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PLEDGE The Musical to Debut at Portland Oregon's Fertile Ground Arts Festival

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The show will run for a total of 2 hours, 18 minutes for Fertile Ground's 2022 Art's Festival.

PLEDGE The Musical to Debut at Portland Oregon's Fertile Ground Arts Festival

Take a story of a struggling FM station, mix in a little public radio drama and sprinkle on some farce and you've got Don Merrill's "PLEDGE The Musical." The show, based on Merrill's self-published 2019 "PLEDGE: The Public Radio Fund Drive" looks at nine days in the life of a small Arkansas public radio station. KKAR (KKAR.org), run by the fictitious State College of Arkansas at Helen, typifies the state of public radio in 2022. Stations are dealing with technological challenges to broadcasting like streaming and podcasts and funding issues ranging from cuts by states to allegations of donor influence on programs and policies. But those loom small compared to seemingly nonstop "Come to Jesus" moments the genre faces with everything from sexism to racism to cronyism and everything in between.

Practically yanked from the headlines, "PLEDGE The Musical" lifts the veil and gives "people like you" a sometimes funny, sometimes tragic but always clear-eyed rendition of what your support dollars actually support.

The show, in development for a theatrical release in late 2022, was written and produced by Don Merrill. Original music co-written by Don Merrill and Melody Bell with original composition by Melody Bell. The show will run for a total of 2 hours, 18 minutes for Fertile Ground's 2022 Art's Festival and will be posted on YouTube and Merrill's "PLEDGE The Book" website, at www.pledgethebook.com.


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