THE SNOW QUEEN

Charles Mosesian Theater
NOV 28-DEC 20/2015

THE SNOW QUEEN
A NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE
book by Kirsten Brandt and Rick Lombardo
music by Haddon Kime
lyrics by Kirsten Brandt, Haddon Kime, and Rick Lombardo
directed and choreographed by Rick Lombardo
musical direction by Emily Intersimone

An exciting new pop/rock musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, The Snow Queen is a coming-of-age adventure that follows a young woman on a journey of self-discovery in a magical, wintry landscape. When her best friend Kai is put under a magic spell, Gerda must follow him to the palace of the Snow Queen. Along the way, she battles witches, encounters fantastical characters, and flies through the frozen air on a steampunk odyssey. Co-written and directed by former New Rep Artistic Director, Rick Lombardo, The Snow Queen is sure to enchant the entire family this holiday season.

Click here to read the program online!

“A fairy-tale that rocks.”
The New York Times

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Supported by:
Belmont_web
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours, plus intermission
Victoria Britt*

Gerda

Victoria Britt*

Gerda

VICTORIA BRITT* (Gerda) makes her New Repertory Theatre debut. Area credits include Carnival (Gloucester Stage); Sweeney Todd (Metro Stage Company); and The Fantasticks (Company Theater). Off-Broadway/NYC credits include Sea Legs (American Theater for Actors); All for Joe (Duke Theater); and Save the Date (Fringe). Other regional credits include Amazing Grace (Goodspeed); Company (Playhouse on Park); Any Dream Will Do: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Wanderlust/El Salvador). She has been in eight mainstage musicals with Disney Cruise Lines. Ms. Britt is an alumna of The Hartt School. Originally from Massachusetts, she currently resides in New York City. victoriabritt.com

Aimee Doherty*

The Snow Queen

Aimee Doherty*

The Snow Queen

AIMEE DOHERTY* (The Snow Queen) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Marry Me A Little, RENT, Speed the Plow, The Last Five Years, tick, tick …BOOM!, Cabaret, Hot Mikado, Wild Party, Ragtime, and Into The Woods. Recent area credits include A Little Night Music (Huntington Theatre Company); Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play and The Little Foxes (New Century Theater); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Stoneham Theatre); and Big Fish (SpeakEasy Stage Company). She was the recipient of the 2012 IRNE Award for her work in Nine (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and the Elliot Norton Awards in 2013 and 2014 for her work in Hairspray (Wheelock Family Theatre), On The Town and Into The Woods (Lyric Stage Company); and Far From Heaven (SpeakEasy Stage Company). Ms. Doherty will next appear in Sondheim on Sondheim and Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play (Lyric Stage Company).

Din A. Griffin*

The River, The Prince, Flower, Pigeon

Din A. Griffin*

The River, The Prince, Flower, Pigeon

DIN A. GRIFFIN* (The River, The Prince, Flower, Pigeon) makes his New Repertory Theatre debut. Recent credits include Choir Boy (Gables Stage); RENT (Ocean State Theatre); and Porgy and Bess (Mad Cow Theatre). Other work includes multiple shows for Disney, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, and Royal Caribbean. Mr. Griffin attended school at Georgia State University and currently resides in Providence, RI.

Maureen Keiller*

Grandmother, Garden Witch, and others

Maureen Keiller*

Grandmother, Garden Witch, and others

MAUREEN KEILLER* (The Witch, Lady Crow, Robber Mother, Woman of the North) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in A Streetcar Named Desire. Recent credits include Come Back, Little Sheba (Huntington Theatre Company); Into The Woods, 33 Variations, Big River, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and Speech and Debate (Lyric Stage Company); The Whale, Nine, Reckless, The Little Dog Laughed, Almost Maine, The Women, and The Wild Party (SpeakEasy Stage Company); and Car Talk, The Musical!!! (Central Square Theater). Film and television credits include SpotlightMy Best Friend’s Girl, Fever Pitch, We Pedal Uphill, Olive Kitteridge (HBO), The Makeover (ABC Family), and Brotherhood (Showtime.) She is a two-time IRNE Award recipient for her work in The Wild Party/Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (Lyric West) andThe Women (SpeakEasy Stage Company). Originally from Enfield, CT, she currently resides in Hull. Ms. Keiller will next appear in Oh God (Israeli Stage).

Maurice Emmanuel Parent*

The Reindeer, The Troll, and others

Maurice Emmanuel Parent*

The Reindeer, The Troll, and others

MAURICE EMMANUEL PARENT* (Troll, Flower, Crow, Reindeer) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Camelot, RENT, Passing Strange, Cabaret, and Ragtime. Other Boston credits include Measure for MeasureRomeo & JulietTroilus & CressidaA Midsummer Night’s DreamCoriolanus, and King John (Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Resident Company Member); Far From Heaven and The Motherf**cker with the Hat (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Into the Woods, On the Town and Man of La Mancha (Lyric Stage Company); King Lear and Coriolanus (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); The Mountaintop (Underground Railway Theater); A Raisin in the Sun (Huntington Theatre Company); and Shrek the Musical (Wheelock Family Theatre). Film credits include Project Nephilim: From the Beginning (Paracelsus Films). He was the recipient of the 2015 IRNE Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in The Color Purple (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and the 2008 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actor for his work in Some Men (SpeakEasy Stage Company), Angels in America (Boston Theatre Works); and The Wild Party (New Repertory Theatre). Mr. Parent is a Boston Public School teacher and an adjunct faculty member at Boston University and Northeastern University. Originally from the Washington, DC area, he currently resides in Roxbury. He will next appear in The Convert (Underground Railway Theatre); Bootycandy (SpeakEasy Stage Company); and Blue Front (The Poets’ Theatre). mauriceparent.com

Kirsten Salpini

Flower, Ensemble

Kirsten Salpini

Flower, Ensemble

KIRSTEN SALPINI (Flower, Ensemble) makes her New Repertory Theatre debut. Recent credits include Romeo and Juliet (Arts After Hours); Retreat (Roxbury Repertory Theatre); and Triumph of Love (Red Branch Theatre). Ms. Salpini received her BFA from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA and was a finalist in the Howard County Council for the Arts Rising Star Competition in early 2015. Originally from Washington, DC, she currently resides in Brighton. She plans to begin recording her second album as a singer/songwriter this winter. kirstensalpini.com

Nick Sulfaro*

Kai

Nick Sulfaro*

Kai

NICK SULFARO* (Kai) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in The Little Prince, Camelot, and RENT. Other area credits include A Little Night Music and Home of the Brave (Huntington Theatre Company); How to Succeed in Business Without Really TryingSomething’s AfootDr. Jekyll and My. Hyde, and The Full Monty (Stoneham Theatre); Photograph 51 (The Nora Theatre Company); Anne of Green Gables (Wheelock Family Theatre); and Bat Boy: The Musical (IRNE nomination, Best Actor, Metro Stage Company). Mr. Sulfaro received his BFA from Emerson College. He is also an Acting for the Song coach for My College Audition (mycollegeaudition.com). Next, he will be playing Oscar in Sweet Charity at Stoneham Theatre. A life-long resident of Massachusetts, he currently resides in Boston. nicksulfaro.com

Jackie Theoharis

Princess, Robber Girl, Ensemble

Jackie Theoharis

Princess, Robber Girl, Ensemble

JACKIE THEOHARIS (Princess, Robber Girl, Ensemble) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Camelot. Area credits include Language of Angels (Happy Medium Theatre); Me and My Girl and A Grand Night for Singing (Reagle Music Theatre); Hair (Seacoast Rep); Hairspray (Wheelock Family Theatre); Into the Woods (Lyric Stage Company); tick, tick…BOOM! (Brandeis University, MyTheatre nomination); Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Drowsy Chaperone (Turtle Lane Playhouse, IRNE Nomination); and Spring Awakening (FUDGE, MyTheatre nomination); and may also be seen every Saturday night in The Donkey Show (A.R.T./Club Oberon). Ms. Theoharis received her BA in Theater Arts and Education from Brandeis University. Aside from performing, she works in accounting at Bit9 and teaches arts classes year-round at various studios and theatres in Massachusetts. She currently resides in Waltham.

Nicole Vander Laan

Ensemble

Nicole Vander Laan

Ensemble

NICOLE VANDER LAAN (Ensemble) makes her New Repertory Theatre debut. Recent credits include The Sound of Music and Into the Woods (Woodland Theatre Company); Ragtime (Salem Theatre Company); Rocky Horror (Turtle Lane Playhouse); Oliver! (Wellesley Players); The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Amazing Things Theater); and is currently a contract performer with Big Smile Entertainment and Kids Party Productions. Ms. Vander Laan received her BA in Vocal Music from Gordon College.

Creative Team
Rick Lombardo, Director, book, lyrics, additional music
Rick Lombardo

Director, book, lyrics, additional music

RICK LOMBARDO** (Director, Choreographer, Book, and Lyrics) is happy to be returning to New Rep, where he previously served as the Producing Artistic Director for thirteen seasons. He was the Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, the flagship professional theatre of Silicon Valley, for six seasons, and is currently the Chair and Artistic Director of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University in metro-Atlanta. His work has been seen at every level of the American Theatre, including Broadway and major regional theatres. In 2009 he was awarded the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence from the Boston Theatre Critics Association. His award-winning productions include Game OnThe Snow QueenAs You Like ItSweeney ToddThe Clean HouseRagtimeWaiting For GodotA Streetcar Named Desire and several works by Harold Pinter. His world premiere production of Bill W. and Dr. Bob enjoyed an extended run off-Broadway. As a writer, his successful adaptations for the stage include A Christmas Carol, along with the musicals Scapin and The Snow Queenricklombardo.net

Kirsten Brandt, book & lyrics
Kirsten Brandt

book & lyrics

KIRSTEN BRANDT (Book and Lyrics) is an award-winning playwright, director and producer. She served for six seasons as Artistic Director of Sledgehammer Theatre where she directed over a dozen plays and wrote Berzerkergäng, The Frankenstein Project, and NU. She was the Associate Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, where she directed Dr. Faustus, Next Fall, The Big Meal, Legacy of Light, and Groundswell, among others. As a director, Ms. Brandt’s work has been seen at San Jose Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, TheatreWorks, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, North Coast Repertory, and Arizona Theatre Company. She is the co-adapter of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, which had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre. Her telematic, multi-site play The Thinning Veil was produced at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her other plays include The Mechanic’s Daughter, The Waves, and an adaptation of Wuthering Heights. kirstenbrandt.com

Haddon Kime, music & lyrics
Haddon Kime

music & lyrics

HADDON KIME (Music and Lyrics) is an Atlanta-based composer, songwriter, and sound designer. His original musical adaptations include Scapin, and A Christmas Carol. OffBroadway credits include The Atheist, Haymarket, and The Blowin of Baile Gall. Regional credits include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Managing Maxine (Alliance Theatre); As You Like it, The Death of the Novel, and Game On (San Jose Repertory Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire and The Pillowman (New Repertory Theatre); and Richard III (Georgia Shakespeare). Mr. Kime is the winner of the 2004 and 2007 IRNE Awards for Best Original Music/Sound Design, the 2009 TANNE Foundation Award for Artistic Excellence, the 2014 San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Original Music, and most recently the 2015 Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab grant from the Alliance Theatre. haddonkime.com

Emily Intersimone, Musical Director
Emily Intersimone

Musical Director

EMILY INTERSIMONE (Musical Director) is a composer and songwriter from Santa Cruz, California. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Piano from the University of Southern California, and her Master of Music degree in Jazz Composition from New York University. She has studied with Grammy-winning and -nominated jazz musicians such as Russell Ferrante (The Yellow Jackets), Kenny Werner, and Gil Goldstein (Esperanza Spalding, Michael Brecker), and film composer Ira Newborn (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). emilyjazz.com

Ryan Bates, Scenic Designer
Ryan Bates

Scenic Designer

RYAN BATES (Scenic Designer) makes his New Repertory Theatre debut. Recent scenic design credits include Salome (Bridge Repertory Theatre); Academy Fight Song (Centastage); A Visit with Marie Curie (Parity Productions); La Boheme (North End Music and Performing Arts Center); Angels in America (Boston University Opera Institute); 4000 Miles and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Gloucester Stage Company); Big Love and Pacific Overtures (Boston University School of Theatre). Mr. Bates received his MFA in Scenic Design from Boston University and a BA in Theatre and Art History from Middlebury College. Originally from Danvers, he currently resides in Boston.

Frances Nelson McSherry***, Costume Designer
Frances Nelson McSherry***

Costume Designer

FRANCES NELSON MCSHERRY*** (Costume Designer) returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing costumes for Cabaret, Eurydice, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Wild Party, The Pillowman, Romeo and Juliet, Sweeney Todd, and The Threepenny Opera. She previously designed the costumes for the world premiere of The Snow Queen at San Jose Rep and for its New York premiere as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. She has previously designed costumes for the New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company, Gloucester Stage Company, and Stoneham Theatre Company.  Ms.  McSherry currently teaches theatre design at Northeastern University.

Franklin Meissner, Jr.***, Lighting Designer
Franklin Meissner, Jr.***

Lighting Designer

FRANKLIN MEISSNER, JR.*** (Lighting Designer) returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing the lighting for Little Shop of Horrors, The Wild Party (IRNE nomination), Cabaret, Dessa Rose, Sweeney Todd (IRNE Award), Into The Woods, Ragtime, Moby Dick (IRNE Award) among many others. Recently he designed the lighting for Sweeney Todd (Lyric Stage Company, IRNE Award), where he also designed By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Avenue Q, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Understudy and According To Tip. He also recently designed the world premiere of Albatross (The Poets’ Theatre, Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Production). His work has also been seen Off and Off-Off Broadway in NYC, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (IRNE Award), Boston Conservatory, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Stoneham Theatre (IRNE nomination), Central Square Theater, North Shore Music Theatre, South Shore Music Circus, Sanders Theatre, various corporate events and colleges around the state, and 40 Carnegie Hall performances. franklinmeissner.com

Rick Lombardo, Sound Designer
Rick Lombardo

Sound Designer

RICK LOMBARDO (Sound Designer) is happy to be returning to New Rep, where he previously served as the Producing Artistic Director for thirteen seasons. He was the Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, the flagship professional theatre of Silicon Valley, for six seasons, and is currently the Chair and Artistic Director of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University in metro-Atlanta. His work has been seen at every level of the American Theatre, including Broadway and major regional theatres. In 2009 he was awarded the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence from the Boston Theatre Critics Association. His award-winning productions include Game OnThe Snow QueenAs You Like ItSweeney ToddThe Clean HouseRagtimeWaiting For GodotA Streetcar Named Desire and several works by Harold Pinter. His world premiere production of Bill W. and Dr. Bob enjoyed an extended run off-Broadway. As a writer, his successful adaptations for the stage include A Christmas Carol, along with the musicals Scapin and The Snow Queenricklombardo.net

Garrett Herzig, Projection Designer
Garrett Herzig

Projection Designer

GARRETT HERZIG (Projection Designer) makes his New Repertory Theatre debut. Area projection design credits inclur Albatross (The Poets’ Theatre); Dear Elizabeth and Chinglish (Lyric Stage Company); Tribes (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Ryan Landry’s M (Huntington Theatre Company); and Sugar (ArtsEmerson).  Mr. Herzig is currently the Lighting and Projection Supervisor for the Office of the Arts at Emerson College. garrettherzig.com

Anna Burnham*, Stage Manager
Anna Burnham*

Stage Manager

ANNA BURNHAM* (Stage Manager) returns to New Repertory Theatre after stage managing Broken Glass, God Box, Stronger Than the Wind, The King of Second Avenue, The Little Prince, Assassins, and Imagining Madoff. Area credits include The Little Foxes, Mr. Burns: a post-electric play, Other Desert Cities, The How and the Why, Good People, Red, Quality of Life, Distracted, and Superior Donuts (New Century Theatre). New York credits include Corner Pocket (Extant Arts); Notice Me (Foglight Productions); In Paradise & She Plundered Him and Summer Shorts Festivals IV & V (Interactive Arts). She received a BA from Bennington College. Originally from Westport, CT, she currently resides in Roxbury. Following The Snow Queen, Ms. Burnham will return to New Rep to stage manage Via Dolorosa and Blackberry Winter.

Leslie Sears*, Assistant Stage Manager
Leslie Sears*

Assistant Stage Manager

LESLIE SEARS* (Assistant Stage Manager) returns to New Repertory Theatre after stage managing A Number, Scenes from an Adultery, The Whipping Man, Rancho Mirage, and Amadeus, and assistant stage managing Assassins and Camelot. Other productions include Albatross (The Poets’ Theater); Private Lives (Shakespeare Theater Company and Huntington Theatre Company); Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theater and Huntington Theatre Company); A Raisin in the Sun, Invisible Man, Ruined, Prelude to a Kiss, All My Sons, A Civil War Christmas, Fences, and Miracle at Naples (Huntington Theatre Company); three seasons at Boston Lyric Opera, four seasons at Tanglewood Music Center, and Almira, Niobe, Orpheo, Poppea, and Psyche (Boston Early Music Festival). Ms. Sears is a graduate of Boston University where she currently teaches stage management.

Original sound design by Rick Lombardo and Haddon Kime

*member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
**member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
***member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829

News

MetroWest Daily News on SNOW QUEEN

On Boston Stages on SNOW QUEEN

WBUR’s The ARTery on THE SNOW QUEEN

The Boston Globe on THE SNOW QUEEN

Read the Boston Globe feature on THE SNOW QUEEN!

Read the MetroWest Daily News feature on THE SNOW QUEEN!

The Snow Queen named a MUST SEE for November by ArtsImpulse!

Press Release: THE SNOW QUEEN

INSIDER EXPERIENCES

First Rehearsal

Tuesday, November 10
“Meet and Greet” the cast, designers, crew and New Rep Staff, then hear a read-through or sing-through of the play.

SPOTLIGHT SYMPOSIUM

 Meet the Artists: Creating a Musical Sunday, November 29 following the 4pm matinee
Theatre artists, area academics, and experts explore and discuss ideas related to the play and how they impact our world.

Notes by Beth Gilchrist, edited by Ruth Spack

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen’s life unfolded like one of the fairy tales he became so famous for writing. Born on April 2, 1805 to a poor cobbler and an illiterate washerwoman in Odense, Denmark, his childhood was defined by struggle. Yet he did not allow his bleak beginnings to stop him from achieving greatness. Inspired by the plays and Danish mythologies his father read him, Andersen left home for Copenhagen to try his luck on the stage. Initially finding success at the Royal Theater as a tenor, he was forced soon after to leave as a result of his adolescent voice change. Because performing didn’t work out, Andersen decided to try his hand at writing for the stage instead. He exhibited a great deal of natural talent, but it became obvious he would need a proper education if he wanted to become the great writer he thought he could be.

At age seventeen, with the help of a few families he met during his brief stint at the Royal Theater, Andersen enrolled in grammar school in Slaglese. He struggled there not only because of his lack of previous education but also because a discouraging headmaster constantly ridiculed him, despite his literary talents. After completing his education, Andersen published his first novel, The Improvisatore, to great acclaim. At this point in his life, Andersen began writing for children, reshaping the stories he heard as a child and drawing from his own experiences to create original stories. Even though his first collection of fairy tales was not initially well received, he continued writing for children over the next decade, during which time his reputation soared and his most famous works were produced. Committed to creating more than merely lighthearted entertainment, Andersen adopted a reflective style and forged a new mythology. He continued to write until three years before his death in 1875.

Hans Christian Andersen’s colorful and imaginative way of writing moral and universal tales has made him famous. Some of his stories inspired popular films such as Disney’s The Little Mermaid, based on “The Little Mermaid,” and Frozen, based on “The Snow Queen.” Although “The Snow Queen” is one of the longest stories Anderson wrote, it took him only five days to complete. He regarded the story as one of his finest works.

An Interview With the Creators of The Snow Queen: A New Musical

The Snow Queen” has been re-told for hundreds of years now. What is it about “The Snow Queen” and Andersen’s others stories that has allowed them to endure?

RICK LOMBARDO: Andersen managed to tap into not only the psyche of the developing child, but also deep, archetypal aspects of all of our humanity. His stories exist on multiple levels simultaneously, so readers of different ages uncover different themes and ideas in his stories.

KIRSTEN BRANDT: Like all good fairy tales, it is timeless. Rick summed it up — you can access this story from any age and get something meaningful out of it.

What inspired you to turn this fairy tale into a musical?

RICK LOMBARDO: Kirsten and I decided to co-adapt something for San Jose Rep, and she suggested we look at “The Snow Queen.” When I read it I was blown away by the surreal quality of the story, and I thought it was particularly well-suited to becoming a musical. We invited Haddon Kime to take a look at it with us, and I think the three of us, each with one daughter, grasped that in Gerda’s story we could explore the story of the journey all young girls travel to adulthood. The show ultimately became dedicated to the three young ladies in our lives.

KIRSTEN BRANDT: I grew up on the stories of Andersen and the Brothers Grimm- plus Greek and Norse myth. So, when we were looking for a holiday show, Snow Queen was something I was eager to share with Rick as a potential project.  We first thought it would be a play with music. We quickly realized how music could really transport the story and pack it with complex emotions that work on a subconscious level (as fairy tales do).  Next thing we realized, it was a musical.

Why did you choose the genre of pop/rock music for this show?

RICK LOMBARDO: Well, Haddon probably has a deeper answer than I, but I know we wanted the music to be accessible to multiple generations. We hope this show, like the fairy tale, works for audiences of different ages on different levels. The characters begin to sing in a style that says a lot about each of them as a person, and also lets the audience know we’re not in a typical fairy tale world.

HADDON KIME: I think Gerda is a quintessential teenage rock star. Though she comes from humble beginnings, she realizes very quickly that the people who have brought her up not only don’t have all the answers but may actively be plotting against her hopes and dreams. So she strikes out on her own with nothing but a wish and a gut sense of how to make it come true. That sense of rebellion, trepidation, and resolve is, at least for me, at the heart of rock ‘n’ roll.

At the same time, Gerda gives everyone a chance. She intrinsically searches for something positive to connect with in others, even if that connection is only to say “thank you” or “you are not alone.” To me, pop music has much the same aim. Thus, both pop and rock are very much alive inside our young hero and that’s why we chose to write this as a pop/rock musical.

KIRSTEN BRANDT: Ditto what Haddon said. Plus, having a rock band on stage is just fantastic!

What was most challenging or surprising about the process of adapting “The Snow Queen” for the stage?

RICK LOMBARDO: How quickly it first came together, and then how many times we rewrote it!  Really, I’ve lost track of how many drafts we have of this show. Musicals take a long time, and several productions, to think you’ve “got it”.

HADDON KIME: How the journey, characters, and emotions of making a musical are oftentimes reflected in the story you’re working to tell. After “Never Give Up” came together in the rehearsal room for the first time, it occurred to me that we might just have collaborated on a song we all needed to hear at that point in time. It’s always surprising to find the characters that you’ve written have something they want to say to you.

KIRSTEN BRANDT: For me it was the complexity of the story.  In the Anderson version, Kai disappears for most of the story — so keeping his story alive while Gerda takes this incredible, courageous journey was a challenge. I’m so happy with what we created for Kai.  It was important that Gerda is an active, not passive, protagonist. We wanted to make sure she didn’t just fall victim to her circumstances, but actively learned and moved forward — stronger and with more conviction than before.

Do the three of you have any plans to collaborate again in the future?

RICK LOMBARDO: I hope so! We’ve spent so much time working on and finishing this one that I think we’re taking a collective breath, but these are both artists I expect will be in my life for a long time!

HADDON KIME:  There are a few ideas we’re tossing around. Rick and Kirsten are both amazing storytellers and collaborators. Truth is, I can’t wait to start the next project with them.

KIRSTEN BRANDT: I hope so. They are both phenomenal artists. I am sure there will be more projects to come.