The shards of an honor code junkie
|the shards of an honor code junkie|
|Productions||2020 Benefit Concert for The Trevor Project at Metropolitan Baptist Church (New York City)|
the shards of an honor code junkie is an autobiographical musical written and composed by Blake Allen and directed by Zi Alikhan with music direction by Ryan Shirar. The show explores one boy's story with the Honor Code of Brigham Young University while "unhinging demons of drugs, sex, and suicide in a coming of age story."
Consisting of eight scenes, shards is described as “a dark and intriguing musical that shines light on the inner struggle of being raised in an extremely religious household under a parent’s watchful eye”. With a score inspired by Latter-day Saint hymns and Parlour music, the libretto is taken directly from Allen's journals and notes from personal therapy sessions after Allen's friend, Alan Taylor, committed suicide in 2007.
The plot is loosely inspired by the darker themes found within J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan while making connections with the fantasy of Tinker Bell, The Holy Ghost, and the Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints) religion culminating in the real-life Soulforce march on the BYU campus which led to arrests, suicides, and students/faculty being kicked out of BYU.
The musical is structured around a series of hymns and "journal entries" as the lead character, Boy, speaks to his therapist at Brigham Young University.
The first draft of the piece was written while in residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2014, with an Actors' Equity Association reading in 2015, followed by a concert at 54 Below in 2016. shards premiered on December 4, 2017 Off-Broadway at the Metropolitan Baptist Church (New York City) in New York City which also was the 10 year anniversary of the suicide of Alan Taylor, Allen's friend which inspired the musical.
The production was Directed by Zi Alikhan, with Music Direction by Ryan Shirar, Costume Design by Anna Estelle Flaglor, Choir Coordinator Christine de Frece, Production Stage Management by Rebecca Sinsky, and hosted by Marti Gould Cummings and Michelle Dowdy. 
Roles and principal casts
|Character||Off-Broadway (2019)||AEA Reading (2015)|
|Mme. Fontaine von Redgrave||Alison Fraser|
|Boy||Michael Lowney||Josh Tolle|
|Girl||Teal Wicks||Ephie Aardema|
|Little Girl||Hannah Cruz|
|Man||Kenyon Phillips||Joseph C. Bellino|
|Woman||Laura Shoop||Kristy Cates|
|It Is Me||Tori Scott||Christine de Frece|
|Lost Boy 1||James Crichton||C.J. Pawlikowski|
|Lost Boy 2||André Jordan||Pierce Cassidy|
|Lost Boy 3||Tim Hein||Jeremy Greenbaum|
|The Light||Virginia Preston|
|Starr Lyte||Brita Filter|
The program's bibliography cites several sources of inspiration, including:
Mary Oliver "Invitation" & "When Death Comes"; J. M. Barrie Peter Pan; Doctrine and Covenants; and Mothers and Sons (play).
The Hours (film); Vertigo (film); Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (film); and Peter Pan (2003 film).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hymns; Petite Suite (Debussy); Symphony of Sorrowful Songs; The Hours (soundtrack); Parlour songs; Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis; Bicycle Built for Two; Very Warm for May; Mika (singer); and Adam Lambert.
An original cast recording is in the works.
- Gans, Andrew. "New musical the shards of an honor code junkie, by Award-Winning composer Blake Allen". www.playbill.com.
- "New Musical "Shards Of An Honor Code Junkie" Tackles Gay Mormons, Suicide". www.newnownext.com.
- "Blake Allen's the shards of an honor code junkie moves to Metro Baptist Church". www.broadwayworld.com.
- "Don't Miss: 'the shards of an honor code junkie'". www.broadwayblog.com.
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