After decades as a (usually unpaid) church musician I'm branching out into musical theater, though it feels more like coming home. For the past several months I've been composing a show based on Marla Taviano's book unbelieve: poems on the journey to becoming a heretic, a stirring account of her spiritual 'deconstruction' which she describes as driven by love and informed by books, especially the work of the late Rachel Held Evans to whom the book is dedicated. Some of Marla's poems sing to me directly, even though they're not in rhyming verse, while others inspire my talent for paraphrase. Since the 'action' in this story mainly takes place in the landscape of Marla's shifting religious views, Unbelieve: the Musical will be largely a one-woman show in which a singer-actor will portray the author.
Marla herself is fully supportive of this project and has responded positively to the songs I’ve written (over 15 of them at this point), starting with Don't Wanna Go To Your Cool Church which speaks to some of the issues addressed in the book, including becoming an LGBTQ ally. I plan to record a studio demo of this song with a female vocalist - which will probably be crowdfunded - but for now you can listen to my own rough recording. I may post more music from the show on this site, but I'm also thinking about joining Patreon in the hope that people who believe in this project will support me so that I can finish writing it while I'm between day jobs. That would be my dream job!