A science fiction fairytale
An orphaned astronomy geek dreams of escaping her small-town existence until the hot new quarterback inexplicably befriends her. Her acne clears up, her eyesight improves, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! The electrifying truth will expose her to deadly perils and change her mundane life forever… if she survives!
Book 1 of the award-winning YA sci-fi romance Starstruck series from NYT bestselling author Brenda Hiatt is given new life as a full-length stage musical with music by Steve Nobles and book and lyrics by Bethany Barber.
Starstruck is a plot and character-driven, feel-good romantic adventure, specifically developed with school and community theatres in mind. It features a predominantly female cast, performance-ready backing tracks with an 80’s twist, and flexible casting possibilities. With a score full of delightful and catchy melodies reminiscent of Disney and old-school Broadway, performers and audiences alike will love this tale of fated, star-crossed romance and the triumph of love over adversity. It’s a science fiction Cinderella story ready for its stage debut–maybe with your school or organization!
Cast size: Flexible; Medium to Large (10-30+)
Roles: 10-17 (7-11 women, 3-6 men)
Cast type: High school, Ensemble
Dance requirements: Minimal
Marsha Prentiss Truitt: A twice-orphaned teen, Marsha is sweet, nerdy, and (she thinks) depressingly ordinary. But she has a core of steel that she’ll need to develop when she learns the truth about who her real parents were… (high legit/belt mix- “Disney princess” style voice)
Rigel Stuart: The mysterious and handsome new quarterback at Jewel High has more interesting secrets than the other students could ever guess. He’s a Martian and is searching for the long-lost princess of their human colony. (Baritenor)
Brianna (Bri) Morrison: Marsha’s oldest friend, Bri is outspoken and a total sports nut. (Mixy soprano)
Debbie (Deb) Andrews: The third in Marsha’s trio of besties, Deb is soft-spoken and sweet. (Alto)
Trina Squires: Head cheerleader and queen bee of Jewel High. Never misses an opportunity to torment Marsha or anyone else in order to elevate her own social position. (High clear belt w/ lots of twang)
Bryce Farmer: Former quarterback of Jewel High, he can’t stand that Rigel has replaced him both on the field… and as the school heartthrob. (Baritone)
Theresa Truitt: (can be doubled with Mrs. Smith) Marsha’s “aunt” of no relation. When Marsha’s first adoptive mother died, Aunt Theresa suddenly found herself saddled with her sister’s orphan. She’s not exactly cruel to Marsha, but she’s never been overly kind either. (Either “legit” or character mezzo/alto)
Dr. Ariel Stuart: Rigel’s mother, she is wise, kind, and offers Marsha the kind of maternal support she’s always longed for. (legit soprano)
Van Stuart: Rigel’s father is a technological genius and a member of the Martian Resistance to the fascist government set up under the usurper, Faxon. (Chorus)
Mrs. Smith: Faxon’s agent on Earth, her mission is to find the long-lost princess before the Resistance does… and eliminate her. (jazzy belt)
Kyna: (can be doubled with Bri or Trina) The head of the Nuathan (Martians on Earth) council, she works for NASA and is a strong, no-nonsense intellectual. (chorus)
Nara: (can be doubled with Deb or Nicole) A member of the Nuathan council, she is a sweet and motherly pediatrician. (chorus)
Allister: (can be doubled with Bryce or Matt) A royal member of the Nuathan council, he is skeptical, arrogant and hung up on tradition. (chorus)
Flynn: (can be male, female, or nonbinary, can be doubled with Homeroom Teacher) A member of the Nuathan council. (chorus)
Homeroom Teacher: (can be male, female, or nonbinary) Overworked and underpaid, they still care deeply for their students. (chorus)
Ensemble of students, cheerleaders (including Nicole), football players (including Matt), and Martians in the final showdown
*Any and all characters can be of any ethnicity and diverse casting is recommended if possible!
Is This Guy for Real?
Palace in the Stars
What on Earth is Going On?
The Prettiest Version of You
What on Earth is Going on? (Reprise)
Heir to a Throne
Times are Changing
How Can it Be?
What on Earth is Going on? (Reprise 2)
Stay Safe, My Marsha Prentiss
How Can it Be Reprise/Your Touch
Your Touch (reprise)
Cornfield Chase/The Confrontation
Starstruck: The Musical Concept Album
Music: Steve Nobles
Book & Lyrics: Bethany Barber
Backing tracks: Lionel Wharton
Mixing and Mastering: Andi Reisner
Marsha: Lisa Bondi Curran
Rigel: Devon A.A. Norris
Bri: Julia Johanos
Deb: Cordelia von Dombois
Trina/Kyna: Rachel Dudt
Aunt Theresa: Rachel Tedder
Mrs. Smith: Staci Jo Johnston
Ariel Stuart: Bethany Barber
Van Stuart: Steve Nobles
Bryce Farmer: Lionel Wharton
Marsha has always been the class dork–shy, bookish, not particularly pretty and definitely not popular. When the gorgeous new quarterback, Rigel Stuart, arrives at Jewel High on the first day of school, all the girls want to catch his attention, especially Queen Bee cheerleader, Trina (“Is This Guy for Real?“).
But Marsha finds herself particularly affected by him. Orphaned twice as a toddler, she’s not even sure who she is, other than a burden to her super-strict adoptive “aunt” Theresa. She fears that Rigel might find out about her silly childhood fantasies about being a Martian Princess, which she still gets teased about (“Palace in the Stars“).
No one is more surprised than Marsha when Rigel turns his back on all the popular girls vying for his attention to sit at her lunch table the next day! She’s over the moon, of course, but then Trina spitefully reveals her embarrassing secret, and the first time Rigel touches her, sparks fly—literally–both of which cause Rigel to freak out. (“What on Earth is Going on?“)
Marsha’s best friends, Bri and Deb, are encouraged by the interest Rigel has shown in Marsha and convince her that a makeover will help him get over any jitters (“The Prettiest Version of You“). While her glasses are off, Marsha realizes she doesn’t need them anymore–which shouldn’t be possible! She downplays this realization to her friends before they head to that night’s football game.
After the game, Rigel ignores Trina once again and introduces Marsha to his parents, who invite her to dinner. While she’s waiting for him to shower, former quarterback Bryce shows up and threatens her, taking out his frustration with Rigel on her. Rigel shows up in the nick of time to defend her and together, they accidentally produce a jolt of electricity that momentarily knocks Bryce out. Rigel manages to convince Bryce that he punched him when he comes to, but Marsha demands answers. (“What on Earth is Going on Reprise“) Rigel begs her to give him a chance to explain tomorrow and they arrange to meet at a cornfield near the school.
Marsha meets Rigel in a clearing in a cornfield and he tells her the truth: that he’s actually Martian! She doesn’t believe him at first, but he manages to convince her that it’s true–and that the bond between them is something special that even he didn’t realize was possible. (“Electrified“)
At dinner with Rigel’s parents, Marsha is hit with two more bombshells: not only is SHE also Martian, but she’s the long-lost Princess they’ve been searching for! The Martian Council arrives to administer a genetic test and the results confirm it to be true. They all pay respect to their Sovereign while Marsha reels from these revelations. (“Heir to a Throne“)
Two weeks later, Marsha and all the other students reflect on how much better things have gotten since Rigel came to Jewel High (“Times are Changing“), the only sour notes being that Bri and Deb are feeling neglected by Marsha now that she’s dating Rigel, and the arrival of a mysterious new substitute teacher, Mrs. Smith.
When Rigel comes home from school that day, his parents are in a panic–they’ve discovered that the same usurping dictator who killed Marsha’s parents to seize power has sent an agent to Jewel, Indiana. Since Rigel is the only Martian in Jewel of the right age, they fear that he could lead the agent right to Marsha. Heartbroken, Rigel realizes he has to break up with Marsha in order to protect her (“How Can it Be?“) and does so in a phone call, over her protests.
Two weeks later, Rigel is having a terrible football game. Marsha is also feeling awful, and she runs to the bathroom. On her way back, she overhears Mrs. Smith on her phone saying that she’s been watching Rigel, but hasn’t found any evidence that the Princess is here or is even alive–and that means they can move forward with some nefarious plan! Marsha decides she has to tell Rigel, even though he’s warned her to stay away from him (“What on Earth is Going on” reprise), but as she makes her way toward him, Trina kisses him, which sends Marsha running off, devastated.
While Marsha is home sick the next day, Rigel calls and they arrange to sneak out and meet in the cornfield that night. Afterward, Marsha screws up her courage to ask her “aunt” about her real parents (“Stay Safe“), and by reading between the lines, discovers that her parents did their best to keep her safe and that they never wanted to let her go.
Marsha and Rigel meet in the cornfield that night (“How Can it Be Reprise“) and both are immediately restored to full health the moment they touch (“I Can’t Believe I Need You This Much“)–Rigel explains that the legendary bond they share causes them both to get sick when they’re apart for too long. Marsha convinces a reluctant Rigel that they need to get back together and “go public” in order to prevent a possible Martian invasion. Rigel asks Marsha to the Homecoming dance.
Over the course of the next week (“Spirit Week“) Marsha and Rigel are back together, to Trina’s chagrin and Bri and Deb’s delight. But when Mrs. Smith still hasn’t noticed anything by Thursday, Marsha takes matters into her own hands and intentionally gets her attention. Mrs. Smith makes a secret phone call and is ordered to take out the Princess by any means.
On Friday, everyone is excited for the Homecoming game and even Mrs. Smith’s mysterious absence from school that day can’t dim Marsha’s joy. But then Mrs. Smith shows up after the game and takes advantage of the chaos to try to assassinate Marsha. Marsha flees with Rigel and his parents as they call for back up, and after a thrilling chase, the good and bad Martians converge on the clearing in the cornfield for a showdown where Mrs. Smith and Dr. Stuart (Rigel’s mother) try to convince each other of their point of view (“The Confrontation“). A battle ensues and Marsha and Rigel use the electrifying powers of their bond to disable Smith’s secret weapon.
At the Homecoming dance the next evening, Marsha is elected Princess of the Homecoming Court, to Trina’s horror. Everyone else makes the most of a wonderful night (“Starstruck“).