THE GARDENER: A MUSICAL
In this cruel afterlife world, Marcus finds himself in the lowest angel-job possible, a Gardener. And even more cruel, he is sent to work among his own home town and watch his one true love, Sophia, decide to finally patch up her life and move on after all the pain and loss from WWI. But Marcus isn’t ready to let go of Sophia. In this tragic but upbeat musical riddled with comedic elements and powerfully driven music, Marcus must battle his will against all odds—his insufferable companion Bob, Dark Deliverers, Miracle Makers, and even God’s rules—to find a way for him and Sophia to be together again. But at what cost?
HOW "THE GARDENER: A MUSICAL" CAME TO BE
I am always trying to think of story ideas. Something as small as a conversation can turn into a large-scale musical, and in this case that is exactly what happened. I was having a conversation with my sister about the idea of an angel who is in love with a mortal and how terribly tragic and romantic! But how many times had that story been told? And how could I make it my own? It was from that conversation that I created an after-life world and an angel, Marcus, who doesn’t want to be where he is. And of course lots and lots of music to support the story. The first song I wrote became the theme for the entire show called, “More Time Reprise.” At this point I hadn’t even started writing the script. It was all just an idea that started with a song that became a full scale two-act musical. And although this story would be considered a drama, anyone who knows me knows that I need to laugh. I didn’t want this to be a heavy story so I decided I would make this a dark comedy. I know how long it takes to write musicals and I did not want to be crying all-day-every-day as I worked on this project over the next several years! Turns out, I’m not very good at writing dark comedy! And I’m much better at “going there” and making us all feel all the feelings! I managed to create a way to cut through the heaviness of the story by implementing comedic characters like my high and mighty German-exchange angels, or my dimwitted villain who wants so desperately to be evil but is so bad at being bad and my true villain who just wants to be good but he’s so good at being bad, or my tough gang with the one socially awkward guy who wants to hug everyone. It was two and a half years of feeling the feelings as I wrote and laughed and wrote and cried.
Every story needs a theme and who hasn’t asked all the questions about God? What happens when we die? Is God really looking out for me? Why did this happen to me? I’m a good person so why is life so hard? For me, my biggest struggle with my relationship with God is his timing. I like control. I like when things can be explained, so when I can’t provide the answer to “why do bad things happen to good people?” It is hard for me. And everything Marcus and Sophia went through in this story was hard and each of them dealt with these hardships so differently. What I was hoping to get across in my message centered around a romantic theme was, God’s timing might not be yours but there is always joy to be found in the journey no matter how hard the circumstances. A message I need to remind myself of every day and certainly a message many people can relate to.
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