THE STORY: Six paleontologists make a staggering discovery that takes them back to the last days of the dinosaurs where we find a story of love in the shadow of extinction. Through song, humor, and some moving epiphanies, the audience learns how the huge animals were discovered in the New Mexico desert 65 million years after a meteorite struck the earth and the dinosaurs perished.
WORK HISTORY: Working closely with Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff, EXTINCTION was work-shopped for two summers at New Mexico State University and then fully-staged in four public performances in October of 2007. We are now seeking a professional debut of the show and an opportunity to further develop and refine the work.
AUDIENCE RESPONSE: The question as to whether the audience would “go with us” -- as modern-day paleontologists become talking and singing dinosaurs -- was answered unequivocally by the staged performances, which told me that I had a “working” musical, with all the basic pieces in place and the characters fully formed and “alive.” Enthusiastically embraced by adults, I was surprised at how deeply engaged children were by the show (although I don’t consciously write for young audiences, the presence of the dinosaurs and their often broadly humorous antics kept the kids glued to their seats). Noting this, I have created a version of the script tailored to young audiences with 5 characters and a running time of 58 minutes.
THE MUSIC: EXTINCTION is currently scored for 9 instruments (clarinet, French horn, trombone, guitar, piano, cello, violin, percussion), but is effective with only piano/vocal. The show is packed with memorable songs, both funny and touching, with titles such as “Carnivores in Love” (a tango duet), “The Paleontologists Polka”, “Oh Crap” and “The Peak of All Creation”.
CHARACTERS: 6 adults: Three PhD Paleontology students: Ally (mezzo, Albertosaurus), Tye (operatic baritone, Tyrannosaurus Rex), Bob (tenor, Parasaurolophus); two young graduate students: brother and sister Brandon (baritone, Ornithomimus) and Birdy (mezzo, Ornithomimus); and their professor Pen (baritone, Pentaceratops).
THE SCIENCE: The story is built upon a solid scientific foundation, developed in consultation with Dr. Nancy McMillan, geochemist and head of the Geology Department at New Mexico State University, and Dr. Lucas Spencer, Director of the New Mexico Natural History Museum.
Copyright notice: With the exception of a few historical photos in the public domain, all images and copy on this site are under the copyright of the artist, Bob Diven, or his clients. All rights reserved.