Earlier this week, we reported on the appearance of a listing for "Bronies: The Musical" on Hollywood Fringe, with very little information available. Heidi Powers, writer and lyricist for the upcoming performance, gave us a Q&A session to learn a little more about the production. Check it out below!
Replies: Heidi Powers
Who is the creative team behind this?
Bronies: The Musical is being produced by Oddbird Theatricals, a company formed by composer Joe Greene, and writer/lyricists Heidi Powers (that's me) and Tom Moore.
Are your roles already cast, or will you be holding auditions?
We will indeed be holding auditions, likely in April. We'll be posting notices in Backstage West.
What was the motivation for creating a brony musical?
After spending time with a beloved little brony and pegasister in our life, Tom (my husband) and I started watching My Little Pony, and looking into the community to better understand it. I found it fascinating how so many MLP fans are bucking societal norms and expectations by watching a show that isn't originally targeted toward them. That's what makes MLP so great; it doesn't matter who you are - to watch it is to experience cleverness, humor, charm, wisdom, art. The online community fandom reminded me of my own experiences years ago, participating in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom. Both Tom and I, before we had met, went through a challenging period when we were both battling depression. Having a terrific show with terrific characters we loved, it helped us get through the day. And having an online community to share that love helped us get through that depression. Fandom, in the right circumstances, can at the least brighten days, at the most save lives.
MORE AFTER THE BREAK
Are the team-members bronies themselves?
No, but we've all experienced what it's like to be a misunderstood fan. We do enjoy the show, and consider ourselves fans, if not an active part of the fandom.
Do you participate in the community in other ways/have you attended any conventions?
We have not, though I am definitely a lurker on various sites.
Who is your favorite Pony?
Without question, one Pinkamena Diane Pie. From the moment she popped out at the spa in "Green Isn't Your Color" and said "FOREEEEVEEEEERRRR," she's held a special place in my heart. Plus, cupcakes. (Even bloody ones.)
Can you give us a brief preview of what the play is about?
It is the story of three separate guys, who have varied experiences, but who all feel fundamentally different, or like something is missing from their lives. Perhaps it's a purpose, for someone who is drifting in their career after getting a liberal arts degree. Perhaps it's a community, for someone who is surrounded by those who don't share his interests. Perhaps it's just the undefinable missing piece from a life that seems to be, from the outside, perfect... but doesn't feel that way from the inside. These three guys are able to find those things, inspired by cartoon ponies who teach them exactly the lessons that they need.
When / Where will the show be performed?
The show will be performed at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2014. More details will be available soon.
How long do you expect the show to be?
We are aiming for a one-act musical, around 60 minutes.
Why is it filed under "Gay"?
It's tagged as "gay" because one of the three main characters is gay. It has, of course, many other tags and more to come. Our show at the Fringe last year was also tagged as gay, and it included one gay character, though homosexuality was not the main theme (nor is it for Bronies.) A tag on the HFF website isn't really meant to be representative of the theme of the whole show, just one point of interest for potential audience members. While our musicals are stylized, we're always interested in including genuine portraits of all kinds of people, including LGBT characters.
What other projects have you worked on?
Separately, all three of us have worked on all kinds of projects. Joe has music-directed several Los Angeles musicals; Tom is a television editor; my background is in film marketing. Together, we have written and produced one previous show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2013, "The Real Housekeepers of Studio City," a musical set in a fantasy version of Studio City where all television characters live. A family's Craigslist ad draws responses from famous maids of sitcoms past and present. We were awarded a Best of Fringe extension, and were nominated for Best Musical and Best World Premiere.
Where can people find out more?
Our website will launch soon, but for the moment, I will be posting updates on Twitter @oddbirdtheatric
Anything you would like to add?
I'd clarify that Bronies: the Musical isn't about the history of MLP fandom, nor specifics in the macrocosm of that world. It's about a microcosm of fictional characters finding what they need through the appreciation of art, and the unexpected community that can stem from that experience.