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5 x 15: Five World Premiere 15-Minute Musicals Extended

Shows include Holo, Rodeo Clowns, Monster on the Lawn and more.

5 x 15: Five World Premiere 15-Minute Musicals Extended

Beck Center for the Arts has announced the extension of The 15-Minute Musical Challenge to March 7, 2021! National Alliance for Musical Theatre created the "15-Minute Musical Challenge" to celebrate the power of musical theatre during the spring of 2021. Executive Director, Betsy King Militello shares: "In all times, but especially challenging times, we believe that musical theatre has the power to elevate the human experience and uplift each other. The 15-Minute Musical Challenge, inspired and supported by the Alhadaff Family Charitable Foundation, was developed to inspire creativity during the early days of social distancing. We are thrilled to see five of the winning musicals see further development with Beck Center for the Arts and Baldwin Wallace University."

Scott Spence, now in his 30th season as artistic director of Beck Center for the Arts shares, "Pandemic or no, we were determined that this 10th anniversary of the Beck Center/Baldwin Wallace collaboration must go on. With the addition of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre as a partner, we could not be more excited to offer the World Premieres of five brand new musicals. Composers and lyricists from around the country have been working with us since August 2020 and it's thrilling to put all of this collaboration to work on a national level."

Beck Center continues its collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program (BWMT) with Victoria Bussert leading the program. Also a director of one of the winning pieces, Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls, Victoria says, "I was very honored to be asked to read a large number of the 15-minute musicals for NAMT and to serve on the final selection committee. The creativity of these pieces is truly inspiring; it's thrilling for our BWMT students to have the unique opportunity to work with our guest directors and these fantastic writing teams."

The creative teams behind the music, lyrics, and performances of these virtual productions are award-winning, talented, and diverse individuals. Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls, musical director Matthew Webb. This short musical is 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. The show is based on the true story of the women who fought United States Radium Corporation in the 1920s for knowingly poisoning them and subsequently changed United States labor laws forever. This is the first 15 minutes of the full length piece-in-progress. Music by Lynne Shankel and words by Sara Cooper.

Holo, set in 2189 in a holograph museum, the curator and holographic Kyle enter into a unique relationship which recounts the year 2020 and the pandemic that came with it on an ever repeating loop. Book, music, and lyrics by Nico Juber. Ciara Renee directs.

Rodeo Clowns is a queer, western epic about two eccentric outcasts who save the heart of their disintegrating town. This whip crack comedy act features a colorful musical-country score. Dale Sampson is the book writer. Marc Campbell wrote the music. Sara Bruner directs. Musical direction is by Matthew Webb.

Monster on the Lawn is directed by Jon Martinez. This fifteen-minute musical centers around Ricky, a six-year-old boy with a growing imagination, wakes up to see a whale-like creature laying on his front lawn. When an incoming hurricane threatens to separate Ricky from his family and his home, he seeks comfort in the presence of this strange and seemingly-quiet monster. Obed De La Cruz wrote book, music, and lyrics. Musical direction is by Lindsay Miller.

Eric Jones wrote book and lyrics for White Man's Burden, music by Joshua S. Davis. Directed by Ed Ridley Jr. This irreverently funny and powerful mini-rock musical, White Man's Burden, takes place inside of the world of sideshow "freaks" who have been killed because of the color of their skin. They are led by an emcee who is part ringmaster/part infomercial host. He spotlights the oppression and suffering of African Americans during 400 years through a musical kaleidoscope of songs.

This limited virtual engagement runs February 12 to March 7, 2021 on any device in the comfort of your home, as part of Beck Center for the Arts' 87th Professional Theater Season. For more information on this world premiere musical theater project please visit beckcenter.org. Tickets, priced at $20 for one viewer, and $30 for two or more viewers, and $40 for arts lovers who want to support Beck Center can be purchased at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/44593.


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