Part of the Wisconsin New Musicals Cycle 

Part One: Reading

December 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Lakeside Street Coffeehouse, 402 W.  Lakeside Street

Pay What You Wish admission (cash, checks, and credit cards accepted)

Music by Jennifer Hedstrom

Book by Karen Saari

Lyrics by Jennifer Hedstrom and Karen Saari

Directed by Meghan Randolph
Music Direction by Jennifer Hedstrom

Please note: As of 11/30/19, the reading is at capacity. However, seats are likely to open up. Please put your name on the waiting list below and we will do everything we can to get you in! 

"Fix your eyes on me. This is a day that we'll remember." 

In 1887, the ambitious and brave Nellie Bly, 23 years old, marched into Joseph Pulitzer's office and offered to get herself committed to the insane asylum at Blackwell's Island so she could report on the atrocities inside.  Less than two days after she feigned insanity at women's boarding house, a judge sent her to the dreaded reclusive institution, where she met women who were tired, abused, poor, neglected, lonely, depressed...but none who were crazy. 

In this new musical, the story of Nellie's time at Blackwell's Island is dramatized by local writers Karen Saari and Jennifer Hedstrom with haunting and beautiful music complementing a hard-hitting script faithful to Nellie's eventual book-length exposé.  This first reading is the first chance to hear it with the cast and provide your feedback as the production evolves into a workshop performance in 2020 and full production in 2021. Follow the show on its journey, and share your ideas with the creators! 


Anna Pfefferkorn as Nellie Bly, Paige Hutchison Fecteau as Anne Neville, Jennifer Kuckuk as Tillie Mayard, Liz Griffith* as Nurse Grupe, Erica Halverson as Sarah Fishbaum, Ingrid Ebeling as Louise, Elena España Regan as Mrs. Ramirez, Netalee Lev Sheinman as Nurse McCarten, Kassy Coleman as Mrs. Fox, Matt Ragalie as George, George Lorimer as Judge Duffy/Dr. Ingraham, and Owen Metzger as Bockert/Dr. Field. 

*Member Actors' Equity Association


Nellie Bly (National Women's History Museum)

...Now Nellie Bly is getting her due (Washington Post)

Undercover in an insane asylum (short animated film by The Atlantic) 

Keep up with us! 

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon