by Elise Forier Edie and Tina Lear

Elise Forier Edie and Tina Lear have written and composed several musicals for young people, including Valerie and the Bear, Escape from the Box, and Cathy’s Creek.  Newman observed their week-long residency at the Bonderman Youth Playwriting Symposium in which they developed Cathy’s Creek, now published by Dramatic Publishing.


Newman proposed commissioning a musical by Edie and Lear to commemorate Highland High School’s 50th Anniversary.  The parameters of the commission were that the script had to offer numerous strong roles to women and had to deal in some way with labor leader and folk hero Joe Hill, who was executed on the high school’s site when it was occupied by the state prison.  The result was a musical now entitled Rebel Girls, titled Bread and Roses and Something Beautiful Somewhere during its development.  The first act was developed and rehearsed for a concert reading one year and the first full script was developed and rehearsed the second year, in partnership with the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, and presented in a second staged reading.  The musical has since had two concert readings at CAP21 in New York City and has also been workshopped at Central Washington University where Forier is a professor of theatre.  The script focuses on a group of adolescent girls who are at the center of the “Bread and Roses” strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912.  Elizabeth Flynn, the teenaged labor leader who was the subject of Joe Hill’s labor song “Rebel Girl,” is a prominent character in the script.

Rebel Girls 1


When the commission to create a musical for Highland High School was proposed, Tina Lear was just entering into a two-year musical theatre composition program at New York University.  In the meantime, Newman developed and directed Elise Forier Edie’s The Hawk Prince.  The play, inspired originally by an Irish legend, tells the story of a young prince, the last survivor of the legendary hawk people, who has always been shielded from the truth of his origins and of how different he is from other people.  The members of his court have always worn feathered head-dressed to keep the prince from knowing that his own feathers set him apart.  On the eve of his wedding, the hawk prince discovers the truth about himself and uses his unique abilities to reconcile those around him.

Information on musicals by Elise Forier Edie and Tina Lear can be found on Lear’s website using the following link:

Information on plays by Elise Forier Edie can be found by following the following link:


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