SONS OF SAINT AGATHA
Thanks for taking some time to read through about 25 pages of script. Much of it is dialogue, so it goes fast and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
A few things I want you to know about the show:
Saint Agatha is the patron saint of breast cancer who lived and died (tragically) in the 1500’s.
From the very beginning I designed this musical as a touring show. Because of that, cast size and set design is critical. I wanted at least 3 guys in the cast—all male breast cancer survivors, but I wanted women to be represented too. Not only to balance the show and add a possible romantic link between two of the actors, but vocally, I love to write music for the female voice. So, in the interest of musical harmony, expressiveness and variety, I created two female parts in the show for a total touring cast of five.
I’m looking to get funding from one or more of the major cancer organizations to get the show out on the road. Additionally, I’m hoping to fund a video version of the show. Because of the show’s potential to attract some decent audiences along with its educational value, I think there’s a very good chance that it will get funded…
I have no interest in directing, choreographing or even scoring the “final” music as there are lots of people I know who can do a much better job of this than me. This is a collaboration.
My contribution is simply as the writer/composer. I expect the show to be re-written extensively as virtually all Broadway shows are before and during their runs—and that’s where YOU come in as the first to take a look at the plot, the pace, and the look of the show--along with the “likability” of the 5 actors.
One more important detail: I spent a number of weeks experimenting with various plot scenarios. The big question was: How to make this believable? What reason would 3 male breast cancer survivors have for being together, in the same place?
I settled on a male breast cancer convention in Las Vegas. The fact that only 3 guys show up is not only a pretty accurate portrayal of the invisibility of the disease, but it’s a good set up for some sizzling comedy.
Another question I had was, “How do I create dialogue that brings into focus the many levels of dealing with a cancer diagnosis? “ I wanted the characters to explore their fears and discomfort—the pain of cancer-- as well as their moments of joy and personal discovery. I wanted themes of living and dying, addiction, fear of recurrence, issues of disfigurement, personal struggles etc.to be brought out into the open, and above all I wanted moments of humor and feelings of comradery to be a part of the story.
To solve these “technical” problems I settled on the “dream theme” to make it work because that also permits a playwright to make almost anything on stage possible (and believable). I wanted one of the characters to actually be receiving a mastectomy during the show so that we can follow along in real time. And so the entire musical takes place in the lead characters dream as he’s on the operating table.
And I wanted to create some tension between the characters by bringing in an “eccentric old man” to wrestle with the young guys to add some interesting dialogue and comedy. And lastly I wanted a really dynamic lead female character to have some connection to the issues the guys are feeling and so I wrote her as an old “hippie” of the 60’s who is a frustrated folk music musician, since her outdated music ( just like male breast cancer) is also all but forgotten. She is not yet in the scenes you're reading.
You’ll meet just 4 of the characters in these first 25 pages.
Thank you so much for your feedback—good, bad or other. It will make for a better show in the long run.
My email is : Khevin@KhevinBarnes.com
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