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REB+VoDKa+LOVE!

Back row: Cast members Lily Lester, Jackie Colquitt, Adam Lawrence & Jack Brinsmaid, Lighting Designer Charlotte Seelig, Me, Dramaturg Megan McClain, Director Ben Kamine; Middle row: Cast members Sam Paley, Katie Rodgers, Jessica Fisher, Danny Saulle & Angelina Kelly, and Composer Julia Meinwald; Front row: Choreographer Tara Forseth, Cast members Allie Lian & Holly Gould, Music Director Rich Silverstein; Not pictured: Cast member Angela Pardini-Gomez, Set Designer BP Houle, Costume Designer Lux Haac, Stage Manager Lindsay Kipnis, ASM Tara King, Sound Designer Neal Goleta, and Production Coordinator Brandon Anderson.

The workshop of REB+VoDKa+ME at NYU that performed this past weekend was one of the most intensely rewarding experiences I’ve had as a writer.

It’s been a little over 3 years since I sent Julia links to these two related articles and was like “Don’t think I’m a scary person but could this be our next musical?” and she basically said “You’re not scary and yes.” Two years ago, we started writing the show with director Ben Kamine in R&D Group, led by dramaturg-extraordinaire Megan McClain. A year-and-a-half ago Rich Silverstein came on board when we shared our first 16 songs from the show in public. And five months ago we finished a first draft of the script.

And this weekend the show was given a fully designed and produced workshop staging with a cast of amazing juniors and seniors from the New Studio on Broadway at NYU/Tisch. To call this opportunity a gift is an understatement – we wrote a show that doesn’t exist in a physical space and by not being bound by music stands we were able to learn more than we ever could have imagined about our work.

Much credit for that goes to our amazing creative and design team (partially pictured here) for helping us to develop our own world and our own physical language to make the 90-minutes of the show a complete thought.

And we could never have seen our work as fully as we were able to without the willingness, openness, depth, and hard work of the twelve students in the cast. They navigated this technically, musically, and emotionally complex piece with the kind of grace and heart we couldn’t have imagined when we first had the idea three years ago.

Immense thanks are due to Kent Gash, Sarah Schlesinger, and Brandon Anderson for inviting us into this collaborative process. Be on the lookout for some production photos in the near future!

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