Who is Esther?

Summary for Samuel L. Jackson

Synopsis: Set in the present day, everything was going well for CEO Mr. Verious … until his female VP quits due to his sexual advances.  To recruit a replacement, he decides to hold a singing contest.  Esther, a street-wise young woman from the ‘hood, is encouraged by her Uncle Mo to compete.  To the surprise of all (except her), she wins and is appointed as the new VP. 

Ham, Verious’ racist advisor, doesn’t like Esther or people like her, and slyly plots against them.  Esther finds the courage to speak truth to power: she turns the tables on Ham, and holds Mr. Verious to account.  Esther believes in change for the better, and by the end of the play, the audience realizes they do too.  Principal characters:

  • Esther:  30-year-old African American girl from the ‘hood who rises to be a VP. She’s educated, street-smart, and is just looking for her shot.
  • Uncle Mo:  50-year-old African American man.  Esther’s uncle, mentor, confidante, and wise elder statesman who sees things as they are.
  • Mr. Verious:  60-year-old CEO of a major corporation.  A caricature: caucasian, heavier build, not so smart, and easily influenced by others.
  • Ham:  45-year-old self-important, self-serving caucasian man. He embodies entitlement, racism, and sexism, which lead to his downfall.

The musical can be performed with 4 lead roles and a chorus of at least 4 people.  Either a pre-recorded track can be used, or a pit band with a minimum of Drums, Bass, two digital pianos (guitar and percussion optional).

Who Is Esther shares the struggle as cultures collide and out-of-touch attitudes (racism, sexism, misogyny, inequity) get exposed for what they are. Central to the story are the themes of Me too, Black Lives Matter, and fear of the "other".  The story itself is told through music and all dialogue is through song.  Given the issues explored in the piece, a diverse creative ensemble is essential; even the musical styles are diverse: Rap, swing, funk, latin, rock, and more.

Scroll down to find...

  • Latest version of the manuscript
  • 15 song sampler (6 minutes)
  • Complete video of all songs (59 minutes)
  • The unique backstory (Leukemia - yikes!)
Mr. Jackson, I'd love to answer any questions, share the development of the project to date, and listen to any of your thoughts. Let me know when/where, and I would be happy to fly out and meet you in person.
I can be reached at 416-918-5384, or via email at [email protected].

– Randall


Click the image below to download the latest version of the manuscript:

Who Is Esther Manuscript thumbnail

15 Song Sampler in 6 Minutes

A wide range of diverse styles from a selection of the songs.

Entire Musical

Music only: 59 minutes. On a stage with scene transitions and intermission: 1h 45 minutes.
Note:  The video of the entire musical is not available "publicly". 

Who Is Esther: A Unique Backstory

In 2017 I was diagnosed with Leukemia. Shortly thereafter my doctors stopped the chemo, began looking for a bone marrow transplant donor, and told me there was only a slim chance of my survival.  Not my best day, but it was also the day when Who is Esther was born.  It was my “Aha” moment – I felt compelled to write it with the time I had left.  Friends moved a piano into my hospital room, and I started to write the songs immediately. I was in the hospital for seven months. 

As a teenager, I self-taught myself piano by playing several hours every day.  I never had the opportunity to study musical theater, and I’m not connected into the musical theater community, except from my seat in the audience.  (I am a management consultant and Hall-of-Fame professional speaker.)  So when I wrote Who is Esther, I was not following the “usual” routes of development as I didn’t know what they were.  And as an outsider, there was no one I could turn to for mentorship. These are the unique beginnings of the play... and what distinguishes it from any other.


Intrigued? Mr. Jackson, I'd love to answer any questions, describe the development of the project to date, and listen to any thoughts you may have.  Let me know when/where, and I would be happy to fly out and meet you in person. 

 - Randall

PS:  I can be reached at 416-918-5384, or via email at [email protected]...