Licensing Company: Concord Theatricals
An over-the-top, B-movie-style musical comedy with a score that blends contemporary musical theatre pop with the smooth sounds of the 1950s, Dreamland is a musical riff on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set during the declassification of Area 51.
In 2021 Concord Theatricals and the Educational Theatre Association commissioned writers Nathan Tysen and Chris Miller to write a musical specifically for high school theater programs. Unlike many shows in the musical theater canon, Dreamland did not have a Broadway or Regional production nor has it ever had a professional run. The licensed orchestration is based on the original production by Salina South High School which is Tysen’s alma mater.
This show is orchestrated to be player-conducted from the Piano-Conductor/Key 1 book. Along with the Keyboard 2 part, both K1 & K2 utilize lots of keyboard programming in the score.
Keyboard 1 is the primary keyboard book and mostly features sounds such as acoustic and electric pianos along with vibes, strings, and “space piano”. This book is orchestrated to be played by the music director and is moderately difficult although a talented high school player should be able to navigate the part if the production decides to have the MD stick conduct the pit orchestra. There are around 50 total patches for this book.
Keyboard 2 has much more programming than Keyboard 1 and really helps provide the sound of the show and its “spacey” vibe. The patches in this book range from orchestral brass/woodwinds and mallet/auxiliary percussion to vintage electric pianos as well as synth elements such as pads, bells, leads, and swells. There is even a circus calliope patch. This programming really has it all. Although not as technically challenging as Keyboard 1, it would be recommended to have an advanced player on this book who can navigate the part and the dense programming.
ORIGINAL MUSIC TEAM
Music by: Chris Miller
Lyrics by: Nathan Tysen
Arrangements & Orchestrations by: Nils-Petter Ankarblom and Chris Miller
2021 CAST ALBUM (available on Spotify)
Music Supervisor and Conductor: Nils-Petter Ankarblom
Vocal Music Director: Brian Usifer
Cast Album Produced by: Sean Flahaven, Chris Miller, and Nathan Tysen
Co-Produced by: Nils-Petter Ankarblom
Dreamland (or a musical riff on Shakespeare’s Midsummer set during the declassification of Area 51) is exactly what the title says it is, or is it? Who thought it would be a good idea to give a group of high school honor students free rein in a top-secret military base two days before it opens to the public? Will there be aliens? Maybe. A show choir? Definitely. An over-the-top, B-movie-style musical comedy with a score that blends contemporary musical theatre pop with the smooth sounds of the 1950s, Dreamland is the brainchild of Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, award-winning songwriters of Tuck Everlasting on Broadway. The musical was originally commissioned by Concord and the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) as part of their Thespian Musicalworks program.