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The Bridges of Madison County

*This show contains Adult Themes and Situations*

Director’s Note

Thank you for joining us for The Bridges of Madison County.

I have to say, it has been my absolute honor to direct a musical centered on a woman who is incredibly complex and deeply human. Francesca is a rarity in our literature, and I wish that more writers would take note of how much better a musical is when women characters are well fleshed out, have agency, and are deeply complicated. I turned forty last Fall, right at the time we were casting Bridges and am currently the age of Francesca in much of our story. I’ve always been told that this age – around the turn to forty – is when life gets real. The choices are harder, actions always have a cost, and we go from seeing everything in black and white to the world in a million shades of gray. Forty is also the age where I feel that I truly understand the different kinds of love in the world. The Greeks had multiple words for types of love: eros for “sexual passion”, philia for “deep friendship”, ludus for “playful love”, agape for “love for everyone”, pragma for “longstanding love”, and philautia as “love for the self”. English has just one word: love. How unimaginative and unsatisfying. It’s in shades of gray that we find Francesca and Robert’s story, and throughout Bridges each of the words for love can be found inside of the different relationships. As that word love comes up again and again, I hope you’ll be able to tell which kind of love our characters are referencing. I also hope you will try to understand why Francesca makes each of the choices she does along the journey.

Another theme we’ve explored heavily in this production is that of community. How community can surround and support a person, but also keep a watchful eye on them as we are truly “never alone”. This idea of community helps lift and carry our musical along, to define and expand the ensemble beyond their more limited use in the script. In support of this community theme, I have adapted numerous community-based dances in Bridges: a medieval French dance called the Farandole, an Italian folk dance called the Tarantella, a mid western square dance and even a popular line dance of the 1960s called the Madison. See if you can spot these dances and understand how we’ve used them to tell the story of our community.

This musical has been a deeply personal project for me, one that has caught me by surprise at every turn. Instead of forcing my vision upon Bridges, I’ve allowed it to unfurl before me. To show me what it wanted to become. That has led to a joyous and immensely creative rehearsal experience, the most deeply satisfying artistic experience I’ve had in many years. They say that you should do things that scare you, and whoever “they” are, they were correct. I am so very thankful to my designers, creative team and cast for supporting this vision, and engaging in this process with such enthusiasm, collaboration and trust. It means more than you know.

To my own landscape photographer, my husband and partner Jason, thank you for your unwavering support and encouragement. You represent the best of both Bud and Robert, and you are there on stage with us in so many ways tonight.

Finally, I wish to dedicate this project to the memory of three men, giants in my life, who have recently passed but whose memories live on in this musical. Darcy, Nik and Joe – you are loved, you are deeply missed, and you are never forgotten.

– Erin Farrell Speer, Director and Choreographer


FrancescaAbigayle Harnum
Robert KincaidBrooks Andrew
RIchard “Bud” JohnsonTristan Altobelli
Carolyn JohnsonMarina Jansen
Michael JohnsonAidan Levinson
MargeElsa Keefe
CharlieZeth Dixon
Marian, State Fair Singer, EnsembleMallorie Sievert
Waitress, Carolyn u/s, EnsembleSammy Azua
Announcer, Charlie u/s, EnsembleCharlie Castro
Paolo, Bud u/s, EnsembleDerick Donato
Jeff, Michael u/s, EnsembleCollin Flanagan
Marian u/s, Chiara u/s, EnsembleMalia Horst
Radio DJ, Robert u/s, EnsembleErik Houck
Young Francesca, Ginny, Francesca u/s, EnsembleSitare Sadeghi
Chiara, Marge u/s, EnsembleGabriella Scarpace

Creative Team

Director/ChoreographerErin Farrell Speer
Associate DirectorJakov Schwartzberg
Music DirectorChris Rayis
Co-Associate Music DirectorKaylee Hayden
Candace Rhodes
Intimacy ChoreographerMya Brown
Intimacy CaptainDerick Donato
Scenic DesignerCharles Johnson
Costume DesignerKayla Higbee
Sound DesignerMike Smith
Audio EngineerKate Rivera
Audio 2Casey Spielman
Lighting DesignerBill Webb
Asst. Lighting DesignerSophia Walper

Production Team

Technical DirectorJosh Bothwell
Asst. Technical DirectorMargo Buchanan
Stage ManagerJessica Valente
Asst. Stage ManagerKayla Jordan
Talia Scheckman
Production ManagerBill Webb
Costume Shop ManagerHeidi Jo Schiemer
Props SupervisorNatalie Hart
Props CoordinatorJeff A.R. Jones
Props ArtisansMae Bischoff
Corinne Brager
Sarah Cadol
Graham Cole
Conrad Hall
Zoë Healey
Brynn Lackey
Caity Ladda
Sean Mikesh
Jack Morrill
Brett Turnbull
Scenic ArtistsBalazs David
Sivan Propper
Light Board OpBecca Wycoff
Sound Board OpEmily Moxon
Fly OpMargo Buchanan
WardrobeAbigail Lynch
Ilana Meissner
Brooke Gustafson
Spot OpJonathan Jensen
Gabe Tobierre
Front-of-House SupervisorDavid J. McGraw
House ManagerKeri Anderson
Ella Huestis
Laura McGuire
Jack Morrill
Poster DesignSydney Dye
Photo ConsultantJason Speer

Musical Numbers

Act 1

To Build A Home ……….Francesca, Ensemble

Home Before You Know It ……….Bud, Francesca, Michael, Carolyn

Temporarily Lost ……….Robert

What Do You Call a Man Like That? ……….Francesca

You’re Never Alone ……….Company

Another Life ……….Marian

Wondering ……….Robert

Look at Me ……….Company

The World Inside a Frame ……….Robert

Something from a Dream ……….Bud

Get Closer / Falling into You ……….Marge, Robert, Francesca, Ensemble

Act 2

State Road 21 / The Real World / Who We Are ……….Company

Almost Real ……….Francesca, Young Francesca, Chiara, Paolo and Company

Before and After You / A Million Miles ……….Robert, Francesca

When I’m Gone ……….Charlie, Bud, Company

It All Fades Away ……….Robert

Always Better ……….Francesca, Robert, Company

The Band

Piano/Conductor: Chris Rayis

Violin I: Ueli Schweizer

Violin II: Sierra Sims-Smith

Viola/Violin III: Jennifer Lane

Viola/Violin III: Theresa Fox

Cello: Josie Greenwald

Bass: Rebecca Marland

Guitar 1: Allan Beck

Guitar 2: Wesley Rose

Percussion: Erik Schmidt

Auxiliary Percussion: Kaylee Hayden & Candace Rhodes

Contractor: Kate Hopper