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Area Stage Company Premieres Musical as Podcast: The Ballad of Janis Matthews & the Dodo Scouts

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Area stage productions of Broadway classics will present The Ballad of Janis Matthews and the Dodo Scouts, a world premiere of an original musical written, directed, and designed by Giancarlo Rodaz and Rachel Dean. Performed by a stellar cast of theatre actors from London, NYC and Miami, this captivating story will not be told like your typical musical, but as a series of podcast episodes released online weekly, beginning November 28th, 2020.

An all new folk-rock musical, The Ballad of Janis Matthews & The Dodo Scouts is a love letter to the 1960s and to the American family. Based on an original idea by Giancarlo Rodaz, the story follows Janis Matthews, a young girl who runs away to summer camp in order to escape her broken home. On her journey, she finds herself at the center of a mystery that forces her to question her idea of responsibility, friendship, and family. With an exciting new score from Rachel Dean, and an

original book and story by Giancarlo Rodaz, this first of its kind scout musical challenges us to reassess our own relationships responsibilities within our families and communities.

ASC will release Janis Matthews as a radio play-style series of podcast episodes throughout November and December. All episodes will be released on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Listeners will, for the first time, have the entire cast album of this new musical at their fingertips along with the full book.

This production follows a series of workshops Janis Matthews has enjoyed during the past four years. The first took place at Area Stage, with the second taken on by the Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, New Jersey in 2016. Most recently, the show received a full onstage production at ASC’s former home in the Riviera Theatre. Librettist Giancarlo Rodaz, who currently serves as Area Stage’s Associate Artistic Director, has continued developing the book throughout the show’s iterations. Likewise, composer Rachel Dean has enhanced her score, taking inspiration from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, and other artists of the time.

Following the immense success, and critical acclaim, of his directorial efforts on Shrek The Musical and She Kills Monsters in 2018, and The Wizard of Oz and the blockbuster Matilda the Musical in 2019, the young visionary Giancarlo Rodaz is fast becoming one of South Florida’s most original and prolific theatrical forces. He has previously presented original works at Area Stage Company, MicroTheater Miami, and with his own company Wild Theatre. Florida Theatre On Stage has lauded his work as “imaginative” and “delightful”. The Miami Herald raved, “Rodaz…creates a magically playful world”.

Similarly, Rachel Dean has made quite the splash in the New York City theatre community. A graduate of NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Dean currently serves as rehearsal pianist for Broadway’s Hamilton. Her work has been performed in New York, Miami, Ohio, Phoenix, and New Jersey, and she is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Max Dreyfus Award, created to identify up-and-coming talent and encourage the study of musical theatre as an art form.

A cast of ten talented actors will lend their voices to the project. Amanda Harford will serve as Stage Manager and Katie Duerr pulls double duty as both a cast member and the Music Director.

Story by Rebecca Ashton. Images courtesy of John Rodaz, Area Stage Company


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