Originally presented in concert in New York City at the New York Musical Festival.
Scott Payne, Executive Director
Now in its fifth year of development, Savage the Musical is a dramatic musical inspired by the life of 1920s Native American sharpshooter and silent film actress Wanda Savage. Savage is a powerful story of redemption about an independent, divorced, indigenous mother who fought oppression, racism, sexism and abuse to make a name for herself, but at the heart of the story is a mother and her son. . Her unconquerable spirit and tenacity propelled her from obscurity on an Oklahoma reservation to worldwide fame in circuses, vaudeville, and Hollywood before landing in a Wyoming brothel.
Savage the Musical presents a more modern view of Native Americans against a historical backdrop and highlights a culture and people who are underrepresented even today. Wanda’s story and her struggles are as relevant now as when she experienced them a hundred years ago. She refused to embrace the stereotype of Native women that was dominant in her day and that persists into the 21st Century. This rebel heart fulfilled her dreams in a time when women were just starting to have a voice.
Wanda Savage was a member of the Chickasaw nation, as is her great granddaughter writer/composer/lyricist Nicolette Blount. By including elements of the Chickasaw language in the script and in the music, we hope to bring awareness to the precarious future of this endangered language while honoring its beauty, history, and significance to the Chickasaw people.
The music for Savage is a fresh take on scoring a musical with pop, jazz and blues influences making this show a unique departure from traditional musical theatre. Although set in the 1920s, Savage the Musical has a distinctly contemporary sound.
Savage is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago, holding up a mirror to our society to see how far we have come...or not.
Savage the Musical
Book: Nicolette Blount and Lindel Hart
Music: Nicolette Blount and John Waynelovich
Lyrics: Nicolette Blount