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On Sept 21 and 22, 2023 a star-studded cast will present (or has already presented) a staged reading of Runaway Home, a musical I co-wrote with Darren J. Butler, to an audience of theater, tv and film professionals and investors who can move it forward to full production. This musical's journey has been a many-year, multi-workshopped, re-worked odyssy - but it's finally ready for prime time. In this interview with Darren, we talk about how this musical has metamorphosized from a couple of monologues he wrote on a plane to a staged reading by headliners for heads of the entertainment industry in the middle of New York.
- Find bios of creative team and actors, news and more at RunawayHomeTheMusical.com
- Darren J. Butler's website: https://www.darrenjbutler.com
- Judy Rodman's website: https://judyrodman.com
- The initial seeds of our collaboration are planted by my sister Beki Ferguson.
- Darren writes the first monologues are on a plane.
- With a DVD for Rent and his first song lyrics, Darren talks me into writing for musical theater.
- Our creation process, writing and getting feedback into the wee hours.
- Our initial workshops in Decatur, Al and Bristol Connecticut,, what a workshop is and should accomplish.
- Why we stopped, put the play on hold as years and life went by.
- Darren emails me out of the blue - "it's time for Runaway Home".
- New script needed new songs; after initial experimentation, we discover we're back!
- Previously disaffected by musical theater, Darren discovers Dear Evan Hansen and falls back in love with the artform.
- Emma Denson is chosen as our director for the reading.
- We enlist and gather responses from a focus group.
- Legendary NY talent agent Nancy Carson gives her thumbs up and helps us find our lead actor.
- The incredible synchronicity of getting Todd Bartos comes onboard to lead the company, and his son to play a part he understands from his own trauma.
- My friend, business mentor and vocal client Jack Dell decides to back us as sole investor, and help with deal structure - just in time for September!
- Still sitting on go: Waiting on letters of intent so we can tell people about our stunning cast.
- Drum roll: We name our staged reading cast!
- We enlist Sean Pallatroni to do scores as music director for the reading.
- Next steps for Runaway Home.
- What's next for Darren and me.