WINNER of Best Music at 2017 Midtown International Theater Festival Awards

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Presented at the Summer 2017 Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York, It Takes A Rainbow earned 5 nominations for their annual awards, winning two, including Best Music.
Best Ensemble (nominated)
Best Playwright,  Emily Clare Thompson (nominated)
Best Music, Richard D. Russell (winner)
Best Costumes, Ashley Lynne James (nominated)
Best Sets, Steven Schweer (winner)

Praise from a Broadway producer

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

You two have something special . . . you’ve got terrific artistic and business instincts. Very rare. And now it’s time to put them together to accomplish your goals of getting your show up, out there..You’ve got a great property there. (referring to It Takes A Rainbow)
Ken Davenport

From New York’s biggest theater website
“… one of the leading teams of writers of theatre for young audiences.”

Praise from Huffington Post

“…”a remarkable musical…” (referring to It Takes A Rainbow)
Read the full article here.

Praise from a leading New York City theater festival

(referring to It Takes A Rainbow)

“…a box office home run!”
—Laura Gagnon, MITF box office manager
What a lovely play! Well done you!
—Deborah Grimberg, Literary Manager, Midtown International Theater Festival

Praise from Outer-Stage

It Takes a Rainbow is such a lovely play…The direction was energetic and crisp, the script was captivating. Not only is this a play for kids but it is also for adults… I personally couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I loved every second…” Click here for full review of 2017 Midtown International Theatre Festival production.

Praise from Press and Media

It Takes a Rainbow … imagines the origins of rainbows and chameleons while underscoring the value of taking risks and embracing differences… Thompson is a theater powerhouse…”
(link) previews It Takes A Rainbow

…from a school principal

Our students had the opportunity to be a part of something that they will never forget. Each student’s part was integral to the success of the play and you could see that they knew that. (The show)… imparted a life lesson about inclusion and acceptance. (click the image for the full letter)

…from some parents

There are no words to express what this means to me — for so many reasons, not the least of which is because of how much joy and excitement [my son] experienced (and always experiences) throughout the rehearsal and performance process. You…develop young minds into forward-thinking, creative, and more open-minded people, and it’s a gift that will keep on giving throughout their lifetimes. The performance was just spectacular… and the audience was totally blown away!
–Megan M.

An absolutely amazing duo!! My children have performed in 5 separate Thompson and Russell performances and they have been some of the best experiences of their lives. The love of the theatre that has been instilled in these children is only superseded by the amazing life lessons learned from the characters/scripts. Kudos to you Thompson and Russell!
–Erin C.

….from a production helper

As a teacher I have been delighted to be a part of the musical It Takes a Rainbow. The theme of this production a great lesson for any child to hear and believe in. All people should be able to live together. It certainly “takes a rainbow” of people to make this world a wonderful place to live. I have seen children thrive in this environment and their self-worth soars. The transformation of these children is unbelievable! Some students struggle on an everyday basis, but in the play they outshine others. They become a “star” in their own lives. The children take great pride in all of their accomplishments in the play. I wish the play continued success.
–Ms. Canova, elementary school teacher, New Jersey

…from some student actors

My favorite part was when I shook my caboose!

You got me to redefine my understanding of the world.

Always a blockbuster!

It was the best play ever!

I think you’re a great composer. I look up to you. Your music is amazing.I want to be just like you when I grow up because you’re an awesome writer, composer, and a great friend.

My family loved it.

I wish we can do it again! It was really fun!

I think you are the best composer ever. Your music is very beautiful. When I grow up I want to be a composer like you.

My favorite part was when I change color.

I had a lot of fun being a lizard!

You are the best at writing songs. I love the songs you did. I really love It Takes A Rainbow.

Happy frogs and lizards
Happy frogs and lizards

I really want to be a teacher like you when I grow up

I wish it didn’t happen already or that I could do it again. My favorite part was everything! “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?”

My parents were so proud and my two sisters loved it.

When I grow up I think I want to be what you are and be an artist.

My mom and dad loved the play. And so did I.

Thank you for making the beats up of the songs! I can’t sing without a beat!

I hope I am going to be in your play every year…I can’t wait. You helped me realize what I want to be when I grow up.

I liked when we sang ‘make a froggy’s tummy dance.’

Practicing the shakers

I thought you did amazing music for It Takes A Rainbow! And for Knights of the Round Table and Winner Takes It All! But I like It Takes A Rainbow the best!

I think you are a great composer. You should do music for Broadway.

You are an inspiration to everyone that loves music.

I appreciate how teaching everybody about how music can tell a story. I never knew that before.

You are amazing at making music…I love your music because it’s like you make me happy.

I think your music is amazing. I am still wondering how to make a wonderful song.

You showed me how you can express your feelings on a piano.

You are amazing! I want to give you an award for how awesome you are. You taught me about how music tells a story, I had no idea music could do that.

I think you make great music. I never really thought of it this way. You’re a great character yourself!

I am doing better in music because of you. You and Mrs. Schweer make great partners!

I just want to thank you because I really liked It Takes A Rainbow and I will never forget it.

Purples and violets ready for the stage
Purples and violets ready for the stage

I will always, not just always, I mean ALWAYS remember this time.