13 - August 25 - August 27, 2016

New Horizon Theatre

 End Notes 

I fell in love with the heart of “13 the Musical” the very first time I saw it.  As I sat watching an energetic group of young actors take over the stage with this vivacious score, they allowed me to see my 13-year-old daughter in an entirely new light.  Recognizing that the child beside me was already embarking on a very difficult journey into adulthood, far before I was ready, made me, as a parent, grow up a little too.  


Bringing “13 the Musical” to New Horizon Theatre has been an adventure, to say the least.  Despite the level of musical difficulty, some very taboo moments, and knowing that this Broadway show required finding an extremely talented teen cast (at the beginning of football season), we knew it was a show worthy of a few risks.  Fortunately, the enthusiasm of the cast confirmed that almost immediately.  Our first day of rehearsal turned into a sing-a-long, complete with the Macarena and an abundance of laughter, since most of the cast already knew the score.  Their excitement quickly brought the show to life and their individual personalities have influenced much of what we prepared for our audiences. 


The uniqueness of this production is part of its appeal and every single member of this cast has contributed to the content of this show.  The collaboration on costumes, set design, choreography, harmonies, character backstories, and added humor have created a show that I could never have envisioned alone.  It has been my honor to work with so much creativity and my privilege to see this much talent revealed during this production.


I was also surprised by how many truths were revealed as we worked through the script.  I think that everyone in the cast and crew found lines, characters, actions, or events that related to their life in some way.  Family divisions, bullying, issues of faith, struggles with self-image, and health concerns are all examples of challenges faced by many middle schoolers.  Having the support of family and friends doesn’t always make problems disappear, but it does make fighting through them a little more bearable. 


“13” is supposed to make you uncomfortable, because it takes you into one of the most uncomfortable transition periods in life.  It would have been easy to “clean up” the script, but to do so would have been untrue to the message of the show.  Tweens are looking for validation and trying to break into adulthood…sometimes through bad choices and sometimes through surprisingly honorable and mature decisions.  They need the space to navigate these years with “a little less pressure and a little more time,” because, in the end, “we all have a little more homework to do.” 


I hope that you will, not only enjoy this production, but that you will discover that it touched your heart, as it has ours.  Thank you for allowing us to share this show with you and for continuing to support art among our youth and throughout our communities.


- Amy McDow

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