Even though I've done a lot of writing related to my film & video career, it's my writing for theater productions that has brought me the greatest satisfaction. I'm not normally nervous about performing, but after spending a year writing a musical play, the first fifteen minutes of opening night can be terrifying. Once the audience starts laughing, it's the greatest feeling in the world!
This is the first of three musical comedies I wrote based on an experience I had at Jim Connor's house on Sand Mountain. It was a music party, or festival as they are called on Sand Mountain. Little did I know that spending an afternoon there would have such a huge impact on my creative life. It's been over 25 years since that party that inspired me to make a documentary, Music in Their Bones, and write three musicals.
Six actor / musicians. Twenty-four characters. Twenty-one original songs.PLAY EXCERPT
A Bluegrass Christmas Carol
After the success of the three Sand Mountain musicals, I wanted to write something for larger group but something that hadn't been done before. I decided to return to the classic Dickens story and, to give it a new spin, I set it in Appalachia and chose bluegrass as the genre for the music. As for the writing, I took the Dickens novella and "mountainized it".
Twenty-eight cast members. Five bluegrass musicians. Fifteen original songs.
After mounting several productions of Sand Mountain Saturday Nite, we needed a new show. I decided on a sequel set in the same living room on someone's wedding day. I had fun with this one! No one knows who is getting married during the entire first act, but every female character is presented in a way that suggests she's the one. All of the original 24 characters returned plus six others. Chaos backstage!
Six actor / musicians. Thirty characters. Twenty original songs.PLAY EXCERPT
This is the third installment of the Sand Mountain series. The friends and neighbors are gathering at the same house for the final rehearsal of their annual Christmas pageant. Most of the original characters are back but there are also a couple of new, unwelcomed characters. Obviously, things don't go perfectly at the rehearsal.
Six actor / musicians. Twenty-eight characters. Sixteen original songs plus new arrangements of four traditional Christmas songs.PLAY EXCERPT