It was about this time last year when I sat down to plan Youth on Stage’s SB150 show. I knew I wanted it to be original and I knew I wanted it to be a story from a kid’s point of view. I sat down with my creative partner (and husband!) and we began brainstorming how to honor both South Bend and the Youth on Stage mission to provide one of a kind musical theatre experiences for kids. These conversations led to a walk through the beautiful historic Riverview Cemetery. “What is the story here?” I asked myself as I walked around. I wrote down names and dates, images and ideas. I met with Stephanie Richey of the Riverview Cemetery and pitched our idea to her: how about a play that tells the stories of the South Bend greats who are buried here, as they were as children? Stephanie jumped on the idea and a collaboration began with the mutual desire to celebrate South Bend’s 150th Birthday at The Riverview Cemetery, with an original musical about the some of the people buried at the cemetery.
Months later, we work-shopped The Children of South Bend performing it in July, downtown at St. Joe Grade School. While I did not set out to write a show about only the historic women of South Bend, I jumped on the opportunity when I realized for the first time ever, only girls registered for our summer workshop! The opportunity to bring to light many of the women who made South Bend has been an unexpected pleasure and an important story to tell.
I’d like to thank our wonderful new friends at the beautiful Riverview Cemetery and invite you to join us on Friday, Sept. 4th at 6pm where, on the very ground that honors Clement and Anna Studebaker, a cast of 10 girls (ages 6-12) we will sing and share a sweet, folksy, family friendly musical honoring the very women that lie peacefully around them.
Afterwards, we invite you to the main house to learn more about Riverview!
See you on the 6th.