First Stage On Stage

Are you and your family looking for fun ways to keep your minds and bodies active and engaged?First Stage On Stage

First Stage Playwrights in Residence, some of our favorite composers – and even our Artistic Director Jeff Frank - have all graciously made selected scenes and songs available for you to explore at home – and then share with the wider world.

How does it work?

  1. Download the materials for whatever title you want to explore, all free of charge. Songs include a piano vocal, a demo track to help you learn the song or to sing along, and a music track if you choose to sing on your own. Scenes include the script and a bit of background on the scene.

  2. Gather your family, choose roles and have fun reading the scene out loud or listening to the song and singing along with the help of the piano vocal sheets. Maybe your exploration ends there – or maybe you can dive deeper and spend some time rehearsing with your family. Have fun! Anybody can play any character. Try switching parts as you explore. Remember, that there is no one right way to perform a song or act a scene. Take risks. Conquer your fears. And don’t forget – “I can’t” is not in your vocabulary!

  3. Share images and/or videos on social media by tagging #FSatHome

Keep checking back as we hope to make more scenes and songs available over the next few months.

"Art Matters" from NATE THE GREAT
Book and Lyrics by John Maclay
Music and Lyrics by Brett Ryback
From the book by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

One to two people needed (but feel free to add more to the chorus); suggested for the entire family.

When crack detective Nate questions the financial value of Annie’s painting, Annie responds that art can’t be measured strictly by monetary value – there are so many ways that art enriches us all. At one point in the song Nate interrupts with more questions as he tries to solve the mystery.

By Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by Adam Rex
Book and Lyrics by John Maclay, Music and Lyrics Eric Nordin
World premiere co-commission with Oregon Children's Theatre

THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS opened to spectacular reviews, but the run was cut short due to the pandemic. But never fear – our heroes will return to First Stage next season! In the meantime, have fun with one of our favorite songs from the show. When Paper leaps into the world of office trash bin, he encounters a foe unlike any he has ever faced. This bluesy ballad tells the tale of that character (or characters) – Half-Eaten Bag of Trail Mix!

"Let's Go" from LOVABYE DRAGON
Adapted from the "Dragon and Girl" books by Barbara Joosse
By Jeff Frank with help from Barbara Joosse
Music by The Happy Racers
"Lets Go" and "We Want Your Gold" by Nathan Meckel 
Lyrics by N. Meckel, B. Joosse, T. Matthews, B. Glover & B. Collins 

One or more people needed; suggested for all ages.

Girl is on an adventure with her best friend Dragon. They have set sail across the sea in search of the land of Farest Far Away. In this song she sings of the power that friendship and love have to carry us further than we might have ever ventured alone.

To hear more music from The Happy Racers, please visit

"Moon Rope" from MOLE HILL STORIES
By Alvaro Saar Rios
Adapted from the book by Lois Ehlert
MOLE HILL STORIES received its world premiere at First Stage, Milwaukee WI

Two to eight people; suggested for the entire family, basic knowledge of Spanish helpful.

This First Stage world premiere was part of our First Steps series for young people ages 3-6 and their families. Mole (Topo)and Fox are unlikely friends. While Topo searches the ground for worms, Fox looks to the moon and dreams of traveling there. Fox’s quest helps Topo learn that there is much to see in the world if you simply look around. This show was also a collaboration with Danceworks MKE – and an ensemble of actor/dancers narrated the stories and became all of the things we needed – trees, grass, the moon, the rope. When we combine our imaginations and our bodies, we can create beautiful pictures and stories!


Based on the novel by Johann David Wyss
Adapted by James DeVita

Four to eight people; suggested for ages 8 and up and their families.

The opening two scenes from this grand adventure will make for a great read aloud, and you may even want to explore creating sound effects to accompany the reading. The scene starts on board a ship in the midst of a storm. The family Robinson watches as the sailors try to steer the ship to safety. Later, after the ship has foundered upon the reef, the family finds themselves on the shore of a deserted (or not) island.

"The Coxswain" from GIRLS IN THE BOAT
By Alice Austen

Two to eight people; suggested for families with teens.

Produced by our award-winning Young Company, this play was inspired by the women who came together to form the first U.S. crew team who would go on to become a dominant force in the world of women’s rowing while blazing trails for female athletes everywhere. This scene shares the backstory of the coxswain – and how she came to find herself in the boat.