Back to the 35th Annual Festival of New Musicals

Yoko's Husband's Killer's Japanese Wife, Gloria

2023 Festival

Jess McLeod

Music Director
Lily Ling

Number of Acts: 1
Number of Principals (Female): 6
Total Cast Size: 6
Orchestra Breakdown:

Keys, Drums, Guitar, Bass, Keys/Guitar, and whatever else we can get :)

Genre & Style:


Search Set & Costume Registry


Did Yoko Ono really break up The Beatles? Was Gloria Abe Chapman somehow responsible for John Lennon’s murder? Why do all these egotistical white guys marry Asian women? That’s weird, right? These questions keep Ruby Okamoto up at night. She‘s getting answers—even if she has to summon all of Asian America into her insomniatic fever dream.

Development History

Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria was originally commissioned by Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in 2021. With their support, the show received both a table reading at the 5th Ave and a 29-hour reading at Playwright’s Horizons in 2022. In 2023, Gloria participated in The Civilians’ R&D Group, culminating in another 29-hour reading, with additional funding from the 5th Avenue and NAMT via the Frank Young Fund for New Musicals. By the end of summer 2023, Gloria and its writers will have participated in both the Orchard Project Performance Lab as well as the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference.

5 Things You Should Know

  1. On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old white man with a gun walked into three different spas in Atlanta, Georgia and opened fire. He ended up shooting nine people, eight of which died, six of which were Asian women.
  2. Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria is the first musical in history to depict an Asian American woman performing lifesaving surgery on John Lennon during a scene that takes place in the Fast and the Furious universe. (We assume. We actually haven’t looked it up.)
  3. Although Yoko and Gloria are not characters in the show, every character plays versions of Yoko and Gloria at different points. This is an artistic decision and NOT because we think all Asian women look the same.
  4. After developing this piece with the O’Neill’s National Music Theater Conference (NMTC), 5th Avenue Theatre, The Civilians, The Orchard Project and NAMT, we’re excited to see this show staged! We’d especially love to collaborate with theaters and producing partners across the US who would be interested in programming the show during the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons.
  5. If we weren’t writing musical theatre, Brandy would be a primatologist, Clare would be a bar mitzvah DJ and Erika would be asleep.