THEATRE Staged Reading
PLEDGE The Musical
By Don Merrill
Director: Don Merrill
Composer: Melody Bell
FESTIVAL DATES: streaming on-demand Jan 27 – Feb 6
TICKETS: DONATION/Pay-what-you-want (PWYW) HERE
BUY TICKETS: http://www.pledgethebook.com or https://www.facebook.com/pledgethepublicradiofunddrive
APPROXIMATE RUN TIME: Act I – 59 minutes; Act II – 62 minutes; Act
III – 15 minutes
PLEDGE The Musical is based on my 2019 book, PLEDGE: The Public Radio Fund Drive. I created the play because my wife said that although the book was interesting, it was more of a reference book and she needed a story to draw her in. When I told her the book was full of anecdotes, she said she needed one story that tied everything together. And then, while writing the script, I thought, “What other staid institution, held sacred by a community of believers, was turned into a musical that was both comedy and drama?” Having lived 12 years in Utah, the answer was obvious; The Book of Mormon. And that’s when the play became a musical.
Although a play might’ve told the story, the farcical aspect, obvious throughout BOM, was what I was shooting for. Walter Kerr, in “How Not to Write a Play” said “if you can’t say it, sing it. And if you can’t sing it, dance it.” I think a musical will make the audience more engaged with the story though it is harder to pull off technically. Besides, public radio is seriousness on its surface built, in many ways, on farce. Throughout my years in journalism and broadcasting, I have paid attention to where those hypocrisies are hidden and spotlighted as many of them as I can in a story that I hope weaves the dreams, wins and losses, truths and contradictions into something I think audiences, (esp. the public radio faithful), will recognize.
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