A New Short Musical by Benjamin Velez and Kathryn Hathaway
Katie and I wrote this piece as part of the 2015 iteration of 4@15: Four Fifteen Minute Musicals, where four writing teams each have two weeks to write a short musical for a cast of 8 students from NYU Steinhardt.
While we were brainstorming ideas for the kinds of stories we could tell in 15 minutes, everything from Secret Society Inductions to the tribulations of Underground Hacker Communities, I remembered a New York Times article I'd read about a private company trying to send the first humans to Mars.
The article had stuck with me because the opportunity was specifically meant as a one-way trip to Mars, meaning the people chosen would spend the rest of their lives there in order to start a colony. The fascinating part was that the majority of experts in the scientific community found the prospect ludicrous, claiming that the technology to get humans to Mars was still primitive let alone the technology needed for people to live there and survive was virtually non-existent.
Despite most scientists laughing this company off as a joke, hundreds of thousands around the world were already applying for one of the four spots (two men, two women). And not only that, they were applying to be a part of a process that included 10 years of training before the big voyage even begins. Who are these people willing to give away their lives when the experts were calling foul?
This show could have easily been written as a mockery of the deluded applicants, but instead we wanted to give both sides a voice. Over the course of history, true pioneers have always been doubted and mocked before ultimately proving everyone wrong. Here's hoping MARS ONE proves to be one of those pioneers.
Written by Benjamin Velez and Kathryn Hathaway
Directed by Brian Blythe
Music Directed by Ben Baker
Starring: Jordan Aanrud, Hayley Biegel, Molly Gallagher, Alexander McDaniel, Gabrielle Navetta, Myers Rhoad, Victoria Rodriguez, Daniel Youngelman