I believe comedy can be a path to change.
As a teacher, I've watched as Betsy DeVos has led a movement to defund and dismantle public schools in Michigan. It has been heartbreaking and devastating to witness.
I can't outspend Betsy but I'm fighting back with what I've got: comedy, music, love, support from my community, and years of experience teaching and directing theatre.
I spent this past summer writing "Betsy Devos! The Musical!"
The show is completely ridiculous (with songs like "Jesus Wants Me to be Rich" and "The Best Kind of Teacher is a Teacher with a Gun"). But I'm proud of what it's become. I think has substance and heart.
I would like to share this show with you and as many of your friends as you can bring along for the ride. I want us to laugh and to celebrate public schools. I want to win hearts and change lives.
I need your help.
Longterm: I've got big, ambitious dreams for the show. Mainly, I'd like to stage a professional, fully realized production next summer leading into the 2020 election.
But in the short term, I think there are three really practical, realistic, and attainable ways to share this show with a wider audience.
1) I would like to distribute professionally edited video from our August 31st staged reading. We've got great footage but it's going to take many, many hours to edit and distribute. I'm a teacher and I'm directing a fall play so I need to hire help for this.
2) I would like to professionally record the nine songs I've written for the show. Those of you who know musical theatre know that successful shows build their audiences through recordings.
3) I would like to continue writing, revising, polishing, and planning for a more fully-realized staged production next summer. It's impossible to know how much money it would take to mount a fully-realized professional production next summer. But this past summer has taught me that even the development phase of a musical costs money. I've gone into a small (but manageable) amount of debt these past few months. My wife is amazing and supportive but we both realize it's not sustainable to keep pouring time and money into the project without reimbursing our costs and paying for professional help from collaborators.
Betsy DeVos is now the Secretary of Education for OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY! You have every right to feel demoralized and paralyzed.
But by contributing to Betsy DeVos! The Musical!, you are supporting laughter, love, and action--three things we all need above all else these days.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Writer of the book, music, and lyrics for Betsy DeVos! The Musical!
- Ian Robinson
- Peter Miller
- SARI MILLS