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A World Premiere workshop

Saturday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 17 at 2:00 p.m.

Madison Opera Center, 335 W. Mifflin St. (Click here for a map)

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Nathan Fosbinder

Directed by Catie O'Donnell

Music Direction by Nathan Fosbinder

Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 for students. Available online at the link below or by phone at 1-800-838-3006.  Small service fee (less than $2) per ticket.  Includes snacks and non-alcoholic beverages!

"Not all gods play nice." 

In 2018, MTM begins its first full workshop process of a new musical by Madison native Nathan Fosbinder.  Audiences will see the work in its developmental stages and have the opportunity to share thoughts on the show in preparation for a fully-realized, world premiere production to be staged by MTM in 2019.  Hephaestus (Heh-fes-tus) tells the story of the oft-forgotten outcast of Greek myths.  He is an artist, blacksmith, and hopeless romantic, desperate for the love of Aphrodite, yet facing epic hurdles to win her affections.  Brutally cast out by his mother, Hera, he embarks on a quest for love, identity, and art, surrounded by humorous and modern versions of Greek mythological characters. 

At this staged workshop performance, audiences will see the musical in its early stages, view costume and set renderings, explore vision boards, hear early demos, and offer their feedback, which will feed into the creation of the final product.  Check this page frequently for updates! 

Ticket and venue

Planning Your Visit


Hephaestus runs 80 minutes.  There will not be an intermission. 

Tickets: Tickets are $20.00 ($21.69 with service fee) general admission and $15.00 ($16.52 with service fee) for students.  Students should have proper ID.   Some tickets may be available at the door without fees starting 45 minutes prior to the performance.   Click here to order online.  For those who prefer to order by phone, call 1-800-838-3006. 

Parking: The Madison Opera Center is located three blocks off of the Capitol Square on Mifflin Street.  The Overture Center parking ramp is across the street.  Additional street parking may be available.   Metered spots are free after 6pm and all day on Sundays.   The State Street Capitol Parking Ramp is also nearby and a three block walk to the building. 

Location: The Madison Opera Center entrance is on Mifflin Street near the corner of Mifflin and Broom Streets. 

The Experience:  The space will open for guests 45 minutes prior to the performance.  The space will have vision boards (images from the director and composer that inspired their work), costume renderings (drawings by the costumer with initial design ideas), a set model (a diorama showing the potential layout of the set), and a listening station to hear early demos of the songs.   We will also have complimentary snacks from Bunky's Catering (Saturday) and Banzo (Sunday), and non-alcoholic drinks.  

The performance will be semi-staged and actors will carry their scripts.  It will be accompanied by piano.  Following the performance, there will be a talkback session, during which audience members will be encouraged to share their thoughts on what works and what could be improved.  The composer, director, and cast will be part of the discussion.   This is a crucial part of the process, so we hope you'll stay if possible! 

Content:  This show has no adult content, but might be best enjoyed by children ages 10 and up.  Feel free to contact if you have specific questions. 

Anchor 1

"Her Song" from Hephaestus performed by the composer at Boston Conservatory in 2016

MTM's Hephaestus Caleb Mathura performs a clip of the same song in 2018.  (Note some changes!)

Anchor 2

About the writer: 

Nathan Fosbinder grew up in Madison and graduated from La Follette High School.  At age 14, he appeared in Music Theatre of Madison’s third production, The Sound of Music.  Nathan is a recent graduate of the musical theatre program at the Boston Conservatory and is currently in cycle 29 of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School at New York University.  Nathan’s regional writing premiere occurred in summer of 2017 with his Theatre for Young Audiences musical The Dancing Princesses, which was presented at Summer Theatre of New Canaan.  At Boston Conservatory he wrote a musical adaptation of Holes and a semi-biographical play entitled What About Cal. He has appeared as a performer with Summer Theatre of New Canaan, Children’s Theater of Madison, American Folklore Theatre, and the Boston Conservatory. 


What's a workshop? 

In their creative journey, many musicals undergo both readings and workshop performances before being fully staged and produced.  (And sometimes, after being fully staged, they go back to the drawing board!) While the line between readings and workshops is a little blurry, typically a reading is just that-actors at music stands with minimal movement reading from the script. (This is what MTM does with its Festival of New Musicals).  In a workshop, actors tend to move a bit more, delve deeper into characters, and explore some of the technical elements like costume pieces and props.   


One thing that makes a workshop unique, and will be the case with our workshop of Hephaestus, is that the show will be tweaked and revised throughout the rehearsal process, with new ideas, dialogue, and even songs potentially added in the weeks leading up to the performance.  


The purpose of a workshop is to look at what a show has to offer without committing to anything just yet. It's a stop in the long journey of creating a musical.   Audiences will get a chance to see the show taking shape, and have the opportunity to offer their feedback.   Throughout 2018 and into 2019, the show will be finalized for a full performance on our stages.  From there, the  sky's the limit! 


Music Theatre of Madison shines a light on the odd god in Hephaestus-Footlights

Audience Participation-Isthmus 

Turning the tables to judge a God-Madison Magazine


Presenting Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

This project is supported by Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation Inc., the charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.

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