a new musical
College/Bound is dramatic comedy about family expectations and college aspirations.
Ellen's parents are intent on sending her to college. They have very high standards for her — and yet very low expectations.
The musical follows Ellen as she navigates obstacles in both her home and high school in getting to the Promised Land Of College.
Applying To The Ivy League — Three preppy high school seniors instruct the main character Ellen on where to go to college. This apparently light scene (and song) has a fair bit of import for Ellen. (Which won't be apparent in the clip :-).)
Ring Around My Brain— Ellen gets high for the first time, and doesn't realize she's stoned. This is another light song but it is part of a turning point for Ellen.
Mama Told Me — Ellen's Father's talks (and sings) about his mother's aspirations for him
More about the musical:
College/Bound (C/B) is a full-length show with twenty original songs in styles ranging from jazz to "Broadway" to gospel. College/Bound has minimal staging requirements and can be comfortably performed with eight cast members: four women (mezzo-sopranos or high altos) and four men (bass, tenor, & two baritones). In a pinch it could be done with three women and three men. The show was written and composed by Marlena Merrin.
History of College/Bound:
Marlena Merrin, the playwright and songwriter for C/B (and author of this website :-), produced a staged reading of C/B on June 12, 2010. She had a wonderful cast of nine Boston-based singer-actors. Their bios can be found under the "Cast Bios" link.
About eighty people show the show and thirty-five of those provided anonymous feedback on forms available after the show. The show received extremely positive remarks — which was very gratifying. Here are some quotes:
— Very entertaining. Definite resonated emotionally. Loved the humor.
— Fun, lots to relate to. Such wonderful lyrics + harmonies.
— Very funny. I like how very deep and complicated emotions and dynamics come through the humor.
So many comments complimented the storyline and songs that I went forward with studio recordings of the songs (with most of the original cast returning). My sound engineers were Ben Camp and Nick Goldston. I also created a DVD (with the help of the videographer, Leroy McClauren.)
I'll post more clips of the show on YouTube and hopefully put up some of the music here over time.
If you'd like a DVD or CD now, please contact me at email@example.com (and then send $15 for each or get both for $25 (including shipping)).
If you are with a theater company or publisher I'm happy to send you any materials you'd like for a submission (script, synopsis, CD). See below for more info on staging and casting requirements.
C/B covers approximately ten years. It can be set from the 1970s onward (but no earlier than the 1970s). Act I and Act II comprise scenes that take place in a kitchen and living room in New Jersey, and in a local High School (a classroom, a hallway, a girls bathroom, and the office of a guidance counselor).
College/Bound can be comfortably performed with eight cast members: four women (mezzo-sopranos or high altos) and four men (bass, tenor, & two baritones). In a pinch it could be done with three women and three men.
College/Bound is a new musical written and composed by Marlena Merrin, with piano arrangements by Mark Shilansky, Tim Ray, Mary Bichner and Marlena Merrin, and with vocal arrangements by Marlena Merrin.
The music director for the staged reading was the wonderful Eve (Havah) Goldfarb. The director was Marlena Merrin.
About Marlena: Marlena is a playwright, songwriter, sometime actor, and sometime standup comic. In her alternate life, under a different name, she's considered to be an expert in secure distributed computing systems—which has absolutely nothing to do with writing musicals :-). She is currently hard at work on a new musical comedy about research biologists.
About Eve: Eve is a music director of long experience and an accomplished acappella singer.