Riding the Rails
Riding the Rails received a 2002 Honorable Mention in the Jackie White Memorial National Playwright contest.
Book and Lyrics by Ann Schulman. Music by Gary Rue. © Copyright 2012 New Music Arts ® dba Musicals 4 Young Audiences.
Originally produced by SteppingStone Theatre For Youth Development, St. Paul, Minnesota, Richard Hitchler, Artistic Director.
The hoboes in this play are meant to have names. That is, the actors cast should choose names for themselves and those names should appear in the program. (Not Hobo #4, #5, or # 6 etc.)
Names chosen could be based on character choices made, IE...an accent, a way of walking, or simply an inner history created.
The gritty world of this play needs to be created by an entire chorus of actors who have us believing: (1) they’ve been on the road, (2) that they smell bad, (3) that they’ve seen some sights, and (4) that they know things we sedentary people don’t. In asking actors to choose names, we encourage them to create their own history and to make us believe it.
Directors should feel free to mix and match. If you have some actors who are not strong singers, and some who are, feel free to shift which hoboes do and say what. Tailor-make the Hobo Chorus to your specific cast: for the Hobo Chorus is the very essence of this play.
Sam - a girl traveling as a boy
Rook - a first time train rider kicked out of his house
Jumpin' Joe - an adventure seeker
Elsie - a waitress
Hobo #3 and Betty - a hoodlum
Hobo #5 and Ron - a hoodlum
Hobo #6 and Daphne - flirtatious (works as a cleaning lady at Bryn Mar College)
Hobo #7 and Dalilah - flirtatious (works as a cleaning lady at Bryn Mar college)
Hobo #8 and Bob - a hoodlum
Declan - a scared kid, and Hobo Chorus
Cormick - Declan's older brother, and Hobo Chorus
"Ridin' The Rails"
"Hide Me/Know You"
"Seeking Grand Adventure"
"Put Your Pride in Your Pocket"
"The Other Side of Green"
"We Are Fair As Fair As Can Be"
"Ridin' The Rails II"
"Seeking Grand Adventure" is sung by Pat Donohue, guitarist with Garrison Keillor's "Guys All Star Shoe Band."