Back to the 18th Annual Festival of New Musicals

One Step Forward (fka The Boys Are Coming Home)

2006 Festival

David Petrarca

Ian Brennan, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Merle Dandridge, Gregg Edelman, Marc Kudisch and Andrew Rannells

Contact for Rights

Beth Russell 416-960-9686

Number of Acts: 2
Number of Principals (Male): 6
Number of Principals (Female): 4
Preferred Ensemble Size: 10
Total Cast Size: 20
Orchestra Breakdown:

Not yet orchestrated.

Genre & Style:

Search Set & Costume Registry


It’s 1945, World War II has just ended, and the battle-scarred boys are returning home to women who have had their first taste of independence. Bea and Ben are reluctant lovers, both unwilling to surrender their single status. Helen and Charlie find their love and trust tested by lies and accusations instigated by John, the boy thwarted in love and life. As Helen, Bea and their best friend Shirley keep their promise to conceal the interracial love between Maggie and Brad, all the characters learn to face the challenges that life has to offer in this new and changing world. One Step Forward was created by a Canadian team of collaborators including composer Leslie Arden (Jefferson Award winning The House of Martin Guerre), award winning author Berni Stapleton, and director/choreographer Timothy French.

Development History

One Step Forward was first commissioned by Canada’s National Arts Centre. It was selected for further development by Northwestern University for its 2006 inaugural season of The American Musical Theatre Project. The workshop production (entitled The Boys Are Coming Home) was directed by Gary Griffin and ran from July 28-August 13, 2006.

Festival Successes

Developmental workshop with the Charlottetown Festival (Canada) and a concert presentation at Talk Is Free Theatre (Canada) in 2010.