After we die, what new worlds are waiting for us?
The Waiting is an original-concept folk musical that follows widowed mother Chlo Evans on a journey to find her missing daughter, Willow. Spanning all the way from a small town in Vermont to the liminal space of "The InBetween," the musical explores how consciousness extends beyond death and questions how we move forward after years or lifetimes of being trapped by the pain of the past.
Maria and EmmaLee first began collaborating in the spring of 2019 in Eric Price and Will Reynolds "Writing for Musical Theatre" course. While originally working on a Harry Potter spinoff musical, they decided they wanted to write something entirely their own. They decided to write a story based on themes of motherhood, family, love, and loss.
The Waiting is a fictional story based on a very real place in rural Vermont. Maria's grandfather built a cabin on Castle Hill Road with his bare hands - a place for his family to gather and spend time together (pictured at right). Generations later, Maria's family still returned to the cabin for restorative family time. Not only is this place sentimental to Maria, but the lush flora of rural Vermont provides a unique experience to visitors. There is a tangible magic to the air of this place that suggests the veil between this world and the next is thin - when standing at the steps of the cabin or in the forest nearby, it is easy to feel the energy of the people who have stood on the steps before.
EmmaLee and Maria took a trip to the setting in 2020 - below are more pictures from the cabin in Vermont as well as the forest surrounding the home.
Maria and EmmaLee are committed to making musical theatre that everyone can see themselves in.
In The Waiting, the majority of characters use gender neutral language (as after death, there is no gender binary to uphold), and all the characters in the show are open to any actors of any gender. Maria and EmmaLee are committed to working with gender queer artists to assure that the full spectrum of gender is seen, heard, and represented in their show.
Accessibility in the arts (particularly in musical theatre) is often limited, and Maria and EmmaLee are working to create spaces that are more accessible to everyone. They have utilized close captioning, provided digital scripts to accompany live performances, and will be using an ASL interpreter at their SHENYC performance.
EmmaLee and Maria are also committed to employing creative teams that are at least 50% comprised of BIPOC artists - as two white creators, they innately hold privilege in the artistic workspace, and they are consistently working to decentralize their voices in the rehearsal room and allow for collaboration with artists from varying backgrounds. It takes a village to make musical theatre, and Maria and EmmaLee want to create the most diverse, unique, and powerful village possible.
EmmaLee Kidwell was raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and now resides in Washington Heights. She is a Pace University grad (BFA MT 2021). She made her Off-Broadway debut in Brilliant at Theatre Row and spent 2022 touring the country with the cast of Baby Shark Live! In her free time, she can be found watching Stephen Colbert, spending time with the Impressionists at the Met, and writing her own singer/songwriter album. She is a proud member of ASCAP.
Maria Andreoli was born and raised in Albany, New York with her Big Fat Greek and Italian family. She started writing music at a young age and would put on concerts for anyone who would listen. Her love of music grew as she learned to play flute, guitar, and piano. Some of her biggest songwriting inspirations are Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sara Bareilles. Maria received her degree from Pace University and is a member of ASCAP.