An international group of up-and-coming composers, lyricists, writers, and directors have created a new song cycle, WeSongCycle. The artists were guided by advisors Telly Leung (Aladdin, Allegiance), Stafford Arima (Allegiance, Ragtime), and Mariko Kojima (Pacific Overtures) and by mentor Rob Rokicki (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical).
WeSongCycle will debut August 8 at 8:45 AM ET on YouTube.
Creators hailed from Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom and came together through Zoom work sessions to write a musical based with the theme of heroism.
Participating were composers Akiha Uryu, Minhui Lee, Jamie Maletz, And Lucy O’Brien; lyricists Polly Hilton, Tsukuri Miyano, Joe Slabe, and Brandon Michael Lowden; with additional contribution by poet Annabel Mutale Reed.
Seventeen performers from the U.S., Australia, and Japan joined the WeSongCycle cast, which features Noah Virgile, Cori Jaskier, Dani Weiner, Badia Farha, Gen Parton-Shin, Jarran Muse, Lina Zikas, Kennedy Kanagawa, Jason Sweettooth Williams, Shannen Alyce Quan, Enzo Veiga, Jade Johnson, Eliana, Sayaka Watabiki, and Masato Takeuchi. Sam Tanabe (Allegiance, CBS' The Good Wife) also makes a special appearance.
"Though all of our actors have different backgrounds, I could really feel that we had the same language, passion, and love for musical theatre," said the project's creative director, Makiko Shibuya. "Each performer has felt a different impact from quarantine life and has been in a different situation—but all of our cast were eager to play with whatever they could. Our musical theatre cycle has an international personality weaved in."