Most people know me as a music director, pianist or conductor for live shows and recordings. But what is very dear to my heart are my new musicals. These have all had an amateur 3 week premiere run to work out all the script, score and technical elements. They are all currently unpublished and await a professional run and agent representation.
I hope you will contact me either about agent representation of these musicals, or about performing them with your theatre group. I am very excited to see what other groups will do with these new works!
Romeo and Juliet the musical
Overview: Set entirely to William Shakespeare original text. In over 400 years there has never been a successful musical version of Romeo and Juliet using only Shakespeare’s original words. I believe this could be the first.
Reviews: “Revolutionary music”
For more info visit: http://www.RJmusical.com
PAN the musical
Overview: A retelling of the Peter Pan and Wendy story by JM Barrie. A new Peter Pan musical with classic score and updated for contemporary audience interaction.
Reviews: “Askland creates magic again”
For more info visit: http://www.PanMusical.com
Witches! the musical
Overview: The Salem Witch Trials come to life in 1692 Massachusetts.
For more info visit: http://www.WitchesMusical.com
Thank you to Marla Bronstein and Entertainment News Northwest magazine for their cover story on the premiere of my third full length musical: Romeo and Juliet.
Read the full article on the ENNW website at http://issuu.com/ennw/docs/ennw-january_2015
My upcoming musical theater opera, “Romeo and Juliet” was written with an Akai LPK25 two-octave USB keyboard. What? Muahaha, yes! In retrospect kind of hard to fathom, but there she is. I did all the music composition and beginning orchestration sketches in the Officer’s Bar of a cruise ship on my off time. The Akai LPK25 keyboard has convenient octave switching buttons on the side so I was able to easily navigate through bass and treble parts for fairly effortless composing. It was only a little tedious when doing soprano vocal lines; that’s when I really wish I had that extra octave. But hey, writing an opera on a two octave keyboard that fits in my computer bag – I’ll take that! Thank you Akai for an awesome product!
After the run of my latest musical, “PAN” (http://www.PanMusical.com), I’ve escaped to Europe and the Bahamas to perform, reflect and work on new projects. I love the different musical influences, especially Rome, Italy and Greece where I stumbled upon a concept for a new musical theater work that is dark and engaging.
Now in the Bahamas, I can’t really say that the musical influences of the tropical islands apply to my projects much, unless you need Reggae or club dance music ideas. But it’s good for relaxing and I’ve enjoyed the beaches and tropical locations with my compadres including Nassau, Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Honduras and Jamaica.
So, to current projects: Yes, it’s true that I am working on a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
At present I am totally immersed in the writing, editing and revision process for several musical theater shows. It is exciting, depressing, grueling, tedious and ultimately the most fulfilling of all possible worlds for me. Several other writers have bared their souls on the writing process so I thought I’d share a little of my own experience.
Entertainment News Northwest Magazine October 2012 issue. Cover photo of Witches! the Musical. Photo by Lindsey Bowen. Visit the Entertainment News NW website at: http://www.ennw.info and read their article on Witches! the Musical by Laurel Larsen here: http://www.ennw.info/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/October-2012.pdf
World Premiere Oct. 19 – Nov. 3, 2012 at the Historic Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA. Presented by Theater Arts Guild. Directed by Jane Skinner. Book, music and lyrics by Conrad Askland. For tickets go to: http://www.lincolntheatre.org/performance/witches-musical
Witches! the Musical World Premiere October 19 – November 3, 2012 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA – USA. LincolnTheatre.org
September 7, 2012 – Mount Vernon, WA
Interview with Conrad Askland – writer of “Witches! the Musical”
Why did you choose the subject of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials?
Originally I had picked a different subject. But while researching that other project I ran into a major problem with the plot that ruined the project for me. That plot problem became my new focus for a different project which I started working on, and may be my next project. During that process I realized it was just too big to attack for my first full length musical. So I started over looking specifically for an existing story, a topic I felt hadn’t been done well as musical theater in the past, and that incorporated children.
Auditions for “Witches! the Musical” June 5-6, 2012 at the Historic Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA. Show dates will be Oct. 19-Nov. 3 at the Lincoln Theater. This is a world premiere show about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. For more info and audition signups visit http://www.WitchesMusical.com.
Produced by TAG – the Theater Arts Guild of Skagit County.
I really want to quite smoking. I’ve been smoking for 26 years at a pack or 1.5 packs a day. Today was my quitting day. I made it 7 hours. Was dizzy, disorientated and thought about smoking almost every second. I’m smoking a cigarette now as I write this.
I don’t want to die from a smoking related disease. I have a lot more music work to do. Any tips from people that successfully quit smoking?
Conrad Askland’s Haunted Mansion Sound Effects released October 17, 2011.
This was a very fun, exhausting and scary project to work on. The fun part was I improvised a lot of different creepy pipe organ, harpsichord and piano music to create a feel I liked for the different Halloween themes. My favorite part was playing a lot of JS Bach style pipe organ bits interspersed with the expected Halloween tritone movements.
August 28, 2011 was the 3rd anniversary of Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show in Macau (SAR), China. Above is one of the new promotional posters. You can click it for a larger view.
Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA band
Maria Elena Medina (cello, viol), Olivier Milchberg (guitar, plucked strings, flutes), Gabriel Cloutier (singer), George Manz (key 2), Conrad Askland (bandleader, key 1, accordion), Rose Winebrenner (singer), Darrin Johnson (drums), Eduard Harutyunyan (percussion), Justin Wilman (violin, recorder).
I just saw this video on YouTube. The videographer (is that a word?) used my music for a short called “Dramatic Drink”. I just absolutely love it. It’s perfect. Major kudos to “damname” on YouTube for creating this.
Thank you to Beverly Crichfield from the Skagit Herald (Skagit County, WA – USA) for writing this article for the Thursday, March 10, 2011 edition. You can subscribe to the Skagit Herald and find local news at http://www.goskagit.com
The article talks about the years I did music and theater in Mount Vernon, WA and Skagit County, USA before moving to Macao, China with Cirque Du Soleil. You can click on the images to enlarge and read.
Below is front page of magazine insert.
February 2011 I flew from Hong Kong to visit the USA for a week in Mount Vernon, WA and then a week in Las Vegas. Although I only lived in Mount Vernon, WA for a couple years I consider it “home” because my sister and Mom live in the area. It was also one of my favorite areas to work in doing music and theater shows.
Kong Hei Fat Choi from Macau, China! 2011 is the year of the rabbit so that should be fun for all of us. Above is video and photos I shot in Macau on Chinese New Year’s Eve (February 2, 2011). Pictures of Senado Square, Macau Tower fireworks and my personal adventures purchasing rockets and explosives on the Macau waterfront. Good times.
And here is a very fun video from Mr. Kong Macau News. This was my third Chinese New Year living in Macau and this one was the best ever! I gave out my lucky red pocket lai cee cards to all the security guards and even received on myself at work.
Merry Christmas Mom! I was trying to think of a unique Christmas present for you this year. So remember when you visited me in China a couple years ago and we made the “Where My Bitches At?” video? (Original video posted above). Well, I decided to do a remix competition and you get to pick the winner!
Hey kids, it’s Christmas time again. You know what that means. Time to dig out your favorite Christmas Fart CD. May I recommend a Farting Christmas by Santa’s Farting Elves. Yes, I produced this. Yes, I think it’s funny. No, I do not think it is offensive to the Christmas spirit. Ok, that should pre-empt most of the hate mail.
Available on Itunes, and also on Amazon.com for Mp3 download or physical CD at:
November 2010 my cousin Karl and I took a two week vacation through Thailand and Cambodia. This is the second video I’ve ever made and did it on Imovie with a Mac. It was very fun to work on. After doing a few more on Imovie I plan on jumping into Final Cut and learning how to edit video in that. I have Final Cut Express to start. If you have any video tips or websites with tutorials that would be much appreciated.
I had someone recently tell me they were very perplexed and sad because they didn’t know the meaning of life. I shared some thoughts with them that I think are rather obvious and pedestrian. The thoughts were very new to them and opened up some new thinking. So I’ll write them here in case any one else finds it of use. And if you read this and think “OMG, that’s so obvious and marshmallow” – well, hey – just move on.