is a 21st Century musical of, by, and for today’s teens,
exploring life and love — and the games people play — in the digital
age. The title of the musical is derived from the drop-down menu on
menus atop the screens of computer software programs. If you make a
mistake and want to fix it, all you need to do is click “Edit,” then
“Undo,” and everything reverts back to exactly how it was before.
This new student-written musical is produced and presented by The
Cappies, the international “Critics and Awards” program for high school
theater. (See www.cappies.com.) To write it, The Cappies selected a
creative team of nine students—three composers, three lyricists, and
three book writers—from high schools in Virginia and Maryland. They were
given the task of writing a musical comedy about high school and
technology, and this is what they created. They began in October 2005,
completed the storyboard in December, all the songs by April, and
touch-up work by early July. Their creative process was advised and
edited by playwright and Cappies co-founder William Strauss, and their
musical compositions were assisted by Brant Challacombe, musical
director for Baltimore Cappies.
Edit:Undo has a story that is fresh and funny, full of scenes,
situations, and problems that could only exist today. The plot and
characters depart from the usual formulas and conventions so often seen
in high school musicals of any era.
score includes 16 songs, on topics range from school starting too early
(“Seven A.M.”) to test-taking fatigue (“Take a Test, Test, Test”), to
teenage crushes that fall short of falling in love (“Falling in Like”),
to the language of instant messaging (“O-M-G, L-O-L”), to the battle-cry
of tech-weary adults (“Save the Children… from the Gates of Hell and the
Hell of Gates”). Large ensemble numbers include a dance of emoticons
(“The Smileys of Wi-Hi”), a hip-hop high-stress high school (“Maybe You
and Maybe Me and Maybe Not”), and a game sequence progressing from
Chess, Scrabble, Foosball, Super Mario, and PacMan to D.D.R., and a
decisive round of Pong.
cast includes 13 principals (7F/6M), of which 11 (7F/4M) are featured
vocalists. The cast includes 11 other key ensemble roles (6F/5M), and
three other small roles. Additional ensembles can be used. The school
janitors serve as stage crew, and have a key role through much of Act
Two. Sets are simple, but props and costumes can be highly creative. The
use of a live camera feed to an upstage screen is an optional feature.
The story is in two acts, with an estimated running time is 125 minutes,
not including intermission.
Edit:Undo will have its initial performances in August 2006, at
the Theater Lab of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
presented by the cast and crew of Cappies International Theater. The
cast will include 37 award-winning teenage performers from across the
U.S. and Canada.