Crimson Lit: Scarlet Letter Setlist

Crimson Lit: Scarlet Letter Setlist

Crimson Lit: Scarlet Letter Setlist

Krista Knight & Jill Sobule

A riot grrrl musical that's part Scarlet Letter adaptation, part queer romance.
Project Status:in development and seeking development opportunities as well as production
Project Description:

A pulpy riot grrrl adaptation of The Scarlet Letter with an all-female cast and live band.
Puritan new England gets rocked by Jill’s alternative glam-pop. This is the soundtrack for a group of today’s high schoolers who collide with this classic while struggling with labels and experiencing young love on the social scaffold.

Poetic justice has finally come for rebellious teen Winnie. She’s going to fail American Lit and have to repeat the 11th grade unless she’s able to complete a book report. But that’s not the worst part. She’s also been paired with Courtney, the popular cheerleader, who really gets on her nerves. And now they’re going to have to spend a lot of time together. But that’s not the worst part either. The worst part is they don’t get to pick the book. It has to be Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter—which Winnie does NOT want to read. Well that’s too bad because she’s in a whole play about it.

As the summer and assignment progress, the characters are drawn into and influenced by the classic narrative they’re studying. Winnie and Courtney go from enemies to frenemies to secret lesbies, in parallel to the forbidden romance alluded to but not described in the pages of their assigned text.

It all culminates in the big book report on the last day of summer school. Will the characters confess the secrets of their hearts, enact petty revenge, betray their closest alliances, or finally embrace the symbol of their shame? Did they even read the book at all?

Without spoiling the ending, we can tell you that Winnie and Courtney both get an A.


Jill Sobule (Music and Lyrics):
Over 10 albums and almost two decades of recording, Jill Sobule has mused on topics such as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting, reproduction, the French resistance movement, adolescence and the Christian right. Early hit songs include "I Kissed a Girl (the original), and "Supermodel.” In 2015, Jill made new fans (as well as some enemies) with her pre-election song, “When They Say We Want Our America Back, What the F*ck Do They Mean?” -a history of anti-immigration sentiment in the US.

Her latest record, “Nostalgia Kills” has been on many critics best list.

Over the last few years, she has been writing for the theater. NYU in 2018 produced her musical “Times Square,” and in Sept 2020 the Pittsburgh City Theater debuted her one-woman show “F*#k 7th Grade” to a live drive-in audience.

Krista Knight (Book and Lyrics):
Krista is a Juilliard School Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program Fellow (2016-2018), Page 73 Playwriting Fellow (2007), MacDowell Fellow (2008), Shank Playwriting Fellow at the Vineyard Theatre (2011-2012), Vanderbilt Writer-in-Residence (2021), Chance Theater Resident Playwright (2020), winner of the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville (2016), the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival (2020), and the Broadway on Demand Film Festival (2021).

Her work includes CRUSH (NY Times Recommended, Time Out New York Best Theater to Stream Online, featured in American Theatre Magazine, premiering this fall on the Emmy app), SLOPPY BONNIE (OZ Arts Nashville, Nashville Scene Critics Pick) LIPSTICK LOBOTOMY (Kilroys List, Trap Door Theatre), DON’T STOP ME (musical with Dave Malloy), KIRK AT THE SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT HYATT (NYTW’s Summer Residency, Vineyard Theatre reading series, Playwrights Foundation Rough Reading, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse/ MacDowell Benefit), PRIMAL PLAY (New Georges, Playwrights Center of MN), HISSIFIT (Cradle Theatre, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, McCoy Theatre at Rhodes College, seven Ostrander Awards), SALAMANDER LEVIATHAN (Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, Ars Nova Ant Fest, Fingerlakes Musical Theatre Festival, Inkwell, KCACTF Musical Theatre Award from the Kennedy Center for best book), DOOMSURFING (Parkside Lounge, UCSD), SELKIE (Williamstown Workshop, Dutch Kills), and 17 plays and musicals for young audiences.

Commissions include the script for a ride at Tokyo Disney, The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, The Assembly, Live Girls!, Crystal Springs Uplands School, The Steinmetz Lab, and an EST/Sloan Commission (2020/2021). Krista has been in residence at La Napoule Art Foundation, Tofte Lake, The Orchard Project, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Page 73’s Summer Residency at Yale, Santa Fe Art Institute, UCROSS, Yaddo, and MacDowell.

BA: Brown University. MA: Performance Studies from NYU. MFA Playwriting: UC San Diego. Alum of EST’s Youngblood, TerraNova Groundbreakers, Page 73’s Interstate 73, Civilians R&D Lab, New Georges JAM, Fresh Ground Pepper Playgroup, and The Orchard Project Professional Lab.

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