The great American musical is an ever-changing entity. The millennium brought a new kind of musical for the new artist – and audience – the Millennial. Historic figures like Hamilton and Harvey Milk are getting their musical moments. The Fresh Fruit Festival will present the new HARVEY MILK musical, HERE TO RECRUIT YOU, as part of their summer fest. The tour-de-force one-person show has also earned it place. Robert Hofmann comes to America for the first time with his hilarious WHAT THE FANDANGO as a benefit performance in the West Village. but the heartfelt musical play still has still secured its place – when in the right hands. And this one certainly is.
Opening the fall 2019 season is the much heralded musical reminiscent of “Merrily We Roll Along” but tempered and fashioned for the 21st century millennial artist and audience. THE GREEN ROOM brings good old musical comedy into a more mature and mindful light. It’s the story of four friends who want to NOT be on Broadway – but want to take the more intellectual OFF-Broadway by storm.
With a cast of four and no chorus, THE GREEN ROOM depends heavily on the story and the characters. So Stephen Foster had a big job ahead of him.
Stephen, tell us about yourself.
I’m an actor/writer from Bedford, TX now living in Hollywood. I am the book-writer of The Green Room. I also won 4 best actor awards for the comedy short “That’s Opportunity Knocking.”
Film actor as well? Impressive. So, what inspired you to create GREEN ROOM?
The musical was originally written as a one-act by Rod Damer and Chuck Pelletier added songs and it was a one-act musical which was produced by the Off Hollywood Theatre company, where I served as artistic director. After the success of that run, we expanded it into the two-act it is now. I loved the idea of the college green room as a space where actors spent a majority of their time. I also loved the song “It’s All About Me” that Divonne sings because I played a corpse, in drag in a show in college and STILL never got a lead role!
Share with us, your creative process. Book first, music first, idea, moral, etc.
Since I am an actor, it always starts with CHARACTER. Creating characters that have clear objectives and intentions. I also look for what’s insane, passionate and even flawed with a character.
You’re opening at an auspicious time… what does your show contribute to the festivities?
It is a celebration of the theater life and the courage to stand up for yourself, your friends and your dreams.
What does it mean to be a 20 something in the 21st Century.
It means to have the world at your fingertips. It means to know that you have an important role to play to the unfolding passion play of eternity.
Beautifully said! Personally, what does the show mean to you?
The show means creative ideals and passions that never quit and never retire. I wrote a book called “Awakening the Actor Within” which is all about the actors need for courage in the face of adversity. Cliff, Anna, John and Divonne face that acting future. They face the world at the end of the musical asking, “What will happen to us and our dreams?!”
Somewhat like “The Hills of Tomorrow” in Merrily. Inspiring! So, what happens after THE GREEN ROOM?
I’ll quote my favorite line from the song “In the End” …
“And the future stands before us like a child screaming out to know our plans.”
THE GREEN ROOM make its New York Premiere SEPTEMBER 25th – OCTOBER 26th at one of the original theaters that brought about the storied off-off Broadway movement, THE AMERICAN THEATRE OF ACTORS (314 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019).