Back to the 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals

Meet John Doe

2005 Festival

Joe Calarco

Donna-Lynne Champlin, Victoire Charles, Jed Cohen, Ron DeStefano, Brooke Ferris, Melissa Hart, Danette Holden, Dennis Holland, Amy Justman, Mary Jo McConnell, Guy Paul, Peter Roman, Michael Rupert, Mark Sanders, Graham Stevens and Greg Stone

Contact for Rights

Rodgers & Hammerstein

Number of Acts: 2
Number of Principals (Male): 5
Number of Principals (Female): 1
Preferred Ensemble Size: 12
Total Cast Size: 18
Orchestra Breakdown:

5-piece licensed: piano, bass, drums, reed, trumpet (may be augmented with 2nd keyboard)
10-piece Jonathan Tunick orchestrations available on request

Casting Notes:

Ensemble should reflect a diverse cross-section of America. Size can be reduced to 9.

Genre & Style:

Jazz/big band politcal drama/dramedy

Search Set & Costume Registry


Fake news, a brash tycoon with his sights on the White House, and one woman with the power to change the country. Based on Frank Capra’s most ambitious and controversial film, this jazz-driven musical tells the story of Ann Mitchell, a fast-talking newspaper reporter who runs a phony letter in her column when she gets laid off during the height of the Depression. She never imagines that John Doe, the “author” of the letter, will become a national superstar, or that the paper’s greedy new owner will try to use the grassroots movement John inspires to steal the presidency. In the end, she and the fake “John” she hires to play the role must face the very real feelings they have for each other and together find some way to heal the country. Featuring the audition and cabaret favorites “I’m Your Man,” “He Threw Me,” and “I Hope You Can See This.”

Festival Successes

Developmental readings at the Hartt School (CT) in 2006 and Carousel Dinner Theater (OH) in 2007. Full productions at Goodspeed Musicals (CT) in 2006, Ford’s Theatre (DC) in 2007, and Porchlight Theatre (IL) in 2011. Ford’s production was nominated for 7 Helen Hayes Awards, winning 2. Studio Cast Album released in 2013 on Broadway Records starring Heidi Blickenstaff, James Moye, Bob Cuccioli and Joel Blum. Licensed by Rodgers and Hammerstein.