If/Then: A New Musical PITCH PRESENTATION BY: Joseph Kolonko III

Quick Synopsis

IF/THEN: A Modern Musical is about a young woman named Elizabeth who has just moved to New York City. At age 38, she seeks to make a fresh start for herself as she continues her profession as an urban planner. This show opens in Madison Square Park, as Elizabeth meets two of her friends Kate and Lucas. The show divides immediately. Kate is an adventure seeking, fun finding, doesn't look back neighbor of Elizabeth. As they talk, Kate persuades Elizabeth to take up the nickname Liz. Lucas is a little opposite, he suggests to Elizabeth to take her college nickname Beth. Lucas is a thought out character who portrays activism and professional goals. From this point on Elizabeth takes on her dual persona throughout the play, living out how that one decision (a name) would change the outcome of her life.

Madison Square Park, NY


No matter what events happen in life, good or bad, life presses on. Time does not stop.
Do not undervalue any one decision. Do everything you do with intention because it will profoundly change your life.
The question of why me and why now never has an answer.

Thematic questions

  • What's it look like to date someone when you just moved to a city. In general, what does it look like to be in a new relationship?
  • What is it like to be in a new city? How does that change the way you make decisions?
  • What is it like to come back after a military tour?
  • What's it like to be forced to go on another military tour, and die in the line of duty with a family back home? What's it like to loose a significant other fighting in the line of duty?
  • What's it like to decide to have sex with someone? What's it like to be pregnant when married or not? What leads someone to have an abortion?
  • What's it like to be in a queer relationship? How are some of the struggles similar and different to straight relationships? And what does adoption look like?
  • What is marriage like in all types of relationships?
  • What stresses are involved in changing jobs?
  • What does divorce look like after someone is unfaithful?
  • How do you balance work into your life?
  • What does community activism look like? How does it effect those who surround you?

Performance location

Orpheum Theatre - Minneapolis, Minnesota

The theatre audience in the Greater Twin Cities is open to progressive thought and is comfortable with being open in regards to issues once not spoken of frequently. Musicals like NEXT TO NORMAL and THE BOOK OF MOURMON that have been known to question and push the envelope have been welcomed at the theatres in this area. This matched with the technical capabilities of the Orpheum paves the way for this show to be a success.

No bad time

There would really be no bad time to put on a production of If/Then, but I think now would be a good time. We live in a time in which we turn on the news and see wreckless things one after another: a bombing, a shooting, a tweet, a riot. If there was a way to communicate a sense of unity through struggle, and cause people to take a step back and think about their decisions, the community would be a better place. This musical covers so many current issues, but I believe that it's broad concepts transcend to the current struggles our community faces.

Design concepts

The intention of all design choices should be to invoke the audience with the question of was that surelistic?

Sound Design

  • The musical score will be produced as written, though band elements will be emphasized over the orchestra. (Drums, Guitar, Bass)
  • 5.2 Channel mixing will be used to emphasize the musical elements in the pit.

Scene Design

  • Upstage Structural Concept: I want to use steel structures similar to photo 1/2 that more resemble building like in New York City. Some structures will be wrapped in a light colored scrim that will serve as a projection/cyc surface, similar to photo 3. Layering behind that will be a cyc wall with separate lighting and projection systems. There will be the option for actors to walk on an elevated level up around the buildings. This can populate the space with out cluttering it, reference photo 4. The final photo serves as a color scheme reference.
  • Lineset Usage: most set properties will be flown. These include subway station structure, bedroom walls, street signs, office walls, greenery, hospital walls, and classroom walls.
  • Automation: set properties not flown will be self automated. These include a subway car, bedroom set, bar with stools, and hospital materials. These things will be on black platforms.
  • All elements should feature artistic interpretation over realism.

Lighting Design

  • The lighting design will be used to inform and remind the audience of what character they are following, time of day, and emotional state.
  • Some line sets will be used for string lights.
  • Lighting fixtures should be visible like in the images shown. This will further emphasize a false realism.
  • The design should produce even clean light in all areas of the stage, color pallet should complement that of the scenic design.


Created with images by apasciuto - "madison square park in bloom" • edenpictures - "Madison Square in May" • Ryan Vaarsi - "I've gotta bad case of neko" • Dorret - "15/365 Black Lives Matter"

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