Who is Esther?

Tapestry Opera


Looking forward to learn more about Tapestry (beyond the website), and also share more about Who is Esther, the musical that I've written.  As an outsider to the music and theatre community, I'm just now reaching out, hoping to connect, and possibly elicit any feedback, or potential interest.  At this point, Who is Esther has gone through a significant number of rewrites, re-orchestrations, and "COVID-influenced" readings.

 - we’ve also completed studio work, and now have the entire soundtrack (21 songs) recorded by professional singers.
 - we've completed the post-production work, and also now have a video of the entire musical.  
 - we've embedded all of the feedback from the artists into the manuscript and the score.

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!)
I'd love to learn more about Tapestry, describe the development of the project to date, answer any questions.  (And of course, welcome any feedback...)  While I don't know if Who is Esther is a fit for Tapestry, your reputation - and willingness to consider new Canadian productions - is refreshing.
I can be reached at 416-918-5384, or via email at [email protected].  And as I live literally "down the street", I'd be more than happy to meet in person.  (If you'd prefer to meet via Zoom, please share a few times that might work, or find a time on my calendar at www.RandallCraig.net/60, and the system will send us both a zoom calendar invite.

– Randall

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. 

Latest Manuscript

Click the image below to download the latest version of the manuscript; now includes optional alternative lyrics for the song "The Event" that would be more suitable for younger audiences. (Updated January 2024)

Who Is Esther Manuscript thumbnail

15 Song Sampler in 6 Minutes

Quick excerpts from 15 of the 21 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 theatre, and I’m not connected into the musical theatre 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?  I'd love to answer any questions, describe the development of the project to date, and listen to any thoughts you may have.   

 - Randall

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