Kennesaw State University Department of
Theatre and Performance Studies presents
"The SpongeBob Musical"
Directed by Amanda Wansa Morgan
Music Directed by John Michael d’Haviland
Choreographed byTimothy Ellis
Book by Kyle Jarrow
Musical Production conceived by Tina Landau
April 7-17 | $14-$20
Thursday 7:30 p.m.; Friday - Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m.
Stillwell Theater, KSU Kennesaw Campus
The power of optimism really can save the world!
Adapted from the beloved animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, this colorful and vibrant musical is an uplifting tale of overcoming the odds and celebrating the joy of life. SpongeBob and the sea creatures who inhabit Bikini Bottom are confronted with the total annihilation of their world. All hope seems lost, but our unlikely hero saves the day. An affectionate and timely satire of our individual and political foibles that affirms community, teamwork, and trust in one’s full potential. This production is the Atlanta-area premiere.
Director - Amanda Wansa Morgan
Amanda Wansa Morgan is an Atlanta-based music director, composer, director, and actor who serves as Coordinator of Musical Theatre & Associate Professor at Kennesaw State University. At KSU, she teaches classes in musical theatre performance, voice, acting, and musical theatre history and literature. In recent years at KSU, she has directed productions of Ragtime, Heathers, and A Man of No Importance; and music directed productions of The Spitfire Grill, Bring It On and Thumbelina (world premiere). Amanda previously served on faculty at The University of Mississippi and also as Director of Music Education at Charleston Stage. Additionally, she has professionally music directed at The Alliance Theatre, Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, Actor’s Express, Synchronicity Theater, Wallace Buice Theatre Company & Buicentennial Productions, Playhouse on the Square, Post Playhouse, and Osceola Center for the Arts. She occasionally serves as a Teaching Artist for The Alliance Theatre, The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, and the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre.
Favorite professional Music Direction credits include The Color Purple (2018 Suzi Bass Award for Music Direction, 2018 BroadwayWorld Award in Music Direction), Jesus Christ Superstar, Songs for a New World, Hairspray, Avenue Q, Always Patsy Cline, and The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee. As composer, her original musicals have been fully produced at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Charleston Stage, Young Harris College, and Kennesaw State University. Amanda has an MFA in Acting from The University of Central Florida and undergraduate degrees in Music and Theatre from The Florida State University. She has also worked as a professional actor throughout the Southeast since 2001 in shows such as Urinetown (Pennywise), The 25th Annual…Bee (Rona Lisa Peretti), Love’s Labours Lost (Princess of France), and Tony & Tina’s Wedding (Tina). Amanda has a Certificate of Figure Proficiency from Estill Voice Systems and she is an active member of Musical Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA), currently serving as Secretary to the Executive Committee until 2022. She is also a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Dramatist’s Guild, and ASCAP. Amanda is the author of book chapter “Women in CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music) in the Rowan & Littlefield book So You Want to Sing Music by Women. www.amandawansamorgan.com
Guest Music Director - John Michael d’HavilandJohn-Michael holds extensive credits as an award-winning Music Director, Vocal Coach, and Conductor. A faculty member and teacher at the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School, he serves as a repertoire and audition coach, an associate choral director, collaborative pianist and accompanist for the Ballet and Drama classes. John-Michael relocated to Atlanta, in 2014, from Washington, DC. His many theatre credits include — Cabaret (The Keegan Theatre/DC), Caroline, or Change (NextStop Theatre/VA), A Little Night Music (The Arlington Players at Arena Stage/DC), Violet, Into The Woods, Disaster, Baby, Rent (Concert), (Act3 Productions/GA), Altarboyz, (Marietta Theatre Company/GA), Mirandy and Brother Wind (Synchronicity Theatre/GA), Once On This Island, Songs of Cinema, (Atlanta Lyric Theatre/GA).
Choreographer - Timothy Ellis
Timothy Ellis (Choreographer) is in his third year on the Musical Theatre faculty at KSU. He teaches Private Voice lessons, Acting for Musical Theatre, Musical Theatre Ensemble, and Musical Theatre Dance Workshop. Tim is also the advisor for Student Musical Theatre Company - who produce their own performances of scenes and cabarets. At KSU, he served as director for The Spitfire Grill and choreographer for Bring It On! Tim's performance career spans thirty-five years and includes appearances on Broadway (Annie Get Your Gun), National Tours (Best Little Whorehouse..., Show Boat), European tours (Evita), regional stages across the US, on cruise ships, and a Broadway Revue in Hong Kong. Other director/choreographer credits include Camelot (Atlanta Lyric), Show Boat, A Chorus Line, Debbie Does Dallas (Dad's Garage), Beehive (Theatrical Outfit), West Side Story, Rocky Horror Show, A Simple Song, and more.
A big shout out and thank you to my Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain, Matthew Weeks! www.timothyellis.com
Book by Kyle Jarrow
Musical Production Conceived by Tina Landau
- “Bikini Bottom Day” and “Reprise”
- Works on NPR’s “Ask Me Another”
Plain White T’s
- American rock band from 1997
- Known for “Hey There Delilah”
Panic at the Disco!
- “Just a Simple Sponge”
- Formerly a pop rock band in 2004, currently Brendon Urie’s solo project
- Known for “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”
- “Daddy Knows Best”
- Best known for his group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and song “Home”
- “No Control”
- The song was originally released in 1995 and performed by Bowie
- “When The Going Gets Tough”
- Best known for his work as a rapper
- Has won 3 Grammy awards
- ”Hero is My Middle Name”
- Previously Written for the musical Kinky Boots
- Second SpongeBob project, cowrote “Secret to the Formula” for The Spongebob Movie Sponge on the Run
- Known for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
Cast of Characters
Squidward Q. Tentacles
Sheldon J. Plankto
Karen The Computer
Lance Avery Brown
Patchy the Pirate
Larry The Lobster
Johnny the Bartender
Old Man Jenkins
Foley Artist Fish
The French Narrator
Electric Skates, Ensemble
Assistant Music Director
Assistant Stage Managers
John Michael d’Haviland
Dr. Jim Davis and Katie Nelson
Eliza Craft and Madeline Conrad
Sound Designer & Prod. Sound Engineer
Asst. Scenic Designers
Cammie Con, Eliza Craft, Les Valdez, Latia Cunningham-Moore, Christine Giacomo, Michelle Lee, Mackenzie Scales
Asst. Lighting Designer
Asst. Sound Designer
Oliver Brooks, Macy Gallagher, Alexia Hughes, Raechel Sigur
Costume Shop Manager
Facilities Manager/ Master Electrician Lighting Programmer
Design Behind the Scenes
Designed by Ming Chen
Professor Ming Chen's scenic design was inspired by her research on the ocean floor, coral reefs, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Her designs are also informed by the belief that the moral of Spongebob the Musical is that our actions have consequences. The Rube Goldberg machine, named after the influential 20th century cartoonist, in this way, inspired the physical design for the set because it symbolizes a chain reaction.
Designed by Summer Lee Jack
SpongeBob the Musical's unique, colorful costume designs are by Professor Summer Lee Jack. As the script specifically calls for stylized designs, as opposed to imitations of the cartoon characters, Professor Jack was inspired by high fashion. Her designs look like they might be seen on a runway. This sort of expression heightens the spectacle of this extraordinary musical full of fictional characters that we love.
Designed by Brandon Bagwell
Lighting designer Brandon Bagwell has helped to create a colorful, fun, and fluid world with his design choices. Taking inspiration from sources such as interactions between water & light and rock concerts, the lighting for The SpongeBob Musical is shaping up to be exciting!
Designed by Milton Cordero
Projection design “is the creation and integration of film, motion graphics, and video technology into the theater, dance, opera, fashion shows, concerts, architecture... You name it!”
SpongeBob SquarePants debuted on Nickelodeon in 1999. For the first SpongeBob Ever!--the first five minutes of the pilot episode
Signature SpongeBob Gags
Something that makes the Spongebob cartoon notably unique are its use of gags that aren’t commonly seen in children’s animated shows. Here are a few types that you might recognize:
Gross Ups are a term coined by one of the show’s creators that refers to still images shown on screen for usually only a couple of seconds at a time, that often reveal an uncomfortably harsh close-up depiction of the characters. This is usually seen in Spongebob in terms of close-ups of body parts or gross food or waste items.
Live Action Moments
The Spongebob cartoon and its spin-off movies are known for using occasional strategically-placed live action characters, most famously Patchy the Pirate who features in some episodes and David Haselhoff’s appearance in The Spongebob Movie. These exemplify Spongebob’s loose relationship with the “fourth wall” as the show isn’t afraid to admit that it is a fictional cartoon universe.
Out of Place Sound Effects
A recurring joke in the SpongeBob television show is the use of seemingly out of place sound effects. This includes everything from the Wilhelm Scream to real dolphin noises dubbed over and treated like bad language in the SpongeBob universe. The show also created some of its own running audio jokes, such as a deep unidentified male voice screaming “my leg!
Unrealistic Passage of Time
Even though the exact time that SpongeBob takes place in is rarely mentioned, and the show has never been afraid to show unrealistic things, a running gag in the show is the use of occasional still-image shots of text displaying how much time has passed between scenes. Sometimes it’s realistic units of time like “one hour later” or “the next morning”, but the show has been known to have time skips as long as years or centuries later.
Spongebob Squarepants and his friends are radioactive mutants?
“Bikini Atoll" is a coral island in the Pacific Ocean, consisting of a ring-shaped reef surrounding a 25-mile by 15-mile oval lagoon. The US government started testing nuclear bombs in the area in 1946, just after World War I. There were more than 20 nuclear devices tested at Bikini Atoll and residual radioactivity still remains today at Bikini Atoll.
Fans theorized that Spongebob’s “Bikini Bottom” was based of off the Bikini Atoll and that the creatures who lived there were mutations as a result of the radioactivity from nuclear bomb testing. In 2015, the Spongebob voice actor Tom Kenny confirmed the theory, however he denied the radioactive mutant theory.
Nevertheless, there are visual choices that seem to confirm the Bikini Atoll theory. For example, Spongebob’s television set looks like the scuba gear that would have been used during the nuclear testing period.
Rehearsal Photos (by Katie Nelson):