Savage the Musical is a dramatic musical inspired by the life of 1920s Chickasaw sharpshooter and silent film actress Wanda Savage, as told by her great grandaughter Nicolette Blount. Now in its fifth year of development, 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. Wanda’s unconquerable spirit and tenacity propelled her form a reservation in Oklahoma to worldwide fame in circuses, Vaudeville, and Hollywood before landing in a Wyoming brothel. At the heart of this story is a complicated relationship between a mother and her son. Savage the Musical presents a modern view of Native Americans against a historical backdrop and highlights a culture and people who are underrepresented. Wanda refused to embrace the stereotype of Native women that was dominant in her day and persists into the 21st Century. This rebel heart fulfilled her dreams in a time when women were just starting to have a voice. Her story and struggles are as relevant now as they were when she experienced them 100 years ago, holding up a mirror to our society to see how far we have come…or not.
Wanda Savage was a member of the Chickasaw nation, as is her great granddaughter, creative Nicolette Blount. By including elements of their tribe’s beautiful, but endangered language in some of the script and music, we hope to bring awareness to this endangered language while honoring its significance to the Chickasaw people.
The music for Savage is a fresh take on scoring a musical with pop influenced jazz and blues that harkens back to the days of the old standards. Savage the Musical marries the old sounds of jazz with new, catchy pop music giving it a contemporary sound with some elements of the Native American sounds.
Savage the Musical
Book: Nicolette Blount and Lindel Hart
Music: Nicolette Blount and John Waynelovich
Lyrics: Nicolette Blount
Originally presented in concert in New York City at the New York Musical Festival.
Scott Payne, Executive Director