The Barrington Stage Company Musical Theatre Lab is a place for young musical theater writers to develop their work on all levels: from staged readings to workshops to full productions. Since its creation in 2006, seven world premieres and four workshops have been produced.
I pulled those lines directly from the Company’s description of this important program so that you understand what you are seeing when you go to Mormons, Mothers and Monsters. With a book and lyrics by 24-year-old Sam Salmond and music by 29-year-old Will Aronson, this is a workshop production of a work-in-progress crafted by a team of promising theatre artists. Both Salmond and Aronson have worked as assistant to composer/lyricist William Finn, who oversees the Musical Theatre Lab program, and after seeing Salmond’s writing last summer he teamed him up with Aronson and this is the result.
These are both talented young men, and the fact that this nascent work is as enjoyable as it is bodes well for their future. Mormons, Mothers, and Monsters is clearly an autobiographical piece in which Salmond, quite literally, is exorcising the monsters of his childhood as he struggles to establish himself as an adult and an individual. That is the work of every young man and woman, and Salmond writes about it poignantly and with the hint of an understanding that there is much more to come as life moves forward.