«If I Were You» is an original musical by Cori Anne Laemmel and Laura Matula that follows one year in the life of four young people who do not know each other, but share something in common. They were all born on the same day. The show opens at the birthday celebrations for Phoebe (8), Bailey (12), Noorah (15), and Jonah (18). We watch the four children have similar experiences in their schools, homes and relationships, but see how they experience them completely differently.
Phoebe struggles with anxiety that can make small things in the day feel difficult. Bailey is on the verge of becoming a young woman with recently separated parents and is trying to navigate through what seems to be ceaseless change. Noorah is a Muslim student in a school where she is the minority and is feeling the pressure of her teen years amplified by the feeling of being the sole representation of her culture for most of her friends. Jonah has been home schooled his entire life and is getting ready to start his life away from home and family.
At the end of act one Noorah sings about how we might perceive each other differently if we couldn’t make assumptions based on what we see, and who we might baselessly fear each other when we don’t take the time to get to know one another in the song “I’m not Afraid of the dark”.
Act two opens on the lives and families of our four, Phoebe, Bailey, Jonah and Noorah, but while the stories continue on their trajectory, the actors have switched roles. Each of the leading actors now play each other and we watch an 18-year-old male walk through the life of a 15-year-old female, a young child experience life in the world of a teen on the brink of adulthood. The audience must ask themselves how they empathize differently for each character when they are portrayed by someone new. The show closes with our actors returned to their original roles, at their next birthday, a year further into each of their beautiful life journeys.
The show will feature 70 young actors in two casts between the ages of 6-18.
Performances will take place July 13th-Aug 5th, Thursday-Saturday at 7pm. All performances will take place at The Theater Bug, located at 4809 Gallatin Pike, Nashville in the back building of New Life Baptist Church.
Tickets are $10 online at ticketsnashville.com or $12 at the door.