Back to the 20th Annual Festival of New Musicals


2008 Festival

Jerry Dixon

Stu James, Julia Lema, Norm Lewis, Kenita Miller, C.E Smith, Glenn Turner and Rema Webb

Contact for Rights

For more information about BARNSTORMER, contact: Charles Kopelman, 212-445-0160

Number of Acts: 2
Number of Principals (Male): 5
Number of Principals (Female): 3
Total Cast Size: 8
Orchestra Breakdown:

4-8: piano, 2 reeds, bass, percussion/guitar

Genre & Style:

Search Set & Costume Registry


Before Amelia Earhart, there was Bessie Coleman — the first Black aviatrix who rose from the cotton fields of Texas and the barbershops of Chicago to finally conquer the skies of France. Her brief but dynamic life inspired the disenfranchised to pursue their dreams, including her own nephew who became a Tuskegee Airman.

Development History

Act One of Barnstormer was presented at the York Theater Company in March 2003. The Lark Play Development Center received a 2004 NAMT Producer-Writer Initiative Award and a 2005 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award to support Barnstormer‘s development, culminating in a reading, April 2005, and a BareBones presentation in November 2005. The Village Theatre funded a developmental workshop in April, 2007. All presentations were directed by Jerry Dixon. Cheryl Davis received the Kleban Award for her libretto and Douglas Cohen received the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, which partially funded a reading in Hartford Stage Company’s Brand:New Festival, November 2007. Barnstormer is scheduled to be presented as part of in Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s acclaimed Southern Writers’ Project in May 2009.

Festival Successes

Workshop production at Red Mountain Theatre Company (AL) in 2010. Reading at New York Professional Theatre (NY) in 2011.