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“I loved working on this musical as did our actors and musicians. It was an amazing exeprience that all of us will treasure!! We expanded the orchestration and worked with the composer/lyricist to make additional special improvements in the script. It was one of the hits of our 2010 season - audiences came back multiple times to see it!! Our production - with the revised book and the expanded orchestrations - has freed the show from it's "opera" confines and relased it into the realm of sweeping musical theater!! This work has enormous potential for theaters of all sizes, anywhere in the world. The story of Mary Todd Lincoln may be American by birth, but the larger story is universal, empowering, uplifting and truly entertaining! For any theater who is looking to produce theater that is artistic, accessible, moving and one to please audiences, you have found that show with ASYLUM: THE STRANGE CASE OF MARY LINCOLN! .”
Written By: Carmel Owen
I was interested to learn that Brett Bernardini had selected ASYLUM for his summer season in 2010, but I didn't know then what an incredible and exciting adventure it would be for me and for the show. As an experienced director who loves new work, he instinctively understood the dimension of the story and within his capacity at the theater, expanded both the cast and the orchestration to support it. In previous New York presentations and even in our Off-Broadway production, we had only six to seven actors and lots of doubling going on, with the result that large choral numbers lost a bit of their force and dramatic tension. Adding other instruments to our violin, cello and piano accompaniment made a huge difference as well and I am currently working on a possible expanded orchestration to make available to groups that can handle it.
This theater has an awards ceremony in December in which their subscribers and theater fans vote for favorite shows for recognition in various categories. It was quite thrilling to learn that ASYLUM had been nominated for 14 awards by the audiences of Spirit of Broadway, a sophisticated Connecticut group. Their enthusiasm for the piece was enormously encouraging for its future potential in the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue. There is much more in it than even I had ever imagined, for all sizes and kinds of theaters and dramatic venues.
Vocal Range of Characters:
Written By: June Bingham
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- ASYLUM: THE STRANGE CASE OF MARY LINCOLN - Rehearsal Set - (24 Books/3 Players)
- 20 – Libretto-Vocal
- 2 – Piano-Conductor
- 1 – Violin
- 1 – Cello
- 1 – Digital Logo
- ASYLUM: THE STRANGE CASE OF MARY LINCOLN - Libretto-Vocal 10-Pack - (10 Books)
- 10 – Libretto-Vocal
- ASYLUM: THE STRANGE CASE OF MARY LINCOLN - Pre-Production Pack - (2 Books)
- 1 – Libretto-Vocal
- 1 – Piano-Conductor
In the original production, all characters except Mary acted as the ensemble.
Mary Lincoln 56 years old, widow of President Lincoln
Robert Lincoln 35 years old, lawyer, son of the Lincolns
Doctor Patterson 45 years, Alienist/Psychiatrist, head of Bellevue Asylum
Abraham Lincoln 30s in age, Springfield years
Myra Bradwell 50s in age, friend of Mary, first woman lawyer and publisher of first legal news
journal, The Chicago Legal News
Franc Wilkie 30s in age, Editor of and Reporter for The Chicago Times
Delia Marys nurse at Bellevue, African-American
Ensemble In the original production, all characters except Mary acted as the ensemble.
ASYLUM may be performed with or without this doubling.
ASYLUM: THE STRANGE CASE OF MARY LINCOLN takes place over four and a half months, from May 1875 to mid-September 1975, when Mary Lincoln is institutionalized at Bellevue Asylum in Batavia, Illinois, about 20 miles outside of Chicago.
Mary's room at the asylum
Dr. Patterson's office in the asylum
Myra Bradwell's office in Chicago
Meeting of newsmen in Chicago
Memories in Mary's Mind of her sister's home in Springfield, her home with Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, and the court gallery at her trial