My experiences writing, directing and producing Christian musicals for kids through adults.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Doin' the Sentimental

I pulled out my old files for two of the shows we're planning on performing for the Summer Musical Theatre Workshop (ahem, have you registered yet?) in preparation for revising and adding to the scripts. However, instead of working, I, and Aaron and Maggie, got caught up in looking at the cast photo for These are the Voyages and we all read through the cast party skit that the leaders put on at the cast party after tour.

It was wonderful fun to look at the photo and remember names and remark on how young and short everyone was compared to today. And the cast party skit -- I remember writing it on tour with some of the other leaders, but I don't remember a whole lot of the actual performance of it. Maggie did. At 6, she was too young to be in the show, but she got to come to the cast party and she remembers the skit very well.

The skit played off of all the mishaps during the tour: such as when Spock's ear fell off during his scene with McCoy and he stood there stroking it like a little mouse and ad-libbed something about falling apart; mapquest directions that got us lost a few times; hairspray-filled rooms that left us gasping (hey, it was a 60s show); the truck's loading ramp that kept getting stuck; and most of all, sunburned actors. (From this we learned to put any trips to a water park at the END of the tour! Otherwise, you might find yourselves nursing near-heatstroke victims shortly before a performance.)

It was wonderful fun, and while one might say we're just being sentimental, I do enjoy creating memories for lots of young people and their families, on an ongoing basis.

Looking forward to all the memories we'll be creating this summer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beam us up, Scotty!

Back in 2002, at the suggestion of a good friend of mine, we wrote a parody musical based on Star Trek. A group of us got together to discuss story lines and characters, situations and lines we had to include (such as Bones has to say, "I'm a doctor, not a ______"). Then I went to my lonely old PC, which my kids remind me was utterly devoid of games except for "line draw". It was so old, it was a monochrome screen! Well, Star Trek is an old show too.

The SciFi channel was running a series at the time in which they showed Star Trek episodes in their entirety. (Syndication markets always cut out extra bits for the added commercials.) In addition to showing them in their entirety, SciFi added commentary, from Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan . . . This time marked the transformation of my cute little 6-year-old Maggie into the Trekkie she is today.

We wrote a great musical, which we took on tour. It had great songs written by Randy, all the in-jokes and fun costumes and other stuff that makes a parody fun, a good tie-in spiritually, and a fight scene! The show is so beloved that when I've mentioned to people that I wanted to expand one of our older shows for the Summer Musical Theatre Workshop, many of them immediately suggested These Are the Voyages.

So, yesterday, after Maggie and I went to our old church to give them flyers for the summer workshop, we got a bonus: we got to search through the old costume bins for our old costumes. Modern Trekkie that she is, Maggie wore Sulu's old shirt to youth group last night. Aaron squeezed himself into Scotty's shirt. If we do put on Voyages, we're still going to have to sew some new costumes!

As for Yeoman Rand's wig. That is long gone. I'm going to have to create a new one.

Monday, April 19, 2010

And Then There . . . was Randy on stage!

Most people with a somewhat hectic schedule look forward to times when they can relax. Randy, my husband and lyricist/songwriter, looked at his calendar, saw a relatively blank time between putting on the Easter show and gearing up for the Summer Musical Theatre Workshop and said to himself, "Why don't I audition for a part in a community theatre production?"

I was proud of him just for deciding to audition. He's been co-writing with me, and editing me, and helping me as I direct, for years, but the last time he acted was when we were performing skits for the kids Sunday school a few years ago. Hardly the resume for an actor.

But he typed up a resume anyway, Maggie took pictures of him for his 8x10 headshot, and he practiced his British-accented monologue for me.

He auditioned on a Saturday, but received merely a polite "thank you," so we were quite excited when he got a call-back. After the call-back, in which they asked him to run through a bunch of accents as he read all sorts of parts, we just waited. Randy was thinking maybe he'd get the boatman, a minor character in the first act.

Friday night, the director called to offer him a part! It is a wonderful part but I can't tell you much more or it may give away the plot.

The show is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians). It runs June 11 to 27 at the Driftwood Players theatre in Edmonds. Here's a link to their site. Okay. The link isn't working, but you can copy this URL into your browser:

If you live in the area, please think about coming to see the show. Randy will play the part of the judge. Meanwhile at home, I will play the part of the patient wife holding down the homestead while he spends every evening in rehearsal.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thor Speaks!

This is Thor. He was one of our featured performers for The Saga of Saewyn. I thought about giving Thor something to say, such as, "Put the Summer Theatre Workshop dates on your calendar."

But I think you all can come up with more amusing quotes than that. What would you like Thor to say?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Last summer, we put on our first ever Summer Theatre Workshop. Not sure how many people would sign up, we wrote a revue using songs from previous shows, plus two more that Randy wrote just for the revue. It was a fun show, with a cast of 14 performing 46 different parts! Each actor also performed some backstage function: sound, prop management, ironing, even taking headshot photographs. They did a great job and we all had a lot of fun - in spite of the record-breaking heatwave!

Now, it's time for a full show. We've been working on scheduling, and other preparation. If you go to our website (linked on your left), you will see more information about this exciting opportunity.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


The show was a great success! Everyone showed up on time, the sound worked well, costumes looked great, kids sang and danced and acted very well.

And people responded: they laughed at the jokes and were engaged throughout the show. Even better, Pastor John, who had asked me for a summary a few weeks ago and who had a copy of the script, used the characters and situations in the show for his sermon. Best of all, several people responded to John's altar call and gave their lives to Jesus Christ this morning!

That's one of the biggest reasons I write these shows. I know that a lot of people who would never come to church normally will come if a friend or relative's child is in a show. I also know that if they are going to pay any attention to the message in the show, the show must be entertaining, it must be well written and make sense, with engaging characters and plot lines, and it must be performed well. All that can help people be receptive to what God wants to say to them, but even if the bases are loaded, you still need one more batter to hit a homerun for all the players to come home. That's what John's sermon did today. Thanks, John.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Polishing Swords

You've seen it in a ton of movies: before the big climax at the end there's the quiet scene of preparation. WWII soldiers are reading letters from home before D-Day; Lighting McQueen gets new tires and a paint job before the big race; the baseball pitcher massages his arm; Greek soldiers polish their swords before the final battle. . .

I have no swords to polish (our swords are fine the way they are, but I do have some costume fixes to perform. Meanwhile, hopefully, the kids in the show have gone over their lines again and their lyrics, and their dance steps, and will get a good night's sleep and eat a good breakfast tomorrows, because tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., it's SHOW TIME!