player, I would have quickly disregarded it and continued working on
improving my change-up. However, in the last 6 years, my life has been
turned upside down. I went from being a kid trying out for the high school
baseball team to a college student opening a musical in New York City.
One night in late 2015, my dad approached me with the “crazy dream”
he had. Unknowingly to me, for many years he had dreamt of writing
a musical set in the ER. As he spent night after night in the ER working
the graveyard shift, he began to envision songs, dances, and storylines.
However, even as his vision became stronger, he still always considered
his idea to be a pipedream, as he didn’t know how to play any instruments.
Though I knew he had a “scientific” side, I didn’t know he also always had
a creative side. He was the singer in a band in high school and loved writing
music with his bandmates. As career and family took the forefront, his
creative side all but faded away. It wasn’t until I quit baseball and started
writing music that I saw this side of him that had been hidden for so long.
The night we started writing Emergency was the night both of our lives
changed. Over the next several months, we worked together making up
characters’ names writing storylines, singing melodies, and recording tracks
in my bedroom. We laughed until we cried, we talked until we fell asleep,
and we sang until our voices were hoarse. Quickly the void we had experienced
from my quitting baseball had been filled by our new musical. After completing
re-writes, readings, and more re-writes, we decided we needed professional
guidance. Our first google search, “how to produce a musical” yielded the
response, “Don’t even bother.” But we kept searching, and ultimately we
stumbled upon Ken Davenport’s website. We contacted Ken and arranged
a script consultation, and with nervous hearts and shaking fingers we logged
onto Skype that day in September. When Ken started the conversation
by saying, “The music is fantastic,” our hearts nearly stopped. Though we had
no idea how to proceed or what to do, we knew we needed to get Emergency
on stage. Since that day, we have continued to work tirelessly on our show.
We have staged 2 full productions, including a run in New York City, both to
outstanding reviews. We are continuing to push forward, determined to get
our show to the people for whom it was written. And now, as a 20 year-old
theater major in college, I agree that theater changes lives. It changes the lives
of the 40 people who were employed by our show- the actors, directors, stage
managers, music directors, choreographers, costume and prop designers, and
set designers who all work two or three jobs just to afford the chance to live
their dreams. It changes the lives of the audience members who are moved
to tears by what they see on stage. And it changes the lives of a father and son
who find themselves chasing a dream. Please support Emergency and our journey.
Thank you so much!
- Sam Swartz
- Warren Gavin
- Dan Pingree
- Bobby Porter
- Nabeel Farooqui
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