Winter 2019 Update

Dear Friends of Roswitha:

Lots of updates below, including Café 939, progress on submissions, an appeal to director/producers, and a chance to make your opinion count….


Thanks to those of you who were able to attend our reading at Berklee’s Cafe939 on December 14.  Although the evening is a blur, we both remember looking back to a nearly full house (and that was before the late-arriving students took their seats). So satisfying to present the whole show to a real audience!

Thanks also to Kevin’s awesome Berklee students for bringing the show to life. Especially Gabriela Manuell Barrera, who played the huge title role and truly made it her own.

Photo of Gabriela Manuell Barrera

Photo of Gabriela Manuell Barrera


Want to enter your musical in a contest or get your it produced in a reading for industry professionals? Fall and winter are the big submissions seasons. We’ve put in a number of applications recently.  The problem is: we have to wait months and months to learn the results.  Yes, we’ve had a couple of early rejections, but the good news is that we are progressing steadily through the rounds toward several great opportunities! “Semifinalist” and “Finalist” are wonderful words to read.  Let’s hope the good news continues.


After a successful reading, how tempting it is to jump right back into re-writing!  December 14thwas the first time we saw Act 2 on its feet, and some scenes and songs might benefit from a 2nddraft.  But two things have held us back: 1) we’re still “applying” (see paragraph above) and that process takes a lot of time! And 2) We are still hoping a (female?) producer/director will come on board and give us a fresh opinion on the piece. (Thanks to Berklee’s Kristin Bohr for some of that!)  No sense re-writing until we have a clear objective.  So…thanks for continuing to talk up our show to your theater friends…especially directors and producers!

YOUR OPINION COUNTS…(give us 3 minutes of your time?)

At the end of Act 1, Father Urban, an expert in liturgical drama, has arrived at Gandersheim Abbey, supposedly to help Roswitha hone her playwriting skills. As it turns out, though, Urban has no desire to collaborate with Roswitha.  He sings the song “Leave It To Me,” which contains A LOT OF LYRICS.   We love how energetic the song feels at a fast tempo, but we want the audience to grasp most of what he says.  Can you please listen to a few seconds of each version and vote on which tempo you prefer?  We would be grateful for your input.  Please leave your vote on the contact page and, if you are not getting our emails already, indicate if you want to be added to our email list.  Here is the link:

Quarter note = 116

Quarter note = 108

Quarter note = 96

Quarter note = 88

Thanks so much for reading!

Fall 2018 Update

Dear Friends of Roswitha:

You won’t believe it but….

WE FINISHED WRITING THE SHOW! …well, a first draft…

Over the last few months, we have written two thirds of the second act, composed five new songs, and revised everything several times.  Does that still count as a first draft?  At any rate, it is new and it is done (for now).  Imagine Kevin’s delight as this chart got greener and greener (green=done as you probably guessed).

We were highly motivated to finish Roswitha in time for our…


We will present the show in a script-in-hand, partially-staged reading format.  No sets, no elaborate costumes, but all the scenes and all the music!  We will feature a talented cast of Berklee students:  Gabriela Manuell Barrera, Isaiah Evans, Ektoras Georgiou, Hannah Hanson, Elaine Kline, Abigail Lag, Karl Munroe, Jackie Novy, Katie Riley, Olivia Rodriguez, Savannah Smith, Skyler Stahlmann, Avianna Tagerty, and Utsav Bhargara (Accompanist).

Friday, December 14th, 2018 @ 7:00 pm 

Café 939 at Berklee College of Music, 939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

Click here for the official Cafe 939 post.

2 hours, 30 minutes including intermission

Here are some candids from a recent rehearsal.

And here is video excerpt of part of the opening number five weeks before the big night.


With confidence gained from finishing a draft, we are ramping up our efforts to find directors, producers, and other theater professionals to help us on our quest.  Female collaborators would be particularly welcome, as our story attempts to empower women.  We’ve also started applying for some of the standard opportunities for musical theater writers.  Wish us luck.


The Fresh Baked Musicals concert in August was a big success.  Many thanks to Carol de Giere, Stephen Schwartz’s biographer and the organizer of the concert.  Check out her new book Defying Gravity.  We also were able to chat with Stephen Schwartz himself.  A brilliant writer and entertaining person!

And finally, we hope you will be able to join us on December 14th at Berklee.

Summer 2018 Update

Dear Friends of Roswitha:

Happy Summer!  We hope you are enjoying the nice weather and finding opportunities for some fun.  We’re writing to give you a quick update on our show.


[symple_column size=”one-half” position=”first” fade_in=”false”]On August 4th, our song “Lower the Drawbridge” will be featured on the Fresh Baked Musicals concert organized by Carol de Giere, Stephen Schwartz’s biographer.  Also on the program are new works by Stephen Schwartz himself, Michael John LaChiusa, and others.  Hope to see you in Connecticut.[/symple_column][symple_column size=”one-half” position=”last” fade_in=”false”][/symple_column]

Click here for tickets. Click here for Facebook event.


SAVE THE DATE: Friday, December 14th, 2018 @ 7:00 pm (time tentative)

Café 939 at Berklee College of Music, 939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

[symple_column size=”one-half” position=”first” fade_in=”false”]

Gaby Manuell

[/symple_column][symple_column size=”one-half” position=”last” fade_in=”false”]We will present a “staged reading” of Roswitha in its entirety.  This performance will serve as a final project for Kevin’s ensemble class at Berklee.  It will star ten talented Berklee students, including Gaby Manuell as Roswitha. Put it in your calendar![/symple_column]

writing continues

As you would imagine, the Berklee performance opportunity provides an incentive to finish the writing!  David and Kevin have spent the spring writing a few new songs, revising some others, and continuing to refine the overall story.  Lots of work, but so fulfilling!

David and Kevin plot Irena’s story arc

Thanks, roswithas

We have been lucky enough to work with many excellent Roswithas over the last 3 years.  Each of these fine women has taught us something new about the character, the music, and the story.  Many thanks to Marni Raab, Teresa Winner Blume, Nicole Vander Laan, Caitlin Gjerdrum, Katherine Fuller, Vanessa Schukis, Abbey Bjork, Grace Stephenson, and others for bringing her to life.

more demos

[symple_column size=”one-half” position=”first” fade_in=”false”]Introducing our newest Roswitha: Kevin attended a performance of bookwriter/lyricist Patricia Noonan’s heartwarming musical Sweetwater at Goodspeed Musicals in January. Patricia gave us some excellent feedback on our own main character. It turns out she is also a fine singer/actor. Patricia and Kevin recorded these demos in mid June.[/symple_column][symple_column size=”one-half” position=”last” fade_in=”false”]

Patricia Noonan


As always, we appreciate your interest in Roswitha.

David and Kevin

(To get regular updates on our progress, send us a note with your e-mail address on our contact page.)