Me: How would you describe your show in one sentence?
Tom Megan: The Kid Who Would Be Pope is a new musical about an eleven year old boy who attempts to become Pope so that he can change the rules of the church and marry his favorite nun.
Me: Musically, how did you approach the story for The Kid Who Would Be Pope?
Tom: We have created an eclectic, accessible score that is of course dramatically integral to the story we are telling.
Me: What is it like writing for and working with young actors?
Tom: Having once in fact been a child, I was able to draw on that rich experience. But seriously, writing for younger actors is no different nor less demanding than writing for older actors. One tries to find the true voice of each character and then listen in rehearsals for mis-steps.
Me: What has the development process been like for the show (especially since the Creative Arts at Park production)?
Tom: We had a terrific opportunity to write a relatively fast first draft for Creative Arts at Park in Brookline, Massachusetts and to actually see it on its feet. The response was so positive and cross-generational that we began to think of the show as having a wider potential. We did a staged reading with adults and children in Boston which was again received well. But then the Church scandal broke and we put the show away. It was no longer fun or appropriate to be working on such an innocent story in this new painful context. But then as years passed, the piece seemed to acquire a new relevance and interest. At NYMF we have been working closely with our brilliant director Gabriel Barre and dramaturg Michael Cohen to explore the story more deeply. Our musical director Jeffrey Lodin has also been instrumental, if you'll pardon the pun. The result is we have done significant new writing and re-writing, composing.
Me: What are you most looking forward to about NYMF?
Tom: I'm most looking forward to seeing the wonderful performances that are now evolving in rehearsals. Our cast startles me every day with their invention, precision and enormous heart.