Commissioned Musical
  • Days

  • :
  • Hrs

  • :
  • Min

Commissioned Musical

Be part of a brand-new musical!


Selected actors will participate in the workshop and staged reading of this new work. Experience what it's like to work with professionals to develop a new piece of theatre and gain valuable experience that will make you a more agile actor, a stronger collaborator, and a seasoned pro at dissecting new works!

About the Show

Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood

A gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale, adapted for performance by teen actors for family audiences (based on the play). Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle in this play about selfishness, selflessness, love deferred, and the fight. Always the fight. The fight must go on, and the people need a hero. With an exuberant score ranging from pop and soul to classic show tunes.


Adam Szymkowicz (book)

Adam Szymkowicz’s work has been produced throughout the U.S., and in 20 other countries.  
Published plays include Deflowering Waldo, Pretty Theft, Food For Fish, Hearts Like Fists, Incendiary, Clown Bar, The Why Overhead, Adventures of Super Margaret, 7 Ways To Say I Love You, Rare Birds, Marian Or The True Tale of Robin Hood, Kodachrome, Mercy, The Book Store, Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, The Parking Lot, The Night Children, Clown Bar 2, Clown Bar Christmas, The Wooden Heart, Stockholm Syndrome, When Jack Met Jill, Heart of Snow, 100 Things I Never Said To You, 100 Love Letters I Never Sent and Nerve.  His plays are published by Concord, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Broadway Play Publishing, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, Stage Partners, Original Works Publishing, and Applause.

Adam received graduate degrees from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and Columbia University. He has interviewed over 1100 playwrights on his blog.  

Masi Asare (music and lyrics)

Masi Asare is a composer and lyricist. Broadway: Paradise Square (lyrics, Tony/Outer Critics Circle nominee). Off-Broadway/International: Monsoon Wedding (lyrics), Notes From Now  (contributed music/lyrics). Commissions: Theatre Royal Stratford East, Barbara Whitman/Grove, Lilly Awards, Toulmin Foundation. In development: Delta Blue (music/lyrics, Goodspeed JMF Grove), The Family Resemblance (book/music/lyrics, O’Neill), Rishvor (book/music/lyrics), Garden of Starflowers (book/music/lyrics). Her spy musical Sympathy Jones (music/lyrics), and Marvel superhero play Mirror of Most Value have collectively had 100+ productions. Honors: Dramatists Guild Fellow, Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, Theater Hall of Fame Grant, Women to Watch on Broadway. Degrees: Harvard, NYU Tisch. Masi is also a performance scholar who studies race, voice, and musicals, and her book Blues Mamas and Broadway Belters: Black Women, Voice, and the Musical Stage is coming October 2024 from Duke University Press. She is on the theatre faculty at Northwestern.

John Simpkins (director)

John Simpkins directed the three-time Drama Desk nominated Off-Broadway production of Bloodsong of Love (by Tony nominee Joe Iconis) at Ars Nova; Rewrite (Urban Stages); The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Lucille Lortel Theatre); and Things to Ruin, which he co-conceived (Second Stage, Zipper Factory) and The Bus (59E59). He has directed the world premieres of Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theater); The Black Suits (Center Theatre Group); Legendale (Fredericia Teater, Denmark); and Raging Skillet (Theaterworks Hartford). John has also directed regionally at Barrington Stage Company, Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Theatre Oklahoma, North Carolina Theatre, John W. Engeman Theater, Human Race Theater Company, and Sharon Playhouse (where he was Artistic Director).  A strong supporter of new work, John has recently directed new musicals including Tyrants, Family Album (which he co-conceived), The Lucky Boy, The Last Day (for which he co-wrote the book) and Nostalgia Night. He has also directed new works for NAMT and New York Stage and Film. In addition to directing, he is a professor and head of musical theatre at Penn State University, where he created and curates a new musicals commissioning initiative.  He holds a Bachelor of Music from Miami University and a Master of Arts from NYU.

Want to Audition?

Registered students interested in participating in the Commissioned One-Act workshop and staged reading (as performers or stage managers) should submit a virtual audition by June 1. Student need not be an inducted Thespian to participate. Auditionees who are cast in the workshop/reading will be notified by June 15. Workshop rehearsals will be held at designated times during the week of ITF, culminating in a staged reading of the play on Friday of festival week.

Back to Top