When you take multiple passions and talents, combine them together with selfless hearts, lives are going to change! Bold, The Musical premiering at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, is being produced by The Unity Players. Bold is an original musical based on real-life stories of courageous women and their paths to becoming extraordinary war heroes. The book, music, and lyrics are written by Tristan Bishop.
Who Are The Unity Players?
The Unity Players are a Florida-based 501(c)3 corporation that channels the power of the arts to help those in need. The organization was founded in 2017 by Tristan and Kierstyn Bishop.
In recent years, Kierstyn has become involved mentoring and supporting several foster group homes in the Central Florida area. This sparked the idea for Tristan to leverage his background in the arts to raise funds for the work Kierstyn was doing in the foster homes. So Unity Players Inc. was born.
Their first production, Annie, was performed alongside the Premiere Youth Theatre, in May 2018. All three of our girls were part of this production. They played the Boylan Sisters, among other various parts. The entire cast and crew was made up of volunteers who shared their time and talent in support of The Unity Player’s mission.
The show sold 99% of the available tickets. As a result, The Unity Players were able to donate thousands of dollars. This enabled the recipient foundation to fund mentoring activities for the foster children for the entire 2018-2019 school year. The event was such a success, they decided it was something they should do every year.
Meet The Author
Before The Bishops began a family, Tristan earned a living as a professional songwriter. Also, he is actively involved in theatre productions around the Orlando area.
We are blessed to have met The Bishop Family when all our girls were part of Music Man at Icehouse Theatre in Mt Dora the summer of 2017.
Jo and Anna caught him in Shrek the Musical with his youngest daughter Natalie, as young Fiona.
He always planned to write full length musical, and now the time was finally right. He went to work and wrote Bold in the fall of 2018.
How Bold Came To Be
Tristan decided to fill the need for musicals available that had more than three female principal roles. With far more women seeking to participate in student and amateur theatre companies, he found the choices to be lacking.
Tristan set out to educate himself on moments in history where women were called, by choice or circumstance, beyond the cultural expectations of their times, into bold new responsibilities. Moved by the women of the Special Operations Executive, a British secret organization which placed spies behind enemy lines in occupied France, he had found his story. After reading biographies of these women, he was personally inspired and wanted to let others know what had been done on our behalf.
Lastly, the topic of WW2 is of personal interest to Tristan. Being that his late father was Jewish, of Russian descent. All four of his grandparents were born in Russia. He has been told that, historically, they were “The Bichovsky (ביצ’ובסקי) Family”, until the day an Ellis island worker renamed them “The Bishop Family.”
Furthermore, his mother is of German and British descent. Her maiden name was Rothfuss. Proud that both of his grandfathers served in WW2 in the US Navy, and helped to overthrow the Axis, they both spoke of it to him as a child.
It’s tough for him to escape the awareness that, had his ancestors not left Europe, his German grandfather could easily have been ordered to end the lives of his Jewish grandparents.
With many other motivations, in deeper ways, he also doesn’t want to spoil the plot. So … he’ll wait until after you’ve seen the musical to share the rest.
The Story of Bold, The Musical
Orders came directly from Winston Churchill proclaiming, “Set Europe ablaze!” And so, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was born. This clandestine organization recruited men and women to fight alongside resistance movements behind enemy lines. The women of the SOE seized their moment in the heat of World War II to fight for freedom, and they proved to be especially effective at avoiding detection by the Nazis. The SOE leadership understood the fact that a woman was every bit bold as a man. The organization was instrumental in the success of D-Day and, ultimately, the end of the war. Winston Churchill credited the secret organization with shortening the war by 6 months.
The score features soaring pop melodies, strong hip-hop beats and time-honored musical theatre styles. Each principal character brings a contrasting style to the story while emphasizing unity and equality. The story follows the Dubois, a Jewish family, from Nantes Saint-Nazaire, France. The family personifies the immense cost of the war. Through rapped storytelling and powerful fight choreography we are introduced to the devastation of the times. Families are torn apart, and people are forced to flee their homes. And somehow hope remains through it all.
When France is liberated, and the war ends it seems a question remains unanswered: What have we learned?
Dates: August 8-11, 2019
Run Time: 120 minutes | Tickets
This production is a charity benefit for Central Florida foster group homes. A majority of net proceeds will be donated to iPrevail, to support the Friends of Foster Homes program. The production features a cast of theatre veterans who have volunteered their talents in the cast, crew, and creative team. Bold is directed by Siobhan Gale and features choreography by Iris Johnson and Sally Mementowski.