Ep. 21: Talking ‘Gay Card’ with Jonathan Keebler and Ryan Korell

Ep. 21: Talking ‘Gay Card’ with Jonathan Keebler and Ryan Korell

00:00 / 00:22:37

The new musical GAY CARD is making its World Premiere at North Raleigh Arts Creative Theatre (NRACT) next month. On this episode, I chat with the show’s creators, Ryan Korell and Jonathan Keebler, who say:

“We created the piece as a love letter to so many things we adore: early ‘00s coming-of-age stories, late ‘90s boy bands, emotional belting, unlikely romances, and tales of lasting friendship, to name a few. But more than anything else, we created a musical we wish we had had as teenagers. It’s not about coming out of the closet; we’ve heard that story so many times. It’s about an average gay guy who lives in a very tolerant world, yet still goes through all the hell everybody does when growing up. After all, coming of age is not just about coming out.” [From the Digital Insert of the Original Studio Cast Recording]

Read Lauren Van Hemert’s review of the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre production of the world premiere of GAY CARD.

About the Guests

Ryan Korell and Jonathan Keebler talk about the world premiere of GAY CARD at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre

RYAN KORELL is a musical theatre composer based in New York City. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, he ventured first to Nashville to earn his bachelor’s degree in music composition at Vanderbilt University, and then to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for his master’s degree in musical theatre writing. To further his education, Ryan worked on Broadway as a copyist and music assistant for Jason Robert Brown on projects including THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY and THE LAST FIVE YEARS film. Also an alumnus of the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, Ryan was honored as a Finalist for the Jonathan Larson Grants. His music has been featured at Feinstein’s/54 Below, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and on the radio, receiving high rankings on the US AC chart. He is a proud member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. ​Ryan’s musicals include GAY CARD (NYU, Agile Formations, Piccolo Spoleto Festival), THE DAWN OF EDEN (Johnny Mercer), GROUNDED (Vanderbilt), and WORLDS APART (UCI NY Satellite Program). For more information visit: https://ryankorell.com/.

JONATHAN KEEBLER is a lyricist and book writer originally from Delray Beach, Florida, who now resides in New York City. He has an MFA in musical theatre writing from NYU Tisch and a BA in theatre arts with concentrations in directing and performance from Rollins College. Jonathan first started writing book and lyrics for musicals in college when he and Jamie Lee Jacobs wrote THE SOPHOMORES which premiered at Rollins College in 2011. Two years later, Jonathan began collaborating on two new musicals at NYU Tisch: THE GOOD CHILD, with music and Korean lyrics by Insoo Oh, and GAY CARD with music by Ryan Korell. GAY CARD was developed further as part of Agile FORMations and will receive its premiere production at the College of Charleston in April 2016 and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in May 2016. Ryan and Jonathan continue to develop new pieces, including THE DAWN OF EDEN, which they worked on as part of the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. Jonathan is also developing a new show, TRUTH OR LIE, with music by Bob Kelly which is being produced by Hajjar Entertainment and received its first reading in April 2016. Jonathan has worked on a number of short musical projects. One, A MOST AVERAGE MUSICAL, was a movie musical with lyrics by Jonathan, music by Bob, and screenplay and direction by Talia Berger. A stage adaptation of it was presented at Sound Bites 4.0. Another, WORLDS APART, written with Ryan, was a fifteen-minute piece created for and presented as part of the University of California Irvine’s 4@15 program. Jonathan was a finalist with Ryan for the 2016 Jonathan Larson Grant. For more information visit: ​http://www.jonathankeebler.com/.


Prologue, What It Feels Like to Belong, and Starting Now, music by Ryan Korell, lyrics by Jonathan Keebler, performed by Sean Doherty, from the studio cast recording of the musical GAY CARD used courtesy of Ryan Korell and Jonathan Keebler.

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