Donna Lynn Hilton
The writers reinforced these lessons
with catchy songs like “Embrace Your Inner Geek,” “Lost in the Brass,” and “Good
Band Geeks! has been in the works for more than
five years, according to Elisa Hale, a spokeswoman for the Goodspeed Opera
That means the musical came before the
hit television show Glee, said Hale.
Writers Gaby Alter, Tommy Newman and
Mark Allen started working on the script for Band Geeks! while they were
students at New York University in 2006.
Band Geeks! is the first musical ever
commissioned by Goodspeed, a well-respected theater company in East Haddam,
The show originated with the NYU
students, who impressed Donna Lynn Hilton, a Goodspeed producer since 1988. She
said the students were good lyricists.
“We loved their songs. They wrote
really, really beautiful songs,” said Hilton, in an interview before the show.
“You will leave the theater tonight, I guarantee it, humming the tunes.”
Like Newman and Allen, Hilton was in a
marching band in school, as a member of the color guard.
“Ernest is the word I use to describe
band geeks,” said Hilton, referring to the people who take band seriously.
The ideas behind the play came from
the experience of being an outsider and being fascinated by the family of the
band, said director Gordon Greenberg.
Lessons learned through music,
especially through the experience of being in band, are similar to necessary,
everyday life lessons such as sharing and being a team player, Greenberg said.
Band Geeks! is a developmental production, said
Hale, which means it is a work in progress.
Some might wonder why the play is
called Band Geeks! and not band nerds.
According to Newman, “band geeks” is
the proper term for people who are obsessed with band.
“Not ‘band nerd,’ thank you very
much,” said Newman. “When you’re a band nerd, the band geeks pick on you. We
just don’t say band nerd. It’s just bad.”
The cast did a really good job with
the show, especially considering they only had 12 actors and a couple of pieces
of roll-on scenery.
As most of us are members of a
marching band, we think Band Geeks! is a realistic and funny
representation of a small high school marching band. Watching Band Geeks!
showed us that there is something cool about embracing your inner geek, whether
you love band or something else.
is playing at the Norma Terris Theatre
in Chester, Conn., through June 6. For more information on Band Geeks!
and other Goodspeed shows, go to
Youth Journalism International Reporter Mary Majerus-Collins and Junior
Reporters Yelena Samofalova, Celeste Kurz, Stephanie Reyes and Laquandria Fenn
collaborated on this story.
Youth Journalism International reporters, left to right,
Yelena Samofalova and Stephanie Reyes.