The Bell Witch
A Supernatural Musical
Bell_Witch_BandCamp

Book & Lyrics by Tom Jacobson
Music By Deborah Wicks La Puma

Synopsis

Act One:  When Betsy hears mysterious noises in her room at night, her father John tries to comfort her, but the noises materialize as a spirit they can’t see, a Witch who torments Betsy.  John forces Betsy, her mother Lucy, and her brother John Jr to keep the frightening manifestations secret.  Betsy seeks help from a young man, Joshua, but the Witch gets stronger, and she develops a voice, condemning Betsy and the family at secret meeting of the abolitionist society.  The family tries to pray the spirit away, but the Witch gathers four new spirits poised to attack the other family members.

Act Two:  The invisible spirits take over the household, now tormenting John for hurting Betsy.  Betsy tries to thwart the Witch by running away with Joshua, and Lucy gets a witch ball from a neighbor, Kate, but nothing stops the spirits from torturing John.  Finally Betsy tells the family that the spirits came because John’s nighttime games in her bedroom had gone too far, and the spirits kill John.  Betsy both loved and hated her father—and is shocked to learn that she is the Witch.  At her father’s funeral, Betsy gains control over the Witch by forgiving herself, and the Witch disappears.

History

The Bell Witch was commissioned by The Theatre at Boston Court, Pasadena, CA, and received an initial reading in October 2012 under the direction of Ken Sawyer. It is currently in development.

Musical Numbers

Act I

1. SAFE - Betsy, John

2. NEVER LET HIM KNOW - Lucy, Betsy

3. THE WIND BLEW UP - Betsy

4. THE QUADROON QUADRILLE - John Jr., Betsy
4. THE QUADROON QUADRILLE - John Jr., Betsy

5. JUST ONE WORD - John, Lucy, Betsy, John Jr.
5. JUST ONE WORD - John, Lucy, Betsy, John Jr.

6. YOU CAN'T RULE ME - The Witch

7. THE WIND BLEW UP REPRISE - The Witch

8. A FARM OUT WEST - Betsy, Joshua

9. THE POWER OF PRAYER - All

10. FURY - All
10. FURY - All

Act II

11. DRINK THAT MOONSHINE - The Witch, Cypocryphy, Jerusalem, Mathematics, Black Dog
11. DRINK THAT MOONSHINE - The Witch, Cypocryphy, Jerusalem, Mathematics, Black Dog

12. TORMENTS OF THE DAMNED - All

13. OLD WIVES TALES - Kate Batts
13. OLD WIVES TALES - Kate Batts

14. FORGIVE - Lucy, John

15. JUST ONE WORD REPRISE - The Witch, Cypocryphy, Jerusalem, Mathematics, Black Dog

16. WHAT I GOT HERE/SAFE REPRISE - Betsy, John, the Witch

17. BURIAL/NOT FORGOTTEN - All
17. BURIAL/NOT FORGOTTEN - All

18. THE WIND BLEW UP FINALE - All

 

Buy the demo from Bandcamp.
Featuring Melody Butiu (Witch)Gina D’Acciaro (Lucy), Sydney Endicott (Betsy),  Scott Graff (John), Derek Manson (John Jr.), and Alex Miller (Joshua)

Production Elements

Cast: 4 women, 6 men

Female
BETSY BELL, 16, a pretty country girl
LUCY BELL, 30s-40s, BETSY’S mother
WITCH, a spirit.   Also plays: KATE BATTS, a neighbor
OLIVE JOHNSTON, JAMES’ wife.   Also plays: CYPOCRYPHY, a spirit

Male
JOHN BELL, 40s-50s, a farmer, BETSY’S father
JOHN BELL, JR, early 20s, BETSY’S brother
JOSHUA GARDNER, 17, a neighbor boy
JAMES JOHNSTON, a neighboring farmer.  Also plays: BLACK DOG, a spirit
CALVIN JOHNSTON, JAMES’ younger brother.  Also plays: JERUSALEM, a spirit
REVEREND SUGG FORT, a young Baptist minister.   Also plays: MATHEMATICS, a spirit

Music: Folk/Bluegrass, scored for Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo/Mandolin and String Bass
Musical Difficulty: Intermediate
Technical Requirements: Minimal set, some special effects suggested
Suggested Audience: Adults

Authors

DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (music) – see her bio page

Purchase

Buy the demo from Bandcamp.
Featuring Melody Butiu (Witch)Gina D’Acciaro (Lucy), Sydney Endicott (Betsy),  Scott Graff (John), Derek Manson (John Jr.), and Alex Miller (Joshua)

 

Vocal Work Out! CD

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