A. Ralph and I were commissioned by Chicago Childrens' Theatre in Chicago to create a musical adaptation of this famous book around 2005 or so. They commissioned, workshopped and produced the initial production.
A. Ralph had a few of the songs either written or sketched out prior to us being commissioned to create the project for CCT. I then took the actual book by Eleanor Estes and Ralph's songs and sketches and tried to create a narrative that would work for the musical version. I tried to imagine where songs needed to be added and what needed to happen in the action of the song to move the plot forward and then passed the ideas off to Ralph to work his magic. I actually wrote most of the first draft of the play while traveling through India. Then we workshopped the play with CCT and moved it toward production.
A. I'm most excited to see how a larger cast (ensemble) will work! We wanted to use a bigger cast for the initial production but could not because of budget and Equity contracts. We even poke subtle fun at the small cast in the show when Miss Mason is awarding the boy's medal and she says the winner is in their classroom. Willie has that funny line where he says to Jack, "Hey, that means it's either you or me!"