Director’s Notebook

A Very Queer Spectacle PERFORMANCE DATE: APRIL 15TH, SUNDAY, 7:00 PM



General Sentiments

My desire to write in this choral work stems from various religious experiences that LGBT+ community members and I, personally, have had. The ever present clash between LGBT+ and religious groups weighs heavy in my mind. How does one preach such selective tolerance? How can a church only offer salvation to select groups? In an attempt to speak the language of one of the LGBT community’s most consistent oppressors, I’ve chosen to put my words to music inspired by Sacred Harp singing, Orthodox liturgy, and modern Catholic and Lutheran hymns. The combining of these styles is not an attempt to put any one particular religious group under fire, but to paint a wider brush stroke that encompasses all oppression faced within groups like them. Attempting to write in the style of every religious group that has been oppressive to LGBT+ folks would be impossible.

From a sound perspective, I’m particularly drawn to the open chords present particularly in Sacred Harp and Orthodox styles. I feel that there is a forceful outpouring of passion in Sacred Harp singing and a meditative quality of Orthodox singing that combines to evoke the powerful emotions felt by many in the LGBT+ community.


Poem written by Rosie, choreography similar to previous poetry movement piece.

See Spreadsheet for Poem and Choreo notes

Little Boy

This song is a letter to my younger self. Playing baseball growing up was an early way for me to express myself, there’s a lot of melancholy but also hope in the music, accompanied by words of encouragement. There are some little details in the lyrics/dance that I know only my parents will be able to recognize. One of the dancer s will have her hair in braids like I used to wear mine when I was playing.


I want to dance and play violin and this seems like a fitting place to make that happen. Together is about two groups of people coming together and becoming better because of it. The two groups will be represented by people with instruments and those without. I like having some space for interpretation with this one, and it’ll be largely symbolic and abstracted.

Smile Like The Ocean, Love Like Rain

The lyrics of this song is a poem I wrote about one of my ex’s who I was forced to break up with after his mom found out I was queer. It was one of my most emotionally turbulent times in college and I think the music captures that. The dance will be two dancers, representing the relationship, and a sign that says “all this love” on one side and “all your hate” on the other will represent the dividing forces of that relationship.

Update: Jake is unable to make it to the performance because of the snow storm so now instead of me singing off stage, I’ll be on stage and Junior will dance solo with an article of clothing to represent Jake.

Picture This

The music for this was written and premiered at Fresh Ink a couple years ago. I knew at the time that I wanted it to be the soundtrack for an LGBTQ+ themed short film and now it’s coming to fruition. Ben and Spencer, two trans masc people, will be featured in a video art sort of piece with footage of them overlayed and contrasted with nature to symbolize growth and visibility.


This originally started as a remix of something I had already written but that was scrapped pretty early on after realizing that I wouldn’t have the right resources to execute it with much quality. Now, it’s another chorus piece and I feel a lot more confident in the message of the text and I think having it sung in the round is much more symbolic of the text. The animation that goes along with this will mirror the choreography a bit and then fade into a starry night sky.



  • Black out between acts
  • No props
  • Black and white costumes w/ rainbow makeup


General Sentiments

  • Choir stands in horseshoe formation
  • Dim, one directional light



  • Soft wash lighting, moonlight-ish
  • Everyone enters stage right


Little Boy

  • High side lighting, warm, both sides to fill stage, 20%?
  • Dancers walk off stage right, look back into lights



  • side lighting, brighter half of stage sort of thing


Smile Like The Ocean

  • Warm criss cross lighting, 100%
  • Crumple paper???


Picture This

  • No lights/staging



  • No light, just animation
  • Come in stage right in line, circle around do form clump in middle of stage
  • Walk approx 1.5 min


Master Sheet – contains general information

Realizing – Poem and Choreo


Cast Roster


Junior Avalos -dancer

Eli Baumgartner – singer

Kieran Berton – pianist

Bri Blakey – dancer

Keara Bores – dancer

Ben Christiansen – actor

Jamie Koffler – poetry

Emily Emerson – dancer

Mehek Jahan – dancer

Hannah Larry – singer

Jacob Nehrbass – dancer

Thomas Pearson – singer

Ian Schipper – singer

Ella Schmeits – dancer

Ethan Schlenker – cellist

George Snow – me

Kit Stookey – poetry

Ian Sutherland – poetry

Liv Swenson – dancer

Dylan Walker – poetry

Helena Webster – singer

Michael Wegter – singer

Spencer Whiteley – singer

Anna Wolle – violinist/singer/poetry

Bronwynn Woodsworth – dancer