University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Graduate student’s musical to open Off-Broadway this summer

Sasquatched! The Musical by composer and author Phil Darg, a graduate student in history, has been selected to premier this summer in the New York Musical Theatre’s (NYMF) 2013 Off-Broadway “Next Link showcase.”

This production of Sasquatched! The Musical, set to begin in July, represents a rare opportunity for a local musical theater piece to be highlighted in a New York City venue.

Sasquatched! The Musical:

Bigfoot exists! Arthur – a kindhearted, talking Sasquatch – is lost when he is befriended by a young boy, Sam. Together, they encounter quirky locals and elude a ruthless TV crew investigating “Bigfoot” – as the stage erupts into hilarious social commentary on human-Sasquatch relations and a rockin’ musical romp through the woods.

The style of the play is humorous, fast-moving and contemporary. The subject matter is somewhat satirical in nature, but is geared toward general audiences. Dramatic themes include: over-protective parenting, the phoniness of the media, environmentalism, multiculturalism (human-Sasquatch relations) and animal-rights-as-repressed-minority. The show maintains a delicate balance between edgy and sweet.

New York Musical Theatre Festival:

The New York Musical Theatre Festival is the premier annual musical theater event that presents new musicals in an Off-Broadway venue. Productions chosen for the Next Link showcase are selected through a double-blind process presided over by a judging committee of industry professionals, including Tony Award winners and nominees.

The Next Link Project is NYMF’s primary writer service program empowers 12 teams of musical theater writers with entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities and dramaturgical support, in addition to a subsidized production slot at the fall New York Musical Theatre Festival. The program’s multifaceted approach to helping writers advance their careers and bring their work from page to stage has helped numerous shows to garner industry attention, including “Altar Boyz,” “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” “Meet John Doe,” “My Vaudeville Man,” “Kingdom,” “Yank!” and others.

Phil Darg:

Phil Darg is an actor, playwright, writer, composer and scholar. He has played many roles  both onstage and in local television. He is the author of more than a dozen plays, including Slime Monsters Don’t Use Ropes, Still Life, Upon this Rock, To Sleep…, The Baxter House and many others. He has composed and produced music for local and national television, and his music has been broadcast on MTV, The History Channel and Turner South. He also has worked as a reviewer for Electronic Musician.

Darg earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from North Hennepin Community College, a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s in speech communication and in history/political science from Minnesota State University-Mankato. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in history at the University of North Dakota.

-- David L. Dodds, media relations/writer and editor, University and Public Affairs writer, 777.5529, david.dodds@UND.edu.


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