Music by JACOB YANDURA
Lyrics by REBEKAH GREER MELOCIK
Book by HARRISON DAVID RIVERS
Set in 1937 rural Virginia, THE LAST QUEEN OF CANAAN follows Cora Skye, a ninety-two year old former slave, who by sheer force of will and unwavering resolve has “carved out a kingdom” for her family —three acres of land where she can ensure their well-being. Family members who leave the protective safety of Cora’s “kingdom” are punished with physical death and return to the land as laborers — caught between Heaven and Hell.
THE LAST QUEEN OF CANAAN is the story of a family at a crossroads. It is the story of a young black woman (Ginny) who yearns to see the world. It is the story of a young white woman (Kay) searching for her identity in a world she does not understand. And a woman at the end of her life (Cora) who will do anything to protect the one's she loves —even enslave them.
The musical is about family. Transformation. And forgiveness.
THE LAST QUEEN OF CANAAN tracks Cora's journey toward understanding that if you love something you have to let it go.
CHARACTERS (5W / 3M)
Woman 1: CORA SKYE, a formidable landowner and former slave, black, 92
Woman 2: VIRGINIA ‘GINNY’ SKYE, CORA’S very bright granddaughter, black, 22
Woman 3: KAY MCKENNA, an eager WPA writer and rabble-rouser, white, 22
Woman 4: JESSIE, a spirit, black, any age
Woman 5: AUNTIE BOO, a spirit, black, any age
Man 1: BENJAMIN SKYE, the spirit of CORA’S grandson, black, 24
Man 2: ISOM, a spirit, black, any age
Man 3: ELLISON KEITH, GINNY and BENJAMIN’S friend, black, 25
IDEAL BAND SIZE: 3-5+ [configuration flexible]
Reading, NAMT Festival of New Musicals, New York City, 2015: dir. Peter Rothstein
Workshop, Theatre Latté Da, Minneapolis, 2015: dir. Peter Rothstein
Workshop, Northern Stage, White River Junction, 2014: dir. Lillian King
Workshop, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, New Haven, 2012: dir. Mark Brokaw