The NIST Elementary Music Department production Lost in Space, first staged at the school in 2015, will soon be available worldwide through school musical publisher Maverick Musicals. Under the new name The Black Hole, it will be the second original NIST show to be published after Creepytown, which has already been performed some 30 times in schools and community theatres around the world. Yet these shows only represent three of the stunning productions that have emerged from some of NIST’s creative minds.
In 2008 two NIST music teachers, Mark Bourgeois and Craig Chambers, set out to write an original musical with enough speaking parts to cater to the enormous interest in musical theatre from their students. Under the name Mad Musicals, they set about writing their first original show, The Time Traveling Tuk Tuk. After the sell-out success and popularity of the show, they began writing a new, original music production each year to accommodate the hundreds of students eager to sign up to participate.
Creepytown, Supernova and Lost In Space soon followed, as well as a production geared toward younger elementary students: Dust & Dreams. After the breakthrough publishing of Creepytown in 2015, Elementals, Rocktopus and Droidz soon followed, expanding the catalogue to eight original shows that were all written, recorded and staged at NIST. To produce these in-house, all music, captured from the music and singing of NIST teachers and students, is recorded in the NIST Marley Recording Studio, and are mixed by the school’s sound engineer, Khun Surasak.
The journey in taking a show from NIST and publishing it to a wider audience is a long and arduous process, with the show being scrutinized by a panel of eight experts, as well as being scored by a 20-piece live band. Once the script, score and band parts have been approved by the panel, the show is then sent to a formatter to ready it for publishing. With two of the Mad Musicals shows now reaching this stage, communities around the world are experiencing the magic and creativity that is produced at NIST each October. Even more impressively, the shows are predominantly performed by high school students and adults, demonstrating how Mad Musicals has pushed the boundaries of what is possible with elementary theatre here at NIST.
About Lost in Space