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Book/Lyrics by EllaRose Chary and Music/Lyrics by Brandon James Gwinn

COTTON CANDY AND COCAINE is an immersive, electropop tour of Tad park's Vegas, a quickly-gentrifying commercial avenue a mile past the Vegas Strip. When an entrepreneur seeks to "revitalize" the neighborhood by cleaning up the streets, we follow a group of buskers, cocktail waitresses, and a 19-year old dressed as Minnie Mouse as they strive to make a life for themselves in other people's vacations.


The show was developed at Ars Nova as part of the 2 year Uncharted residency. It was presented in concert there in 2014 and received a 29-hour reading in 2015. In September 2017, Theatre C produced a workshop of COTTON CANDY AND COCAINE at Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City directed by Producing Artistic Director Carlos Armesto. Most recently, it was featured in NYTB's Choreography Lab with choreography by Breton Tyner-Bryan.

Timely and urgent, Theatre C’s developmental workshop of COTTON CANDY & COCAINE was in a gallery space that ended up being “in the footprint” of Amazon’s Long Island City campus - a plan that was ultimately defeated by working people in the local community - a storyline that mirrors the narrative of the show.

Not In Front of the Kids - sung by Natalie Joy Johnson
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Broke Quintet - sung by Alexa Green, Natalie Joy Johnson and Brandon James Gwinn
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The Next Best Thing - sung by Jennifer Fouche
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Union Dues - sung by Tituss Burgess
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Book by Mark Beau DeSilva, Lyrics by EllaRose Chary, Music by Onn San


With everyone around her tying the knot, ambitiously, single Stephanie just wants to say "I don't." But her mother and meddling aunt have other ideas. As tragedy looms, Stephanie is forced to turn to an old flame to make her mother's "dying" wish come true. Directed by Christopher Ling, and commissioned by penangpac and KLPAC, MARRYING ME is a contemporary Malaysian musical with a traditional musical theatre feel. MARRYING ME premiered in December 2013 to a sold out run in Kuala Lumpur and is a winner of the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards Audience Choice Award. Learn all about the show on the MARRYING ME website.

Ella and Brandon chat with Ars Nova about CC &C in the early days of the project. 

Anne Fraser Thomas sings "Marrying Me"

The cast sings "Sad and Lonely" at NYTB's New Work Series


Book and Lyrics by EllaRose Chary, Music by Sooyeon Lee


Chicago, the 1880s. Abigail sits in a daguerreotypist's studio having her portrait made. As she waits for the image to take, she flashes back to the moments in her life that have brought her here and which explain why this portrait is so important to her. Over the course of her sitting, she develops a relationship with the slightly crazy, well-intentioned daguerreotypist, Nathaniel, and this relationship allows her to hold on to her purpose when her fears begin to catch up with her. A short version of this piece was produced as part of Prospect Theater Company's PORTRAITS in 2013 and an excerpt from the full-length version of the show was featured in Musical Theater Factory's 4 x 15 Series in 2015. 

Jennifer Fouche and Bruce Sabath in the Prospect Theater Production. Photo credit: Dev Bondarin

Part of the Family - sung by Jennifer Fouche
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Bring Me To Life - sung by Bruce Sabath and Jennifer Fouche
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SIDNEY D. CROSIER: An Unfinished Portrait

By EllaRose Chary


CROSSROADS is a 30-minute play about Indiana's path to statehood commissioned by The Corydon Bicentennial Comittee for the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial. Following a diversity of characters including Jonathan Jennings, Polly Strong, William Henry Harrison and Tecumseh, the play highlights key moments in Indiana history that led to Indiana's constitution and helped shape and define the values that it would uphold.


CROSSROADS debuted in June 2016 at Hayswood Theatre in Corydon, Indiana.

By EllaRose Chary


The sun is exploding sometime next week. Summer has left her sort-of boyfriend Seth to maybe be with Jillian, a radical feminist who can't build a fire. How do you navigate something that feels like the end of the world in the face of actual apocalypse? ENDLESS SUMMER is a collection of impulses and outbursts, an experiment in monologues, a series of questions, and a rumination on polar bears.


ENDLESS SUMMER was presented in 2014 as part of the New York Foundation for the Arts' Estuary exhibit for NYFA Fellowship Finalists.



By EllaRose Chary


A contemporary folktale that imagines a marriage between The Lake (Lake Michigan) and The Mill (U.S. Steel) and the impact of their divorce on their only child, The City (Gary, Indiana). Weaving various theatrical styles, THE LAKE AND THE MILL examines the fate of the American rust belt through the lens of a highly theatrical family drama.


This piece, directed by Obie-winner Michael Leibenluft, was featured in the Drama League's Rough Draft Series in September 2016 and at Magic Time at Judson Church in Feburary 2018. It was a Finalist for the Kernodle New Play Award, receiving a special citation from the award committee. In 2019 it was selected for the Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayLab. 


By EllaRose Chary and Kristen SaBerre; Music by Melissa Lusk


PATRIETTES is a new musical comedy television project about a mock state government summer camp program for rising high school senior girls. Those honored with the nomination to attend Junior Patriettes Model State compete for college scholarships by running for office in a high stakes simulated state government experience - singing and cheering required. This satirical hour long comedy featuring original pop songs highlights the most cutthroat kind of politics – high school politics. Our take on this world focuses on what it means for a young woman to give voice to her beliefs.


Kristen, EllaRose and producer Anne Troup of Grover Knows Productions made a short film of the pilot episode that is currently in post-production. Track our progress and learn more about the project on the PATRIETTES website.

Book and Lyrics by EllaRose Chary, Music and Lyrics by Brandon James Gwinn


5 people walk into a bar. They fight, fall in love, and escape the stress of the world around them.


5 people walk into a queer bar. They fight about how to navigate a political landscape that marginalizes them. They fall in love and navigate the complexities of having intimate relationships across social differences. They escape the stress of the world around them through a musical canon that records their history in a coded language.


5 people walk into the same fantasy gay bar 5 times in their mid-adulthood in 5 different time periods - the 1920s, 1950s, 1970s, 1990s, and present day. Each time these 5 people, with their assemblage of identities, walk into this bar, their relationships are affected by the realities of the political climate that surrounds them at that given moment in American history. 


A 5 person chamber musical, QPT was developed in the Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship Program and at the Catwalk Residency.

By EllaRose Chary


Commissioned by the Harrison County Arts! Council and Hayswood Theater, SIDNEY D. CROSIER: AN UNFINISHED PORTRAIT is a play about the life of Harrison County Impressionist artist Sidney D. Crosier. Crosier lived from 1858 - 1930, and might have been considered one of the great Midwestern visual artists if life hadn't gotten in the way. 100 years after his heyday, this is the untold story of a brilliant painter whose work was often overshadowed by his personal demons, and who died in obscurity despite his talent. The play premiered in August 2013.

Joanna Carpenter, Allison Posner, and Monica Diaz in the Tank Production. Photo credit: Laura Brandel.

DECONSTRUCTING LADYNESS: A 10-Minute Feminist Metacomedy on Her Period, But Also Maybe Just Having A Bad Day

By EllaRose Chary


This 10-Minute play was written for the Tank's Rule of 7x7: Lady Edition! in August 2016. Originally directed by Laura Brandel and performed by Joanna Carpenter, Monica Diaz and Allison Posner. It's a comedic, pop-culture filled, feminist rant for 3 voices trying to figure out its lady parts.



Christina Sajous and Jason Veasey sing "Turn Heads"

Alexa Green sings "JM"

"Same Fight" from PATRIETTES was a finalist for the She Knows Media F-Word Competition

Untitled New Hampshire Play 

By EllaRose Chary and Jay Stull, Music by Erato A. Kremmyda

Based on their experience working with The Civilians, EllaRose and Jay are working on a piece of interview-based, investigative theater that explores contemporary social movements and resistance to the current mainstream political framework. Through the lens of a few specific movements, the piece asks broader questions about the possibility for small groups of organized individuals to change the world as their movements succeed, grow and face unexpected challenges.

Developed in The Civilians R&D Group, 2016.  Harvard ArtLab, 2020.

Jason Veasey and Christina Sajous sing "Turn Heads" from QUEER. PEOPLE. TIME. at the 2016 Dramatists Guild Fellows Presentation at Playwrights Horizons.


By EllaRose Chary and Brandon James Gwinn

PATCHWORK is a new 10-minute musical inspired Faith Ringgold's painting "For The Women's House." It centers on a diverse group of women on a busy Harlem street corner witnessing an arrest. It was originally commissioned by Prospect Theater Company for their World Views Lab and debuted at The Times Center as part of the Ignite Series in July 2017. The Lab was featured on Broadwayworld PATCHWORK was then performed by students at Democracy Prep High School in Harlem in early 2018. 

TL;DR: Thelma Louise; Dyke Remix

Book and Lyrics by EllaRose Chary, Music and Lyrics by Brandon James Gwinn

T and L drive their 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible off the edge of the Grand Canyon and into a fantasy-driven, irreverent, queer, rock musical – TL;DR: THELMA LOUISE;DYKE REMIX where strong female characters don’t “always gotta die.” The cast and Kickass Band defy the traditional cis-white-femme-skinny-able-bodied male-gaze-inspired concept of queer women in media with full on Riot Grrl aplomb. T and L attempt to sort out their new identities, how those identities impact their relationships with each other and The Band, and seek out the queer happy ending they’ve always deserved.


TL;DR has been developed in residency at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, it has been workshopped and developed at The Tank, UArts Polyphone Festival, and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat’s Triple R Program. The show is a finalist for the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference and a winner of an Anna Sosenko Trust Grant. It is the winner of the 2021 Richard Rodgers Award and will be featured in the 33rd NAMT Festival of New Musicals. 


Click the  above images to learn about (or listen to!) some new shows that EllaRose has written that have been performed in New York recently - including her off-off-Broadway immersive soundscape play that was part of the Tank's Obie Award winning season and two lobby projects with The Civilians at City Center's Encores! Off-Center. 

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