Blog 45 – Daphne’s Sunset composers
Here is an interview with the composers (Alex Mitchell and Kevin Jaeger) of DAPHNE’S SUNSET – one of the musicals to be presented at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival (CMTF) this August. (Produced by CPA Theatricals, Inc.)
You were at NYMF (New York Musical Theatre Festival) last year, how was that experience?
AM: Amazing–NYMF was really an advanced education in all aspects of producing a new musical. We grew not just as writers, but as theatre professionals. That was priceless.
KJ: Plus to see four years of hard work develop into a show that really connected with people was an incredible experience for us.
How different is your show NOW from the one presented at NYMF?
AM: Well the most obvious change is the title–what was “Spot on the Wall” at NYMF has now transformed into “Daphne’s Sunset.”
KJ: There’s some new songs and we’ve eliminated a character–
AM: Okay, so there’s a few changes–
KJ: But really what we’ve done is focused in on the story–a look at the complex emotions and experiences that lead a group of connected individuals to be divided and ultimately united by art.
Why do you want to be part of the CMTF?
KJ: NYMF showed us that “Spot on the Wall” had a heart and a voice…but to really facilitate the growth of the show into “Daphne’s Sunset,” we knew we would need the right environment.
AM: The CMTF offers the perfect setting–an exciting and growing festival in a city with a vibrant theatre community with its own unique creative voice. We can’t wait to hear what they say about “Daphne’s Sunset.”
KJ: Plus having the chance to partner with CPA Theatricals and handing over “Daphne’s Sunset” to a Chicago-based cast and creative team to put their own personal stamp on it is really exciting.
What makes your musical different from all of the others?
AM: As shows continue to get bigger and louder and flashier, “Daphne’s Sunset” highlights those silent moments of emotional impact that reverberate in your gut.
KJ: It’s a character study and a family drama and a show that deals with real issues in real ways. The heightened realities are still real life, and I think that’s what really resonates with people.
How many versions of your musical have there been so far?
AM: Over the past four years, there have been roughly 7 versions of our show with three different titles.
KJ: Plus or minus a few tweaks here and there.
What lessons or morals or themes do you want the audience to walk away from after they see your show?
KJ: “Daphne’s Sunset” is, at its core, about the moments that challenge us to redefine who we are and how we connect to the world around us.
AM: Life throws us a lot of curve balls–and they aren’t always pretty. But learning to see the beauty in even the ugliest moments? That’s the true power of art–and hopefully, of “Daphne’s Sunset.”
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