Call It Courage

Call It Courage

Music, lyrics and book by Adam Overett*

*Based on the Newbery Medal-winning novel Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry. Copyright 1940 by Macmillan Publishing Co., a Division of Macmillan, Inc. Copyright renewed 1968 by Armstrong Sperry. Adapted for the stage by arrangement with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. All rights reserved.

Mafatu, whose name means “Stout Heart,” is the son and heir of the Great Chief of Hikueru, an island of people who worship courage — but ever since his mother drowned when he was a child, he has lived in terror of the sea. At age 15, after enduring the whispered contempt of his people all his life, he can bear the shame no longer. He sets out on the ocean with his dog Uri, resolving to face his most fearsome enemy, Moana the Sea God, and earn the name he was given. When Mafatu and Uri are washed ashore on a strange island, Mafatu’s bravery grows as he risks death for food and shelter. But to fulfill his destiny and become the “Stout Heart” and Great Chief he was meant to be, he will have to cross the sea once more — to return home.

Call It Courage

Swim, and the ocean will carry you!


The Songs

The Boy Who Was Afraid

In their fishing canoe on the ocean, a father begins to tell his son the legend of Mafatu, Stout Heart.

Stout Heart

Alone on the shore, Mafatu looks on as the other islanders his age prepare for their first voyage of the fishing season, wishing he had the courage to join them.

Day By Day

On this strange new island, Mafatu faces down his terror and grabs a spearhead from an abandoned stone altar, and begins to build a home for Uri and himself.


Back on Hikueru, Mafatu's only friend Kana watches the ocean, waiting for him to return.

The Shark

In this moment of dance-theater, Mafatu confronts a dangerous enemy.

Tavana Nui's Prayer

Mafatu's father, the Great Chief Tavana Nui, anguished at the long-ago loss of his wife and now his son, calls out to Moana the Sea God to return Mafatu to him.

Safe With Me

For the first time, Mafatu allows himself to remember that last day with his mother, long ago, when they went out on the ocean together.

Call It Courage

These audio selections and photos are from a youth production of CALL IT COURAGE produced by the Zach Theatre in Austin, TX.

The Songs

Stout Heart

Alone on the shore, Mafatu looks on as the other islanders his age prepare for their first voyage of the fishing season, wishing he had the courage to join them.

Day By Day

On this strange new island, Mafatu faces down his terror and grabs a spearhead from an abandoned stone altar, and begins to build a home for Uri and himself.

Let's Get Out of Here

Mafatu thrives on his new island, despite Uri’s constant nagging at him to take them home—and his reminders of the dangers that the island offers

A review of CALL IT COURAGE, written by Zach Theatre audience member Philip O from Austin, TX:
“Zachary Scott’s talented youth program has delivered one of the best live theater performances I’ve seen in years. Through the hard work of the cast, a wonderful original script, and the talents of director/choreographer Adam Roberts, my wife and I were astonished! The play follows the journey of young Mafatu, the “boy who was afraid.” After losing his mother to the waves as a child, he embarks on a journey to conquer his fears and face his inner demons. This is a “story theater” piece, in the style of The Lion King, where actors embody animals, plants, and nature. The simple set comes alive through dance, song, and movement. With force and energy the young performers bring boars, sharks, trees, rafts, and the ominous ocean to life. We were amazed at the talent, energy, and commitment each actor brought. Often both funny and tragic, the show takes you on an amazing journey in just 90 minutes. A wonderful adventure for kids, and plenty of depth for adults. See it while you can!”

The Double-Threat Trio

The Double-
Threat Trio

Music, lyrics and book by Adam Overett

“THE DOUBLE-THREAT TRIO offers the equivalent of a delectable dessert: it’s sweet, light, and pretty much guaranteed to give you a little dopamine kick.” – The Pittsburgh Tatler

“I was cackling in my seat…you’re guaranteed to love it!” – Pittsburgh in the Round

To make it on Broadway, you have to be a triple-threat — you have to sing, dance AND act. Nina sings, but can’t act to save her life. Kenny dances, but can’t sing a note. And Jamison, a classically trained actor, can barely point his toes. But together…they can be a star! When they team up with legendary theater diva Millicent (a writer / director / producer / choreographer / designer / stage manager), they’re off and running toward the opening night of their dreams.

THE DOUBLE-THREAT TRIO received its world premiere production at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera in February-April 2019.

Directed by Scott Weinstein. Starring (in photos below): J. Alex Noble as Jamison, Drew Leigh Williams as Nina, Jerreme Rodriguez as Kenny, Michelle Duffy as Millicent.

He May Be Blind

Now I see!
I can’t do it all alone,
Now I see! No one’s perfect on their own…

"Oed! The Musical"

The Songs

Actor / Singer / Dancer (Excerpt); Together We're a Star

by Andy Grotelueschen, Ashley Blanchet, Antwayn Hopper | Our heroes meet for the first time, and a plan starts to form.

I Wear Many Hats

by Beth Leavel | Our "double-threat trio" needs just one thing: an actual show they can do. When they find Millicent, a mysterious former producer (they think?) living out retirement in her glamorous townhouse, it looks like they've got it. But there's more ...

Front and Center

by Andy Grotelueschen, Ashley Blanchet, Antwayn Hopper | Our heroes, frustrated by the ensemble project they've committed to, each hunger for fame and fortune -- their own.

Shy Girl

by Antwayn Hopper, Ashley Blanchet, Andy Grotelueschen | Nina, who needs to learn to act in order to say one line in the show, takes a lesson from Jamison, who guides her to use her own past experiences.

Just Dance

by Antwayn Hopper, Ashley Blanchet, Andy Grotelueschen | When Jamison scoffs at Kenny's art form ("It's just dance!"), it catapults Kenny back to memories of his childhood, when he flung himself into his passion for dance in order to escape his scornful mother.

Medley From "OED! The Musical"

by Beth Leavel, Drew Leigh Williams, J. Alex Noble, Jerreme Rodriguez | Millicent presents a live preview of her show -- a musical adaptation of Oedipus Rex.

Demo tracks produced by Pittsburgh CLO (Mark Fleischer, executive producer)
Arrangements and Orchestrations by Frank Galgano & Matt Castle
Musical Direction: Matt Castle
Music Producer: Frank Galgano
Track Mixing: Matthias Winter
Recording Engineers: Daniel Alba, Jake Hanner, MP Kuo, Matthias Winter
Drums: Michael Blancaflor
Bass: George Farmer
Piano: Emily Whitaker
Guitar: Andrew Zinsmeister
Special thanks: Michael Croiter, Olivia O’Connor

"I Wear Many Hats"



Music, lyrics and book by Adam Overett


Yiddish-prone Cardinal Bergenstein

mute, unitard-wearing Cardinal Fouette

trollish tyrant Cardinalissimo Francisco Franco

unflappable, non-Asian-looking Cardinal Hu-Jin Chao

eager, boyish Cardinal McCafferty

foul-mouthed Jersey skank Cardinal Robin

oversexed Southern belle Cardinal St. Louis

shy Aussie Cardinal Wallaby

The Pope is dead. The Cardinals gather in the Sistine Chapel, where they will compete in a series of grueling “Papal Challenges” to choose the new Pope. For whom will the white smoke rise?

No one has ever seen what happens in the papal conclave…until now. The backbiting. The forbidden love. The sacrilege. The song-and-dance.

Cardinals Gallery

But I am human,
and this I can do:
For now and always,
I can love.

Parker & JT

The Songs


News of the Pope’s death spreads around the world.

This Pope

Cardinalissimo Franco explains the rules of the papal competition.

Love M'Jaysus

St. Louis preaches the gospel about her beloved Son of God.

I Love You Always

McCafferty tries to figure out what it means to love as Jesus did.

Look at That Pope!

Robin reveals the real reason she seeks the papacy.

Don't Cast Me Out

A grief-stricken McCafferty, struggling with his faith and terrified for his soul, prays to God.

My Life is A Musical

My Life is
a Musical

Music, lyrics and book by Adam Overett


The New York Times

Parker is a shy accountant with a big secret: his life is a musical. While everyone else lives their normal lives, he sees them bursting into song and dance numbers, accompanied by an invisible orchestra. His worst fears are realized when his boss sends him on the road as a tour manager for a singer-songwriter named Zach—what if his bizarre condition is discovered?

Instead, on the sly, Parker gives Zach the tunes from his own musical life…the tunes become hits, and Zach becomes a national sensation. J.T., Zach’s manager, is entranced by Zach’s newfound artistry and she starts to fall for him…while Parker finds himself falling for J.T. As the tour arrives on a national stage, Parker must choose whether to keep his secret, or the love of his life.

Zach's Rise

My life is a musical … and you are the best song in the score.

The Songs

My Life Is a Musical

Parker wakes up to a normal day in his life.

Someone Else’s Song

After a string of abysmal concerts, Parker wants to shut down Zach’s tour, but J.T. refuses to give up.

End of the Road

Parker and J.T. go to a karaoke bar, where Parker picks a song at random for J.T. to sing.

Am I Crazy?

Zach sings in concert while J.T. watches, transfixed, not knowing the song came out of Parker’s feelings for her.

What Have You Got to Hide?

The band’s sudden rise in popularity has attracted the attention of nosy music journalist Randy.

Sing To Me

J.T. has just confided to Parker that she’s beginning to fall for Zach. Alone on the street at night, Parker takes this in.

Parker & JT