Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
- Music Director
- Micah Young
- Set Design
- Daniel Whiting
- Costume Design
- Gail Baldoni
- Lighting Design
- JARON HERMANSEN
- Sound Design
- JAY SHEEHAN
- Stage Manager
- Shawn Pryby
- Wardrobe Supervisor
- JESTINA O'DELL
- Digital Program
- Marquee Digital
Bobby Conte Thorton
Originally produced by the WPA Theatre, New York City, 1995 (Kyle Renick, Artistic Director)
Original Orchestration by Brian Basterman and Jason Robert Brown
SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD is presented through special agreement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com
Songs & Scenes
Songs & Scenes
- "Opening Sequence I: The New World" - Company
- "Opening Sequence II: On the Deck of a Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492" - Man 1, Company
- "Just One Step" - Woman 2
- "I'm Not Afraid of Anything" - Woman 1
- "The River Won't Flow" - Company
- "Stars and the Moon" - Woman 2
- "She Cries" - Man 2
- "The Steam Train" - Man 1, Company
- "The World Was Dancing" - Man 2, Company
- "Surabaya Santa" - Woman 2
- "Christmas Lullaby" - Woman 1
- "King of the World" - Man 1
- "I'd Give It All For You" - Woman 1, Man 2
- "The Flagmaker, 1775" - Woman 2
- "Flying Home" - Man 1, Company
- "Hear My Song" - Company
*Appearing through an Agreement between this theatre and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
“Actors’ Equity Association (“Equity”), founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 actors and stage managers, Equity fosters the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an International organization of performing arts unions. www.actorsequity.org
Student Advisory Board
Message From The Theatre
The Cape Playhouse is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to present BROADWAY ON THE LAWN for the 2021 Summer Season. A heartfelt thank you to all our patrons and sponsors who have helped make this season possible. We are thrilled to have you back and delighted to be up and running with our stellar production crew and brilliant actors who are ready to bedazzle you on our first ever outdoor stage!
Meet the Cast
Broadway credits include It Shoulda Been You, Nine, The Look of Love, Saturday Night Fever, and Grease! among others. Off-Broadway credits include Window Treatment (cast album), Goldstein, The Last Smoker In America (cast album), The Marvelous Wonderettes (Drama Desk Nomination, cast album), I Love You Because (cast album) and more. Lots of regional including The Cape Playhouse in 2014 and 2017, Papermill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Signature Theatre (Helen Hayes Award), Geva Theater and Alabama Shakespeare. Her solo show Farah Alvin on Vinyl named the Best Cabaret Show 2019. She has performed as a soloist with Symphony Orchestras of Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, and National Symphonies of the United States and Canada. She is also occasionally a funny voice on your radio. In New York, Farah performs regularly in the series Broadway By the Year at Town Hall, Broadway Close Up and Broadway Unplugged at Merkin Hall, Broadway’s Greatest Hits and 54 Sings…at 54 Below.
Southern California native. Theatre credits include Austen’s Pride at The 5th Avenue (Elizabeth Bennet), Guys and Dolls at The Guthrie (Sarah Brown), Oklahoma! at TUTS (Laurey), West Side Story at Lamb’s Players Theatre (Maria), and Mary Poppins at The Encore Musical Theatre Company (Mary Poppins). BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Michigan.
From an early age, Erick Patrick has had a love for acting. He decided to take his training seriously, so he went to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, where he graduated with a degree in acting for tv and film. Since then, Erick has been performing on stages across America, touring with many broadway shows including Motown the Musical and Jesus Christ Superstar. In addition to being an actor, Erick also sings, writes, and, produces his own music, available on all music streaming platforms under his artist name “Donelle.”
Bobby Conte Thorton
Bobby Conte Thornton currently stars in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. He made his Broadway debut originating the role of Calogero in A Bronx Tale, directed by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks. Other New York theater: My Fair Lady (Bay Street Theater); Starting Here, Starting Now (York Theatre Company). Regional: Last Days of Summer (George Street Playhouse); all-male A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Two River Theater); world premiere of Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors (McCarter Theatre Center/Cleveland Play House); regional premiere of Jersey Boys and Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon (The Muny). Film/TV: If Beale Street Could Talk (directed by Barry Jenkins); “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix); “Madam Secretary”, “The Code” (CBS). He recently released his debut album Along the Way (available on iTunes/Spotify). Training: BFA, University of Michigan; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Meet the Team
Jason Robert Brown
Jason Robert Brown is the ultimate multi-hyphenate - an equally skilled composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer - best known for his dazzling scores to several of the most renowned musicals of our time, including the generation-defining The Last Five Years, his debut song cycle Songs for a New World, and the seminal Parade, for which he won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Score.
Jason Robert Brown has been hailed as "one of Broadway's smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim" (Philadelphia Inquirer), and his "extraordinary, jubilant theater music" (Chicago Tribune) has been heard all over the world, whether in one of the hundreds of productions of his musicals every year or in his own incendiary live performances. The New York Times refers to Jason as "a leading member of a new generation of composers who embody high hopes for the American musical." Jason's score for The Bridges of Madison County, a musical adapted with Marsha Norman from the bestselling novel, received two Tony Awards (for Best Score and Orchestrations). Honeymoon In Vegas, based on Andrew Bergman's film, opened on Broadway in 2015 following a triumphant production at Paper Mill Playhouse. A film version of his epochal Off-Broadway musical The Last Five Years was released in 2015, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan and directed by Richard LaGravenese. His major musicals as composer and lyricist include: 13, written with Robert Horn and Dan Elish, which opened on Broadway in 2008 and was subsequently directed by the composer for its West End premiere in 2012; The Last Five Years, which was cited as one of Time Magazine's 10 Best of 2001 and won Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics (and was later directed by the composer in its record-breaking Off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theatre in 2013); Parade, written with Alfred Uhry and directed by Harold Prince, which won both the Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best New Musical, as well as garnering Jason the Tony Award for Original Score; and Songs for a New World, a theatrical song cycle directed by Daisy Prince, which has since been seen in hundreds of productions around the world since its 1995 Off-Broadway debut, including a celebrated revival at New York's City Center in the summer of 2018. Parade was also the subject of a major revival directed by Rob Ashford, first at London's Donmar Warehouse and then at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Jason conducted his orchestral adaptation of E.B. White's novel The Trumpet of the Swan with the National Symphony Orchestra, and recorded the score for PS Classics. Future projects include a new chamber musical created with Daisy Prince and Jonathan Marc Sherman calledThe Connector; an adaptation of Lilian Lee's Farewell My Concubine, created with Kenneth Lin and Moisés Kaufman; and a collaboration with Billy Crystal, Amanda Green, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel on a musical of Mr. Saturday Night. Jason is the winner of the 2018 Louis Auchincloss Prize, the 2002 Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyrics and the 1996 Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Award for Musical Theatre. Jason's songs, including the cabaret standard "Stars and the Moon," have been performed and recorded by Ariana Grande, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Billy Porter, Betty Buckley, Renée Fleming, Jon Hendricks and many others, and his song "Someone To Fall Back On" was featured in the Walden Media film, Bandslam.
As a soloist or with his band The Caucasian Rhythm Kings, Jason has performed concerts around the world. For the past four years (and ongoing), his monthly sold-out performances at New York's SubCulture have featured many of the music and theater world's most extraordinary performers. His newest collection, "How We React and How We Recover", was released in June 2018 on Ghostlight Records. His previous solo album, "Wearing Someone Else's Clothes", was named one of Amazon.com's best of 2005, and is available from Sh-K-Boom Records. Jason's 2012 concert with Anika Noni Rose was broadcast on PBS, and he was the featured soloist for a live episode of Friday Night Is Music Night, broadcast live from the London Palladium and featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra. His collaboration with singer Lauren Kennedy, "Songs of Jason Robert Brown", is available on PS Classics. Jason is also the composer of the incidental music for the Broadway revival of You Can't Take It With You, David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo and Fuddy Meers, and Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery, and he was a Tony Award nominee for his contributions to the score of Urban Cowboy the Musical. He has also contributed music to the hit Nickelodeon television series, The Wonder Pets as well as Sesame Street. Jason spent ten years teaching at the USC School of Dramatic Arts, and has also taught at Harvard University, Princeton University and Emerson College.
For the musical Prince of Broadway, a celebration of the career of his mentor Harold Prince, Jason was the musical supervisor and arranger. Other New York credits as conductor and arranger include Urban Cowboy the Musical on Broadway; Dinah Was, off-Broadway and on national tour; When Pigs Fly"off-Broadway; William Finn's A New Brain at Lincoln Center Theater; the 1992 tribute to Stephen Sondheim at Carnegie Hall (recorded by RCA Victor); Yoko Ono's New York Rock, at the WPA Theatre; and Michael John LaChiusa's The Petrified Princ" at the Public Theatre. Jason orchestrated Andrew Lippa's john and jen,Off-Broadway at Lamb's Theatre. Additionally, Jason served as the orchestrator and arranger of Charles Strouse and Lee Adams's score for a proposed musical of Star Wars. Jason has conducted and created arrangements and orchestrations for Liza Minnelli, John Pizzarelli, and Michael Feinstein, among many others.
Jason studied composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., with Samuel Adler, Christopher Rouse, and Joseph Schwantner. He lives with his wife, composer Georgia Stitt, and their daughters in New York City. Jason is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802.
Igor Goldin is thrilled that SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD at the Cape Playhouse is his first show back from the pandemic. Based out of New York City, Igor directs and develops musical theatre around the country. Most recently: Austen's Pride (Seattle 5th Ave), Passing Through (Goodspeed. CT). NYC: Yank! (Drama Desk nom, Outstanding Director of a Musical); With Glee, and A Ritual of Faith (both New York Times Critics Picks). 11 new musicals for the New York Musical Festival (3 NYMF Awards for Excellence in Direction). Regional: Austen’s Pride (ACT of CT); Matilda (co. dir./Mara Greer, Regional Premiere, Tuacahn, UT); Adam Gwon/Michele Lowe’s The Proxy Marriage (Goodspeed 2019 Festival of New Musicals); Grease, Sweeney Todd (SALT Award nom, Director of the Year) and Austen’s Pride (Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival); 26 Pebbles (World Premiere) and A Christmas Story (The Human Race Theatre, OH); Matilda, Newsies, Gypsy, Oklahoma, 1776, Memphis, West Side Story (“Encore” Theatre Award, Best Director), The Producers, Evita, The Music Man (“Encore” Theatre Award), Twelve Angry Men, and South Pacific (Engeman, NY); Crossing Swords and tick, tick…BOOM! (American Theatre Group, NJ); Academy (Tuacahn New Works Festival); Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (La Mirada/McCoy Rigby, CA). Top 5 Finalist for the SDC Joe A. Callaway Award for Distinguished Direction. Proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Thanks to Joe, Shawn, Dan, Jaron, Gail, Gayle Seay, Erin Craig and all the hard working people at the Cape Playhouse – without them none of this could have happened. Love to Jeff.
Micah is an award-winning music director, composer and arts educator. Recently he music directed the National Tour of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Fun Home. On Broadway, he conducted the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Spring Awakening as well as played in numerous Broadway productions including: Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Promises, Promises, Porgy and Bess, Cinderella, Bye, Bye, Birdie! and White Christmas. He was awarded the Best Music Director in the New York Theatre Festival for Crossing Swords, as well as music directing Pageant (Drama Desk Best Revival nom.), and A Christmas Memory (Outer Critics Circle Best Musical nom.). Micah is a passionate teacher, having worked with institutions including: Jacob’s Pillow, Barrington Stages, Broadway Plus, Broadway Official Online Masterclass, Hunter College, NYU, and AMDA. Micah’s compositions have been performed internationally as well as throughout the US. Commissions: Miracle House, The Flea Theatre and the Ma-Yi Theatre Company. His original musical Bea & Ben premiered at the Coastal Carolina University, and Barrington Stages. Training: Interlochen Arts Academy, Manhattan School of Music, with Constance Keene and Maria Asteriadou, BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in NYC, Musical Theatre Workshop with Paul Gemignani.
Daniel Whiting is a Technical Director, Production Manager, Artistic Director, Set Designer, and Production Designer based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked as the Technical Director for Utah Valley University’s Theatre Program for four years, and during that time, he won national recognition for his scenic design and technical direction of Next to Normal and Vincent in Brixton respectively. He has worked with Tuacahn Center for the Performing Arts, Utah Repertory Theater Company, The Neil Simon Festival, The Egyptian Theater, The Sundance Eccles Theater, Radical Hospitality Company, Waterford Theater, The Echo Theater Company, The Cape Playhouse, BYU TV, AMC, and HBO. He is a founding member and former Artistic Director of the Grassroots Shakespeare Company which is Utah’s leading scholarly Shakespeare studies organization and touring theater company. He is a part owner, founder and former Production Manager and Scenic designer of Sackerson Theater Company.
NYC credits include My Fair Lady at The New York Philharmonic, Wonderful Town at New York City Opera and an Emmy nomination for NBC’s Another World. Film work: Mermaids, starring Cher and The Boy in the Bathtub. Numerous shows for Papermill Playhouse, The Goodspeed Opera, The Ahmanson Theater, North Shore Music Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, The Boston Ballet and The Cleveland Playhouse. 13 Off-Broadway shows to date. Other favorite projects include the Rockettes’ Christmas Show, Disney on Ice and The Ringling Bros. Circus. Gail is currently teaching at SUNY Purchase in the Conservatory of Dance Department. 21 Cape Playhouse productions including: South Pacific, Spelling Bee and Gypsy.
Jaron has been the resident Lighting Designer for The Cape Playhouse since 2017, where his credits include Little Shop of Horrors, The Importance of Being Earnest, Deathtrap, Clue, Altar Boyz, Steel Magnolias, Art, Red, The Foreigner, Murder for Two. Other credits include: Les Mis, Always Patsy Cline,A Tale of Two Cities, Million Dollar Quartet, Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom the Musical (Hale Centre Theatre); The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Fiddler on the Roof (Sundance Summer Theatre, Utah); Eleemosynary (The Brooks, California); The King’s Men, Private Ear, Hedda Gabler, The Weird Play (Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Utah); Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Romeo & Juliet (Noorda Center for the Performing Arts, Utah); This Bird of Dawning (Reagent Street Black Box, Utah). Jaron sits on the Board of Directors for the Intermountain Desert Region of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology–the association for performing arts and entertainment professionals–and is a nominee for its Rising Star Award. He has been a lecturer at Utah Valley University and the resident designer and technical director at the Waterford School.
Two-time Emmy nominated and award winning, self-declared ‘diverse media’ technologist, Jay Sheehan has been involved with recording and mixing audio for artists, film, television, and the web, as well as providing live sound and mastering since 1995. He holds a degree in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music. Projects, including "Hit and Run History" series and "Runner", have aired on RIPBS, WGBH online, and Amazon Prime. These projects have taken him across North America, Chile, Argentina, as well as to the Falkland Islands and Cape Horn. He has also won two sound design awards for his film mixing. He splits his time providing sound and video production services in New England with his own company Garrett Audio, Beachpoint Mastering, and Cape Cod Sound School; as well as Director of IT at Cape Cod Community Media Center; freelance engineer for Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Music Room Cape Cod, and Cotuit Center for the Arts. He is also a Board member and Technical Consultant for the Woods Hole Film Festival.
Welcome back, everyone! Nationally: Hello, Dolly! Starring Carol Channing, The Pointer Sisters’ Ain’t Misbehavin’, Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson, Regionally: Man Of La Mancha, The Boy From Oz, South Pacific, It Shoulda Been You, The Drowsy Chaperone, Mamma Mia, Sister Act (Stages St. Louis), La Cage Aux Folles, Miss Saigon (North Shore Music Theatre), Barnum (Mercury Theatre), Hats! Starring Melissa Manchester (Royal George), Elf, Spamalot, Carousel, West Side Story, Guys And Dolls (Musical Theatre West), A Little Night Music (Festival Theatre), 110 In The Shade (Light Opera Works).
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Pre-Show Snack or
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While You Wait
With the help of our friends at Theatrely.com, Marquee Digital has you covered with exclusive content while you wait for the curtain to rise.
EXCLUSIVE: Watch A Clip From THEATER CAMP Starring Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, and Molly Gordon
Finally, summer has arrived, which can only mean one thing: it's time for camp! Theater Camp, that is. Theatrely has a sneak peak at the new film which hits select theaters today.
The new original comedy starring Tony Award winner Ben Platt and Molly Gordon we guarantee will have you laughing non-stop. The AdirondACTS, a run-down theater camp in upstate New York, is attended by theater-loving children who must work hard to keep their beloved theater camp afloat after the founder, Joan, falls into a coma.
The film stars Ben Platt and Molly Gordon as Amos Klobuchar and Rebecca-Diane, respectively, as well as Noah Galvin as Glenn Wintrop, Jimmy Tatro as Troy Rubinsky, Patti Harrison as Caroline Krauss, Nathan Lee Graham as Clive DeWitt, Ayo Edebiri as Janet Walch, Owen Thiele as Gigi Charbonier, Caroline Aaron as Rita Cohen, Amy Sedaris as Joan Rubinsky, and Alan Kim as Alan Park.
Theater Camp was directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman and written by Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman & Ben Platt. Music is by James McAlister and Mark Sonnenblick. On January 21, 2023, Theater Camp had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
You can purchase tickets to the new film from our friends at Hollywood.com here.
READ: An Excerpt From Sean Hayes Debut YA Novel TIME OUT
Actor Sean Hayes is what we in the biz call booked and blessed. On top of his Tony-nominated performance as Oscar Levant in Good Night, Oscar, Hayes has partnered with Todd Milliner and Carlyn Greenwald for the release of their new YA novel Time Out.
Heralded by many as Heartstopper meets Friday Night Lights, Time Out follows hometown basketball hero Barclay Elliot who decides to use a pep rally to come out to his school. When the response is not what he had hoped and the hostility continually growing, he turns to his best friend Amy who brings him to her voting rights group at school. There he finds Christopher and… you will just have to grab a copy and find out what happens next. Luckily for you, Time Out hits shelves on May 30 and to hold you over until then we have a special except from the book just for Theatrely:
The good thing about not being on the team the past two weeks has been that I’ve had time to start picking up shifts again at Beau’s diner and save up a little for college now that my scholarship dreams are over.
The bad part is it’s the perfect place to see how my actions at the pep rally have rotted the townspeople’s brains too.
During Amy’s very intense musical theater phase in middle school, her parents took her to New York City. And of course she came back home buzzing about Broadway and how beautiful the piss smell was and everything artsy people say about New York. But she also vividly described some diner she waited three hours to get into where the waitstaff would all perform songs for the customers as a way to practice for auditions. The regulars would have favorite staff members and stan them the way Amy stans all her emo musicians.
Working at Beau’s used to feel kind of like that, like I was part of a performance team I didn’t know I signed up for. The job started off pretty basic over the summer—I wanted to save up for basketball supplies, and Amy worked there and said it was boring ever since her e-girl coworker friend graduated. But I couldn’t get through a single lunch rush table without someone calling me over and wanting the inside scoop on the Wildcats and how we were preparing for the home opener, wanting me to sign an article in the paper or take a photo. Every friendly face just made the resolve grow inside me. People love and support the Wildcats; they would do the same for me.
Now just like school, customers have been glaring at me, making comments about letting everyone down, about being selfish, about my actions being “unfortunate,” and the tips have been essentially nonexistent. The Wildcats have been obliterated in half their games since I quit, carrying a 2–3 record when last year we were 5–0, and the comments make my feet feel like lead weights I have to drag through every shift.
Today is no different. It’s Thursday, the usual dinner rush at Beau’s, and I try to stay focused on the stress of balancing seven milkshakes on one platter. A group of regulars, some construction workers, keep loudly wondering why I won’t come back to the team while I refuse proper eye contact.
One of the guys looks up at me as I drop the bill off. “So, what’s the deal? Does being queer keep ya from physically being able to play?”
They all snicker as they pull out crumpled bills. I stuff my hands into my pockets, holding my tongue.
When they leave, I hold my breath as I take their bill.
Sure enough, no tip.
“What the fuck?” I mutter under my breath.
“Language,” Amy says as she glides past me, imitating the way Richard says it to her every shift, and adds, “even though they are dicks.” At least Amy’s been ranting about it every free chance she gets. It was one thing when the student body was being shitty about me leaving the team, but the town being like this is even more infuriating. She doesn’t understand how these fully grown adults can really care that much about high school basketball and thinks they need a new fucking hobby. I finally agree with her.
[She’s wearing red lipstick to go with her raccoon-adjacent eyeliner as she rushes off to prepare milkshakes for a pack of middle schoolers. I catch her mid–death glare as all three of the kids rotate in their chairs, making the old things squeal. My anger fades a bit as I can’t help but chuckle; Amy’s pissed-off reaction to Richard telling her to smile more was said raccoon makeup, and her tolerance for buffoonery has been at a negative five to start and declining fast.
I rest my arms on the counter and try not to look as exhausted as I feel.
“Excuse me!” an old lady screeches, making me jump.
Amy covers up a laugh as I head to the old lady and her husband’s table. They’ve got finished plates, full waters. Not sure what the problem is. Or I do, which is worse.
“Yes?” I say trying to suppress my annoyance.
“Could you be bothered to serve us?”
Only five more hours on shift. I have a break in three minutes. I’ll be with Devin at Georgia Tech tomorrow. “I’m sorry, ma’am,” I say, so careful to keep my words even, but I can feel my hands balling into fists. “What would you—?”
And suddenly Amy swoops in, dropping two mugs of coffee down. “Sorry about that, you two,” she says, her voice extra high. “The machine was conking out on us, but it’s fine now.”
Once the coffee is down, she hooks onto a chunk of my shirt, steering us back to the bar.
“Thanks,” I mutter, embarrassed to have forgotten something so basic. Again.
“Just keep it together, man,” she says. “Maybe you’d be better off with that creepy night shift where all the truckers and serial killers come in.”
Honestly, at least the serial killers wouldn’t care about my jump shot.
It’s a few minutes before my break, but clearly I need it. “I’ll be in the back room.”
Right before I can head that way though, someone straight-up bursts into the diner and rushes over to me at the bar. It’s a middle-aged dad type, sunburned skin, beer belly, and stained T-shirt.
“Pickup order?” I ask.
“You should be ashamed,” he sneers at me. He has a really strong Southern accent, but it’s not Georgian. “Think you’re so high and mighty, that nothing’ll ever affect you? My kid’ll never go to college because of you and your lifestyle. Fuck you, Barclay Ell—”
And before this man can finish cursing my name, Pat of all people runs in, wide-eyed in humiliation. “Jesus, Dad, please don’t—”
I pin my gaze on him, remembering how he cowered on the bench as Ostrowski went off, how he didn’t even try to approach me. “Don’t even bother,” I snap.
I shove a to-go bag into his dad’s arms, relieved it’s prepaid, and storm off to the break room.]
Amy finds me head in my arms a minute or two later. I look up, rubbing my eyes. “Please spare me the pity.”
She snorts and hands me a milkshake. Mint chocolate chip. “Wouldn’t dare.” She takes a seat and rolls her shoulders and neck, cracks sounding through the tiny room. “Do you want a distraction or a shoulder to cry on?”
For more information, and to purchase your copy of Time Out, click here.
Reframing the COVID-19 Pandemic Through a Stage Manager’s Eyes
When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency in the United States in March 2020, Broadway veteran stage manager Richard Hester watched the nation’s anxiety unfold on social media.
“No one knew what the virus was going to do,” Hester said. Some people were “losing their minds in abject terror, and then there were some people who were completely denying the whole thing.”
For Hester, the reaction at times felt like something out of a movie. “It was like the Black Plague,” he said. “Some people thought it was going to be like that Monty Python sketch: ‘bring out your dead, bring out your dead.’”
While Hester was also unsure about how the virus would unfold, he felt that his “job as a stage manager is to naturally defuse drama.” Hester brought this approach off the stage and onto social media in the wake of the pandemic.
“I just sort of synthesized everything that was happening into what I thought was a manageable bite, so people could get it,” Hester said. This became a daily exercise for a year. Over two years after the beginning of the pandemic, Hester’s accounts are compiled in the book, Hold Please: Stage Managing A Pandemic. Released earlier this year, the book documents the events of the past two years, filtering national events and day-to-day occurrences through a stage manager’s eyes and storytelling.
When Hester started this project, he had no intention of writing a book. He was originally writing every day because there was nothing else to do. “I am somebody who needs a job or needs a structure,” Hester said.
Surprised to find that people began expecting his daily posts, he began publishing his daily writing to his followers through a Substack newsletter. As his following grew, Hester had to get used to writing for an audience. “I started second guessing myself a lot of the time,” Hester said. “It just sort of put a weird pressure on it.”
Hester said he got especially nervous before publishing posts in which he wrote about more personal topics. For example, some of his posts focused on his experiences growing up in South Africa while others centered on potentially divisive topics, such as the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Despite some of this discomfort, Hester’s more personal posts were often the ones that got the most response. The experience offered him a writing lesson. “I stopped worrying about the audience and just wrote what I wanted to write about,” Hester said. “All of that pressure that I think as artists we put on ourselves, I got used to it.”
One of Hester’s favorite anecdotes featured in the book centers on a woman who dances in Washington Square Park on a canvas, rain or shine. He said he was “mesmerized by her,” which inspired him to write about her. “It was literally snowing and she was barefoot on her canvas dancing, and that seems to me just a spectacularly beautiful metaphor for everything that we all try and do, and she was living that to the fullest.”
During the creation of Hold Please, Hester got the unique opportunity to reflect in-depth on the first year of the pandemic by looking back at his accounts. He realized that post people would not remember the details of the lockdown; people would “remember it as a gap in their lives, but they weren’t going to remember it beat by beat.”
“Reliving each of those moments made me realize just how full a year it was, even though none of us were doing anything outside,” he adds. “We were all on our couches.” Readers will use the book as a way to relive moments of the pandemic’s first year “without having to wallow in the misery of it,” he hopes.
“I talk about the misery of it, but that’s not the focus of what I wrote... it was about hope and moving forward,” Hester said. “In these times when everything is so difficult, we will figure out a way to get through and we will move forward.”
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