Welfare: The Musical
After writing so many musical numbers into my various straight plays, it was only a matter of time until “Welfare: The Musical!” came pouring out of me. Over my years running The Woodlands’ playwrighting team, I knew I wanted to end my reign with a bash. The only concept conducive to that end, for me, was a musical.
A full-on parody of Jonathan Larson’s “Rent”, “Welfare” was a tag team effort between myself and long time collaborator Dani DePoy. I penned the book and lyrics, and handed them over to Dani humming certain tunes. I had certain note, certain emotions, I wanted to play - but Dani really put pen to paper and handed me a product. Running from twenty to twenty-five minutes, “Welfare” featured 15 original songs (which are originally inspired by some of Larson’s more hum-able tunes…).
A pleasure to direct, “Welfare” was a very communal process. The actors choreographed, our musical director acted, and I felt privileged to just sort of guide the way. Closing our annual playfest, the music brought the house down. “Welfare” sparked my interest in writing other one-act musicals, and I feel the stage doesn’t necessarily have to the only place for them.
Here are a few pictures from the first production:
As for “Welfare” in the future, I never rule anything out. I have scraps of concepts lying around, and music these characters still have to sing. “Welfare” is something I feel I could always come back to expand, and Dani willing, I will!
-Vic, October 27, 2011
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