Book & Lyrics by Karen Zacarías
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
The year: 1972. The place: Pittsburgh, where legendary baseball player Roberto Clemente is at the top of his game. Sam Kowalski and the neighborhood baseball-playing kids are in an intense competition to win the chance to meet Clemente in person. But it is their hero’s fateful off-field actions while aiding natural disaster victims in Nicaragua that teach the kids what is more important than winning.
Writer Karen Zacarías and composer Deborah Wicks La Puma turn a funny, crackerjack tale about baseball-obsessed kids into a terrific new children’s musical.” – Celia Wren, Washington Post
Looking for Roberto Clemente was commissioned by Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD, and premiered there in 2008 under the direction of Kate Bryer. It received the DC Theatre Scene Award for Best Family Show of the Year.
Looking for Roberto Clemente is published by the Dramatic Publishing Company.
With its shimmering chord changes regularly ceding to cheerfully thumping pop-tinged-showtune sounds, La Puma’s music seems to mirror the thematic tug-of-war between idealism and ambition. In her book and lyrics, Zacarías draws her lesson so delicately, and girds it with so much wit and characterization, that the show never feels schoolmarmish — it’s purely exuberant.” – Celia Wren, Washington Post
1. OPENING POEM – All
2. PITS IN PITTSBURGH – Kids
3. HOMERUN, GRANDSLAM PROMISE – Sam, Charlie, Peter
4. WINNING IS BALL – Joe, Kids
5. BASEBALL FUNK – Kids
6. DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH – Clemente, Sam
7. FINAL POEM – All
This world-premiere children’s musical features a buoyant rock score that harkens back to the days of the Jackson Five and 1970s supergroups with tuneful lessons that delve into the nature of heroism. Baseball lovers will find this show irresistible, and the music and engaging and effervescent performances will captivate even the sports-shy.” – Washington Times
Cast: 1 Woman, 5 Men
CHARLIE GUNSTON – An 11 year-old tomboy and excellent hitter. Sam’s best friend forever. (Alto belt)
SAM KOWALSKI – An 11 year-old dreamer with confidence problems. A fervent Clemente fan. A hopeful pitcher. (Baritone/Tenor)
PETER – An 11 year-old lover of sports statistics and baseball cards. Not a natural athlete. Sam’s other best friend. (High Tenor)
CAPTAIN JOE – The super-cool 11 year-old captain of the Barracuda little league team. (Rock Tenor)
NOAH – Joe’s right hand guy. A natural athlete and Barracuda teammate. Tommy’s younger brother. (Baritone)
TOMMY – A 12 year-old with special needs. Lives in his own world. The Barracuda’s bat boy who really wants to play ball. (Non-singing)
ROBERTO CLEMENTE – Charismatic athlete at the pinnacle of his career. (Baritone)
Music: 70’s-flavored Rock score for Piano, Keyboard, Bass, Drums, and optional Guitar. Accompaniment tracks available.
Musical Difficulty: Moderate
Technical Requirements: Minimal
Suggested Audience: Young Audiences/Families
Writer Karen Zacarias has done an excellent job in creating a simple but touching script…Composer Deborah Wicks La Puma creates a fun rock score that complements the simple story. Universal themes such as love of sports, friendship, hero worship and coping with tragedy make this show appealing to everyone.” – Ted Ying, DC Theatre Scene
KAREN ZACARIAS (Book & Lyrics) world premiere adult plays include Mariela in the Desert (Repertorio Espanol), How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Round House Theatre), and Legacy Of Light and The Book Club Play (Arena Stage) directed by Molly Smith.
Karen is the winner of the 2006 Francesca Primus Award for her play, Mariela in the Desert (World Premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago). Mariela is also the winner the 2005 TCG/AT&T First Stages Award, the 2004 National Latino Playwrights’ Competition, finalist for the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. Her play The Book Club Play was part of the O’Neill Playwrights Conference in 2007. Her play, The Sins of Sor Juana won Outstanding New Play at the 2000 Helen Hayes Awards and has been produced throughout the country. Karen is a core member of the Playwrights’ Center.
Her musical plays for young people with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma have enjoyed productions at The Goodman Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, The Coterie, Chicago PlayWorks, Nashville Children’s Theater, The Alliance Theatre, Imagination Stage, Arden Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Honolulu Theater for Youth, St. Louis Rep and more.
Karen Zacarías is the founding artistic director of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning non-profit dedicated to enhancing literacy, arts empowerment and conflict resolution through playwriting in Washington, DC area schools. She lives in DC with her husband Rett, and children Nico, Kati, and Maia. www.karenzacarias.com
DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (Music) – see her bio page
To hear a full demo of Looking for Roberto Clemente contact us directly via our contact page.