This song was released by Road Records on the CD “New Faces Volume Two”. The goal of this song was to create something that sounded like a retro jazz ballad. I remember this is one of the few recordings where I used an actual upright piano to play the keys parts. Normally I don’t use upright pianos because they’re always a tad out of tune, but that effect worked very well on this song to give it an authentic retro feel.
“Ballad of Dull Knife” is one of the first songs I wrote that ended up being on a released album (around 1995). It is about the Cheyenne chief Dull Knife (Morning Star) and the emotions I imagined he might have felt as his lands were being taken away.
So I earned a couple degrees: Bachelor of Professional Studies from Berklee College of Music and a Master in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management (MALCM) from Colorado State University. I actually just finished these in the last couple years so I’m what they refer to as a “mature learner”. Was it worth it? In short, yes. Does anyone really care? Not really.
Both my degrees were earned online. One of the reasons I didn’t finish my degrees many years ago is that in my line of work you often get a call for a tour with a short window of prep time. If I was back in a brick and mortar school and I got the call for a gig then I would have had to turn the gig down (or drop out of school to do the tour). I didn’t want just any degree. I wanted a degree I felt proud of (or at least wasn’t embarrassed by). There is one well-known online university that I didn’t want to sign up with because every time I imagined writing down the name of the university, well, it was not a feeling of pride. No, I won’t mention that school name because I’m “nice”.
All shows SOLD OUT! Pray the Gay Away® the musical Nov. 8-24, 2019 at Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. I am thrilled at the overwhelming support and ticket demand for my fourth original full-length musical.
Thank you so much to our Pacific Northwest audiences for supporting this show and its mission. Its become bigger than we ever could have imagined. We are in a whirlwind with all the comments and social media buzz coming in. It’s overwhelmingly beautiful.
We do know one thing: audiences are hungry for the experience and message of this show. It is obvious that somehow this show needs to reach more people. We have confidence the people of the Pacific Northwest will find a way to make that happen. The Great People of the Pacific Northwest. You are the best!
The first review is in from La Conner Weekly News on the premiere run of Pray the Gay Away® the musical at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA from Nov. 8-24, 2019. Thank you to Ken Stern for taking the time to watch our show and write the review.
‘Pray the Gay Away” a must see
“By definition world premieres are ambitious. This one is audacious.”
“This is a colorful, high energy production that had a supportive full house audience applauding throughout.”
“This play is a powerhouse of history and current events”
Afterwards, I sat down with the mastermind, creative and musical director Conrad Askland, to talk this timely play, from inception to world premiere production. This is Askland’s fourth full-length musical and, he said, “by far my best work.” Askland took a two-year hiatus from his career as musical director for Cirque du Soleil and Rock of Ages to write and develop “Pray the Gay Away.” “It is not the show I want to do but the show I have to do,” he says rather openly and humbly. “The is a story that has to be told. We are seeing a roll back in the rights of the LGBTQ community. It’s not just gay rights, it’s about human rights.”
Thank you to Entertainment News Northwest (ENNW) magazine for doing a cover story on my fourth original full-length musical Pray the Gay Away®. Read the ENNW November 2019 cover story article on their website at https://www.ennw.info/
And a big thank you to Marla Bronstein who took the time to attend our rehearsals and interview cast members in preparation for this story. The world premiere of Pray the Gay Away® the musical will run Nov 8-24, 2019 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. More show info on the official PTGA play site at https://ptgashow.com/
Entertainment News Northwest November 2019 cover story
Pray the Gay Away® at the historic Lincoln Theatre
By Marla Bronstein
Pray the Gay Away (PTGA) is an original musical that is best described as a serious musical comedy. Its world premiere, 3-week run open s November 8, 2019 at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
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).
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)
Adrian will be a senior at MVHS as well as a freshman at SVC. He enjoys hiking in his free time and 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).
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.