Cast of Pray the Gay Away® the musical world premiere

Here are the cast bios and headshots for the world premiere of my fourth original full-length musical, Pray the Gay Away®. The premiere will run Nov. 8-24, 2019 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA (USA).

>Tickets: https://lincolntheatre.org/performance/pray-gay-away%C2%AE-serious-musical-comedy

More info on the official PTGA website: https://ptgashow.com/

Follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ptgainfo

CAST MEMBERS

(listed alphabetical by first name)

Pray the Gay Away® world premiere

 

Adia Bowen (Lisa)

Adia is thrilled to be a part of a Conrad Askland musical for the third time, following Pan the Musical as Tiger Lily and Romeo and Juliet the Musical as Juliet’s Understudy. Adia recently played The Witch in Into the Woods, and Ariel in The Little Mermaid with META Performing Arts. Adia studies classical voice and is a proud member of the Mount Vernon High School Choir program. She would like to thank her parents for always pushing her to be her best, and her grandparents for being her biggest fans.

 

Adrian Lane (Tyler)

Pray the Gay Away cast

Adrian will be a senior at MVHS as well as a freshman at SVC. He helps direct the Undertones ensemble at the high school and enjoys hiking in his free time. He aspires to be a nurse and hopes to keep doing theatre throughout his life. His recent shows include A Chorus Line (SVC), Shakespeare In Love (ACT), Into The Woods (META), and The Little Mermaid (META).

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Press Release 090419 – Gay Conversion Therapy Hits the Stage

Pray the Gay Away ®

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact: ptgashow@gmail.com

Sept. 4, 2019

 

“Pray the Gay Away” ®

Gay Conversion Therapy Hits the Stage

 

MOUNT VERNON, WA – Theater Arts Guild presents the world premiere of Pray the Gay Away®, a serious musical comedy, November 8-24 at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.

Pray the Gay Away® takes place in 1980’s Minnetonka, Minnesota and shows the collision course of two boys being subjected to the controversial practice of gay conversion therapy, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod that says “homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful”, a Youth Pride LGBTQ support group fighting for human rights, and the local community caught in the middle.

For his fourth full-length musical, Conrad Askland, former music director of Cirque du Soleil and Rock of Ages, has focused his satire on the cultural, political and theological forces that surround the painful world of gay conversion therapy and the “pray away the gay” movement. This is a big, full-blooded musical with an irreverently comic heart that is also heart-breaking and emotionally charged. Pray the Gay Away pulls up the carpet to expose the underlying U.S. religious, political and cultural attitudes surrounding homosexuality and our understanding of human rights.

Ria Peth, President of Theater Arts Guild, shares that “Cast members have said a lot already that this show is changing their lives and it hasn’t even gone on stage yet. It’s very well researched. It’s a story based on facts.”  Cast member Jennifer Jacobs says, “The story and the music provide a pathway for better and more profound understanding of the barbarism of conversion therapy…” and “It’s beautiful and it’s uncomfortable…”. Cast member Jocelyn Amouria says “While this show is set in the 1980s, everything about it is still relevant and important in today’s society. Even if it helps just one person it’ll have been worth it.”

Pray the Gay Away, a serious musical comedy, performs live at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA from Nov. 8-24, 2019. Tickets for the show range from $13 to $24 and can be purchased at lincolntheatre.org, by calling the Lincoln Theatre Box Office at 360-336-8955.

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PTGA_Press_Release_090419

Pray the Gay Away®

Pray the Gay Away®

Gay Conversion Therapy Hits the Stage

World Premiere November 8-24, 2019
Lincoln Theatre – Mount Vernon, WA
>>Ticket Info<<

Theater Arts Guild presents the world premiere of Pray the Gay Away®, a serious musical comedy. This highly anticipated and controversial live stage show packs plenty of blissful sacrilege and politically incorrect mischief into a reflection of U.S. culture that is humorous, beautiful, shocking, sweet, thought-provoking and incredibly heart-breaking.

Pray the Gay Away® takes place in 1980’s Minnetonka, Minnesota and shows the collision course of two boys being subjected to the controversial practice of gay conversion therapy, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod that says “homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful”, a Youth Pride LGBTQ support group fighting for human rights, and the local community caught in the middle.

For his fourth full-length musical, Conrad Askland, former music director of Cirque du Soleil and Rock of Ages, has trained his satirical missile system on the cultural, political and theological forces that surround the painful world of gay conversion therapy and the “pray away the gay” movement. This is a big, full-blooded musical with an irreverently comic heart that is also heart-breaking and emotionally charged. Pray the Gay Away® pulls up the carpet to expose the underlying U.S. religious, political and cultural attitudes surrounding homosexuality and our understanding of human rights.

Possibly God’s second-favorite musical.

Self-rated at PG-13 for mature themes and highly emotional content. A production preview guide is provided on this page.

November 8-24, 2019 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre.
For tickets, visit the Lincoln Theatre ticketing page.

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PTGA Production Preview Guide

Presented by Theater Arts Guild
Book, Music and Lyrics by Conrad Askland
Directed by Lindsey Bowen and Gabe Guevara
Choreography by Donna Carroll
Costumes by Kathryn Gildnes

Produced by Matt Bianconi, Kim Turner and Brett Madden

Pray the Gay Away® – serious musical comedy

Public Announcement – Tuesday, April 2, 2019

“Pray the Gay Away”® – a serious musical comedy written by Conrad Askland, will premiere November 8-24, 2019 at the Historic Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA (USA). The show will be produced by TAG (Theater Arts Guild of Skagit County, WA) and directed by Lindsey Bowen and Gabriel Guevara.

Auditions will be June 25-27, 2019 in Mount Vernon, WA. Show information and audition signups are available at https://ptgashow.com. Follow the PTGA 2019 show on Facebook at: https://www.Facebook.com/ptgainfo .

 

Conrad Askland (writer) on “Pray the Gay Away® – a serious musical comedy”

“Pray the Gay Away”® is my fourth full length original musical. My previous musicals were Witches (2012), PAN (2013) and Romeo and Juliet (2015). This project is much more complex than my previous projects. The interplay of the book, music and lyrics is very delicate because of the subject matter. “Pray the Gay Away” is about gay conversion therapy. This story takes place in Minnetonka, Minnesota 1982. It is a story about a church, an emerging LGBQT support group and a family caught in the middle of differing views on gay conversion therapy, sexual identity, politics and theology.

A show is never complete until a public paying audience is in front of it. On the November 8, 2019 premiere is when we will know how the general public views this work. I would anticipate, and it should be obvious with a show dealing with politics, religion and sexual identity, that audience views on this musical may differ wildly.

I can tell you that in our many group readings so far, the material of PTGA is landing as I intended it to land. Readers have been surprised to find out that many of the stereotypes they were expecting in the script, were not there at all. I believe the vision for this story is unique. I also believe that it is told in a way that is very entertaining and moving. The show uses humor to address a painfully serious subject that we are currently dealing with in the United States in different ways. Not just gay conversion therapy, but also the topic of gay conversion therapy in its application to adolescents.

I have been working on the book, music and lyrics of “Pray the Gay Away”® for many years. My fear had always been that I was too late to bring this to the stage. Too late to be socially relevant. Too late to make a difference. The sad truth, here in 2019, is that if anything, I am too early in bringing this to the stage. The battle still wages on as strong as it ever has.

It is time to take this topic and bring it to the stage in a new light. The subject of gay conversion therapy needs to be talked about more. It should not, and cannot, be swept under the rug anymore.

This is not a show I want to do. This is a show I have to do. To quote the great 16th century theologian Martin Luther:

“I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”
(Martin Luther)

– Conrad Askland (April 2, 2019)

Skagit Impressions Six – Skagit Violin Dance

I composed this piece as part of a music production course for my Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with Berklee College of Music. While taking classes I was on tour as music director with the Cirque du Soleil show Varekai and was fortunate enough to have our violin player from the show, David Piché, record the violin tracks while in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Tarragona – Solo Piano Improvisation

“Tarragona” is a piano improvisation by Conrad Askland. Recorded July 31, 2017 in Tarragona, Spain.

In this video you can see the far stone wall behind the piano. That stone wall is part of a guard tower that is dated to be at least 800 years old. Used at one point as a guard tower and later as part of a winery.

I thought about the long history of this special place in Spain and let my fingers color the imagination of what I saw in my mind’s eye.

St Clair – New Age Piano Improvisation

“St Clair” is a piano piece for my friend Judy St Clair. Judy and her husband were mentors of mine when I was younger and they guided me through many adventures. Some were sweet and some were painful, but still they were all adventures.

While playing this piece, I was remembering the light and playful camaraderie we had during those times. Style might be called a new age piano improvisation.

Recorded July 31, 2017 in Tarragona, Spain. Part of my “Tarragona Piano Improvisation Sessions” – Audio engineer: Jesus Rovira

Alberti’s Dream – Neo Classical Piano Improvisation

“Alberti’s Dream” is a piano improvisation by Conrad Askland. Recorded July 31, 2017 in Tarragona, Spain.

For this piece, I started with a simple Alberti Bass in Bb and then just followed where it led me.

Session 3-8 of my “Tarragona Piano Sessions” improvisations.

Alberti bass is a particular kind of accompaniment figure in music, often used in the Classical era, and sometimes the Romantic era. It was named after Domenico Alberti (1710–1740), who used it extensively, although he was not the first to use it.

Skagit Impressions Three – Adaptive Layer Battle Theme One

Skagit Impressions Three from the Gary Brown and Conrad Askland project. Farmland photos of Skagit County, WA by Gary Brown with music by Conrad Askland.

This third impression includes my composition “Adaptive Layer Battle Theme One.” This is a five layer composition for use in video game adaptive scoring. Each of the five layers are complete unto themselves, but also layer to create different levels of tension. In a gaming environment these different layers would be triggered in and out by player actions and states of being.

For the Skagit Impressions Three video, each layer builds sequentially. Starting with layer one – then layer one plus layer two – then layer one two and three and so on until all five layers are playing together.

In the video below, I show how this same music might be used in a gaming environment. The layers are used for the different states and actions of a character in the video game Uncharted 3.

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Skagit Impressions Two – Music As Water

Skagit Impressions Two – Music as Water. Photography by Gary Brown. Vocal by Leisha Skinner. Music and Melody by Conrad Askland (ASCAP).

This is the second in the series for the “Gary Brown and Conrad Askland Project” where I take the photography of Gary Brown and create music to accompany his photos. We do this to express our impression of the natural beautiful landscapes and farmlands of Skagit County, WA. This is also the are famous in the spring with tourists for the Skagit County Tulip Festival. There are many photographers that take photos during the tulip season, but Gary Brown takes photos of these landscapes all year long so you get to see different hues and variations of the landscapes.

ON THE MUSIC

The music I wrote for this, which I call “Music as Water” was part of a weekly assignment for a class on Songwriting for TV and Film that I took with Berklee College of Music. The assignment was to write for the least number of instruments possible, with the option of adding a vocal. I chose a piano and vocal arrangement. There is an original piano track and then I added some light fills in the top octave in between the vocal lines.

The music stays in Cm (natural minor) and floats in a 12/8 time signature. When we recording the vocal, we experimented with several different vowel sounds. At the final mix I found myself enjoying the natural “Ah” sound, so that is what you hear in the final mix.

Here is the music as it could work as sync placement in a television series:

 

Where None Would Go – Gettysburg Memorial Song

“Where None Would Go” (Gettysburg Memorial Song) is a piece I wrote to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. This song released July 4, 2016. Words and Music by Conrad Askland. Vocalist: Leisha Skinner. To a variation of the melody “Shenandoah”.

I was inspired to write this song after spending many hours of discussion on the Civil War with my friend, Joe Bowen. He is a scholar of American History where he studied the Civil War at Harvard College. He will setup battle tactics and battle strategies on tables using napkins, playing cards, cups – whatever is around – to really immerse me in details of the Civil War. The conversations usually start with prose, then get into historical details and facts of the battles and politics of the time, then end with philosophical musings, anecdotes and quotes from soldier’s letters.

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Skagit Impressions – Photography and Music

Photography of Skagit County, WA farmlands by Gary L. Brown with piano music and nature sound field recordings by Conrad Askland.

Gary Brown is known locally as one of the premier photographers of surrounding landscapes in the Skagit County farmlands of Washington State in the US Pacific Northwest. He also does excellent live theater photography and has been photographer for many theatrical shows that I have been involved in locally. A few months ago he took me out on a photo shoot with him to hunt for different sunlight, shadows and cloud formations after a local rain shower. It was incredible to get a sense of how he views our local land through his lens.

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