Fri 2/12-Sun 3/7
Once again, the Beck Center for the Arts and Baldwin Wallace University’s Music Theatre Program are collaborating — for the 10th time. This time, they’re offering five short (15 minute) new musicals, all virtual world premieres.
The “15-Minute Musical Challenge” was launched last spring by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre to fuel creative energy in the theater community at a time when it was shut down due to the pandemic. The Beck Center took on five of those musicals for further development, working with composers and lyricists from around the country since last summer.
Victoria Bussert, who heads the BW Music Theatre program and also served on the NAMT selection committee to choose the final winners, directs one of the pieces, Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls, described as “an all-woman, through-composed musical theatre piece about the capitalist exploitation of workers’ bodies and rights in the face of a national public health crisis.” It’s based on an actual case from the 1920s of workers fighting a corporation that poisoned them, and it’s part of a full-length musical in progress. And yes, its writers are women as well: Lynne Shankel (music) and Sara Cooper (lyrics).
Other musicals include Holo, set in a holograph museum in 2189, looking back on the pandemic of 2020; Monster on the Lawn, featuring a six-year boy who sees a monster growing on his lawn; White Man’s Burden, about sideshow performers killed because of their skin color; and Rodeo Clowns, “a queer, western epic about two eccentric outcasts who save the heart of their disintegrating town.”
The virtual shows are available for viewing February 12-March 7. Tickets are $0 for one viewer; $30 for two or more. Go here to buy them.