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​Copyright 2012 Julie Lyn Barber

Musicals and Plays

For more information about musicals and plays, perusal copies and production rights, please send queries through the "Contact" page link.

Musicals

Bessie and Clara Sing the Blues

Cast: 2 f, 1m. Running time: 60 minutes.

Bessie Smith was a blues legend. Not far behind her was Clara Smith.The two were friends until Bessie beat Clara up one night in a drunken rage. But before then, the friends recorded three duets for Columbia Records, two of which were released at the pinnacle of their fame.. Join Bessie and Clara in the studio in a re-imagination of that days' recording session that might never have happened if Bessie hadn't been able to rein in her infamous temper. 

Christmas Through the Ages

Small Cast: 1f, 1m, 1 child.  Large Cast: 4f, 2m, 2 children

Running Time:  90 min.
Actor/singer/musicians trace the history of the celebration of Christmas by following its music from pre-Christian era Rome to the twenty-first century. This quick-paced Christmas Cabaret is the perfect alternative to traditional holiday fare, with enough nostalgia and silliness to keep the whole family happy.

Dueling Divas

Cast: 2f, 1m:  Running Time:  30 min.
The haunted theatres of Europe are being demolished and more than one dead diva has decided to relocate to your theatre, to continue her haunting of operatic proportions. Baroque repertoire is used as a weapon in this battle among three divas of the operatic stage in eighteenth-century England.

*The Elves (and the Shoemaker)

Cast: 3f, 3m. Running Time:  60 min.
The well-known story is reinterpreted in the slap-stick comedic style of the traditional British pantomime, complete with a dame in the role of the Shoemaker’s wife, and a villainous Landlord who tries to secure her for himself.  A good Fairy ensures that the Shoemaker has help from her friends, the elves, as well as some audience participation. The happy Christmas morning ending is sure to send everyone out smiling.

Heidi

Cast: 7f, 8m.  Running Time:  60 min.
Joanna Spyri’s novella finds new life in this musical retelling of the tale of 6 yr. old Heidi. She inspires all she meets to explore the world with a fresh eye toward wonder and goodness.  She transforms a crotchety recluse of a grandfather, a dour young goatherd and a young convalescent with her honest hopefulness.

Cast: 2f, 1m, 1g, 1b:  Running Time:  60 min.
This musical takes a light look at a dark time for Indiana's 19th century inhabitants, when migratory squirrels cut a swath through the state. Meet historical figures who give eye-witness accounts, and some questionable characters prone to wild exaggeration and breaking into song. Playing at the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival August 18-28, 2016. Tickets at www.indyfringe.org

Madwomen's Late Nite Cabaret

Cast: 3-4f, 1-2m.  Running Time:  60 min.
Over a dozen mad, maligned and misunderstood women of history myth and imagination sing classic cabaret songs which take on new meaning and relevance because of the pairings.  Joan of Arc croons “Smoke Gets in My Eyes” and Eve belts out “Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child”  in this hilarious romp through women’s history.

Master Cat or Puss in Boots

Cast: 15: Running Time: 30 min.
A comic take on the Perrault fairy tale with traditional Spanish and French music, fitted to new lyrics to aid in the re-telling of this classic tale of an innocent youngest child of a dying Miller, who ends up with nothing of his father’s estate but his dear pet cat, Puss.  Of course, the cat turns out to be quite clever, once handsomely shod, and through his political savvy, charm (and threats of clawing to pieces anyone who doesn’t do as he says) manages to aid his new master in achieving wealth, power and a loving wife.

Paradise Blues

Cast: 1f, live ensemble or tracks. Running time: 60 minutes

A successful Blues and Hot Jazz singer from the early days of radio, Marion Harris was proud of her Indiana and Kentucky roots. Her soulful renditions of songs from the turn of the century through the 1930s made her a popular singer of the time despite the fact that she was white. Spend an evening with Marion as she sings and storytells through her recollections of what it meant to be a female performing artist in early 20th century America.

Those Killing Feares

Cast: 1f.  Running Time:  30 min.
Cynthia is an abandoned woman who relies on letters to and from her mysterious lover to piece together what has happened to him and what must become of her.  The music of Henry Purcell is paired with selections from Aphra Behn’s Love Letters from a Nobleman to His Sister in this one-woman musical drama set in the late 1600s.

Thumbelina

Cast: 2f, 3m.  Running Time:  45 min.
A musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson story of the wish-come-true child, the size of her mother’s thumb, who is stolen away by Mother Toad to become a wife for her croaking son.  She escapes and embarks on many adventures aided by friendly fish and birds, impeded by a mayfly and given shelter by a mouse and mole whose ulterior motives, revealed in song, cause her to fly off with her friend, the swallow, to seek a new life among the flower fairies.  For a cast as few as five, to a full ensemble. Pre-recorded tracks of the musical accompaniment are also available for rental.

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*This activity made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

This activity is a signature project of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, and is made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Plays

The Bonnie Lass and the Black Well Faeries

Cast: 2f, 3m.  Running Time:  30 min.
A Scottish folktale turned British panto about a lovely young girl’s run-in with the faeries who inhabit the Black Well.  Her parents, the traditional comic duo of husband and Dame, help her navigate her trials with the aid of an Angelic Fairy who guides the Vicar who guides the audience in their part of the story on the way to “happily ever after“.

Briar Rose: The Beauty in the Sleeping Wood

Cast: 2f, 3m.  Running Time:  30 min.
This is the whole story, as originally told by Charles Perrault, newly adapted with an eye toward the British panto style of involving the audience in the action, under the direction of the good fairy and her magic remote control.  You may be familiar with the first half of the story, which ends with the sleeping beauty being awakened with a kiss by the handsome prince.

Ella in the Real World

Cast: 2f, 1m.  Running Time:  10 min.
A glimpse into the multi-tasking dramatic farce that erupts when one mother hits the road with two children, a slippery cell phone, and a situation with a slushie straw.

*The Frog Prince

Cast: 3 f, 3m.  Running Time: 40 min.
This interactive re-telling of the classic fairy tale follows the wise-cracking frog to his unlikely bride, where he narrowly escapes becoming dinner to his future mother-in-law. The good fairy makes sure that we finally arrive at a happy twist ending for everyone but the baddie.

The House that Helen Built

Cast: 3f, 2m, 1g, 1b:  Running Time:  30 min.

Helen has a bustling apartment full of friends and family when we meet her at a romantic breakfast gone wrong.  But a visit from her uptight daughter sheds new light on Helen’s life and raises questions about how one should be allowed to spend it.

The Nixie and the Dame

Cast: 1f, 3m.  Running Time:  20 min.
A fairy tale for all ages adapted from a Hans Christian Andersen story, offering an introduction to some aspects of the panto style of theatre.  There is a magnificent dame (played by a man, of course), her husband (played by a woman, of course), a lovesick schoolmaster (in love with the dame), a mischievous fairy (the Nixie) and a cat named Cream-Thief.  The narrator moves the story along with help from the audience and the truth about men is revealed.

Irreconcilable Passions

One-woman one-act (60 minutes

Spend an evening with Ninon de l'Enclos, infamous seventeenth century Epicurean, author of La coquette vengée ("The Flirt Avenged"and hundreds of letters. Her Salon was the place to be in seventeenth-century France - the place to hobnob with young Voltaire, philosophers and other great thinkers of the day, to maybe hear advanced readings of new plays by her dear friend and humble servant, Molière. She sets the record straight about the world's misperceptions about her.

The Peacock and the Nightingale

Cast: 2f. Running Time:  45 min.
Enjoy an afternoon of poems, stories, and classic Indian dance with Indian Freedom Fighters Sarojini Naidu and Begum Hazrat Mahal as they help prepare a new soul to continue their work on earth. Written as part of the 365 Women a Year Playwriting Project.

The Faerie's Secret Name (Rumpelstiltskin)

Cast: 2f, 3m.  Running Time:  30 min.

The traditional tale of the girl who made a deal with a devilish little imp who helped her spin straw into gold. The audience helps banish the arrogant elf by shouting his name at just the right moment to save the day.

Tamlane

Cast: 1f, 2m.  Running Time:  10 min.
A tongue-in-cheek version of a traditional Scottish ballad, wherein the titular hero must actually be rescued from Elf Land by his plucky fiancée.  The perfect appetizer.

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*This activity made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.