Gun & Powder

by Angelica Chéri & Ross Baum

Book & Lyrics by Angelica Chéri

Music by Ross Baum

Originally produced at Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA

January 28 – February 23, 2020



About the Premiere Production:

Synopsis: Written by emerging musical theater collaborators and recipients of the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre Angelica Chéri and Ross Baum, Gun & Powder tells the true story of two light-skinned African American sisters who ruled the Wild West. When Mary and Martha Clarke decide to pass for white in a scheme to settle a debt, they quickly transform from sharecroppers to outlaws. As their rebellious reputation grows, the sisters’ bond is tested when they fall in love with two very different men—one black, the other white. NAACP Award winner Robert O’Hara makes his Signature directing debut with this soaring musical about race, family, and identity. 

Artistic Statement: Signature has been at the forefront of developing and producing new musicals and has been involved with Gun & Powder since initially selecting it for a coveted two-week developmental workshop in August 2017. The originality of the idea and the quality of the music made the piece stand out from more than 170 submissions. Two years, and several awards (including a 2018 Richard Rodgers Award) later, this musical has developed into what I think will be an important new musical work. 

Grant Statement: Developing new work is challenging and takes significant resources. Developing new musicals is even more challenging with organizations taking on expenses for everything from extending commissions to promising writers and composers to conducting developmental readings and workshops of new works (often over many years) to mounting full productions of world premieres. Gun & Powder has been in development for more than two years and each reading or workshop has required an investment of time and resources that cover everything from hiring actors, music directors, accompanists, and copyists. 

Director: Robert O'Hara

Set Designer: Jason Sherwood

Lighting Designer: Alex Jainchill

Costume Designer: Dede Ayite

Sound Designer: Ryan Hickey

Assistant Stage Manager: Madison Bahr 

Rehearsal Accomanist: Angie Benson

Production Assistant: Joey Blakeley 

Signature Casting Agent: Kelly Crandall d'Amboise 

Choreographer: Byron Easley

Stage Manager: Kerry Epstein

Music DIrector: Darryl Ivey

Assistant Director: Jacob Janssen

Assistant Scenic Designer: Connor W. Munion

Projection Designer: Kaitlyn Piertras

Projection Designer: Jason H. Thompson 

Additional funders: The Revada Foundation

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