To A Muse

Plot Summary

The curtain opens on a class of high school students visiting the Ancient Greek galleries of their local museum. Head teacher Mr. Philos discusses the tradition of artists asking the Muses for aid in their creations. Shortly after, he reminds the students of their upcoming final project, and how important this grade will be for the current semester.

Theodore at the museum

Theodore at the museum

Poor Theodore! He lacks any creative spark, and has no idea what to do for his final project. After the students disperse to do their research, Theodore jokingly prays to a painting of the Muses for inspiration. To his surprise (and great distress!) the nine Muses actually emerge from the painting, joining Theodore in the gallery. They announce they have come to help Theodore. He wishes them away, but by custom the Muses cannot leave until they have inspired Theodore.

The Muses even follow Theodore back to school, and they proceed to be a thorn in his side. Since he is the only one who can see the Muses, all Theodore’s friends think he is crazy. Meanwhile, the Muses are saddened to see how uninspired Theodore’s school is — from every student to even the faculty. Even though they can’t be seen, the Muses know they can intervene. They decide to work their magic on a number of students and teachers. Soon, the entire school falls under the mischievous influence of the nine goddesses. Inspiration and creativity run amok!

All the while, Theodore’s sister and best friend, Thea and Hector, have been trying to get Theodore to return to normal. In doing so, the two accidentally invoke the nine Muses, just as Theodore had. Now, all three must be inspired before the Muses will agree to return home. Will these three students ever get their inspiration? And if so, how?

Song Listing

Act I.
1. “Make the Grade” (Students, Mr. Philos)
2. “I Need Some Inspiration Now” (Theodore)
3. “To A Muse” (The Muses)
4. “Poor Theodore” (Thea, Thea’s Friends)
5. “Use Imagination” (Calliope, Theodore)
6. “Can’t You See The Beauty of the Stars?” (Urania)
7. “Can’t You See The Beauty of the Stars?” (reprise) (Mrs. Aster, Science Club, Urania)
8. “Don’t You Want To Dance?” (Terpsichore & Company)

Act II.
9. “It’s All Greek To Me” (Mr. Philos, Sebastian, & students)
10. “Life Is Better With A Song” (Hector, Euterpe)
11. “You’ve Got A Poet Inside of You” (Calliope, Erato, Polyhymnia, Thea)
12. “I’m the Original Drama Queen” (Melpomene, Thalia, Clio, Theodore)
13. “Life is Better With a Song” (reprise) (Hector)
14. “To A Muse” (reprise) (The Muses)

Two of the 9 muses

Two of the 9 muses

Characters

CAST OF CHARACTERS (35 roles; 21 females, 6 males, 8 gender neutral)
Note: The character list below contains 35 speaking roles. Some characters (such as Zeus) have very few lines, and it may be possible for some actors to be double cast in minor roles, reducing the overall cast size.

Optional: A production may cast any number of “extras” to be general students. They have no spoken lines, but can join in choral numbers, so that the school setting looks more populated. At the director’s discretion ensemble lines may be split among additional ensemble members. Some ensemble roles may be combined. It is the intent to provide as much flexibility in casting to accommodate a medium to large size cast at the director’s discretion.

THE IMMORTALS

MUSES (9 female roles)
Calliope……… .Muse of epic poetry (frustrated with mortals, the leader of the muses)
Clio………..…….Muse of history (serious, always cites precedent)
Erato……………Muse of love poetry (positive, focus on love poetry)
Euterpe……….Muse of music (friendly, inspires a song)
Melpomene…..Muse of tragedy (sad and comically always on the verge of tears)
Polyhymnia…. Muse of sacred poetry (positive and reassuring)
Terpsichore…..Muse of dance (very upbeat, and can get everyone to move!)
Thalia…………..Muse of comedy (wisecracking, always ready with a joke)
Urania…………Muse of astronomy (very scientific and logical)

PARENTS OF MUSES (2 roles; 1 male, 1 female)
these actors, if doubled, are best suited to play Eric and Debra
Zeus……………..Father of the muses (stern)
Mnemosyne… Mother of the muses (loving, wise mom)

THE MORTALS

TEACHERS (3 roles; 2 females, 1 male)
Mr. Phillip Philos, a Teacher (Grecophile)
Mrs. Eulalie Otis, the Principal (needs to loosen up!)
Mrs. Stella Aster, the Science teacher (a little too professorial)

LEAD STUDENTS (3 roles; 1 female, 2 males)
Theodore, who first invokes the muses
Thea, Theodore’s sister (likes to pick on her brother)
Hector, Theodore’s best friend (loves to talk about food and eat it too!)
At_The_Piano
ENSEMBLE OF MORTAL STUDENTS

Friends of THEODORE and THEA (4 female roles, 2 male roles)
Cassandra, Demetria, Pandora, Phaedra
Jason, Sebastian

The Science Club (4 gender neutral roles; alternate names may be assigned)
Eva, Esme, Elsa, Emma

The Cheerleading Squad (4 female roles)
Chloe, Penelope, Daphne, Zoe

The Art Club (2 gender neutral roles; alternate names may be assigned)
Frida, Georgia

The Drama Club (2 gender neutral roles; alternate names may be assigned)
Debra, Eric

Click an image for a closer look.

 

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