Experience the funny, touching, and complicated universe of adoption, as related through the stories of kids and teens.
They Chose Me is a musical spotlighting the subject of adoption, as seen through the eyes of kids ages 7 to 18. In the course of the show, a group of adopted youngsters assemble to tell their stories—funny and poignant—to Sarah Cook, herself an adoptee. The show encompasses a variety of issues typically experienced by adopted children. Among them: foster homes, parental loss, gay adoption, and multi-cultural families. They Chose Me can be performed as either a 55 or an 85-minute musical.
THEY CHOSE ME! Music by NED PAUL GINSBURG Lyrics by MICHAEL COLBY Book by COLBY and GINSBURG Originally commissioned and produced by TADA! in New York City; Executive & Artistic Director, Janine Nina Trevens. NOTE: The names of the Composer, Lyricist and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring boldness and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the Play.
EVE EDEN: a personable and upbeat African-American girl. First person to volunteer. Comes from a multiracial home.
IVAN ZALE: a non-conformist who’s matter-of-fact about his adoption. Originally from Romania, he imitates Dracula, dresses any way he likes, and cheers people up. Should be able to lead a big number.
JAMAL DuPRÉ: very unhappy with his adoptive family. Irritable and rebellious. Athletic, good dancer. The kid most likely to complain about being adopted.
JANE SMYTHE: among the youngest kids. Theatrical, amusing child who dreams of becoming a star. Good dancer, elastic, may possibly touch her nose with her foot. Should have sweet side as well.
JIMMY MAGEE: a contemporary version of one of the “Our Gang” street kids; scrappy yet vulnerable. Someone who spent a long time in one foster home, yearning for a family. He should have an angelic singing voice (ideally one that hasn’t yet changed).
LAURA JAMISON: all-American girl (possibly an ash blonde), self-conscious about her Latino origins. Resentful of birth-parents for deserting her as a baby. Snooty at times. Comic physicality and ability to go from gangly to assured, dancing Latin music.
MANUELA RODRIGUEZ: the opposite of Laura: proudly Hispanic and confident. Full of personality, stylishly dressed, and a terrific dancer.
MEI-LING MOSKOWITZ: a lovely Asian girl, adopted into a Jewish family. Proud of both heritages. Must be good singer, preferably soprano.
NANCY TATUM: shy, insecure child afraid of abandonment. She blames herself because her parents fight. Must be good actress and singer, capable of shifting emotions within a song.
SHARLA FRANCO: a girl with a range of moods; from sunny to gloomy. Quirky and imaginative. A born storyteller.
Optional Characters (Dividing some Principal Roles)
GAIL RYAN: originally from Columbia. Outspoken, funny girl.
MARCUS LOPEZ: popular boy, great disco dancer.
PATTY LEWIS: sweet, somewhat introverted girl.
KAY PRAGER: cute girl; a good dancer-singer.
SAMMY STONE: expressive, funny boy. Can be played by a girl, if necessary.
SUE BARTON: a good friend to others. Comedic with lyrics.
LILY KENT: tall, sensitive girl.
PENNY ABERNATHY: girl with little to say, but outstanding dancer.
Percussion (Bass Drum and Snare Drum Three tom drums: small, medium, and floor igh hat, ride, crash, and small “splash” cymbals, Sticks, mallets, and brushes, Triangle, Cowbell, Vibra-slap, Siren (comic), Woodblocks (preferably in three pitches, or, at least two), Finger cymbal, Tambourine, Mark Tree, Slapstick, Flexatone washboard, spoons, tambourine, woodblocks, cowbell; anything “country/square dance shakers, guiro, claves, bongos; any instrument of a Latin variety)