A Musical About the Economy
Music by Vatrena King, Book and Lyrics by Catherine Hurd
Director, Angela Baltezore and Musical Director, Gerald Rheault
Play-Reading and Concert
The play and lyrics are written by Dixon resident Catherine Hurd. The composer is Winters resident Vatrena King. The one night reading/concert showing is directed by Angela Baltezore with music direction by Gerald Rheault.
The new musical chronicles the passionate ideals and tumultuous times of the beginning of the Occupy Movement through the fictional story of a young soldier who--while crossing paths with protesters in New York City--must come to terms with how our country's financial system is run and learn what it really means to be an American.
Zuccotti Park focuses on bringing people together by reminding them of our common beliefs and history. To accomplish this, we anchor the play firmly in the extraordinary documents that were written at the birth of the country: the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration. In this way, the play is not divisive and political, but inclusive, finding common ground between all Americans, be they Democrat, Republican, Liberal or Conservative. This is the goal and the through-line of the play.
It started with Catherine’s burgeoning interest in the financial world five years ago, then a move from LA to the tiny town of Dixon in northern California, so she could be close to where her youngest son would attend college. Then her decision to move away from screenwriting and to reacquaint herself with an earlier love: plays. Then came the epiphany. Why not write about what she’d learned while immersing herself in macro and micro economic study? And why not center this musical idea around the Occupy Movement, since so much of what they took issue with—and still take issue with—has to do with the way money works?
A first draft emerged - but then, the hard part. She needed someone to compose for this very unusual musical. There were banker songs, protester songs, lover’s songs, angry songs, songs sung by people from every different walk of life. It was a totally mixed bag, and the composer would have to be very talented to pull it off.
When Catherine heard Vatrena King sing her original songs at the Unitarian Church, she knew she had her composer. Vatrena was between projects, and also quite excited about the script. She saw the different characters’ song styles as challenging, and agreed to do it.
The reading/concert cast includes; Abby Miles, Alexander Jerant, Armida Wahl, Ayesha Thomas, Eddie Voyce, Erik Catalan, Gabby Delgado, Horacio Gonzalez, James Davis, Jihan Moon, John McLean, Joshua Wheeler, Kellee Craven, Michael Maples, and Vatrena King.