Island Song

ISLAND SONG is now available for licensing! This kinetic, off-beat 5-person ensemble show is ideal for theaters looking to produce more intimate productions with flexible production designs.

Colleges, high schools, and community theater groups will find our newly expanded version for 10-19 a great way to give their larger ensembles opportunities to be featured. See below for more info!

ISLAND SONG
words and music by Sam Carner and Derek Gregor
story by Sam Carner, Derek Gregor, and Marlo Hunter
conceived with Laura Pietropinto

The Album

We’re currently recording the ISLAND SONG studio cast album starring Jeremy Jordan, Jackie Burns, Kimiko Glenn, Lilli Cooper, and Troy Iwata, with a bonus track by Natalie Weiss! Check back here at the beginning of September to download the entire album for free. In the meantime, get a sneak preview on the music player on the right!

Two Versions

In addition to the standard 5-person version of the show, we also have an expanded 10-19-person version available for larger groups. Both versions are extremely flexible in terms of production design and can be simple or involved as your company desires.

Synopsis

A poignant, off-beat dramedy with a kinetic pop-rock score (boasting 6 MAC-nominated songs), ISLAND SONG takes us through a year in the lives of five twenty-and-thirty-somethings sharing a city and the chain of surprising, poignant, and partially random connections that bring them into each other’s spheres at moments that become pivotal. As the city pulses around them, they all must work through their own complex relationships with ambition, distraction, and the search for connection.

ISLAND SONG takes us through a year in the lives of five twenty-and-thirty-somethings sharing a city and the chain of surprising, poignant, and partially random connections that bring them into each other’s spheres at moments that become pivotal.

The city throws together world-beater corporate lawyer Jordan and family-driven Will, but their passionate connection may not be enough to overcome their divergent life goals.

Bohemian Caroline, who just got a reception job in Jordan’s office, strives to find a place for herself without being cowed by the fiery people surrounding her at every turn—as well as to hold on to her relationship with the ambitious boy she followed to the city.

When Jordan finds Caroline working late at the office, she sees in her a hint of the freedom she now desperately yearns for—and finds the impetus for a difficult decision about her own relationship.
Throughout the piece, Caroline, keeps running into young, hungry actor Cooper, who is facing the reality that the year he gave himself to “make it” is up—along with his bankroll—as well as his certain knowledge that his bully of a father will not let him forget his failure if he returns home.

Despite their personal struggles, Cooper’s and Caroline’s chance and fleeting encounters—on the subway, on the street, in the park—give them a hint of the solace they are desperately seeking.

Meanwhile, neurotic dilettante Shoshana tries—often in conversation with her therapist—to quiet the constant dialogue in her head and find a real connection—perhaps with her secret crush, the accompanist for her very part-time singing gig—while realizing that allowing herself to be seen for who she really is will be a struggle for her.

When Shoshana spies Cooper, at his lowest point, nearly ready to phone his parents and tell them he’s coming home, she secretly slips a hundred dollars into his billfold, a random act of kindness that leads to his making it to a callback and ultimately securing his first big job, though his battle for contentment continues, as he still cannot find acceptance from his father.

Through it all, the city itself, as represented by a street paint-bucket drummer, sets an intense rhythm that drives, blocks, isolates, and inspires these five characters on their conflicting pursuits of excitement and perspective.

Through a kinetic and eclectic pop-rock and contemporary musical theater score, they work through their own complex relationships with ambition, distraction, and the search for connection.

ISLAND SONG takes us through a year in the lives of a group of urban twenty-and-thirty-somethings and the chain of surprising, poignant, and partially random connections that bring them into each other’s spheres at moments that become pivotal.

Through a kinetic and eclectic pop-rock and contemporary musical theater score, they work through their own complex relationships with ambition, distraction, and the search for connection.

World-beater corporate lawyer Antonia hungers for greater challenges and rewards in what becomes almost a romantic (and abusive) love-affair with the city, one she has to negotiate with her actual significant other Adam (or Adrienne).

Bohemian Caroline, who just moved to the city and got a reception job, strives to find a place for herself without being cowed by the fiery people surrounding her at every turn—as well as to hold on to her relationship with the ambitious boy she followed to the city.

Throughout the piece, Caroline, keeps running into young, hungry actor Cooper, who is facing the reality that the year he gave himself to “make it” is up—along with his bankroll—as well as his certain knowledge that his bully of a father will not let him forget his failure if he returns home.

Despite their personal struggles, Cooper’s and Caroline’s chance and fleeting encounters—on the subway, on the street, in the park—give them a hint of the solace they are desperately seeking.

Meanwhile, neurotic dilettante Shoshana tries—often in conversation with her therapist—to quiet the constant dialogue in her head and find a real connection—perhaps with her secret crush, the accompanist for her very part-time singing gig.

When Shoshana spies Cooper, at his lowest point, nearly ready to phone his parents and tell them he’s coming home, she secretly slips a hundred dollars into his billfold, a random act of kindness that leads to his making it to a callback and ultimately securing his first big job, though his battle for contentment continues, as he still cannot find acceptance from his father.

Taryn, a would-be writer struggles with the demands of her soul-crushing temp job, eventually leading a revolt that gets her fired (to her immediate horror), though she comes to find new perspective through a chance encounter with Shoshana.

A young professional couple, ambitious business woman Jordan and family-driven architect Will, work to maintain their passionate connection, but that may not be enough to overcome their divergent life goals.

When Jordan finds Caroline working late at her office, she sees in her a hint of the freedom she now desperately yearns for—and finds the impetus for a difficult decision about her own relationship.

Observer Liz looks out her window, waiting for the moment when she can really be part of the action of the city. Also in his apartment, the shy Ted fantasizes about the woman next door, whose loud love-making session he hears nearly every night through the wall. Club-girl Violet longs for a more intimate, permanent connection with a dance partner. Actress Katherine wrestles with the appeal and income of her restaurant job, which makes pursuing her true passion all the more complicated.

A trio of disillusioned hipsters (Timo, Stosh, and Wallendia), over-eager to show how enlightenedly apathetic they are, watch it all go by, judging the ambition they witness.

Through it all, the city itself, as represented by a street paint-bucket drummer, sets an intense rhythm that drives, blocks, isolates, and inspires these everyone on their conflicting pursuits of excitement and perspective.

Production History

ISLAND SONG premiered at the Adirondack Theatre Festival in 2016 (directed and choreographed by Marlo Hunter, musical direction by Vadim Feichtner) and has been produced and performed in concert at venues around the world, including Rose Bruford University and the St. James Studio in London, The Comedie Nation in Paris, Crawfish in Tokyo, the Bloomington Playwrights Project, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, Western Carolina University, (le) Poisson Rouge in New York, and many more, with more productions planned around the world in 2018.

Videos


Licensing

To mount your own production of ISLAND SONG, email us, and we’ll get right back to you!

1. What is the casting breakdown for ISLAND SONG?
• The 5-hander version of ISLAND SONG is written for 3 females and 2 males.
• The expanded version is flexibly written for 3-11 males and 5-14 females (we’ll provide a sheet with guidance for alternate cast breakdowns).
2. What’s the band size and instrumentation?
ISLAND SONG is scored for:
• keyboard
• electric/acoustic guitar
• electric bass
• drum kit
• street percussion
3. What do we get when we license the show?
When you license ISLAND SONG, we’ll send you:
• a pdf of the script
• a pdf of the piano-vocal score
• pdfs of all the band charts (keyboard, guitar, bass, drum kit, and street percussion)
• pdfs of many solos in alternate keys (includes band charts)
• for the expanded version, a matrix of cast breakdowns for different cast sizes and gender mixes.
• the link to a dropbox folder with mp3s of piano accompaniment tracks for every song in the show (includes alternate keys)
• the link to a dropbox folder with mp3s of vocal plunk tracks for every number in the show (includes isolated character vocal lines for ensemble numbers)
4. Some of the material feels a little “mature.” Is there a cleaner, high-school-friendly version of the material?
We’ve been creating versions of the ISLAND SONG material with more family-friendly lyrics. The full high school edition will be available soon, and please email us with your needs, and we’ll do our very best to accommodate them!
5. What are the set requirements?
There are no specific set requirements beyond a bench and a restaurant table. Vertical levels are always nice, as are representations of windows, but neither are essential.
6. How much does it cost to license Island Song?
That depends on the size and scope of your production. We’ll want to know:
• how many performances you’re planning on doing
• the size of the venue
• your ticket price
We’ll then propose a license fee commensurate with your projected income.
7. Is the “Expanded Version” better or worse than the 5-person “Standard Version”?
We’re really proud of both versions of the show. Both versions have coherent and satisfying character paths, and about 90% of the score is the same in both versions. The 5-person version is, naturally, much more demanding of all the performers, and each character’s journey is quite involved. Additionally, every character ends up being connected to every other character. Meanwhile, the expanded version is a little more thematic in focus. There are leads, secondary characters, and featured ensemble roles, though there is still some solo material for every member of the cast. We’ll be more than happy to send you perusal scripts for both versions!
8. The voices on your album are incredible. What if we can’t sing that high?
We’re much more concerned about story-telling than high-belting contests! We have the rangier songs in the show available in a variety of keys, as well as alternative belt notes in the ensemble numbers. So the score should be very adaptable to your own unique strengths.