Image by Remy Leelike

 

#Masc4Masc: A Totally Masculine Musical

Camp Cut-the-Cord 

Maya's Mother

Is This Art Now: A Musical Webseries

Written as a means of finding joy in creating musical material again after the emergence of the novel coronavirus in 2020, and as a tangible form of art after theatres shut down for the foreseeable future, this meta musical webseries, filmed largely through Zoom, follows a group of friends who are trying to make a musical through Zoom while dealing with the realities of life in quarantine in a way that is humorous but also profound. 

Screenplay and lyrics co-written by Jessie Field and James Salem, with Music by Josh Ben-Ami, Lydia Breckon, Elspeth Collard, Sean Eads, Jared Field, Erin Hoerchler, James Salem, Joseph Salem, and Enzo Veiga. 

Seasons 1-3 available now on Youtube:

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Anthony meets the man of his glitter-filled dreams at a Halloween party 🎃, only to discover his new crush is only into masculine men 💪🏽 (something Anthony is not, henny 💅🏽). Meanwhile, Cathy auditions for a role that could be her big break only to be told that she is a “caramel oreo,” and "not latina enough," by the film’s director 🤦🏾‍♀️. Together, Anthony & Cathy set out to transform their identities to get what they want, starting them on a journey filled with hijinks, growth, and love! 🌈🦄💖

Featuring a pop-infused score with plenty of room for dance and spectacle, this piece is a bright, uplifting, and totally queer romantic musical comedy. 

7 named characters (2f, 4m, 1nonbinary/noncis). Flexible Ensemble.

~100 Minutes

 

Book & Lyrics by James Salem

Music by Josh Ben-Ami

First reading held (remotely) on April 16, 2020. 

More to come!

After a violent outburst when her mom snips the power cord to her video game, Emily is sent to Camp Cut-the-Cord. There, she meets three other screen-addicted teens: Mack can’t stop watching “Will & Grace,” Laura needs to check her instagram at least every 8 minutes, and Spencer … The teens have to contend with rigid drill-sergeant head counselor Renee and perky deputy counselor Tanya, who each have their own secrets. Can they cut the cord and start living “irl,” or are they lost to their screens forever?

Featuring an eclectic score with pop and musical theatre sensibilities, this piece is a comedy touching on a serious issue faced by many people today. 

6 named characters (4f, 2m). No ensemble.

~100 minutes

 

Book & Lyrics by James Salem

Music by Jackson Payne Brothers

First reading held (remotely) on April 29, 2020. 

More to come!

Among The Hidden

 
 
 

Working mom Paige and her sixteen-year-old adopted daughter, Maya, are about to meet Maya’s biological mother, who happens to be pop star 

Wendy Max, for the first time. Maya dreams that her “real mom” will take her away from the stress of her life working alongside Paige in the local diner, while Paige hopes that the meeting will create an opportunity for her and Maya to reconnect. When Wendy offers Maya a trip around the world and away from Paige, Maya has a choice to make. 

Featuring a score with pop-punk, radio pop, and musical theatre sounds, this short-form piece has a heartwarming message about the meaning of family.

 

3 named characters (3f). No ensemble.

20 minutes

Book & Lyrics by James Salem

Music by Josh Ben-Ami

First reading held on May 21, 2019.

More to come!

In a dystopian reality where all families may only have two children, third children must remain hidden or be put to death. Luke is one of these third children, and his quiet rural life is disrupted when new homes are built near his, forcing him to go into hiding. Soon, Luke discovers another third child in a neighboring house - Jen. Jen encourages Luke to join her movement to free the "shadow children" so that they may live in the world instead of "among the hidden." Luke and Jen's friendship will change their lives, and the lives of their families, forever.

Featuring a contemporary musical theatre score with a pop sensibility, this piece is a drama exploring freedom, responsibility, friendship, and family.

 

8 named characters (4f, 4m)

~140 minutes

Book & Lyrics by James Salem

Music by Joseph Salem

First reading held, with the permission of Margaret Peterson Haddix and Adams Literary, in May 2015. 

Bending All The Rules

 
 

The love lives of eight millennials in New York City with different sexualities, dispositions, and philosophies intersect in surprising ways in this romantic comedy. Three couples, two exes, one wild ride. 

Featuring a contemporary pop-musical theatre score. 

 

8 named characters (4f, 4m)

~140 minutes

Book & Lyrics by James Salem

Music by Joseph Salem

World premiere production in the June Havoc Theatre in Summer 2013. 

Review: "a clear-eyed look at relationships for twentysomethings in the big city...beautiful and challenging music...nuanced lyrics..." 

 
 

mEdia

"Everything You Are" from "#Masc4Masc"

Music by Josh Ben-Ami, Lyrics by James Salem

Drum Arrangement by Elspeth Collard

Performers: Sean Eads, Nathan Fosbinder, Emily Goes, Erin Hoerchler, Alok Nadig, Nicole Tsarouhas, Enzo Veiga

Excerpt from "One Day" from "About Last Night"

Music & Lyrics by James Salem

Singers: Lydia Breckon, Elspeth Collard, Sean Eads, & James Salem

Accompanied by Lucy O'Brien-English

In Development

About Last Night

Currently in development, this song cycle will feature original music & lyrics by James Salem. 

From cancelled weddings, to first dates, to accidental murder, there's a lot to discuss about last night...

More to 

come!

Click a title or scroll down for more information!

Shows

© 2020 James Salem