Minimum cast, with doubling: 8
(ie. 2 male, 3 female, 3 optional)
Full cast: 15
+ optional extra spirits and helpers
HERBALIST/GAIA/PRESIDENT (f) .. Goddess
ADAM (m) ……………………….. College dropout
THERESA (f) ………………………. New Age Aunt
ERNEST (m) ……………………………… Geologist
GEORGIE (f) ……………………………………. Intern
MAJOR DON (m/f, Latinx) …………. Army chef
AURIGA (f) ………………….. Medical researcher
DR RUCOLA (m/f) …………………. Psychologist
LOVELOCK (f) ……………….. Holistic Professor
REX (m) ……………………………… Toxic bachelor
GLEN (m/f) ………… Glamorous exec assistant
NINA & GINA (f) …………. Spirits/Agents/Crew
LITTLE HELPERS (m/f) …………………. Children
Music & Scenes
01 – Night Fall
GAIA, SPIRITS. Beneath a starry sky in the Mojave desert, with dawn at the horizon, a shamanic herbalist opens her stall on a dusty roadside. She shakes a tamburello and sings. Two spirits appear. In a geologist’s cabin, a rock at the foot of a bed pulses with an inner light. Adam sits up in terror, then throws himself to the floor.
02 – Dry Land
AUNT THERESA hangs overalls on a drying line then brings a tea tray to Adam in bed.
She sympathises about his recurring bad dreams. Maybe the universe is trying to tell us something? She tries to move the rock but it is heavy, smelly, and interferes with the radio. After a struggle, they leave it.
Geologist Uncle Ernest and intern Georgie sort meteorites into buckets. Space-rock business is not good. Perhaps Adam has some online marketing ideas?
04 – Mex it Up
Ther landlord MAJOR DON visits. A Mexican military administrator with export permits and bad news. He’s been skimming a budget for secret research on their behalf, now being audited by the mexican pentagon, and they need to produce a scientific breakthrough by the end of the week or they will be shut down. Don suggests they fake DNA on a meteorite.
08 – Clear Sky
“Acceptance?” projects the figure telepathically and tries to sedate ADAM with a high-tech spear, the fazer. But interference from the rock causes malfunction. Adam turns the light on and accidentally zaps the figure with their own fazer – twice! “Acceptance!” says the figure, removing their helmet to reveal AURIGA, a human with blonde hair (whatever ethnicity, the hair is genetically-engineered blonde). Under the influence of the fazer, she’s infatuated with Adam. They hold hands and fly into a romantic out-of-body space experience.
14 – Wow!
THERESA, ADAM, ERNEST, GEORGIE, MAJOR DON, and DOCTOR RUCOLA find a blonde hair with a date in its DNA: 2099. Auriga is from the future! Major Don sends the DNA data to the lab. They approve new funding. Hicksville Rocks is saved! Adam has proof that Auriga is real, and is determined to be ready for future visits.
16 – The Man
On a spaceship, PROFESSOR LOVELOCK teaches children how genetically-engineered people in 2099 are sterile, with babies only possible by cloning. They are on a time-travel mission to scan unmodified human DNA without changing history. Auriga enters, late for work. They are joined by mid-life male, REX, and glamorous non-binary assistant, GLEN. Rex dominates the meeting. Lovelock criticizes Rex’s irresponsible methods which risk history collapse. Auriga reluctantly reports the close encounter with Adam. Rex tells Glen to prepare an extraction team. This time we do it “my way”.
19 – Get on The One
REX enters wearing a lizard head-dress and ceremonial robes, wielding a fazer staff, to zap Adam, himself, and the little helpers. Aunt Theresa enters and turns the lights on. Rex zaps her too. Auriga enters to prevent the impending abduction of Adam and Theresa. Rex suggests they move the party to his spaceship “The One” and performs incantations over a keytar solo.
20 – Storm in a Spaceship
Suddenly the power goes out. They’re busted by mexican agents led by Major Don. Rex’s spaceship has been seen. History is collapsing. Auriga uses the fazer to subdue everyone. Adam protests the lab has the DNA evidence and he loves Auriga. Auriga says they need to talk. But first they must time-travel to last week, to retrieve the hair. They exit through the wardrobe. Rex is left behind, captured.
Astronauts Nina and Gina struggle to control the Mothership, rocked by time-travel turbulence. Adam’s presence onboard is causing a dangerous double paradox. ADAM attempts to be a hero, by ejecting through an airlock.
23 – Mothership
Left alone, Adam apologises to his lucky star, realising that, however small we feel, everyone must make a difference. He notices the space-rocks he’s grasping are similar to the one in his bedroom … and banging them together emits energy. The MOTHERSHIP CREW passing through the wormhole detects the energy signal and navigates an asteroid field to rescue Adam.
24 – Old Enough
Now we have some stops to make, says Auriga.
In an interrogation room, REX, bearded and sorry for himself, is chained to a table and wired to a lie-detector. Major Don recounts Rex’s substantial intervening time and bad behaviour in various prisons. Enter Rex’s lawyer – Glen – with a parole application. The lie detector confirms Rex has learned the error of his ways.
Major Don agrees to release Rex. Glen gives Don a wrapped space-rock sample from Adam.
28 – Later
Disguised as Swedish hippies, LOVELOCK, REX, GLEN, and the SPIRITS (NINA & GINA). AURIGA enters, visibly pregnant. “Did I do that?” asks Adam. “You did everything you needed to” she explains. The mothership’s mission is complete. Everyone assures Adam they’ll all feel fine about this eventually. Auriga says goodbye and all exit except Lovelock. Georgie tells to Adam to look for romance nearer home. They dance. Enter Major Don, carrying the special space-rock sample. and tells them to turn on the TV.
29 – Hunkafunk
The President of the United Nations announces a major prize for Adam and the team, for discovering a bacteria from space on the glowing rocks that is a new clean energy source and inspiration for international collaboration and innovation. It’s world peace in a chunk! EVERYONE parties.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I read the script?
A: Yes please do! Here … script pdf.
Q: Can I hear a full-cast-and-orchestra recording of the music on streaming platforms?
A: Yes! Here … concept album.
Q: Can I see the piano-vocal score?
A: Yes! Here … pv_score pdf.
Q: Can I hear the piano-vocal score?
A: Of course! Here … piano-vocal recordings.
Q: Can I see the full score?
A: We’re so glad you asked! Here … full_score pdf.
Q: Describe the show?
A: An upbeat fantasy musical about space rocks, out-of-body experiences, ecology, and saving a collapsing timeline.
Q: Yeah but what is it really about?
A: About finding hope for the future, overcoming depression, letting the future heal the past, taking responsibility and growing up. For individuals, and humanity.
Q: What’s the tone?
A: A small book musical, with mystical and sci-fi flavours. Fun, escape, upbeat, imaginative. With deep themes.
Q: Does it have spoken scenes between the musical numbers?
A: Yes. About 30mins is spoken and 60mins is music.
Q: Is it funny?
A: Yes. Lots of big laughs.
Q: What other musicals is it like?
A: Think Hair meets Little Shop of Horrors via Cabaret?
Q: How so?
A: Hair, for grooves and group vocals. Little Shop for funny sci-fi plot. Cabaret for some concept songs and cabaret staging.
Q: Any other reference points?
A: The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Rocky Horror Show, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Q: It has supernatural and spaceships. Is that a genre clash?
A: No. it’s a specific genre: Space Fantasy. Like Dune and Star Wars.
Q: A musical like Dune and Star Wars? That’s interesting.
A: Now you’re getting it. 🙂
Q: What’s the location setting?
A: A geologist’s cabin and space-rock store in the Mojave desert, a spaceship, outer space, and an interrogation room.
Q: What’s the time setting?
A: Present day. (Specifically, 2015.)
Q: What was the original inspiration?
A: Passport to the Cosmos by John E Mack, Harvard Professor of Psychiatry, who put aside questions of real or not real and studied common elements in the classic alien-abduction “experience”: specifically a message to humanity to “grow up” and live in harmony with your environment.
A: Yes please. Works with basic blocking but lots of potential for full choreography.
Q: Lighting and projection?
A: The earth and sky are almost characters in the piece: sun-rise, sun-set, stars, space, the profoundly empathetic “overview effect”, reported by astronauts, of seeing planet earth through a window. The climax is a dream-sequence / vision / space-flight. Lots of potential for lighting effects and multimedia projection.
Q: Stage flying?
A: A young couple levitates into a night sky. A young man floats, suspended in space and time, in an asteroid field. Could be achieved though lighting, and/or wire work.
A: The Little Helpers are children of the future, wearing masks. Could be played by children or not.
Q: What’s the orchestra / band line-up?
A: (1) Electric/acoustic bass, (2) drums/percussion/sample-pad, (3) keyboards (with splits), (4) guitar/mandolin/banjo, (5) trumpet, (6) sax, (7) trombone. … + accordian and harmonica, real or on keyboard.
Q: A horn section?
A: Yes. This is a brass feature. They play on nearly every number. Check out the concept album.
Q: Could the music be performed by high-schoolers?
A: Yes, with a competent musical director.
Q: Can you supply backing tracks?
A: Yes. But a live band would be better.
Q: Can you supply audio files for samples and sound effects?
Q: Can you supply video files for projections eg. space-ship screens, Gaia’s vision, and lighting effects?
A: They’re in development.
Q: What’s the content rating?
A: PG. The themes are intended to be edgy enough to engage kids and teens, and stimulate educational conversation, without crossing any lines. There’s mention of angels and demons, divorce, visions, a one-night-stand where we don’t know exactly what happened, an unspecified but threatening Probe, some double-entendres, species extinction, a non-binary character, a goddess, time-travel, fantasy peril, mind-altering tea, and a magical pregnancy. So appropriateness depends on your specific audience and local norms on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What do you want the show to leave people with?
A: An uplifting, entertaining good time. The idea that our lives, and the future of life on earth will be great, if we make it so. Wonder, gratitude, and love, for each other, nature, and the universe.
Q: How does this story touch you personally?
A: Overcoming depression through finding new family, wonder at nature and the universe, common humanity, and collective joy through drama and music. This happened to us and people we know. It’s what the world needs more of right now. It’s what this story and, perhaps, all musical theatre is about.
Q: What was your writing process?
A: The songs Midnight Lake and Come Back in Time emerged first. They seemed to be about the choice between death and life, for individuals, and humanity. Part of a musical which wanted to be written. This developed through interest in psychology and mythology, group mind and collective joy. The refrain of A New You Tomorrow came while walking down a lane in France to get a tire changed. Mystery Box and the first half of Wow! are interpolations of existing music by Julian Jahanpour. Blessed was inspired by an urge to write a non-religious Christmas song. Why Did You? is inspired by the musical moods of Sade, and Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Night Fall is inspired by Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra (best known from 2001 A Space Odyssey) which went out of copyright in 2020. The creative team are experienced theatre, band, and cabaret performers so the whole project is grounded in live group performance with audiences.
Q: Did you get any dramaturg help?
A: Yes. An early draft was lovingly torn apart by The Academy for New Musical Theatre dramaturg as part of its Search for a New Musical program.
Q: What do you see as road blocks to getting it produced?
A: Marketing an original.
Q: But how many times are producers going to revive Little Shop and Rocky Horror instead of developing the next one?
Q: Which is your favourite song and why?
A: Blessed. Because of its sentiment: wonder, gratitude, and love, for all beings and the earth. A moment of hope, returning after the longest night, which societies around the world have celebrated throughout history in annual solstice festivals of light, family, and sharing, such a Christmas and Dong Zhi. Remembering that everything is connected, in a cycle. (Plus, gotta love a waltz.)
Q: What song do you think the audience will leave humming?
A: The singalong finale, Hunkafunk.
Q: How would a reading or concert version help you?
A: By getting feedback from performers and audiences, seeing how it plays in different contexts, identifying strengths and weaknesses, being fun for everyone involved, and establishing a network of friends of the project.
Q: What’s the run-time?
A: 90mins (comprising 30mins of dialogue and 60mins of musical numbers.)
Q: How many theatrical acts?
A: Two, with an intermission.
Q: How many structural acts/sequences?
1) Troubled – Adam has bad dreams. Maybe the universe is trying to tell him something?
2) Seduced and abandoned – A windy night brings a visitor.
3) Investigation – The team tries some inexact science.
4) Probers – Everything is connected.
5) Storm and vision – Life on earth requires some action.
6) Second chances – A bunch of stuff needs to unhappen.
7) Hope – The big wheel keeps on turning.
Q: There seems to be an opportunity in the penultimate sequence (Second chances), after Auriga says “we’ve got some stops to make”, for the team to go anywhere in time and space, to make interventions or correct errors of the past or future; for individuals, humanity, or life on earth. Have you considered including improvised scenes here. based on “ask-fors” from the audience?
A: Interesting idea! Improvised scenes could work great there, depending on the capabilities of the cast and audience engagement.
Q: Artistic statement?
A: The show is entertainment. Moving, upbeat and funny. Collective joy for the people. Its themes are important conversation-starters for young people: overcoming depression, taking responsibility and growing up, relationships, ethical science, faith, ecology, learning from history, humanism, becoming the change you want to see in the world, making connections, inclusion, finding meaning in life, and hope for the future.
Q: Sounds interesting. Can I get involved?
A: Yes please! Email … email@example.com
Q: Would you like feedback on any aspect of the project or these pitch materials?
A: Yes please! Email … firstname.lastname@example.org