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54 Below

A Nonprofit Cabaret Venue

Join Sam Salmond and the Penn State Musical Theatre Class of 2020 for a queer, pop rock musical extravaganza! This brand new theatrical saga explores the lives of forgotten LGBTQ saints and sinners throughout time. From bisexual lady pirates to married monks, from ancient Egyptian tombs to the Weimar Republic… History has been a constant cycle of queer people finding each other and flourishing, but then coming to a tragic end and being erased from our records. Is it possible to break this cycle? How would we be different if we grew up actually knowing the stories of our LGBTQ ancestors? Would that be enough to, this time, finally exist freely and forever?

This will be a night of kickass rainbow rock, heartbreaking ballads, laughter, dance and more! Come witness history like you’ve never seen it before!

John Simpkins directs. Jennifer Peacock is Music Director.

Sam Salmond is a Jonathan Larson Award- winning composer, lyricist, and bookwriter. Among the many projects in development, Sam has written music and lyrics for an adaptation of Eighty-Sixed, the novel written by humorist and AIDS activist, David Feinberg. It had a developmental reading at Second Stage Theatre and a workshop with Playwright’s Horizons and Musical Theatre Factory. His musical Mother, Me and the Monsters (a Boston Globe Critic’s Pick) was produced at Barrington Stage. His childrens’ show, The Dot, did a multi-year national tour with Theatreworks USA. He wrote book and lyrics for Cage Match, which premiered at Prospect Theater Company. He’s the creator of Uncool: the Party, an immersive night of rock ‘n roll, games, stories, and dancing, which was workshopped at CAP21 and the Musical Theatre Factory. Sam is currently working on an original musical, The Homefront, about female factory workers who were fired at the end of WWII. He’s writing the score to Creature, a modern queer adaptation of the Frankenstein myth. Sam’s work has been featured at Lincoln Center, Ars Nova, Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, The Town Hall, and venues all around the country. He has been a resident writer at Goodspeed Opera House, the Johnny Mercer Colony, The Village Theater, Fresh Ground Pepper, Catwalk Residency, Barnarts, and more. He is a 2017 Dramatists Guild Fellow, a 2018 SPACE on Ryder Farm resident, and an alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Penn State Musical Theatre is proud to be of one of the preeminent training programs in the country. Led by Head of Musical Theatre, John Simpkins, it is also home to a New Musicals Initiative where each year writers are commissioned. The writing team visits to meet the BFA junior class, share work, and discuss timely issues. The writer(s) return the following year with a draft of a musical inspired in some way by those young artists who are now seniors. The team is partially in residence for a year developing and workshopping the musical together with the students and a creative team. Previous commissions in this program include Love in Hate Nation (Joe Iconis), The Last Day (Mike Reid/ Sarah Schlesinger), and The Lucky Boy (Kirsten Childs).

Nick Davis
Amina Faye
Laura Guley
Ty Kunzelman
Jack LeBoeuf
Timmy Lewis
Ariana Notartomaso
Jessica Ortiz
Noah Ruebeck
Murphy Smith
Dan Teixeira 

Please note that all artists and acts are subject to change at any time.

Past Performances

  • Sat, Jan 11 :9:30 pm
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