December 5, 2018

Area Stage Company, known for its critically acclaimed, reimagined Mainstage productions of Broadway classics, as well as its professional-level youth Conservatory, will present The Ballad of Janis Matthews and the Dodo Scouts, a world premiere musical written, directed, and designed by ASC’s own Giancarlo Rodaz, with music by Rachel Dean.

This folk rock, coming-of-age musical story follows Janis Matthews, a young girl living in 1960’s Colorado. During the course of a summer, she is set on a rollicking journey through an increasingly divided America, which will decide the fate of her little Rocky Mountain town. An exciting adventure for all ages, Janis Matthews delves into the cultural revolution of the 60’s and shines new light on its consequences for our families and children.

This production marks the third workshop of Janis Matthews in two years. The first also took place at Area Stage, with the second taken on by the Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, New Jersey in 2016. Librettist Giancarlo Rodaz, who currently serves as Area Stage’s Associate Artistic Director, has continued developing the book throughout the show’s iterations. Likewise, composer Rachel Dean has enhanced her score, taking inspiration from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, and other artists of the time.

Following the immense success, and critical acclaim, of his directorial efforts on Shrek the Musical and She Kills Monsters earlier this year, the young visionary Giancarlo Rodaz is fast becoming one of South Florida’s most original and prolific theatrical forces. He has previously presented original works at Area Stage Company, MicroTheater Miami, and with his own company Wild Theatre. Florida Theatre On Stage has lauded his work as “imaginative” and “delightful.” The Miami Herald raved, “Rodaz ... creates a magically playful world.” 

Similarly, Rachel Dean has made quite the splash in the New York City theatre community. A graduate of NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Dean currently serves as rehearsal pianist for Broadway’s Hamilton. Her work has been performed in New York, Miami, Ohio, Phoenix, and New Jersey, and she is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Max Dreyfus Award, created to identify up-and-coming talent and encourage the study of musical theatre as an art form.

A talented cast of 12 young artists will tell Janis’ story, including several ASC conservatory students. Three of the cast will pull double duty, serving as the onstage band.


Janis Matthews will runs from December 7th to the 16th with shows at 7:30 PM on Fridays, 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM on Saturdays, and 5:00 PM on Sundays. Buy your tickets HERE!

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