Welcome to the website for The Creek - "When a sexual abuse mentor’s career path is disturbed by a troubled abuse victim, she will have to dive deep into her past to discover whether healing cycles of abuse is truly her calling in life." Below you'll find a synopsis, demo tracks, cast requirements, run time, script and score samples, as well as video of a few songs presented at a showcase, and some snippets from when The Creek was selected
for Festival 56's 2019 "New Works Reading."
"I applaud Rick for tackling such a complicated subject in "The Creek." The music
is engaging and universal and compliments the text. The subtle stylized approach
through the use of masks creates another layer of creativity. This play works!"
-Margo Hall, Dramaturg, UC Berkeley Dept. of Theater
Cast: 5 or more actors (3 F and 2 M) split 17 speaking roles - Performance Time: Approximately 118 minutes.
SYNOPSIS - Nia is a sexual abuse survivor attending graduate school to become a therapist, when her own therapist assigns her mentorship over 16-year-old Nikki and 17-year-old Remy. Mentorship goes well with Nikki, but Remy presents several challenges: he shrugs off, or walls off, his abuse as something he’s in full control of; he questions Nia’s motives for becoming a therapist; he attempts to get her to try drugs, including MDMA (ecstasy), as he’s read it’s an effective treatment for PTSD related to abuse; he finds Nia’s estranged abusive stepfather on social media, among other manipulative and inconsiderate behavior.
When Remy gets Nia and Nikki to hang out with him at his favorite club, we learn about his entanglement with the club owner, who is dealing him drugs for sexual favors. Later, Nia’s attempts to get through to Remy about his abuse and his behavior are interrupted when he makes a pass at her. Then, for reasons stemming both from Remy’s antics and her own search for healing and self-mastery, Nia decides to contact her stepfather. But her designs on confrontation and closure are waylaid by the fact that he has had a stroke, and is now under the care of his possibly homicidal wife.
Nia is again interrupted when she gets word that there’s been an altercation between Remy and the club owner, and that Remy lost control and pushed Nikki into a wall. Nia then returns to explore how a truly complete healing of their experiences with abuse might be possible, for any of them.
The Creek - Demo Tracks
Writer Favorites: 03, 07, 10, 12, 17, 19
“My collaboration with Rick throughout this process was a wonderful and fruitful experience thanks to Rick’s openness to feedback and willingness to develop his work. Rick’s musical includes controversial topics such as sexual assault and drug abuse, and depicts them in a contemporary and honest way. Musicals exploring these topics have a great potential to grow from a workshop, and I am thrilled with how The Creek developed in rehearsals and rewrites. Rick utilized the artists and resources provided to make astonishing improvements over a very short period of time. He was a model of collaboration and openness, listening eagerly to the reactions and impressions of every artist to ensure that his work was as impactful as possible without being triggering or disrespectful to any audience members who may have experienced trauma in their own lives. Cast members overwhelmingly felt that the revisions provide a better example of truthful behavior in compromising situations, while also holding people accountable for inappropriate behavior. The Creek’s score was also a strength, edgy with a youthful, ‘90s alternative rock vibe. Catchy songs playfully capture one character’s chill yet charming demeanor, while intense ballads demonstrate another’s ferocity and drive. I am eager to hear more of what Rick has to offer as a musical theatre composer.”
-Tommy Iafrate, Festival 56 Director