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Musical History

Musical to feature first 100 years
of Madison’s history

High school students
to perform in October production

Staff Report

Madison Bicentennial Logo

(June 2009) – In honor of Madison’s Bicentennial, an original, two-act Broadway style musical has been commissioned to be a part of the city’s year-long celebration. The show will run for two weekends, Oct. 9-11, and Oct. 16-18 and will be performed by a cast of high schools students who auditioned in May 2009 for parts in the production.

Charles Moman

Charles Moman

The show, created in the style of Broadways hits such as “Music Man,” and “Oklahoma,” will feature a generic character, not a specific historic person from Madison to be the “storyteller” of “Rivertown.” The first act opens in 1909 as the town prepares for its Centennial celebration. The patriarch, Preston Harper, is asked to speak at the celebration and that begins his narrative about the history of Madison. As Mr. Harper recounts the history of the early years, songs are included about various elements of Madison’s history.
Several of the songs include themes about the river, hogs, Broadway Fountain, many of the industries of Madison, the Underground Railroad, the American Civil War, the Reuben G. Wells steam engine and the Irish railroad workers, a showboat, the orphanage, the trolley car lady conductors and more. Nearly all of the characters are generic people and are not based on a particular Madison citizen of the past. The creators of the musical have stuck to historical facts, but have had taken creative license with other issues
Charles Moman, who resides in Seymour, Ind., is the lyricist and music composer. He graduated from Seymour High School in 1969 and then went on to the University of Evansville, where he graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. In 1976, he received his Masters degree from Indiana University.
Yancy Unger is the script writer for the production. He graduated from Mitchell High School in 1990 and Indiana University in 1994. He has been a teacher and now is with the Indiana Department of Education in learning technologies.
Aaron Kelsey of Madison High School will be directing and staging. He is a graduate from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in All Grade Visual Arts education. He currently teaches art at Madison Consolidated High School and also directs the theater program at the school.

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