Ants! The Musical
Book and Lyrics by Charlotte Sessions
Music by Madeleine Skye Ackley
Electric the fire ant, who gets illegally transported from Ecuador to Central Park, has trouble finding the emotional connection he had back from his own haplo (or colony) due to him being an invasive species. Then, after watching humans walk and pet their dogs, he is convinced that humans can give them a “fire” of love and care the way they would with their pets. He convinces his fellow misfit ants the same as they come across a high school jock who they think will give them just that, only for dire consequences to happen right after they find human connection with his girlfriend.
This one-act show is overall a work-in-progress, as the goal is to promote it to regional theaters in the NJ/NY area. Below is a performance of "Just a Bunch of Ants," which was one of the 18 songs that was selected to be performed and orchestrated by Berklee students at the annual Curtain Up Show at the Berklee Performance Center (4/26/22).
Just a Bunch of Ants
Performed at the Curtain Up show at the Berklee Performance Center (4/26/22)
Orchestrated by Thomas Michaels and Niki Yeracaris
Cast: Nan Zhou, Lina Mai, Ryan Hsu, McKay Lyn Medders, Nicolette Weisser
Electric the fire ant gets illegally transported from Ecuador to Central Park, and can’t find his family. He comes across a group of black carpenter ants who fear that his “fire” will kill them. They expel him, along with Meaty, who keeps eating their food. Electric and Meaty can’t find anyone else to connect with. Electric then notices humans walking and petting their dogs, so he comes up with an idea of connecting with humans because he thinks that they can care for them the way they care for their pets. Electric then bumps into other lost ants (Cephie, Yellow Crazy, and Auntie) to share his idea. Skeptical, but hopeful, they follow Electric’s plans because they are looking for someone to heal all their woes as well.
Orchestrated by Madeleine Skye Ackley
Cast: Julius LaFlamme
The ants come across a high school jock named Brad who needs ants for his biology project, which is also an opportunity for them to befriend a human! However, Brad dumps the ants in a terrarium with his ant net and flicks them back every time they try to get out to greet him. The ants get a little suspicious because he doesn’t seem to like them. However, Electric still thinks Brad could be flirting with them, so he lovingly bites his ear before Brad agressively flicks him back and closes the lid to the terrarium for good. Brad furiously stomps to his apartment with his bloody ear.
Stacey's Search for the Ants
Orchestrated by Charlotte Sessions
Cast: Nicole Dobberpuhl
Brad then takes the ants into his room. He gives a juicy cheeseburger to his girlfriend, Stacey, a skinny high school cheerleader, and complains about his biology project and his bloody ear. He warns her that the ants, especially Electric, will get to her cheeseburger. He then goes to the bathroom to clean off his bloody ear while Stacey is left alone high on weed on his bed watching TV with the cheeseburger in her hands.
The ants complain that Brad hasn’t fed them anything for “ant” minutes. They then notice that Meaty has escaped from the terrarium to get to Stacey’s cheeseburger. Electric attempts to get Meaty’s attention, but he then notices Stacey’s beauty. So, he makes a plan to flirt with her while all the other ants get to her cheeseburger. Electric crawls on her arm and up to her neck, where he whispers a bunch of sweet nothings to her. Stacey feels frightened at first, but she eventually falls in love with his smooth deep voice, which she is surprised to understand. She drops her hamburger at this point. Electric lovingly bites her ear, and then crawls away. Stacey is in awe from what just happened.
After Brad comes out of the bathroom, he notices that the ants are eating Stacey’s cheeseburger on the ground. He tries to kill them (though he only ends up killing Auntie) out of sheer disgust, regardless of needing them for his biology project. Stacey freaks out and fails to stop him from flushing the rest of the ants down the toilet. She then gets into a bad argument with Brad, and confesses that Electric sparked a fire in her that she never had in her relationship. She breaks up with him, and tries to find Electric in the sewer.