Bold The Musical: Women of World War II

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Bold, The Musical made it’s premiere at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida. Produced by The Unity Players, Bold is an original musical based on real-life stories of courageous women of war. The book, music, and lyrics are written by Orlando native, Tristan Bishop. And now, you can either request licensing, or watch the premiere on Youtube. (See Below)

Who Are The Unity Players?

The Unity Players is 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. 

Man with eye mask in suit, man with ventriloquist doll, and three young ladies in lacey dresses.

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. All shared their time and talent in support of The Unity Player’s mission. 

The show sold 99% of available tickets. Therefore, The Unity Players were able to donate thousands of dollars to help Central Florida children. The recipient foundation was able to fund mentoring activities for the entire 2018-2019 school year. Since the event was such a success, they decided  it was something they should do every year. 

Meet The Author of Bold The Musical

Before The Bishops  began a family, Tristan earned a living as a professional songwriter. Also, he is actively involved in theatre productions around Central Florida.

In recent years, Kierstyn had become involved mentoring, and supporting several foster group homes in Central Florida. This sparked the idea for Tristan to leverage his background in the arts, to raise funds for the work Kierstyn was doing. Therefore, Unity Players Inc. was born.  

Music Man at Icehouse Theatre
Photo Credit: Matt Weber Photography

We are blessed to have met The Bishop Family in summer of 2017. All our girls were part of Music Man at Icehouse Theatre in Mt Dora with Tristan and his daughter, Natalie.

Shrek the Musical in Winter Park Florida

Josephine and Anna caught Tristan and Natalie in Shrek the Musical, down in Winter Park.

Tristan always planned to write full length musical, and now the time was finally right. He went to work, and wrote Bold in fall of 2018.

How Bold The Musical Came To Be

Tristan decided to fill the need for musicals available with more than three female principal roles. With far more women seeking to participate in student, and amateur theatre companies, he was looking to fill the lack of choices.

The real women of SOE

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. He was moved by the women of the Special Operations Executive. SOE was a British secret organization that placed spies behind enemy lines in occupied France. Tristan had found his story. After reading biographies of these women, he was personally inspired, and wanted others to 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.”  

Photo Credit: Silas Barr

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.   

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.

Bold the Musical Premiere cast

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?

Run Time: 120 minutes

This production was a charity benefit for Central Florida foster group homes. A majority of net proceeds were donated to iPrevail, to support the Friends of Foster Homes program. The premiere production features a cast of theatre veterans who have volunteered their talents in the cast, crew, and creative team. Bold was directed by Siobhan Gale, and features choreography by Iris Johnson and Sally Mementowski.

Act One

Act Two

Pin image for Bold the Musical
Photo Credit: Silas Barr

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6 thoughts on “Bold The Musical: Women of World War II

  • July 17, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I can’t believe I still haven’t been to the Dr. Phillips’ Center! I keep on hearing so much about it!!!

    • July 26, 2019 at 9:28 am

      It is beautiful inside! And the shows we’ve seen there have been amazing!!

  • July 17, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Your post was so interesting to me! I love that this production was set to help others. I love the theater, plays, & musicals especially because our youngest son loves to be in them at school.

    • July 26, 2019 at 9:30 am

      Thank you!! I was hooked on theatre from seeing my first show, “My Fair Lady” when I was in middle school. I love that my girls are performers too!

  • July 18, 2019 at 8:18 am

    This is really interesting! Love reading about the writer (and family) as well as the musical! Love that he’s filling the need for more women lead parts 🙂

    • July 26, 2019 at 9:31 am

      They are such a wonderful family. I cannot wait to see it!!

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