Second Chance – a song from the MotherDaughterMusical

Welcome, may we suggest …

FIRST … play the clip (above)
“My Daughter is Worth It” – an excerpt from the documentary film we made.

THEN …  listen to the music,  (below)
“Second Chance” – a proof-of-concept demo song, to show of how a documentary scene translates into a theatrical song.

“Second Chance”
Singer:  Jennifer Boesing, lead; Lee Chisholm background

(Slow to load, then wait as song begins after 2 seconds of silence … please be patient.)

Note:  This is one of five proof-of-concept songs commissioned to test this whole idea.  Please listen as intended:  a work-in-progress demo.   Nothing is set … stay tuned.


Read on:

MotherDaughterMusical is a musical for the stage on the theme of the mother-daughter relationship – that diverse, universal, and profound human bond that is at the core of who we are as human beings.   The musical is inspired by our documentary film The Story of Mothers and Daughters and by our in-depth, one hour interviews with over 400 women and girls.

MotherDaughterMusical is like Chorus Line meets Vagina Monologues, an entertaining but truthful and painful exploration of the theme of mothers and daughters in the style of a sung-through documentary concept musical

  • Sungthroughmeaning all song and almost no dialogue.  Like an opera, but without the operatics.
  • Concept musical Like Cats and Chorus Line, the concept musical is built around a central theme, using diverse characters and scenes to develop that theme and bring it to life.  In comparison, the “story musical” is all about by narrative plot; using sustaining characters whose trials and tribulations reveal the narrative line.
  • Documentary theater – meaning a play drawn from the real world rather than from a playwrights imagination, e.g. the work of Anna Deavere Smith and Vagina Monologues.  In fact, Vagina Monologues is the single closest work to what we are proposing:  about a concept, about real people, centered in women’s experience, but in our case – plus music.

30 Songs
will reveal the mother-daughter journey in 5 chapters: Birth, Growing Up, Separation, Woman to Woman, and Generation to Generation.  It is the human life cycle – the most natural and engaging structure for storytelling drama.  More than just a theatrical device, the cradle-to-grave structure is something we understand intimately,  literally hard-wired into our bodies from 200,000 generations of human-life on earth.

Each chapter has 5 songs, which allows both diversity and connection in that mother/daughter stage of life.

Five more songs take us on the journey of Sophie, the main character who helps unify the musical.   Sophie is a 27 year old freelance journalist.  The play begins on the 10th anniversary of her mother’s death with Sophie’s own private ritual of remembrance.  She sings about being a motherless daughter,  the central trauma of her life. She sings about how on this very day she got the nightmare yet dream-come-true writer’s gig:  a cover story for a prestigious magazine on the mother-daughter relationship.  Terrified by the very subject she has spent her life avoiding, she begins a journey to become a great reporter  … and goes forth to interview women and girls about their mother-daughter relationship and learn what she feels she knows so little about.

Thus, the women and girls in documentary become a series of characters and songs for Sophie to encounter.  Each is a profound insight into one aspect of the mother-daughter experience.  Each is a trigger point for Sophie and she struggles to understand and to make sense of the big questions in her own life:  should she marry her boyfriend and have a child?  How can she be a mother, when she fears she doesn’t know how?  Can she trust in love, after learning the bitter truth that everything must end?  And what if she does have a child and dies young, how can she leave another child to grow up alone?

By play’s end … there is a surprise … and via all the women/girls she has met, Sophie learns what she needs to know, as do we the audience:   the link by link connection from mother to daughter to mother, from cradle to grave, from generation to generation … is not just the story of any one of us but story of us all, a profound and central part of the human experience, the mother-daughter bond – the continuation of the human species itself.

Our Audience
Admittedly, not everyone will be interested in this play.  Our audience is limited to:

  • mothers and daughters
  • plus people who have a mother
  • plus people who have a daughter.

But despite that limitation … and seriously now, kidding aside …  we believe there is a passionately devoted audience who care deeply about this theme.


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