The Starstruck Story
Starstruck: The Musical is based on the first novel in The Starstruck Series, an award-winning young adult science fiction romance series by NYT Bestselling author Brenda Hiatt… who also happens to be librettist Bethany Barber‘s mom. After the success of working together with her composer friend Steve Nobles on another new musical project, Bethany knew she wanted to work with him again on another musical… but what story should they tell?
In the midst of their New Year’s Eve festivities in 2018, Bethany and Brenda realized that the first novel in Brenda’s Starstruck Series would make an excellent musical! Bethany immediately began penning the book and lyrics for the adaptation and soon after, Steve began composing the music. Together, they worked to bring this full-length musical to completion, using the Covid years to fine-tune the project, completing digital workshops with a team of talented musical theatre artists based in New York City and creating a concept album.
A performer herself, Bethany has often been frustrated by the discrepancy between the casting necessities of the majority of musicals (mostly male casts) with nearly universal casting realities: many more women auditioning than men! To that end, Starstruck was developed specifically with the needs and resources of high schools, middle schools, and community theatres in mind, with a cast featuring twice as many roles for women as for men, flexible casting possibilities, and performance-ready backing tracks for organizations which might not have access to a live band or orchestra. We worked closely with many current high school and middle school theatre producers to develop the show and can’t wait to get it on stage–maybe with your school or organization!
Meet the team
The Author: Brenda Hiatt Barber
Brenda writes novels of sparkling romantic adventure spanning Regency England, Americana, contemporary teen science fiction and more. Whichever you pick up, you’ll find excitement, romance and, always, an uplifting happy ending. In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving (she has over 60 dives to her credit), Taekwondo (where she’s currently working toward her 4th degree black belt), hiking, traveling…and reading, of course!
The Book and Lyrics: Bethany Barber
Bethany is an American vocal artist with a thirst for expanding her horizons. Now based in Cologne, Germany, she studied opera at Indiana University, but has spent most of her career singing and acting in everything from musicals to Shakespeare. She is also an audiobook narrator, writer, and lyricist-but nothing has excited her more than combining all of these disparate passions into one focus to work on this musical!
The Music: Steve Nobles
Steve is a prolific composer, arranger, pianist, musical director, and voice-over artist with decades of experience in every one of those fields. Some of his projects have included The Sherlock Musical (which Bethany also collaborated on), Red Riding Hood Report, and countless songs ranging from humorous cabaret-style solos to serious choral works. He has also played an active role in the European LGBTQ+ choir movement since its inception in the 1980s.