I am currently working on a new musical called Disturbance that is being adapted for the stage by Rachel Walzer. The production is based on the book of poems by Ivy Alvarez, with music by Tony Award-winning producer Mark Ferris.
The book is based on a true story of domestic violence where a man killed his wife and son, before killing himself. The poems feature various family members and those involved in the aftermath of the tragedy, such as the neighbours, police officers, and estate agents. As you can imagine this is a difficult subject to be working with, but certainly one that should be discussed.
I am working as the vocal director on this project and this is the first time I have gotten to work with a composer directly on a musical. It is wonderful to be able to have discussions that allow the songs to be arranged specifically for the artists who will be performing in the show. It's also a little nerve-wrecking, as I want the final pieces to please the composer. Song interpretation involves a collaboration with the artist and the director in musical theatre. For me the role of the vocal director is to make the sound of the song match the artistic vision of the director and to let the director know what is possible with the voice.
So far this has been an exciting project and seeing and hearing how the show is progressing has made the rehearsal process incredibly worthwhile. Often we think solely about the final performance, but for the actors there is much more time spent in rehearsal and the growth that takes place there can feel much more personally rewarding than the final performance of a piece.
The musical premieres at Musicasa in Tokyo on 2 July 2019, and runs to 4 July 2019. Tickets are still available from the box office.