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Cast Announced for the Colorado Reading of New Musical 57 BUS


AERYN WATSON will star as Skylar Peterson and RONALD MCQUEEN as John Michael.

Cast Announced for the Colorado Reading of New Musical 57 BUS

The new musical 57 BUS by RYAN M. LUEVANO has been selected for a mainstage reading as part of the Colorado New Musical Festival. The performance will occur on July 26th 2021 at McIlvoy Park in Olde Town Arvada, Colorado. The performance will also be streamed on the on Backstory's Youtube channel.

AERYN WATSON will star as Skylar Peterson and RONALD MCQUEEN as John Michael. They will be joined by ALEXANDER WATSON as Tucker, JACK GRIFFIN as Jules, ANNA WAGNER as Fran Peterson, CALEB O'BRIEN as Steve Peterson, ADRIANNA GONZALES as Gloria, and CECILLA KIM as Irene.

The reading will be directed by PRESTON ADAMS.

This Colorado New Musical Festival was founded in 2020 by Kelly Bidstrup Graham, a local musician, writer, and director, who has seen the terrible lack of opportunities available to Colorado musical theater composers. There are open mic nights for singer songwriters and there are tons of opportunities to submit plays for staged readings all over Denver. But there are few to no places where a musical theater writer can workshop their work. Most new musicals are self-funded readings or full productions, limiting who gets their voice heard to those with resources and money.

The festival is changing that. The goal is to select promising musicals for staged readings in the summer of 2021. This will be a multi-night event. Based on the format we created in 2020, one night will likely be a showcase of works in progress or works we loved but didn't make the final cut, and 1-2 more nights will be readings of full musicals like 57 Bus.

57 BUS is inspired by a true event that took place on a bus in Oakland, California in 2013, when an 18-year-old agender high school student's skirt was set on fire by another student. The musical explores how the lives of these two children are changed forever. After being the victim of this hate crime Skylar is left to decide if the cost of self-expression in an intolerant world is worth the freedom of living as your true self. By re-evaluating Skylar's own pursuit for self-expression, they learn more about themselves and discover what they must do to find the path to healing.

The other student, John Michael, is seen as an attacker, however, given his background, and ultimate fate by the court, audiences must determine if he is perhaps also a victim. In the end, John Michael must decide to accept the consequences of his actions and find a way to rise against society's expectations and emerge out of his circumstances better than before.



57 BUS


By Ryan M. Luévano

Directed by Preston Adams


Monday July 26th, 2021 at 6PM (Mountain Time)


McIlvoy Park

5750 Upham St,

Arvada, CO 80002


Inspired by a true event, 57 BUS explores how the lives of two teenagers are forever changed after riding the 57 bus in Oakland one day.




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