Earlier this month, Indiana University presented four workshop performances of Joe Schmoe Saves the World. The piece was provocative, empowering, and very well-received by a diverse audience of different ages and backgrounds.
Here’s some press response from the show:
Jennifer Pacenza, writing for “Bravo, Bloomington!” wrote
Sometimes a piece of art enters your life at the exact right moment. The experience brings your life and your place in the world into focus. Brett Ryback’s musical Joe Schmoe Saves the World is just such a piece. The mirror it holds up to modern American culture reflects back an all too real image that is at once critical and hopeful. With relatable characters, hard-hitting imagery, and a soundtrack I’ve been listening to on repeat for almost a week now, Joe Schmoe Saves the World transforms and inspires.
George Walker, reporting for Indiana Public Radio, described it as
It’s a roughly polished workshop production with imaginative direction and a talented and committed cast…Music is central to the play’s plot and “Listen to the Music” comes in two parts. The first champions the space, the respite that music — lyrical moments, dance club beats, word rap and pop-rock — can offer. It returns with new fervor mixed with the chant of “no more silence” as an energizing and rallying cry for all, a call to say something.
In the Indiana Daily Student, writer Clark Gudas said of the music:
The live music and rap-rock vocals are fluid and natural. In some instances, the songs have a feeling similar to spoken verse and can even take on a conversational air.
Additionally, in the middle of our very short run, the head of The Center for the Study of the Middle East at IU came to the show and asked if they could buy a late sponsorship to be mentioned in the curtain speech the next two performances. It was a priceless endorsement of the show, and we were grateful to have brought extra funding to the program.
Photo credit: Amy Osajima