As I made a “breakthrough” of sorts with my research, I thought I would take a moment to explain why this show is so important.
When I tell people that I’m writing a musical about the Easter Rising, I always get asked, “Why?” At first, I tried to explain that I was partly inspired by the success of Hamilton, and then tried to explain how the events of the Rising were full of drama and could make a compelling story.
Recently, I realized that my explanation was not only kind of boring to listen to, but also missed the point entirely.
I had a realization recently, when I remembered what I read in the Writing Musical Theater a while back about what the “story” of the musical is: ideally, the “Story” of any musical should be something that’s timeless, something that’s universal so that, no matter the audience, everyone can relate to the central emotional concept.
With that in mind, from now on, when people ask me what my show is about, I’ll tell them: It’s a story about citizenry fighting back against oppressors to gain their freedom.
When I decided to start this project in October, I went into it thinking that it would be a fun project that I probably wouldn’t ever finish. Then the US Election happened, and now my President is, literally, a conman who brags about sexually assaulting women, who treats people that aren’t on his level as “less than.” That’s unacceptable.
And at this point in his Presidency, he’s done literally everything in his power to destroy the very fabric of democracy in America. It’s unacceptable. It’s not normal.
And since art can, and should, be political, this musical is now my statement against tyranny.
Because the Irish people were sick of being ruled by the British, who clearly showed that they didn’t care about what happened in Ireland. There was no help during the Famine. There was no real representation in Parliament. For a small faction, there was no choice but to fight back.
I don’t mean to elevate myself to the mantle of “artist” and “activist,” but with this musical, I’m doing my best to fight back. And I hope that, through exposure and stagings, you all can fight back with me.