Saturday, January 21, 2023

“Songbook” has taken the stage

After more than two years of development *, Season 1 of Songbook, a scripted/reality hybrid show I created, wrote, and directed for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is now out in the world. 

As you will see, in each episode, a different middle schooler who wrote a poem based on a book comes to the Kennedy Center to set that poem to music with a professional musician. 

The books:

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
Your Mama by NoNieqa Ramos, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara
Beatrice Blys Rules for Spies: The Missing Hamster by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Beth Mills

Then a surprise. (I won’t spell it out but the following three images are clues.)

Then a performance.

I’m so honored to have had the chance to bring to life a project like this, and so thrilled with every last person I got to work with on it. 

* The idea was born in 2020, after friend/fellow scribe Kwame Alexander graciously offered me the opportunity to brainstorm pandemic-driven online programming and pitch the Kennedy Center with him. Finessing and postponing (due to Omicron) took place throughout 2021. Casting, filming, and editing took place throughout 2022.

Guitar Notes mentions the Kennedy Center!

Taking bows...

The cast of episode 1, the leads mom, Director of Education Programs and Productions David Kilpatrick, 
and me in the toothpaste green shirt.

episode 2

episode 3

1 comment:

Billy Hogan said...

What a great idea, to encourage the talent of middle schoolers so that they might pursue their talent and their avocation becomes their vocation.