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A Dynamic Duo

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting the masterminds behind off the WALL productions’ upcoming show, The Carols. As with Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori of Fun Home, this show was written and composed by two talented women: Jennifer Childs (playwright and lyricist) and Monica Stephenson (composer).

Playwright and lyricist, Jennifer Childs

Composer, Monica Stephenson

The artistic duo first met in 2005 when Stephenson took a job at Childs’ comedy-focused theater company, 1812 Productions, in Philadelphia, PA. Starting in an administrative position, Stephenson, who hails from Pittsburgh, quickly became the company’s Education Director and close friends with Childs. While at 1812 the two women collaborated on various projects, with Childs writing story and lyrics and Stephenson composing musical arrangements. After Stephenson moved back to Pittsburgh in 2012, the team joined forces on their biggest project yet, a Christmas show that was to be fully written and ready to perform by December 2016. It was going to be called The Carols… and they had nine months to write it.

In this clip, playwright Jennifer Childs shares the inspiration for the musical, The Carols.

The Carols was a huge hit in Philadelphia, and the very next year Stephenson introduced the show to off the WALL productions’ Assistant Artistic Director, Erika Cuenca, in hopes of bringing Pittsburgh some of the Carols sisters’ holiday cheer. In 2017, The Carols made their stop in Carnegie, PA to the tune of much praise. PGH in the Round wrote: "For a laugh-out-loud evening of theatre that will leave you smiling and marveling at the talent in Pittsburgh, The Carols is a must-see show.”

The Carols is a refreshing, up-beat musical about the holidays and so much more. This story appeals to men and women, young and old, irrespective of religious leanings or cultural backgrounds. It’s a story about hope, family and togetherness.

Join us as The Carols returns to off the WALL productions November 29 - December 14. You will laugh, maybe cry, and most certainly be humming a tune as you leave the theater.

off the WALL productions

Pittsburgh's alternative theater company

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