Local Teens Produce Impactful Musical
Broken Symphony is a musical written and performed by local teens which focused on struggles some teens face. Murphy resident, CiCi Craft is a fourteen-year-old eighth grader who is homeschooled. She was cast as Penny, the lead in the musical. Until Penny went to public high school, she had been home schooled. When she was four years old, her parents died and she was raised by a guardian. When Penny went to public school, she was struck by how many students lived with such a heavy weight on their shoulders. She started a music club with the hopes of giving students a safe place to share their problems. Within the club there were students who struggled with teen pregnancy, anorexia, depression and a father who was a recovering alcoholic. In an ironic twist of fate, Penny’s guardian dies and she, the one who was to give hope and comfort, became the recipient of the much needed support.
Elizabeth McDermott (Murphy resident), Adam Turner and Chloe Barnes collaborated on the script. Turner wrote the music and lyrics. Approximately 30% of the production was music and the remainder was spoken. Murphy resident Veronica McDermott was the choreographer. The common thread among the teen-created production was that they had met and performed in productions at Wylie Acting Group (WAG) which is where Broken Symphony was premiered.
Speaking to how the musical came to be, Elizabeth said that the group wanted to produce a musical without purchasing one. Turner said he had an idea for one. She said that she and the others in the group thought he had one written, but that wasn’t the case, so they worked together to write Broken Symphony. They had assistance from some of their siblings. Craft said when she went to audition, she did so mainly to support her friends’ creative endeavor and didn’t expect many others to be at the audition. She was surprised to see the large turnout and thrilled when she was told she was cast as the lead.
There were 16 cast members, six crew members, two directors, one choreographer and sound and light technicians. The age range of the production was between 12 and 18 years old.
The musical was well received by audience members, many of them were brought to tears. They were told that the message of the production, which was that it is important to have a place to freely speak about your problems before dire consequences occur, was a great message. The founder of The Core Theater attended a show and said he would like to have the production, including original cast, perform Broken Symphony at his theater.
Craft said that the fact that reality mirrored art, in that friendships were made on stage and off, is her favorite element of this experience. Watching the production go from rehearsal to stage, and all the script modifications made in between, is what Elizabeth enjoyed most. “The characters became so much more than we expected. It turned into a show we didn’t think it could be.”