Author Brian Bird and Composer/Playwright Christy Stutzman share the backstory.
Behind the Scenes:
Stories from the Creative Team and Original Cast of the show
"Heaven knows exactly where you are"
For Christy Stutzman, this was a truth she found as she read the Canadian West book series by Janette One when she was still in high school. She fell in love with the story and it instantly became a classic in her mind. She loved the adventure, romance, and the spunkiness of Elizabeth Thatcher and her desire to follow God, step out in faith, brake the traditional mold of women of her era and forge a life of great adventure. In 2013, she saw that the book would be turned into a TV show on The Hallmark Channel. Very quickly the show became a favorite at the Stutzman household and each Sunday, her husband and two sons would gather in the living room to watch the story that they all soon came to know and love.
Through a Facebook convesration with TV producer and co-creator, Brian Bird, she and her husband were able to connect and talk about the importance of creating wholesome content for all ages to enjoy, whether it be on TV or on stage. The friendship led to Brian Bird assisting Mrs. Stutzman to obtain the stage rights to several Janette Oke titles. When the time was right and the team was finally together, the show was finally created.
In just 6 months, 22 original songs were penned and orchestrated, a script was written through a collaboration of excellent artists, a creative team was formed, actors were cast, and the show began a life at The Round Barn Theatre with a workshop in February 2021, and a full production that opened on May 6, 2021 at The Round Barn Theatre to a nearly sold-out audience. Finishing its world premiere run in Nappanee, the show continues to break box office records and enthralls fans from all over the country who came to Northern Indiana from all over the country to witness this magical story.
This wonderful musical production is now available for licensing! Make sure to contact us today to find out how your theatre, university, high school, homeschool co-op or church drama group. It is sure to bless our audience in so many ways!
"Impressive cast chemistry, talented leads and supporting roles with original music and lyrics by Christy Stutzman, paired with the direction of Alex E. Price, are reasons why this musical succeeds throughout its two and half hour face-paced and fun run"
-Philip Potempa, Chicago Tribune
"Continuing his winning streak, Alex E. Price, slam dunks another one for The Round Barn. Singing, acting, and dancing are all upper caliber. Mrs. Stutzman's music was well thought out and floats flawlessly throughout the production... All made for a winning team!"
-Michael Harris, Midwest Theatre Review
"I was blown away by the quality of the music, the story, and the cast of WHEN CALLS THE HEART THE MUSICAL. They've genuinely got something special and I know that these songs will become classic in time. Each scene was filled with love and care, and whether we as the audience were laughing or sharing in their heartfelt moments of yearning, hope, or realization, the emotional journeys of these characters felt genuine and earned.
-Tara Olivero, BroadwayWorld