0 4 min 5 mths

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces the full cast and creative team for the upcoming D.C. premiere of The Girl Who Became Legend, a co-commissioned and co-produced production with Austin-based ZACH Theatre. A modern-day feminist folktale adventure centered around bringing rain to the drought-stricken town of Dustbin, this new musical features direction by Liz Fisher, script and lyrics by Sarah Saltwick with music and additional lyrics by Helyn Rain Messenger, Amber Quick, and Paul Sanchez.

The town of Dustbin is known for two things: rules and dust, the kind you get when it doesn’t rain for years and years. One day, Raina spies a cloud in the sky—but no one believes her. Determined, the young girl embarks on a great adventure filled with outlaws, folk heroes, and a thunderstorm to bring the cloud back home.

First workshopped at ZACH in 2022—and given its world premiere in the fall of 2023—this heartwarming tale about big dreams, tough gals, and the power of kindness includes Blakeny Mahlstedt (Raina), Amber Quick (Calamity Jane), Paul Sanchez (Rip Van Winkle), Helyn Rain Messenger (Paul Bunyan), Jeremy Rashad Brown (Johnny Appleseed), and Nathan Daniel Ford (Musician/Ensemble).

“The Girl Who Became Legend embraces many of my favorite things in theater—live music and transforming objects. Both are well loved in Austin and so I’m thrilled to bring that creative flavor to D.C.” said playwright and lyricist Sarah Saltwick. “One of the first things audiences will see when they enter the space are piles on stage—and all kinds of things will come out of those piles. The play is full of things that might feel almost impossible to stage from chasing a cloud, the appearance of a giant, to the loneliness at the bottom of a well. Staging those moments was full of surprise and joy. I hope audiences will be inspired by this tall tale and Raina and her fierceness and imagination, and I hope they’ll be inspired by the way the story moves and sounds too. I hope it will encourage creative play of all kinds and for audiences of all ages to dream about what might just be possible after all.”

The full creative team includes costume design by Aaron Flynn; scenic and properties design by Lisa Laratta; lighting design by Rachel Atkinson; and sound design by Kellie Baldwin. Harriet Butler is the stage manager.

Tickets for the production are currently on sale via the Kennedy Center website, at the box office, or by calling 202-467-4600.

Following the performance on Saturday, February 3 at 1:30 p.m., patrons are invited to stay for a creative conversation where young audience members can ask questions and hear stories from the show’s artists and creative team. The Sunday, February 11, 1:30 p.m. performance is a sensory-friendly performance designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to all families, including those with children with autism or other sensory sensitivities. 

About The Author