Rebecca Ungerman as Linda Goldstein
Machele Miller Dill as Annie Thornton
Shannon Shirley Boston as Claire Caldwell
With additional material by Lisa Cole and Steve Elmore
From an original concept by Lisa Cole
Orchestrations by Steven Schrag and Ryan Wayne Tedder
Directed by Chris O’Rourke
IN LATE MAY, 2012, my friend Cyndi Vetter told me about a last-minute opening in the Tulsa PAC Trust’s SummerStage Festival. I was already putting up two shows–but why not? I took every song I’ve ever written that I had a recorded version of, dating back to 1987. I turned to my talented friend Lisa Cole. Lisa’s concept–a story of three women, lifelong friends, and the struggles they deal with, as they accept their true selves and proactively pursue their happiness–is the spinal cord of The Unwitting Wife. I am forever grateful to Lisa for the resulting, limitless blessings.
ON JUNE 27, 2012, I was asked if the show might be a good fit for the Tiberias International Theater Festival. My friend, reporter James Watts, had the news in the paper within days. As a result, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning people have shared their personal stories with me. They all include two things: First, they have been through so much pain, felt so alone, so freakish, sometimes suicidal at times in their lives–the second was that they didn’t grow up with any images of themselves in the media or the Arts. Then they say thanks and we cry. It’s AWESOME.
ON JULY 6, 2012, a staged reading of the skeleton–15 pages of improv points & lyrics–of The Unwitting Wife was performed to a sold-out crowd. Since then, Pinocchio has grown into a real boy or, in this case, my first real script. I’ve relished the work with my director and dramaturge, the beamish Chris O’Rourke, and my cast of sister-friends Machele Miller Dill and Shannon Boston. My own Jonathan Wooley created my title art. And the guy who asked me about Israel back in June? That would be Joe Eglash, the guy who designed the disc you’re holding. Steven Schrag & Ryan Tedder, like my ever-lovin’ Hank Charles, get what’s in my head in a way like no other. My chosen family is making my dreams come true. So are you. THANKS – Rebecca