The most common reaction we got was “I never expected to enjoy a musical about video games this much!” Since we tried to write a show that would appeal to everyone, it was really encouraging to receive a positive response from people who knew nothing about Legendale‘s subject matter. Overall, the NAMT Festival didn’t just meet our expectations, it blew them away.
James Monroe Iglehart played our show’s antagonist at the Festival, and he brought up questions about his motivations that we couldn’t easily answer. As it turned out, the character needed a complete overhaul, and that change led us to hone and clarify a number of other characters as well. Since October, we’ve also been lucky enough to participate in two ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshops (in Los Angeles and New York), so the feedback from all three presentations has shaped our work quite a bit.
We know there are some exciting opportunities coming up for Legendale—what can you share with us right now?
We are proud to announce that we are currently developing our show with two NAMT members! Since the spring, we’ve been collaborating with Søren Møller to bring Legendale overseas to the Fredericia Teater in Denmark, where our show will have its World Premiere next March. Stateside, Kevin Moore will be hosting a two-week residency in December, culminating in a staged reading at The Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio. Our sights are on an American Premiere in the Fall of 2017 at The Human Race.
What have been some of the joys and challenges for you both as Legendale has seen more development?
The video game world within Legendale is a joy to write for, because it’s a fantasy realm where just about anything can happen. That gives us a unusual amount of creative freedom, but can also be the biggest challenge. When we’re not confined by real-world logic, it’s easy to write something that sounds like a lot of fun on paper, but stops the show cold in practice. So we’ve learned to write our way out of imaginative corners.
From a music perspective, it has been a lot of fun to explore the full range of sounds and synthesizers native to a game world environment, and to delicately lace those into the pop score. It’s an extra layer of work, but we think it brings the show to life in a unique way.
Why should everyone get excited about the upcoming chances they’ll have to see Legendale?
Both the Fredericia and The Human Race Theatre Co. are committed to helping us fully explore Legendale‘s visual dimension. Sure, you can hear us describe the deadly showdown between a spunky Cow-Maiden and a ravenous Bog Monster, but actually seeing these fantastical events take shape in front of you will probably be a lot more fun…