If/Then: A New Musical CASEBOOK 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 into two. 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.

Picking up from where the synopsis leaves off, IF/THEN has a sophisticated layout best explained through motifs and thought envoking questions, rather than a traditional explaination of events.

Motifs & Thematic questions

No matter what events happen in life, good or bad, life presses on. Time does not stop.

  • How does it feel moving to a new city to start a new job, make new friends, and start a new life?
  • How does moving to a new city make one vaunerable and susceptible to different decision making?
  • What does it feel like to date someone after just moving to a new city, only knowing a couple people?
  • What do new relationships feel like?
  • What emotions or decisions are involved with chosing to have sex with someone?
  • What does it feel like to be married and get pregnant? Or, what does it feel like to be pregnant and not married?
  • What things put someone in a position to want an abortion?

Do not undervalue any one decision. Do everything you do with intention because it will profoundly change your life.

  • What is marriage like in all types of relationship?
  • What does divorce look like after someone is unfaithful?
  • What is it like to be in a queer relationship?
  • How are some of the struggles similar and different to straight relationships?
  • What does adoption look like?
  • What stresses are involved in changing jobs?
  • How do you balance work into your life?
  • What does community activism look like? How does it effect those who surround you?

The question of why me and why now never has an answer.

  • What is it like to come back after a military tour?
  • What is it like to be forced to go on another military tour, and die in the line of duty with a family back home?
  • What is it like to loose a significant other who is fighting in the line of duty?
"And you find some way to survive and you find out you don't have to be happy at all.. to be happy you're alive." -Brian Yorkey

Brian Yorkey - playwright

American playwright, lyricist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and theater director are just a few of the appropriate titles for Brian Yorkey, creator of IF/THEN: A MODERN MUSICAL. Born in 1970 and having spent the majority of his childhood in Issaquah, Washington, Yorkey was involved at a very young age in the theater arts world. He was a KIDSTAGE student at Village theatre where he had the opportunity to practice the skills that would soon make him famous. Yorkey said, “They used to let the teenagers take over the theater to do a musical of our own. It was thrilling, and terrifying. And galvanizing. For me KIDSTAGE was all about being part of a community. I practically lived at the theater” (Shipley). Brian Yorkey is an alumnus of Columbia University, where he later served as artistic director of Varsity Show, as well as BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. Circling back around, Yorkey would later write and produce musicals at Village Theatre and progress to be awarded a six-year tenure. “Five musicals written by Yorkey – Funny Pages (1993), Making Tracks (2002), The Weeding Banquet (2003), Play it by Heart (2005) and A Perfect Fall (2007) – were staged there” (Potterican). Soon after, Yorkey went back to a piece he wrote with Tom Kitt during their musical theatre workshop. “Next To Normal’s journey from a 10-minute piece to a full-length Broadway musical was somewhat arduous, given all the people that were involved from its inception” (Marinik). This show would go on to be is most famous thus far in his career winning him the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score. From this point on, Brian Yorkey would go on to write IF/THEN: A MODERN MUSICAL for its Broadway opening in 2014 that would star Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp. “Yorkey is currently writing United Fashion Musical for Paramount and Parkes McDonald” (Potterican). He is also working on scripts and lyrics for a number of other smaller projects both on and off-Broadway.

401 Broadway Preformances | 25 City National Tour

Production History


Mar 30, 2014 - Mar 22, 2015 Richard Rodgers Theatre

National Tour (October 13, 2015 - August 14, 2016)

Aug 9, 2016 - Aug 14, 2016 Fox Theatre Atlanta, GA

Aug 3, 2016 - Aug 7, 2016 Bushnell Hartford, CT

Jul 26, 2016 - Jul 31, 2016 Starlight Theatre Kansas City, MO

Jul 19, 2016 - Jul 24, 2016 Belk Theater Charlotte, NC

Jul 5, 2016 - Jul 17, 2016 Opera House (MA) Boston, MA

Jun 21, 2016 - Jun 26, 2016 Academy Of Music: Kimmel Center Philadelphia, PA

Jun 14, 2016 - Jun 19, 2016 Providence Performing Arts Center Providence, RI

Jun 7, 2016 - Jun 12, 2016 Andrew Jackson Hall At Tennessee Performing Arts Center Nashville, TN

May 24, 2016 - May 29, 2016 Durham Performing Arts Center Durham, NC

May 17, 2016 - May 22, 2016 David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Tampa, FL

Apr 12, 2016 - May 8, 2016 Princess Of Wales Toronto, ON

Mar 29, 2016 - Apr 10, 2016 Fisher Theatre Detroit, MI

Mar 15, 2016 - Mar 27, 2016 Fox Theatre - St. Louis St. Louis, MO

Mar 8, 2016 - Mar 13, 2016 Orpheum Theatre - Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN

Feb 23, 2016 - Mar 6, 2016 Oriental Theatre Chicago, IL

Feb 9, 2016 - Feb 21, 2016 Connor Palace Cleveland, OH

Feb 2, 2016 - Feb 7, 2016 Aronoff Center For The Arts: Procter & Gamble Hall Cincinnati, OH

Jan 27, 2016 - Jan 31, 2016 AT&T Performing Arts Center Dallas, TX

Jan 19, 2016 - Jan 24, 2016 Segerstrom Center for the Arts Costa Mesa, CA

Jan 12, 2016 - Jan 17, 2016 ASU Gammage Tempe, AZ

Jan 5, 2016 - Jan 10, 2016 San Diego Civic Theatre San Diego, CA

Dec 8, 2015 - Jan 3, 2016 Pantages Theatre - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA

Nov 10, 2015 - Dec 6, 2015 Orpheum Theatre - San Francisco San Francisco, CA

Nov 3, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015 Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA

Oct 13, 2015 - Oct 25, 2015 Buell Theatre Denver, CO

Cast & Production Staff


Idina Menzel - as Elizabeth

LaChanze - as Kate

Anthony Rapp - as Lucas

James Snyder - as Josh

Jerry Dixon - as Stephen

Jenn Colella - as Anne

Jason Tam - as David

Tamika Lawrence - as Elena

Joe Cassidy - as Deputy Mayor and others

Miguel Cervantes - as A Bartender and others

Curtis Holbrook - as A Guidance Counselor, A solider, and others

Stephanie Klemons - as A Flight Attendant and others (Departed on Nov 2, 2014)

Tyler McGee - as A Street Musician and others

Ryann Redmond - as Paulette and others

Joe Aaron Reid - as An Architect and others (Departed on Nov 30, 2014)

Ann Sanders - as Cathy and others (Departed on Jan 25, 2015)

Standbys, Understudies and Swings

Jackie Burns - as Elizabeth (Standby)

Marc de la Cruz – Swing, as David (Understudy)

Charles Hagerty – Swing, as Josh (Understudy)

Janet Krupin - Swing, as Elena (Understudy)

Pearl Sun - Swing, as Kate (Understudy) (Departed on Jan 25, 2015)

Tamika Lawrence - as Kate (Understudy)

Curtis Holbrook - as Lucas (Understudy)

Joe Cassidy - as Lucas (Understudy), as Stephen (Understudy)

Tyler McGee - as Josh (Understudy)

Joe Aaron Reid - as Stephen (Understudy) (Departed on Nov 30, 2014)

Stephanie Klemons - as Anne (Understudy), as Elena (Understudy) (Departed on Nov 2, 2014)

Ann Sanders - as Anne (Understudy) (Departed on Jan 25, 2015)

Miguel Cervantes - as David (Understudy)

Production Team

Brian Yorkey – Book/Lyrics

Tom Kitt - Music

Michael Greif - Director

Larry Keigwin - Choreographer

Mark Wendland - Set Design

Emily Rebholz - Costume Design

Kenneth Posner - Lighting Design

Brian Ronan - Sound Design

David Brian Brown - Wig and Hair Design

Joe Dulude II - Make-up Design

David Alpert - Associate Director

Nicole Wolcott/Mark Myars - Associate Choreographer

Brett Banakis - Associate Scenic Designer

Sarah Laux - Associate Costume Designer

Cody Spencer - Associate Sound Designer

Joel Shier - Associate Lighting Designer

Jason Ardizzone-West/Rachel Nemec - Assistant Scenic Designer

Ren LaDassor - Assistant Costume Designer

Nick Solyom - Assistant Lighting Designer

Michael Starobin - Orchestrations

AnnMarie Milazzo - Vocal Arrangements

Kathy Fabian/Propstar - Prop Supervisor

Judith Schoenfeld - Production Stage Manager

Paul J. Smith - Stage Manager (Departed on Jul 20, 2014)

Monica Cuoco - Assistant Stage Manager (Departed on Nov 16, 2014)

Jake Bell - Technical Supervision

Lily Twining - Technical Supervision

Telsey + Company/Craig Burns - Casting

Stephanie Klemons - Dance Captain (Departed on Nov 2, 2014)

Marc de la Cruz - Assistant Dance Captain (Departed on Nov 2, 2014)

321 Theatrical Management - General Management

Ken Silverman - Associate General Manager

Tracy Geltman - Company Manager

Brent McCreary - Assistant Company Manager (Departed on Nov 30, 2014)

Polk & Co. – General Press Representative

Matt Polk, Tom D'Ambrosio, Frances White (Departed on Mar 8, 2015), & Sasha Pensanti - Press Represenative

BDB Marketing - Marketing Services

Serino/Coyne - Advertising

Situation Interactive - Digital Marketing

Joan Marcus - Production Photographer

David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Fox Theatricals, Marc Platt - Producer


Carmel Dean, Michael Keller, Carmel Dean, Marco Paguia, Randy Cohen, Sylvia D'Avanzo, Damien Bassman, Randy Cohen, Marco Paguia, Brian Hamm, James Hershman, Alec Berlin, Bud Burridge, Richard A. Heckman, Dave Noland, Alisa Horn, Alissa Smith, Matthew Lehmann, Randy Cohen, Emily Grishman, & Katharine Edmonds

Setting: The not so distant past

Historical/cultural events

September 11, 2001 - Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hijack four U.S. airliners and crash them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack of two planes levels the World Trade Center and the crash of one plane inflicts serious damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, causing nearly 3,000 deaths. The fourth plane is heroically crashed by passengers into a Shanksville, Pennsylvania cornfield when they learn of the plot, preventing destruction of another structure in Washington, D.C., supposed to be the White House or the Capitol building. The plot is attributed to the Al-Qaeda organization led by Osama Bin Laden.

February 3, 2004 - The Central Intelligence Agency admits that the imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction was not present before the 2003 Iraq war began.

Nov. 2, 2004: Constitutional amendments denying same-sex marriage are passed in 11 states.

Nov. 7, 2006: Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage are passed in seven more states.

November 4, 2008 - Barack Obama, Democratic Senator from Illinois, the land of Abraham Lincoln, wins a landslide margin in the Electoral College, 365 to 173 in the election for the 44th President of the USA over John McCain, making him the first African-American president in the history of the United States of America.

May 2, 2011 - Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and other locations and leader of the terrorist group, Al-Queda, is killed after ten years of pursuit by United States and coalition forces during a raid by U.S. Navy Seals on his hideout location in Pakistan.

December 15, 2011 - The war in Iraq is declared over when President Obama orders the last combat troops to leave the country.

May 9, 2012: President Obama becomes the first sitting president to announce his support for same-sex marriage.

April 25, 2015 - Riots begin in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, a black man, in police custody. This incident, coupled with others at the end of 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, and more in 2015, would lead to the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement and discussion of police brutality in poor, minority, and violent neighborhoods and the appropriate response of police when confronted with danger and issues on how to secure the public good.

June 26, 2015:The Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage across the United States in a closely divided ruling that will stand as a milestone in its 226-year history.

November 28, 2016 - Donald Trump, the flamboyount billionaire businessman from New York with no political or military experience, wins a surprising election over Democratic challenger and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the first woman to run for the highest office from a major party. Electoral victory by Republican Trump, 304 to 227, with seven electors voting against their pledge, two not voting for Trump, five not voting for Clinton, contained victories in Rust Belt states Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

"Words are such gross machinery, so primitive and ambiguous. -Frank Herbert

Key terms glossary

Urban planner - the branch of architecture dealing with the design and organization of urban space and activities

Community activist - A proponent or practitioner of activism within ones community

Army Reservist - someone who serves in the reserve formations of a nation's armed forces, specifically the Army

City Planner - determining and drawing up plans for the future physical arrangement and condition of a community

Pediatric Surgeon - is a subspecialty of surgery involving the surgery of fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

Tour - a period of time spent performing operational duties at sea, including combat, performing patrol or fleet duties, or assigned to service in a foreign country.

Madison Square Park - is formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The square was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States and the principal author of the United States Constitution.

Housing Activist - consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct change in regards to living

NYCC – New Your City Council

Divest - To deprive, as of rights or property; dispossess.

Hootie and the Blowfish - Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band that formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan.

Deputy Director - a person appointed to act on behalf of or represent another

North Star - A star located at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper, in the constellation Ursa Minor, approximately 408 light years from Earth, and almost at the north celestial pole. Also called North Star, polar star, polestar.

Co-Op - a cooperative, cooperative society, or shop run by a cooperative society

C.O. - A military officer in charge of a unit, post, camp, base, or station.

Securities - A financial instrument, such as a stock or bond, representing rights of ownership or creditorship and often traded in secondary markets.

Erotic Vaudeville - Stage entertainment offering a variety of short acts such as slapstick turns, song-and-dance routines, and juggling performances marked by strong sexual desire or being especially sensitive to sexual stimulation.

Shiva toxin - a family of related toxins with two major groups, Stx1 and Stx2, whose genes are considered to be part of the genome of lambdoid prophages.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome - Hemolytic uremic syndrome, with hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia, presenting with acute renal failure; In childhood it presents with symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, oliguria, and hemolytic anemia.

Reclaimed - To resume possession of; take back

Preambles - An introductory occurrence or fact; a preliminary.

Residency (doctor) - the period, following internship, during which a physician undergoes further clinical training, usually in one medical specialty

Dullard - a dull or stupid person

FDR – a freeway traffic system in New York.

Urban Farmer - One who works on or operates a farm in a city or town.

Schmuck - A clumsy or stupid person; an oaf

Betsy Ross - American seamstress said to have made the first American flag at the request of George Washington (1752-1836)

Donna Karen - an American fashion designer and the creator of the Donna Karan New York and DKNY clothing labels

Diane von Furstenberg - is a Belgian born American fashion designer best known for her iconic wrap dress.

Urban Studies - is the term for a diverse range of disciplines and approaches to the study of all aspects of cities, their suburbs, and other urban areas.

Director of city planning - the activity or profession of determining the future physical arrangement and condition of a community, involving an appraisal of the present condition, a forecast of future requirements, a plan for the fulfillment of these requirements, and proposals for constructional, legal, and financial programs to implement the plan.

Waspish - easily annoyed or angered

Neurotic - a person who is afflicted with a neurosis or who tends to be emotionally unstable or unusually anxious

Promenade - A leisurely walk, especially one taken in a public place as a social activity.

Brigade - A military unit consisting of a variable number of combat battalions or regiments.

RPG - rocket-propelled grenade

Bereavement - To take a loved one from (a person), especially by death

CAD - computer-aided design

Busker - to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.

Design Concepts

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.

A Note On Casting: it is my belief that this cast should be multi racial. Typically I like to let the cast just be what it is and not say, this character should be of X ethnicity. However in this case, it would make the story relevant to today's current events to include multiracial actors.

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) This is solely to keep the perspective of the musical modern and up to date.
  • 5.2 channel surround sound 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 1/2/6 that resemble New York City buildings. These scriptures should be three dimensional, not flat, so that shadowplay can be used extensively in the lighting design to inform passage of time/time of day. 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 resembled in photos 1/6. This can populate the space with out cluttering it, reference photo 4. The 5th photo serves as a color scheme reference.
  • Lineset Usage: Most set properties will be flown. These include a subway station structure, bedroom walls, street signs, office walls, greenery, hospital walls, and classroom walls. Due to the extensive number of flown set pieces, the point at which intermission takes place may be reconsidered so that scenery can shift in the flies. This decision points back to the main concept of the design emphasizing surrealism.
  • Automation: Set properties that are 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.
  • Stage Floor: The stage floor will be painted in dark color with a watery drip tequnique. It should be believable in a way that it resembles all environments the musical takes place in. There will be a projection system for the floor. The floor should be glossed, but not so much that projections get reflected.
  • 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 possibley indicating a sense or romance.
  • Lighting fixtures should be visible like in the images shown. This will further emphasize a false realism and also drive the modern feel.
  • The design should produce even clean light in all areas of the stage, color pallet should complement that of the scenic design.
  • Lighting Design should include a key day system, key night system, fill day system, fill night system, neutral top light system, deck level dance system, front fill system, and high upstage corner system. Some lights in each system should be movers.
  • Key day system: L152, Fill Day System: L279, Night Day System: L144, Night Fill System: L117, Top Light System: L244, Deck Level Dance System: L148 L002, Corner System: L325 L735, Fromt Fill System: L728

Media Design

  • Use of the three projection systems listed above should not be the emphasis at any point there is action on stage. It should only be noticeable during shifts, and add to the environment during scenes. Moving picture and stills should be incorporated into the design.
  • When it is possible to put into picture an image better than what would be in the mind of an audience member, a media item should be used to flash back to a point in time that is influencing a decision that character is making now. This design has by far the most creative liberty.
  • Possibilities include Elizabeth living back in Phoenix, Lucas and Elizabeth in college, Kate in her classroom teaching, Josh at his military base, and/or flash backs to the given relationship when getting married or divorced.
  • Since there are so many surfaces it can be explored that a single surface is assovciated with a character or not.





















All photos come from google.


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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