New Hamlet Musical, With an Eclectic Composer Roster, Concludes Discovering Broadway’s Inaugural Development Season

Discovering Broadway, the musical theatre development program in Central Indiana, will conclude its inaugural season with the creative team of the new musical Hamlet participating in a week-long writers’ retreat August 14–22. Broadway performers Adam Pascal (Rent), Jordan Donica (My Fair Lady), Samantha Pauly (Six), and Bryonha Marie Parham (Prince of Broadway) will be on hand for a ticketed concert presentation of the work on August 20.

The musical is conceived by Joel Kirk, who also serves as director and book writer for the piece. The Shakespeare-inspired show assigns a different writer or writing team to each character. “Each character is complex and nuanced enough to get their own musical: so I wanted each of them to get their own writer,” said Kirk. “I believe a music style can capture the soul of each character.” Kirk is also the founder of Discovering Broadway, but says he recused himself from participating show selection. All decisions were made by the organization’s board of directors.

Prince Hamlet is written by Cody Fry (American Idol) and Emmy-winning composer Gary Fry; King Claudius by Zoe Sarnak (Empire Records); Ophelia by Grammy-nominee LOLO (Songbird); Laertes by Douglas Lyons (Chicken and Biscuits) and Ethan D. Pakchar (Five Points); Ghost of King Hamlet by The Bengsons (Hundred Days); Queen Gertrude by Joel Ansett (Marvel’s The Punisher); Polonius by Amanda D’Archangelis (Single Rider) and Anderson Cook (Pop Punk High); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and the Gravediggers by Andrew R. Butler (Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future); and The Players by Jeff Daye (Cleopatra). Music supervision and direction, as well as arrangements and orchestrations, are by Kris Kukul (Beetlejuice). With the exception of The Bengsons and the writing team of Lyons and Pakchar, who have conflicting commitments, all writers will be attending the retreat.

The new Broadway incubator launched earlier this year, hosting retreats for the creative teams of the Broadway-bound musicals The Devil Wears Prada in February and Ever After in May.