda; just fine separated, it’s when you put them in the glass together that they make such a great mess. She also explains that when she is with Father she has to behave like “Mary”; quiet, obedient and boring, while with her mother she is free to be “Marie”; carefree and more herself. At first, she is rather excited about living with each of her parents separately, figuring that she will be able to include some interesting and exciting stories of romance for her book as they begin to see other people. But it becomes clear as she continues going from Mother’s to Father’s and back again, that not only are there no promising romances, but her time with her Father and her Aunt Jane, who’s keeping house for him since the divorce, is lonely and boring. Aunt Jane is mean and constricting and her father barely talks to her, preferring to do as he always did; study the stars through his telescope. Add to that the strange and suddenly mean treatment she receives from her long time classmates, and Mary Marie goes from excited and hopeful to frustrated and miserable. When she finally discovers that her classmates are being negatively influenced by a gossiping new girl at school who is spreading rumors which sully her Mother’s reputation, blaming it for her parents’ scandalous divorce, Mary Marie vows to never go back to her school again. Aunt Jane is put off, but Father finally relents and agrees to give Mary Marie her lessons himself. It is uncomfortable and hard going at first, but some small cracks are made in the ice of the father/daughter relationship, he reveals more of his thoughts to her, and she begins to hope that her Father might come around to liking her after all. Back at Mother’s, Mary Marie reveals some of those thoughts to Mother, who upon reflection and after having had a hurtful experience with one particular suitor, begins to see her ex-husband in a different light - through her daughter. At the same time, as Mary Marie corresponds with her Father, he becomes somewhat jealous in hearing the stories she relates about Mother and the various gentlemen suitors. When Mary Marie returns to Father in the summer, she vows to behave the way she thinks he expects her to; quiet and composed and proper. But when on arriving she finds Aunt Jane is gone and Cousin Grace has taken her place, she becomes confused about how she should behave. Now it’s her Mother’s turn to become jealous as Mary Marie writes to her about the wonderful Cousin Grace and how everyone loves her, and how she thinks Cousin Grace and her father will marry. When her father discovers that Mary Marie falsely believes he’s going to marry Grace, everything breaks loose. Father realizes and is finally able to reveal his love for Mary Marie and may even attempt to heal the wounds suffered between him and Mother - or if he’s lucky, do more than heal those wounds, but reunite his family.

Developed in the NMI Full Length Curriculum, Mary Marie received it's first writer-produced reading in June of 2011. In the summer of 2011, the show was featured in the STAGES Festival of New Musicals; and again as part of the NMI summer concert reading series at the NoHo Arts Center in North Hollywood. Since then, Mary Marie has received public concert readings at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura; the Chance Theatre in Anaheim; and the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Mary Marie was also one of only eight shows that received showcases in the prestigious NAMT Festival of New Musicals in New York in the fall of 2014.

In the first Women's National Air Derby in 1929, fourteen brave pilots must prove that men don't have a corner on the sky.

Book by Marian Partee, lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, music by Cindy O'Connor

With a mixture of drama, suspense and humor, Powder Puff Pilots explores the first Women's National Air Derby in 1929, where Amelia Earhart and thirteen other courageous pilots face threats of sabotage, fierce rivalry, daunting weather, chauvinistic detractors, and mechanical failures as each strives to be the fastest aviatrix in the country.

Audio Samples

With a mixture of drama, suspense and humor, Powder Puff Pilots explores the first Women's National Air Derby in 1929, where Amelia Earhart and thirteen other courageous pilots face threats of sabotage, fierce rivalry, daunting weather, chauvinistic detractors, and mechanical failures as each strives to be the fastest aviatrix in the country.

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Cast: 14 W, 5 M Set: Minimal Instruments: Piano

In the summer of 1929, Will Rogers hosts the first Women’s National Air Derby, a dangerous cross-country race. Exuberant Marvel Crosson participates for the pure joy of flying; strong-minded Louise Thaden wants to maintain her first place status; foul-mouthed, cigar-smoking, hard-drinking heiress Pancho Barnes loves a good adventure, and surprisingly insecure Amelia Earhart longs to prove that she is worthy of her fame.

The aviatrixes are eager to achieve equality in the air with their male counterparts, and as an extension, in society as a whole. That goal is threatened before the derby begins, when the race manager, Frank Copeland, informs the pilots that they must each be accompanied by a male mechanic. The race sponsors are nervous because one pilot received an unsigned telegram that warned of sabotage. Angry at the officials’ condescension, the women demand to fly solo, or not at all.

Various pilots experience mishaps along the racing route, causing them to fear that their planes have been sabotaged. Blanche Noyes has a fire in her cockpit. Thea Rasche has engine trouble and finds debris in her gas tank. Louise Thaden nearly faints due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Claire Fahy’s wing wires snap, and she believes that someone poured acid on them. Her husband convinces her to withdraw from the race.

When Marvel Crosson is discovered dead near the wreckage of her plane, the aviatrixes–and the nation–are stunned. The sponsors call for the cancellation of the race. In light of the tragedy, the pilots must decide whether they will keep risking their lives to blaze the trail of the skies.

Powder Puff Pilots was developed with the Drama Department at UC Irvine where it was presented as part of the 2nd Annual UC/Irvine Festival of New Musicals in 2010. A new draft was presented as part of the 2011 STAGES Festival in North Hollywood. Powder Puff Pilots also received a workshop production with students at High Tech High in Los Angeles.

A fast paced musical comedy of errors, blending quick tempers, sharp wit, romance and the golden age of Hollywood, with a little magic.

Book and Lyrics by Chana Wise, Music by Carl Johnson

Another Christmas Eve, and Monica Ness, still feeling the sting of Christmases past, wants nothing to do with it. Turning on her TV to escape the usual holiday hoopla, and the thought of another evening living next door to a neighbor she can't stand, Monica is suddenly confronted by the ghosts of Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Natalie Wood, who miraculously pop out of their Christmas movies and through her TV screen on a mission to bring her a little Christmas cheer, Hollywood style. When the stars realize that Monica is not such an easy customer, they cook up a plan to generate some romantic assistance from that annoying next door neighbor. As their plan unfolds into a quick tempered, sharp witted, musical comedy of errors, Monica and her neighbor Steve, not only rediscover Christmas, but their own Hollywood romance.

Audio Samples

Another Christmas Eve, and Monica Ness, still feeling the sting of Christmases past, wants nothing to do with it. Turning on her TV to escape the usual holiday hoopla, and the thought of another evening living next door to a neighbor she can't stand, Monica is suddenly confronted by the ghosts of Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Natalie Wood, who miraculously pop out of their Christmas movies and through her TV screen on a mission to bring her a little Christmas cheer, Hollywood style. When the stars realize that Monica is not such an easy customer, they cook up a plan to generate some romantic assistance from that annoying next door neighbor. As their plan unfolds into a quick tempered, sharp witted, musical comedy of errors, Monica and her neighbor Steve, not only rediscover Christmas, but their own Hollywood romance.

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Cast: 4 men; 3 women + chorus Set: Two adjacent apartments and a small courtyard of a Hollywood apartment building Instruments: piano only - or orchestrations for 8 pieces

Steve and Monica live in two adjacent apartments in Hollywood. It’s Christmas Eve and neither has made any social or family plans, or exhibits the least bit of holiday spirit. In fact, they separately divulge to Buddy, the apartment manager, how each is driving the other crazy due to the relentless noise coming from the other’s apartment through the thin wall dividing them. This Christmas Eve, fit to be tied, they each collapse on their respective couches, grab their remotes and turn on their TVs. Disillusioned by the usual Christmas fare on TV, Steve exits to do work. Monica tries in vain to switch channels, but assuming there is something wrong with her cable connection goes to change her clothes while on hold with the cable company.

Unbeknownst to her, the ghosts of four famous Hollywood actors, Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Natalie Wood, dressed in black and white and exactly as they were in their classic Christmas movies, suddenly materialize through Monica’s TV screen on their annual holiday assignment to cheer up one miserable soul. Supposedly visible only to her, they have 24 hours to pull Monica out of her cynical mood and into celebrating the joy of the holiday.

Emerging from her room, Monica confronts the stars, assuming they are part of some publicity stunt promoted by the cable company, and warns them to be gone when she gets back from apartment laundry room.

The stars don’t know what to do, having never before come across as tough a cookie as Monica in accomplishing their yearly assignments. She is neither impressed by them nor taken in by their ridiculous claims to be able to cheer her up through likening her life to those of the characters in the plots of their movies. While pondering their next move, neighbor Steve shows up at Monica’s door intending to complain about all the racket coming from her apartment. When the stars realize that they are visible to him as well, they cook up a plan to get the two angry neighbors together romantically by conspiring to convince both Monica and Steve that far from hating one another, each secretly harbors a flame for the other, but is too stubborn to acknowledge it.

When it finally becomes clear to Monica that her visitors are actually Hollywood ghosts, she demands to know their business with her. When Judy and Natalie confide the “truth” about Steve’s affections for her, and Bing and Jimmy do the same for Steve, the neighbors begin to rethink past conversations and are lead to believe the movies stars could be telling the truth. This causes them both to look at the other in a new light and they spend the entire Christmas Eve and Christmas morning getting acquainted with each other as they bond over old black and white movies.

Through a comedy of errors, Monica and Steve each discover they have been manipulated by Monica’s guests, and feeling as if they were made fools of, affections are thwarted and the old rivalries reignite.

The stars, feeling defeated, almost throw in the towel, but decide that Monica and Steve really ought to be together and instead redouble their efforts at helping them to realize it. Using their finest acting skills and a little reverse psychology, the stars eventually get Monica and Steve to see that they really do care for each other. Monica and Steve discover they can overcome their disillusions of holidays past and enjoy this Christmas together, after all.

Tinseltown Christmas was developed with the Drama Department of UC Irvine and was presented there as part of their 2010 Festival of New Musicals. Tinseltown Christmas also received its world premiere production at UCI.

A story of 'the ones nobody wanted'

Book and Lyrics by Tara Redepenning & Hillary Rollins; Music and Lyrics by Darin Goulet

Every two minutes in America an abused or neglected child is removed from his family and put into foster care. When he reaches eighteen he is legally considered an "adult" and foster care aid is cut off, leaving this young person without the financial, emotional or social support most teenagers count on. Is he ready?

* * *

AGING OUT is a powerful musical that takes unflinching look at the realities faced by some of the most vulnerable kids in our society. Winner of the Irvine Festival of New Musicals 2009, and now in negotiations for a major motion picture, the show follows a group of teens as they age out of the foster care safety net and begin to navigate the treacherous, sometimes hilarious and always life-altering transition to adulthood.

We share their trials as they deal with the ordinary day-to-day problems faced by all young people (the need to get a job, an education, a place to live), but we also discover their unique struggles (trust issues, alienation and making choices that can lead to incarceration, homelessness and worse) -- struggles which come directly from growing up without lasting connections or a sense of permanency.

With an edgy, contemporary score, a book based on the lives of real kids in foster care, and message about the power and potential of community, AGING OUT is an exciting, challenging, and ultimately uplifting musical call-to-action.

Audio Samples

Every two minutes in America an abused or neglected child is removed from his family and put into foster care. When he reaches eighteen he is legally considered an "adult" and foster care aid is cut off, leaving this young person without the financial, emotional or social support most teenagers count on. Is he ready?

* * *

AGING OUT is a powerful musical that takes unflinching look at the realities faced by some of the most vulnerable kids in our society. Winner of the Irvine Festival of New Musicals 2009, and now in negotiations for a major motion picture, the show follows a group of teens as they age out of the foster care safety net and begin to navigate the treacherous, sometimes hilarious and always life-altering transition to adulthood.

We share their trials as they deal with the ordinary day-to-day problems faced by all young people (the need to get a job, an education, a place to live), but we also discover their unique struggles (trust issues, alienation and making choices that can lead to incarceration, homelessness and worse) -- struggles which come directly from growing up without lasting connections or a sense of permanency.

With an edgy, contemporary score, a book based on the lives of real kids in foster care, and message about the power and potential of community, AGING OUT is an exciting, challenging, and ultimately uplifting musical call-to-action.

Click here for a .

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Cast: 17-24 Set: various locations (can be minimal/abstract) Instruments: piano, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard

AGING OUT is a story of “the ones nobody wanted” - a group of 18-year olds who are transitioning out of the foster care system without permanent adult support. Samantha (Sam) and Nicole are group-home roommates with very different takes on the life ahead of them: Nicole is determined to succeed, while Sam puts up a tough “what’s the point?” front to everything. Jake directs his considerable aggression into football. Aaron and Emily are about to become parents, a situation complicated by Aaron’s inability to stay out of jail. Terrance also has a criminal history; he started hooking at 16 to support a drug habit.

Act One follows these characters through several sessions of a county-provided “Life Skills” class led by an earnest and determined volunteer, Maggie Reed. Act Two examines the challenges of the students’ “aged-out” lives, and Maggie’s deepening involvement in trying to assist them with those challenges.

This show was developed in the first collaboration between ANMT and the Drama Department at UC Irvine. After a series of workshops and staged readings in 2009 and 2010, including a run at NoHo Arts Center, AGING OUT was given a full production by UC Irvin

The price of pixels just went up.

book and lyrics by Scott Guy, music by Clifford Tasner

e-$cape is a powerful, gripping rock musical about bloodthirsty virtual world gamers who have invested real money in cyber real estate and pursue a 19-year-old computer programmer seeking money, revenge and someone to blame.

Audio Samples

e-$cape is a powerful, gripping rock musical about bloodthirsty virtual world gamers who have invested real money in cyber real estate and pursue a 19-year-old computer programmer seeking money, revenge and someone to blame.

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Cast: 12 Set: A kitchen in Ohio; and cyberspace Instruments: 5 piece rock band

A brilliant young computer programmer, Matthew Helber, 19, channels his rage through a violent cybersport online role-playing world called “Sect Wars,” where his sadistic insect-warrior avatar named Exothoptera is a cyber-hero. Matthew tries hard not to

2010 - Festival of New Musicals; concert production; UCIrvine. 2009 - Festival of New Musicals; workshop production; UCIrvine. 2009 - Workshops with the Academy Repertory Company; NMI

A cycle of ten short musicals, contrasting pairs of ordinary heroes -- then, and now.

Book and Lyrics by Larry Todd Johnson, Music by Jake Anthony

This musical explores how ordinary folks can do extraordinarily heroic things. Based on true stories. We meet a WWI nurse and her equivalent in modern day Iraq. A pair of coal-miners. A Chinese immigrant worker in the 30's and a rising Chinese-American journalist in 2010. Two political feminists. And a powerful pair of African-American quiet heroes.

Audio Samples

This musical explores how ordinary folks can do extraordinarily heroic things. Based on true stories. We meet a WWI nurse and her equivalent in modern day Iraq. A pair of coal-miners. A Chinese immigrant worker in the 30's and a rising Chinese-American journalist in 2010. Two political feminists. And a powerful pair of African-American quiet heroes.

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Cast: 6 Set: unit set Instruments: piano

In a series of ten short musicals, Now and Then a Hero explores a cross-section of Americans from the 20th century, and contrasts them with a cross-section of modern Americans. There are five actors and each plays two main roles, one from the last century, and a corresponding one from today. The show opens with the thought that across America, throughout the last century, there have been many men and women, who some called ‘hero,’ with A Story To Tell.
Everett Hook, for example, lost an eye in 1943 in the coal mines, saving the life of a co-worker. He hates the mines, but knows There’s No Use in Wondrin’ about a better life. His only choice is working his fingers to the bone, for his children.
Gary Jensen, on the other hand, is brought in to save the lives of six men trapped in a mine collapse (the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster of 2007.) In the process of the rescue efforts, he learns of unsafe practices at the mine, and puts his own life into Someone Else’s Hands.
Lt. Carmen Lozano tells about her daily tasks serving as a WWII nurse, attending wounded who have returned from Normandy. She is involved with a soldier, but she knows that her relationship isn’t real; reality waits at home, After the War.
Captain Maria Ortiz is also an army nurse, stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. Despite the fact that her leave of duty has ended, she has decided to stay. Her story is told in a series of letters home, all addressed: Captain Maria Ortiz.
Su Koh Lee tells the story of the impending strike (the National Dollar Stores Strike of 1938), the conditions at the sweatshop, and how the support of her co-workers has caused her to find One Small Voice within her, that she has never known before.
JoAnn Lum, by contrast, is a daughter of Chinese immigrants, whose first eye-opening visit to a sweatshop caused her to realize that Someone Chinese could really make a difference to today’s workers. She re-thinks her career path, and decides to heed the voice of her ancestors, and Carry it On.
Cora Lovell tells the story of how she unintentionally got into politics, unheard of for women in the 1920’s. Throughout the story, she is interrupted by the many responsibilities that come with her five public-service positions, which has earned her the nickname Jane of All Trades.
Patricia Todd tells the story of how she unintentionally won her seat in the Alabama House of Representatives in 2006. Everyone thought she was there to forward some kind of ‘lesbian rights agenda,’ to which she responds: That’s Not Why I’m Here.
Archie George sings the blues (he is Jes’ a Sittin Here a Waitin’) and tells the story of the day in 1924 when he saved the life of a man in a construction site accident, and he lost his legs, the best and the worst day of his life.
Wes Autry, also a construction worker, tells the story of the day he saved a man who had a seizure, and fell in the path of a train, by throwing himself on top of him and holding him down while a train passed inches above them. This moving tale ripped from modern headlines, shows us what we all can do it we give Just a Little Bit.
The finale explores the conclusion that stories of heroism must continue to be told, and must continue to live on as an example for our children and their children. It is the potential for heroism, which lies within every man, that is our best hope for the future. We all have A Story to Tell.

NMI developed Now and Then a Hero for the Colony Theatre using its classic model: idea, outline, 15-minute presentation and first draft. The Colony Theatre presented a public concert reading of the work; and NMI featured the show at STAGES 2008. In 2010, a new draft was presented by the Montana Rep as part of the Missoula Colony Festival.

An evening of four one-act musicals based on classic American short stories by O.Henry, Hawthorne, Poe, Twain.

Written by Bill Berry, Kellen Blair, Nick DeGregorio, Scott Guy, Bill Johnson, Ed Martel, and Clay Zambo

Be careful what you wish for! is the theme of this evening of four one-act musicals based on classic American short stories: Dr. Heidegger's Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, and The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain.

Audio Samples

Be careful what you wish for! is the theme of this evening of four one-act musicals based on classic American short stories: Dr. Heidegger's Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, and The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain.

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Cast: 4 Set: unit set Instruments: piano

Twice-Told Tales is an evening of four one-act musicals based on classic American short stories, exploring the theme be careful what you wish for. In Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, three elderly Americans drink water supposedly drawn from the Fountain of Youth, against the stern warnings of the enigmatic Dr. Heidegger. The Ransom of Red Chief features a pair of two-bit con men whose plans to kidnap the ten-year-old son of the richest man in town backfire spectacularly. The Tell-Tale Heart is Poe’s classic tale of the psychological guilt and torment suffered by a man who kills an old man. The evening concludes with Mark Twain’s philosophical masterpiece, The Mysterious Stranger, in which an angel named Satan allows a young man the opportunity to change the fate of his best friends. Each musical features a cast of three men and one woman, with a different lyricist and composer for each.

NMI developed these shows for the Colony Theatre. Workshopped with the Academy Repertory Company. Featured at NMI's 2008 Showcase.

Book and Lyrics by Carl Ritchie, Music by Charles Pelletier

The ladies of the Hood River Horticultural Society are all a flutter: they get to choose the Oregon State Flower. But will they ever agree, and will their dissension forever threaten their friendships?

Audio Samples

The ladies of the Hood River Horticultural Society are all a flutter: they get to choose the Oregon State Flower. But will they ever agree, and will their dissension forever threaten their friendships?

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Cast: 1 man; 4 women Set: unit set; one swing Instruments: piano or three-piece combo

The five character musical takes place in a rural community in Oregon in 1892. The ladies - and gentleman - of the Horticultural Society are embroiled in a comical battle as they try to choose Oregon’s state flower. But the play also explores what went wrong in the friendship between two of the women. Penny - a sort of a Calamity Jane with a secret - appears in sleepy Hood River Oregon. She meets the central character, Millie, who has been trying unsuccessfully to rekindle her lost friendship with her best friend, the uppity Hermione. Rounding out the cast are Flora, the always-close-to-fainting schoolmarm, and her secret love, the local Feed & Seed purveyor, George. It’s an extremely funny yet sometimes quite touching musical the whole family can enjoy. As it gently pokes fun at the frailties of human nature it perhaps teaches us that these same frailties remain the same, year after year, generation after generation.

Sharon Maroney of Broadway Rose Theatre in Oregon NMI with the idea of developing a new musical which would feature Oregon and perhaps also feature her local Oregon stars. NMI developed Sour Grapes for Broadway Rose Theatre using its classic model: assembling the creative team, followed by idea, outline, 15-minute presentation and first draft. Sour Grapes had a public reading at Broadway Rose Theatre in August 2006, and a workshop production at the Copake Lake Theatre Company in September 2006.