Back to the 34th Annual Festival of New Musicals

Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girls

2022 Festival

Ann Yee

Music Director
Julie McBride

Kai An Chee, Kayla Davion, Lauryn Hobbs, Jade Jones, Mary Kate Morrissey, Audrey Rose Young, Helen J. Shen and Amra-Faye Wright

Number of Acts: 1
Number of Principals (Female): 4
Preferred Ensemble Size: 4
Total Cast Size: 8
Orchestra Breakdown:

Keys 1/conductor, Keys 2, Guitar 1, Guitar 2, Bass, Drums

Casting Notes:

3 of the 4 principals are additional ensemble members; the total cast size is 8. It can also be done with a larger ensemble, if the production allows or requires.

Genre & Style:

Search Set & Costume Registry


Featuring an all-women+ cast and an original through-composed 1920-2020s mashup score, Richard Rodgers Award-winning musical Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girls tells the true story of the capitalist exploitation and knowing radium poisoning of workers by the U.S. Radium Corporation—and the women who fought back.

Development History

• Richard Rodgers Award (2022)
• New York Theatre Barn Choreography Lab (2022)
• The ASCAP Foundation Lucille and Jack Yellin Award (2021)
• Rhinebeck Writers Retreat (2021)
• New York Theatre Barn New Works Series (2021)
• Featured in NYU Faculty Concert, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (2021)
• 5X15, Beck Center and Baldwin Wallace (2021)
• National Alliance for Musical Theatre 15-Minute Musical Challenge Winner (2020)

5 Things You Should Know

  • Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girls is based on the true story of the women who were continuously poisoned by United States Radium Corporation long after the company knew what was happening to its workers’ bodies. In the end, there were five women who bravely fought the company in court, even though none of them lived two years past the lawsuit.
  • Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girls features an original score that is a mashup of 1920s pop and 2020s pop and is the recipient of a 2022 Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • This is the second show we’ve written together. Our first, HoT, is a sister piece to Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girls and is an all-women+ through-composed contemporary feminist retelling of Helen of Troy. We are currently in the early process of writing our third musical together, a rock musical about controversial anarchist Emma Goldman called If I Can’t Dance to It, It’s Not My Revolution.
  • Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girlswas a winner of the NAMT 15-Minute Challenge, which was the catalyst for us to dig in and really get to work on the piece–AND we originally met on a show that was developed at NAMT!
  • After we discussed the initial idea, Sara pumped out a first, extremely rough draft of the libretto in a feverish 3 weeks of absolute obsession. The very next day, Sara’s uncle happened to ask what she was working on. She told him about the show–and he told her that her great-aunt actually worked at one of those factories! AND, later on in the process, Lynne discovered that her house is 15 minutes away from the site of the factory in our show. How could we NOT write this show?!
  • Excerpts