Sunday, May 31, 2009

Roll Credits!

It was raining... I was drunk on champagne... there was no time or budget for a program... OKAY, no more excuses!

Here are the many people responsible for the success of the Souls of Her Feet “Couch Reading” on March 1st!

Narrator.....Me (Kristen Caven)
Ashley.....Sarah Aili
Donna.....Chelsea Robinson
Debra.....Mary Gibboney
Linda....Caitlin Ayers
Sylvia.....Caroline Altman
Harry.....Michael Strelo-Smith*
Jeff.....Edward Hightower
Coach.....Bill Fahrner
Heckler.....Claudia Bauer
Midnight Mouse.....Michael O’Dell

Piano.....Michael O’Dell

*with a little assistance from Michael O’Dell

Hostess.....Leah Slyder Vass
Host.....Gyorgy Vass
Head Chef.....Ana Negrao
House (Louise Hart)
Food Styling.....Leah Slyder Vass
Set Design.....Leah Slyder Vass
Video......Dave Caven, Gyorgy Vass
Pre-Production Assistant.....Caitlin Ayers
Hotel.....Rich and Vicki Luibrand

Thank you Leah for Caroline and Michael S-S; Michael S-S for Chelsea, thank you Caroline for Bill, and thank you to R.C. Staab for Edward, Sarah, and Mary!

Huge appreciation for the collaboration, encouragement, and support of my wonderful family and friends—it was HUGE to be able to share this with you. Thanks everyone for bringing cupcakes and champagne. And thanks also to the cooperative enthusiasm of this generous and capable cast! (I continue to get compliments on your talent!)

Also thanks everyone for your donations, comments and feedback—your input helped further the development of the story and music! (Especially Ed, our very elastic sounding-board.) You helped us take a very BIG STEP!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Big Step: Fiscal Sponsorship!

It has finally come to my attention that writing a musical costs a load of money. Thank goodness for Fractured Atlas, “a non-profit organization that serves a national community of artists and arts organizations.” They have agreed to sponsor Shoes, a Mirror, and a Big, Pink Rose, meaning YOUR donations to SMBPR are now fully tax-deductible under their non-profit status.

So, if you’re wondering what to do with that pile of cash you’ve got laying around...

Or, if you have any best friends who are arts patrons looking for a good project to nurture along... send ‘em this link:

After we raise $1000 we are eligible to apply for arts grants.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dare to Compare

Listen to how our "chase scene song" is evolving. Last year, "Dare to Waltz" sounded like this...
Click here for "Dare to Waltz"

Now, "The Truth or Dare Waltz" is becoming a Vienna Waltz... it's barely scored yet, but...
Click here for "The Truth or Dare Waltz"

What do you think? Leave a comment or email us.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


lyrics © Kristen Caven
music © Michael O'Dell

ASHLEY: QUEEN for a Day Queen FOR a Day Queen for A Day Queen for a DAAAY.
[Ashley picks up the books that she brought in and shelves them in silence. She picks out a few new books.]
[mocking a trumpet fanfare]
[silly singsong] Queen for a Daaaay!
[sings] If I were queen for just one day, I’d be… “mother of the nation.”
I can’t imagine what I’d say to give the world a real vacation from the troubles that it’s in

[speaks/types] Like global warming – what a nightmare, nuclear proliferation, illegal arms deals, carjacking, corporate greed, homelessness, helplessness, poverty, the spiraling costs of heathcare…[misspells and corrects typing] whoops, healthcare…

If I were queen for just a day, imagine how the world could change…
There’s so much crap to rearrange

But being queen for one short day wouldn’t give me that much power.
Change takes time, there is no way I could get that much done in only twenty-four hours!
And further…I believe in democracy so I’d change laws with hesitation,
But I’d use my aristocracy to speak my truth and offer inspiration!

What I’d do to get through to the people who are stuck like glue in their shit, and should quit, take some time to look at it—at the clutter in their minds, it’s like butter in their veins clogging up their hearts, tear away the broken chains, get a start on growing pains!

I would instate a ban on hate and try to change our fate and activate the greatness in the soul
of everyone I serve! I would preach them back to nature, so they’d learn to nurture, mend the
sutures of a family torn apart by death... I mean… a world…

[sighs, types a moment, then sings]
If I were queen…
For just a day…

When you try to clean with Drano and mix it with Liquid Plumber, the explosive fumes can kill you like they did my loving mother. And my father died from cancer from his toxic body burden from a life in an environment filled with fossil fumes...

And the money that dad left us goes in circles back to plastic that will be here many eons after we have left the earth.

[A door SLAMS open. DEBRA and DONNA enter stage right carrying cans of soda, bags of chips, and magazines. Donna is blabbing into a cordless phone and hovers near Ashley, pawing carelessly through the stacks of laundry Ashley has just folded. Debra clears a pile of bags off the sofa in one grand swoop and flops down where it was to channel-surf. Donna talks rapidly, non-stop, her ideas clashing with Ashley’s as they sing simultaneously.]

DONNA: [speaking] If I were queen for a day, just think of everything I’d own! “Queen Donna Brown” for just a day—can you see me on the throne? (Oh, totally!)

If I were queen for a day I’d SO wear the most exquisite gowns, and ride in an open convertible (it’s gotta be red), with gloves past my elbow and wave! People would totally curtsey to me and go, “Yer Majisty this” and “Yer majesty that” And I’d be all— and it would be totally rad.

ASHLEY: [sings] If I were queen for just a day imagine how the world could change…there’s so much crap to rearrange!

[types/speaks] If I were queen for a day I’d SO call on the cities and towns to energize every constituent with love and the power to save the people who need a free lunch now and then —

[shouts at Donna] What are you, SIX?

DONNA: [ignoring her] Speaking of which, did you see in the latest issue of Mirabella they had those thigh-high stockings with the ribbing—[stops to breathe more than to listen]—no not those, those were cute too but I don’t like wide stripes, they make my legs look too fat—

[Ashley turns back to her text conversation with Linda]

DONNA: ...but the other ones with the butterflies, yeah, I almost rushed out and bought them but I’ve maxed out my credit card again and plus I probably can’t get them in my size, since my thighs are only sixteen inches [breathes] so I’ll talk to you later, K? —K! — Bye.

ASHLEY: [texts/speaks] If I were Q4aD I’d have my stepsister strangled w/ a thigh-high stocking.


"One Little Step" for Ashley...

...One giant leap for SOULS!

Our "Couch Reading" did just what it needed to do. It gave Michael and I a chance to watch our play from start to finish and see how it was working. The audience loved it—we got enthusiastic reviews, but it was clear the story and music still needed development. In the following week, we ruthlessly (but lovingly) tore the story apart and pieced it back together again. The amount of exposition was embarrasing! We realized we needed to pack more into the opening scene and tighten up the plotting.

At first it was brutal. I could not figure out how to pack all the setup we needed into an efficient new opening number. Michael did his best to hold my hand through it (long-distance), and we got some great insights and advice from Ed, one of our way-too-talented cast members. Eventually the best advice I got was "Stop thinking so much." Oh, right! That very weekend I managed to weave "One Little Step," our new opening song, into an engaging opening sequence that shows how annoying the stepsisters are. Goodbye "Ashley, here's my Nancy Ganz!" Hello, "Oh my god, Ashley, you're so ADD!"

Another sad goodbye for the lyrics for "Ashley's Blues," the first number Michael wrote, but they no longer seemed relevant to a stronger heroine's story. "Girls Like Me" is now the turning point of the story, where Ashley decides to take a chance on Harry... and Jeff. Harry's first "Fairy Godwhatever" song is now called "Teen Pregnancy," in which he decides to research "late-term adoptions," and Jeff's love song is more fully developed.

Now we need to see if we can weave Michael's music back into the story. I can't wait to hear how the "Truth or Dare Waltz" fleshes out. That was one moment in the reading where everyone reported goosebumps.