Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes; 1 Intermission
Cast Size: Small (1-10) • Medium (5-21). Vocal Demands: Moderate. Dance Requirements: Some Dancing Required. Good For: High School • College/University • Amateur/Community • Professional Theatre.
“A high-energy, imaginative, well-crafted world premiere musical!”— The Star-Ledger, June 10, 2015
“If you have a teen, know a teen or can rent a teen, take them to see a show all about them. It might even start a larger discussion afterward.”— TheaterCues.com, June 10, 2015
Vocal Range of Characters:
Written By: Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz
Welcome to the world of Be More Chill. A few things from The Joes.
In our original production of Be More Chill there was no ensemble—the actors who played the main characters effectively doubled as the student body, Mall Shoppers, and the neighborhood girls during “Smartphone Hour” and that worked out just fine. If you find yourself in the position of having more actors than our script has roles, feel free to add an ensemble as you see fit.
In our original production, the roles of Jeremy’s Dad, Mr. Reyes, and Scary Stock Boy were played by the same actor. We think that this doubling that works nicely, but feel free to cast three actors in these roles.
Be More Chill works best with a cast of diverse misfits who ooze personality and smarts. This isn’t a musical for the popular kids, this is a musical for the Other kids. Be brave when choosing the right people for the roles and don’t get hung up on traditional “types.”
Charlie Rosen’s brilliant orchestration for Be More Chill features several unconventional instruments- Theremin, Vocoder, etc. While we feel that these instruments are essential to maintaining the integrity of the arrangement, we understand that not every theater happens to have a Theremin lying around. So, we recommend using a synthesizer or computer program to execute some of those strange and unusual sounds. Just keep in mind that the inspiration for the sound of Be More Chill comes from sci-fi/horror soundtracks of the early 1980s (think John Carpenter, Oigno Boingo, and Tangerine Dream) and monster/space invader movies of the 1950s (think Bernard Hermann.) The songs are 100% musical theater, but they shouldn’t sound like they’re in the world of “contemporary music theater.” Let this show sound weird, alive, surprising. Embrace its strangeness.
THE SMARTPHONE HOUR
This number should feel impossibly huge. Please use as much of your cast as humanly possible.
POP CULTURE REFERENCES
Be More Chill’s references call back to the 80’s and 90’s in a way that we hope infuses the spirit of the show. But there are a few spots where we encourage you to update references to fit your own production: the Squip’s alternate default modes, the identity of Christine’s Squip… We’ve marked those spots in the text with an asterisk*. Be creative.
Thank you Stephen Brackett, Scott Chaloff, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Michael Ettannani, and Ned Vizzini for creating these messy, beautiful characters and for inspiring a generation of messy, beautiful people.
We Love Play Rehearsal,
Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz
JEREMY HEERE, awkward high school junior
CHRISTINE CANIGULA, high school theatre girl, sweetly dorky
MICHAEL MELL, Jeremys music-obsessed best friend
JAKE DILLINGER, high school awesomeness personified
RICH, five feet five inches of teenage bully
CHLOE, the hottest girl in school, crass and confident
BROOKE, the second hottest girl in school, insecure
JENNA ROLAN, that girl who knows everyones business
JEREMYS DAD, never wears pants. Also: MR. REYES, SCARY STOCKBOY
THE SQUIP, the supercomputer in Jeremys head.
An ensemble may be added as desired.
BE MORE CHILL takes place in Suburban New Jersey in the Present.
R&H Theatricals is happy to make available the original MainStage programming and sound effects for BE MORE CHILL designed by orchestrator and arranger Charlie Rosen. MainStage is a music application developed by Apple designed for use in live performances (www.apple.com/mainstage).
The BE MORE CHILL programming is available for download through your R&H web account upon completed booking. We encourage you to share those files and this message with your music director and sound designer.
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Dearest Music Director and Sound Designer,
A few notes about the orchestration in this show: Due to the limited amount of musicians employed for the original production, I called upon the unusual skill sets of a few of my friends. The result of which gave us a Keyboard II/Reeds book, and a Trumpet/ Theremin/ Flugabone/ Soprano Recorder book. You may have questions already.
The flugabone is effectively a valve trombone, so it is an octave lower than trumpet, fingering in Bb. It reads in Bb treble clef, but is sounding 8vb (same transposition as Tenor Sax). The soprano recorder can easily be left out, but the good news is, if it sounds a little un-professional, it actually lends itself to the school-time vibe of the piece. In lieu of an actual physical Theremin, the Theremin part can be played on a separate keyboard with a sine wave sound and lots of vibrato with the portmanteau turned up.
In the Keyboard II/Reeds book there are a few vocoder patches which have been built into the MainStage rig for that book. It will require an audio interface going in and the input on that chancel strip set to a mic set up near the reeds player. In the original production at Two River Theatre we used a Micro-Korg to do our vocoding separately from MainStage, but I merged them for licensing in the programming package. Everything else in that Keyboard II/Reeds book should be straight forward. If your production requires splitting up those books, that would be understandable. You can order additional books by contacting your R&H customer service rep (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Keyboard I/Conductor MainStage rig is also heavily programmed and layered to accommodate for the small pit size. The Drum book contains cues for sound files that are meant to be put on a Roland SPD drum pad or other sample pad—they have also been included with the programming package.
Contact R&H with any questions about the orchestration or programming.
Best of luck on your production,