YOUR OWN THING is a rock musical loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Set in the late 1960s in the land of Illyria (which looks very much like New York City), it is a tale of separated twins, mistaken identities, love triangles and “doing your own thing.”
In the late 1960s, in the land of Illyria, which looks very much like New York City, a raging storm wrecks the ship on which a rock duet is traveling. They are “identical” twenty-year-old twins, Viola and Sebastian. Even in this life-threatening situation, they are bickering as usual (No One’s Perfect Dear). In the confusion of the ship sinking, the twins are parted. Viola lands in Illyria where, being told Sebastian drowned, she expresses her loneliness in the strange city (The Flowers). A mysterious stranger gives her a business-card with a job offer. The all-male rock quartet “The Apocalypse” is short one member since Disease was drafted to fight in Vietnam. Famine, War and Death all hate the idea of being forced into such a role (I’m Not Afraid/I’m Me). Disguised as a guy, Charlie, Viola auditions to become “The Apocalypse’s” fourth member (Somethin’s Happenin’ (Baby! Baby!)). She is successful and joins the group, thanks to winning over their 30 year old manager, Orson.
Meanwhile, recovering in hospital from his shipwreck ordeal, Sebastian grieves his sister death in the shipwreck (Come Away, Death). Realizing he’ll have to move forward on his own, he goes in search of a job and a mysterious stranger gives him a business-card with a job offer. He meets up with Orson, who mistakes Sebastian for his twin, Viola/Charlie and confirms his appointment as the new member of “The Apocalypse”. Sebastian is too thrilled at getting a job to worry his new manager can’t get his name right (I’m On My Way To the Top).
Orson is in love with Olivia, the 30 year old owner of the nightclub where “The Apocalypse” is the star act. She doesn’t want to see him so he asks “Charlie” to deliver a love letter to Olivia. Viola realizes that she also is falling in love with Orson (She Never Told Her Love). Inspired by her own situation, Viola advises Orson on how he should win Olivia (Be Gentle). Unfortunately, Olivia falls for Orson’s messenger(s), not realizing the second “Charlie”, who likes her, isn’t the first, who didn’t.
While the mixed-up couples continue their ever-changing yet confusing relationships, “The Apocalypse” set about rehearsals with their newest member (The Apocalypse Fugue), Viola’s confusion continues (What Do I Know) and friendships grow (The Now Generation). As the confusion builds, the younger Sebastian acknowledges his growing love for the more mature Olivia (The Middle Years). Separately, Olivia also realizes that she is falling in love with the younger messenger (The Middle Years (Reprise)). Meanwhile, Orson realizes that he has identified unexplainable feelings for “Charlie” (Young and In Love). The confusion builds (Hunca Munca) resulting in an argument between Sebastian and Olivia, which they eventually settle (Don’t Leave Me). Finally, the mix-ups are resolved. The twins are reunited. Viola gets Orson and Sebastian gets Olivia (Your Own Thing).
YOUR OWN THING
By Hal Hester and Danny Apolinar
Book by Donald Driver
Music and Lyrics by Hal Hester and Danny Apolinar
Originally produced in New York by
Zev Bufman and Dorothy Love
Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
YOUR OWN THING
is presented by arrangement with
Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to https://tamswitmark.com/ on all websites on which you promote the play.
1 Reed I: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax
1 Reed II: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
2 Trumpet I & II (Optional, both double Flugelhorn)
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II (Bass Trombone or Tenor with Bass Attachment)
Cymbals: Hi-Hat, 2 Suspended, Ride
1 Electric Guitar
1 Electric Bass (Fender Bass)
Electric Organ (Organ-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material).
Or, can be played with just Electric Organ, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass and Percussion.
2 Piano/Conductor Scores
20 Libretto/Vocal Books
“The Apocalypse,” a rock singing group:
Orson – the Apocalypse manager
Olivia – owner of a discotheque
Viola – twin sister of Sebastian
Sebastian – twin brother of Viola
YOUR OWN THING opened off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theatre, January 13, 1968 and played for 933 performances. The cast included Leland Palmer, Marcia Rodd, Marian Mercer, Rusty (Russ) Thacker, Tom Ligon, John Kuhner, Michael Valenti, Igors Gavin, Imogene Bliss and Danny Apolinar.
The Theatre World Award (Russ Thacker)
The Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best musical
The Drama Desk Award for best adaptation
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