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

Romeo and Juliet – the musical

For licensing and rights, contact me here on my website.

Romeo and Juliet the musical uses the original English text of William Shakespeare.

    • Romeo and Juliet the musical
    • Book and Lyrics by William Shakespeare
    • Music by Conrad Askland
    • Premiere January 2015
    • Historic Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon, WA
    • Presented by META Performing Arts

Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet the musical

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PAN the musical

For licensing and rights, contact me here on my website.

PAN the musical is the story of Peter Pan and Wendy, based on the beloved classic story by J.M. Barrie.

  • PAN the musical
  • Book, Music and Lyrics by Conrad Askland
  • Based on “Peter and Wendy” by J.M. Barrie
  • Premiere September 2013
  • Historic Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon, WA
  • Presented by META Performing Arts

Excerpts from PAN the musical

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Mamma Mia – Music Director Notes

I just finished a 10-show run of Mamma Mia at McIntyre Hall (Mount Vernon, WA) with Theater Arts Guild of Skagit County WA, a nonprofit community theater group.

On this show I worked as music director, vocal director, rehearsal pianist and Key1/Conductor.

Mamma Mia Music Director Notes

1 Overture

2. I Have A Dream
Cutoff on third “Sophie” – hold and fade on any chord.

3. Honey Honey
Underscore cut m. 67-71 (dialogue goes quick)
Chorus – in rehearsal have chorus sing open “Ah” on all background vocals. This will get them used to having a full open sound – then with open sound, change lip formation to “ooh”
m. 92-103 Key3 – awesome blues piano part but needs to be pianissimo for dialogue
m. 104 vamp – vamp is F7-Bb7 – last time I play G7-C7 so entrance is very clear for chorus

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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.

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The Power of Synopsis in Script Outlines

I’ve been hunkered down in creating the outline for my fourth musical theater work. A massive amount of time has been spent reviewing and refining my knowledge on the process and getting back in gear. Quite a bit of time has been spent on the outline. The reason is that my first script draft, at 70 pages, became so jumbled and confusing that I had to throw it out and start all over. My new approach begins with the outline.

But even with focusing on the outline, my work has quickly ballooned into 80 pages of notes. Not even notes about my specific musical but notes on different approaches to take to script writing. So again I started with a fresh outline of “beats” only to have that, at only 6 pages, start to become a fresh new spider’s web.

You know what process I skipped? The synopsis. And now that I have re-found the synopsis part of the process it is like a lightning bolt for my vision of structure.

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Leadership Approaches for Promoting Change in Organizations


Conrad Askland
December 2018 – Colorado State University



Nonprofit arts organizations can have a particularly difficult experience enacting change within their organizations. This is partly due to the artist mindset that can have a default resistance to change, group and sub-group dynamics that create barriers to change, an ineffective leadership practices to overcome these challenges. This paper will highlight some of the barriers to change that appear in arts organizations as well as provide various leadership approaches that can be effective in facilitating healthy change within those organizations. Included are ancient leadership theories of Lao Tzu, the theory of reverse dominance and constructive dissent by Grint and successful leadership tactics identified by Kotter.

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The Stories Behind Some of the Favorite Christmas Carols of All Time

Music has been an integral part of the Christmas celebration since the earliest years of the celebration. From traditional sacred music to up-tempo tunes, the songs of Christmas are a major part of the holiday.

But how much do you know about the origin stories of your favorite Christmas carols. Here is the story behind some of the most popular and well known Christmas carols of all time.

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Lost Boys – PAN the musical

“Lost Boys” from PAN the musical at the Historic Lincoln Theater, September 2013. Book, music and lyrics by Conrad Askland based on “Peter and Wendy” by JM Barrie.

I wrote “PAN the musical” for META Performing Arts, a youth theater non-profit group in Mount Vernon, WA. PAN is a new version of the Peter Pan story that combined audience interaction, songs for children and some high brow musical theater as well. One critic said it was the perfect show for children AND adults to enjoy together.

PAN the musical website at:

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INFP Personality Type

“We all benefit when an INFP personality type goes ‘Sir Lancelot’ on the world.”

Somehow in my graduate studies on Arts Leadership, I ended up taking a personality test. With both the paid personality text on and the free personality test at – I ended up with the INFP personality type.

I’m not much for online tests, but I was really blown away by how accurately these tests described my cognitive and social function. There is the old story about the college psychology professor who hands every person in class their weekly horoscope and asks students to raise their hands if the horoscope is accurate. Usually a large percentage of the class raises their hands, only to find out that they all have the exact same horoscope. In other words, we read so much in to descriptions that seem to match us.

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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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Choosing Your Child’s Piano Teacher: Six Questions to Ask

Piano lessons are an investment of both money and time. Finding the right piano teacher for your child will help your investment lead to successful music education. Asking the following questions will help you choose the right teacher.


Is the teacher a member of local, state, or national music organizations?

Membership in music organizations signals that a teacher is interested in staying current with trends in music education. Music Teachers National Association, National Association for Music Education, and the National Federation of Music Clubs, along with the state and local affiliates of these organizations, are some of the well-known groups in which a piano teacher might hold membership. Journals and newsletters typically accompany membership and bring relevant information right to the teacher’s door. Membership also gives the teacher access to continuing education opportunities, including conventions and seminars on music performance and education.

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Six Reasons Why Children Taking Piano Classes Do Better at School

Learning to play the piano is not just about learning a new musical instrument. Playing keyboard instruments improves personality and makes people healthier and happier. Children taking piano classes benefit more because it gives them an edge at an early age. Playing the piano makes children smarter, improves their learning abilities and makes them better students.

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Johann Sebastian Bach: Baroque Superstar

(Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750)

J.S. Bach’s dad was a musician. J.S.’s uncle was a musician. All four of J.S.’s brothers were musicians and composers. In fact, pretty much everybody in the Bach family were musicians and had been since great-great-great grandpa John Hans Bach, originally a baker, had a mid-life crisis and discovered that he was meant to be a piper instead.

By 1685, when Johann Sebastian Bach was born, the Bachs were the German Baroque equivalent of our modern day musical Jackson family. The Bachs were well-known, highly connected, and prosperous. They served as musicians to Dukes, were musical directors at important churches, and were directors of renowned choirs. Even the ladies of the family got in on the act. J.S.’s second wife was a popular singer.

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