June 8, 2021

Rex Willis and Kelly Burnette, Composer and Director of the New Musical "Worthy Souls," Joins the Club

Rex Willis and Kelly Burnette, Composer and Director of the New Musical "Worthy Souls," Joins the Club

When Rex Willis' son Ryan joined some friends for a "Dumpster Diving" excursion a decade ago, Rex never knew it would lead to him composing his second musical. During the last ten years, Rex's extensive research on homelessness in our area, the real people who experience this plight, and the stories that got them in that situation led him to write a rock opera entitled "Worthy Souls."

Take a listen to this week's Suncoast Culture Club podcast as we learn about the process of writing, producing, and performing an original musical, as well as the deep passion for this societal issue that Rex has come to champion.

Join Rex Willis as composer and lyricist, Kelly Burnette as director, Logan Martin as music director, Josh Brammer as choreographer, and a cast and crew of State College of Florida alumni, students, and staff as they present a workshop of this decades in the making musical, "Worthy Souls."

Performances are Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12 at 7:30 in the SCF Neel Performing Arts Center with food for the SCF Food Pantry being your only expense to enter the show.
All SCF students, staff, and faculty will be admitted to the Neel Performing Arts Center with an SCF ID. All others who wish to attend should email Rex or Kelly at WillisR@SCF.edu or KellyDance1@aol.com to be added to the "Guest List" for admittance.

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Transcript

Robyn Bell: We have some of the most amazingly talented people working in the Music Program at the State College of Florida, doing some of the most incredibly difficult projects for no other reason, and that they just have to have a creative outlet. And I am so excited for my colleague, Rex Willis, who has been writing a musical about homeless people for about eight years now. And finally with the help of Kelly Burnett as director Logan Martin has music director and Josh Brammer his choreographer, his hard work and creation called Worthy Souls will be performed this Friday and Saturday, June 11th and 12th in the Neel Performing Arts Center to tell us all about it is the composer, Rex Willis and director Kelly Burnett, Rex and Kelly. Welcome to the club. 

Rex Willis: Thank you to be here. 

Robyn Bell: I should say, welcome to the club. Again, 

Rex Willis: we're getting used to this, I think. Yeah. 

Robyn Bell:  Your gold star club members. So Rex, let's start with you. This is not your first musical to write, correct? 

Rex Willis: No, that is correct.  Back in 2000, I think it was seven. Jim Taggart and Melodie Dickerson, and I were commissioned to write a musical.  It was actually had to do with the 50th anniversary of the college. And that was about. Ybor city and the cigar factories. And we did three different versions of it here and in Tampa and Ybor City. And that was, it's always a lot of work. And here I am, again, I just a glutton for composing punishment type thing. 

Robyn Bell: So what did you learn from writing Ybor City that helped you write this second Musical worthy Souls? 

Rex Willis: Oh, absolutely. In fact, I think Kelly, I said it the other day, it takes a village. We're working on the lyrics. I found out that it's always good to get feedback and working on the music. It's always good to get feedback. And as far as writing the story It's everybody's input. It was interesting because Melodie and Jim would say, all right, the story's coming along. We need a story about . And so they'd given me the idea of this the story we'd work on the lyrics, work on the words. So it was a team effort. It was back and forth. This person, this person, boom, boom, boom. It's like a triangle of information going back constantly. Right? Until you finally got something that seemed like it was going to work. The thing I did find out is you always hear this 5% inspiration, 95% perspiration found out it's a lot of work 

Robyn Bell: and so different for this is it's solo Rex. This is all you, right? 

Rex Willis: Yeah. Yeah. This is my baby. Absolutely. 

Robyn Bell: And when I say eight years, That's not an exaggeration. I think it has been about that long. Hasn't it 

Rex Willis: maybe been longer? Well it depends on which manifestation of this. My son was a dumpster diving with some friends of his, like 10 or 12 years ago. And through that process, I actually met some of the homeless people  that he was meeting and I got really interested in it.  And then at some point I started hanging out, hanging out, maybe the wrong. Word, but researching, researching field work, you know, hanging out with me volunteering at soup kitchens and really I'm not some kind of big humanitarian type of person. All I can say is I just got a real heart for it. And fascinating. Interesting mind blowing alternate lifestyles that people have. And so I did a really, a couple of different versions in a way over the years, but a few years ago, I started from scratch and started doing more field work and more research. And this is the very different beast than the earlier ones, but yes eight years, maybe more. 

Robyn Bell: It was originally called  Dumpster Diving. Right?  

Rex Willis: It was called Scavengers and then Something for Nothing and then Endless Cycle. And now this one is Kelly it's similar, but maybe 98% different than, yeah. Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. Yeah,  I saw at workshops at St. Stephen's many years ago, and I'm very excited to see this new version. I know you've been working really, really hard on it Kelly Burnett. I know you as a dance instructor at the Manatee School for the Arts and here at SCF. So this is the first time I've seen you. wear the director hat. Do you have other experiences directing shows? 

Kelly Burnette: I do actually Robyn a ton.  I have predominantly, I would say in this area directed for the Manatee players, but I've done it, lots of places. I have a lot of experience with it. You know, a lot of choreographers start out as choreographers and then sort of. Move into directing either both or solo 

Robyn Bell: Rick Kirby, I think Gilenya, same vein.  

Kelly Burnette: Yeah, Rick. And I've talked about this too. And,  actually Kelly Woodland and I have spoken about this. She said, I, often admire directors who start as choreographers because they just have a sense of how to move bodies in space. So it's,  kind of a logical progression. So I do have a lot of experience with it actually. And  as Rex mentioned, this is like his baby. And so it was like being asked to be the midwife to his baby essentially.

Robyn Bell: Well, you know, that's kinda, my next question is as the director. Or you have to take Rex's big idea and sort of ground it. Right.  How has that experience been different? Being the director of a show with the creator right there next to you versus a show where you are the single source of decision-making.

Kelly Burnette: It is different and  it's a joy,  it's a pleasure. And I'm happy to say this is not my first original show, but it is unique in the sense that as you said, Rex is a one man band over here doing all of it. And that is different because. When all of the vision is coming from the same mind as beautiful and cohesive as that may be. Sometimes you have to make those hard calls and say, yeah, but maybe this could work better.  I don't necessarily agree with you about that. And Rex, and I've been friends for about 16 years. And we've,  had many professional experiences together. And , actually, this is the third iteration of this that I've really worked on with, Rex. 

Robyn Bell: So you have seen this thing grow from its infancy to now what we might consider a 21 year old kid, or, you know,  what are the differences you've seen through all this?

Kelly Burnette: I would say probably to expand on that. I would say maybe since it's toddlerhood I wasn't really there from them. The get-go, but I certainly was there in its early stages with Scavengers. In fact, initially Rex asked me to help with Scavengers. I ended up being in it through you know, weird series of events, but I portrayed the character of Bike and I rapped for the first time in my life. So that was pretty amazing, but it was a lot of fun. And  there were kids I'd worked with here at the university, so it was really fun to work with them. So that was kind of one iteration. Then we did  more of a reading that was more of a developmental stage, I would say, not necessarily performed. So this is kind of becoming  the culmination of all of that experience, all of my previous experience with Rex, but also as he said, This is its newest, shiniest, most interesting iteration. And so trying to find , the core,  bits of it from before and taking that through line, but also hopefully taking it to the finish line in terms of a fully realized production with lights and sound and all that kind of fun stuff.

Rex Willis: And I have to say that letting go has. Not been as hard as I thought it would be. Melodie Dickerson had warn me about that. I mean, literally it it's good advice but I think part of it was after all the years of working on it, I feel very comfortable, very happy with the product. And having worked with you for 15 years.  I don't think we've ever even had a confrontation. We have always worked well together. And so my comfort level was good now. I've never seen you really direct, right. But I knew that you had, and so  letting go. I thought it would be harder, but I've really actually enjoyed that process. And  we've been open and listening to each other and a couple of times she reminded me, I am the director and I might go into yes. And that's what I love about this. And then of course  my creative juices flowing and I'm like, well, can we try something new? And you've been wonderful  to listen. So 

Kelly Burnette: I appreciate that. I take that as the highest compliment and Rex, and I've discussed this and we think part of it besides our. Vast experience and being old dogs in the theater. We have two young dogs that are starting Out with us, both Logan Martin, who we mentioned is our music director, as well as Josh Brammer choreographer. They're both extremely talented young men, but they've never done this particular thing before. Logan has never been a music director of a show before. And Josh had never choreographed a show before he is a dancer and choreographer, but doing a whole show, a musical is very different than what he's done before.

Robyn Bell: Wonderful experience for these two though, to get their feet wet in this way. And I have to tell you, I was very excited to see Logan Martin listed because he's an SCF alumni and he just graduated from FSU and he's the music director. So Rex. Let's use that to tell us about the music for this show and why Logan was the perfect choice to be the music director.

Rex Willis: It's very easy. First of all, he has been a star student of mine until he went to FSU And  always, they're always on time, always getting the job done well, that's,  kind of a given with him, anyone that knows him, but what really did it for me was he was the guitarist for the show that we did this past fall Children of Eden. And it's a very. Very difficult score and some guitarists would look at the chord charts and fake it and maybe do a really good job, but he read every single note. There's an old joke. How do you get a guitar player to stop playing, put music in front of him? It's the exact opposite with Logan, Logan? Did Herb job. And there were times where I looked down and I said, is that the music? Oh my gosh, I don't remember this from the last time I did it. So he was fantastic and he was kind of pushing it and a good leader. In essence, even though I was the conductor.  He also played guitar in Endless Cycles several years ago and yeah. I was always like he took classical guitar lessons with me. Where is this coming from? He was playing everywhere from Santana to Robert Plant. I mean, the guy could play any style of guitar, a distortion clean sounds acoustic, but then his,  leadership skill. When he was in the guitar ensemble here at State College of Florida, he was one of the lead  roles in the Guitar Ensemble. Everything pointed to him and what a nice guy. I had a gut feeling that he would take over and sure enough, even he has reminded me a couple of times, I am the music director and I'm like, you are, 

Kelly Burnette: and that's hard to do to your mentor. And it's hard to lead your peers. But I was reading through his notes last night that he posted and  they're professional they're to the point they're concise. They're kind, but they also don't let the kids off the hook. It's like, do your job.  Review the song, do this. You're not right on that note. So he's not scared to tell his peers, this is what you gotta do to be better. 

Robyn Bell: So  how many instrumentalists are in the pit? 

Rex Willis: Well, it was going to be four, but we actually have added a fifth. And so we have  a five piece band two guitars, bass, percussion, and keyboard. And they're really playing. Completely out of professional level, they've all actually done paid professional gigs before. 

Robyn Bell: And Rex explained to us because if people think they're coming to a musical, they have kind of a sound or an expectation for the music in their head. Tell us how this is going to be different from their expectations. 

Rex Willis: Wow. Wow. That's a great question. And, and you can help me 

Kelly Burnette: out a little bit with this

Rex Willis: There's this old joke, you know, what do  get? If you cross a tiger with a, whatever, you know, this is, this is Sondheim. This is, oh my gosh, there's disgrace. 

Kelly Burnette: It runs the gamut. It's like songs selling like country music. I mean, yeah, it really runs the gamut of set 

Rex Willis: up. Sounds probably the best way to answer that is there's two things that just came to my mind. One is I decided that a lot of the dialogue should be sung in the style of the person's personality. And so we basically, we have six personalities in this. And so each one is unique and very different from the other. So I decided, well, this style of music  and we call it  whichever enunciation. So I decided, well, this one has this personality, they're sung dialogue, which is not the same as an  aria. It's not a song song would be this style and this person would have this style of song dialogue. And that. Keeps this flow constantly going. So that's one reason why there's quite a few styles of music, but there kind of like Sondheim in, Into the Woods that tight there's always that thematic chord progression and,  little jingles, little hooks and the tunes keep going through. There are some reprises that thread all the way through it and hold it together in that sense, musically, even with all the different styles of music. So it's rock and roll. We have gospel there's even a four part choral  in a certain scene, a little country, as you mentioned  and some funk as a matter of fact, and a little hip hop and a little, yeah.

Robyn Bell: Okay. And you said there are six characters, correct. And so tell us now, maybe Kelly, you'd be better as the director and sort of, you know, with the fresher eyes, tell us the basic libretto, as they would say in the real opera musical world, what's this show about. 

Kelly Burnette: Well, it's following the lives of six folks that as the title implies  are worthy souls, but through a series of unfortunate events for each of them,  different types of events, some of which have been, shall we say self generated or self-imposed. And some of which really have been as happens in real life,  unfortunate things, whether due to mental illness, addiction  Suffering abuse as young children, et cetera. They've,  all ended up on the streets. And so we see them at the top of the show. We don't know anything about them yet. The prologue  introduces where they are and what's happening. One of the characters is a priest who helps them and feeds them. They often go to the  soup kitchen to eat, and he also provides. Besides counseling services also you know, where their mail goes. I mean, these are the things that most of us take for granted, certainly American. Yeah. Like where would you go get mail? Where would you go if you.  Had to take a shower or something like that. It's implied in the show. Why would I go there doing an interview?  When you don't have shoes, when you don't have a nice suit, we don't have a nice dress. How are you supposed to go to the interview to get you 

Robyn Bell: even to fill out a job application if you don't have an address. 

Kelly Burnette: Right.  And of course, nowadays, since most stuff is online,  how are they, even in the olden days, you would walk up to the place and maybe could do it in person. But  now that's not really always possible. So this gentlemen provides many different services for him and it's implied in the show that perhaps he had his own struggles and reasons that he's there, but he's a very kind, generous character. And without giving too much away,  some characters, endings are different than others as happens in real life and Rex and I've talked to them about this many times. Most of us know if you, if you live in the Bradenton Manatee area, you're seeing a lot of the same street folks again and again. And Rex and I  have been paying even more attention in recent years and we both have seen the same folks again and again, Rex is often, Spend time with them. I will interact with them  but I've seen some of the same folks. And I've told him that Bike, which is the character I  portrayed before. Haunts me, like literally I'll see the people with their bikes  over and over again, this happens, I think, to a lot of creative people when you're working on a project, certain aspects of that project will  come to the forefront of your mind, speak to manifest. Absolutely. Totally. That happens too, with music. It happens to me with visuals, a lot of things. So in working on this part of what we've been trying to do, as Rex mentioned, he's tried to generate it musically as far as what their different personalities are and so forth. And of course, my job has been to help the actors generate it. But  even though these are young people, they're doing  a fantastic job with the acting that happily to my knowledge, none of them has experienced this life before. Yeah. But they have put themselves as actors have to do in shoes that they haven't necessarily walked in and they're doing a great job.  I find myself being very moved by the show. There's humor in the show, we have to say for our listeners that it's definitely a PG 13 type show. There's  language and cursing and so forth. There's nothing really overt,  or upsetting in that way. But, it's definitely a show that if you're bringing younger children to, you would want to. Make sure that they understand that's a little bit,  of the street as they say, but  the message behind it,  is ultimately hopeful. And I think that's really important, especially with what all that's going on in the world right now. It's also a very diverse cast, which I'm very proud of. I think it really represents.  Real people and people that you would actually see.  When you're asking people to commit their time and their talents for free as these young people are doing, it's really asking a lot, especially as some of them are coming out of a very difficult school year, maybe going into  summer classes and so forth. And we're very proud of what they put out there because it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work to say, memorize the music. It's an RX Rex's words are  it's wordy. There's a lot of words hitting you very fast. And so it's very difficult to memorize in  we're very proud of what they're putting out there. They're putting their heart and soul into the show and it really shows. 

Robyn Bell: And are most of the performers, SCF students or alumni? 

Rex Willis: Yes. In fact,  our father, Paul is actually a former alumni from what about 10 years ago? It was his great Tommy Durante. Okay, who was one of our outstanding students.  He was going to be the musician in the band. And as it turned out that didn't work out for the other person. And  I looked at Tommy and  I remember  when he was a student here. He wasn't a voice major, but he had a beautiful voice, very smart guy. And I'm like going, Hey, Tommy, would you like to be Father Paul? And he looks the part he's in his mid. 30, sorry, Tommy. And so, you know,  he looks old, it really worked out beautiful.

Robyn Bell:  who else is in the show? 

Kelly Burnette: well,  I don't know if I'm gonna get everybody's names, right. Rachel probably have to help me with this, but I did want to mention that we also have two kind of supernumeraries Sam who's actually straddling the band as well as being in the show. Thank you.  And then Josh, Brammer who's our choreographer is also acting as a character and we actually have put him in a little bit more than we originally intended, just because we needed some extra characters. Yeah. Fred's last name is 

Robyn Bell: Fred Brown.

Kelly Burnette: Thank you. Fred is playing  John, our fallen preacher. And then Bob has played by CJ. Last name. Shavera. Thank you. Okay. Thank God Robyn can save us on the last name. 

Robyn Bell:  He's a wonderful young man. 

Kelly Burnette: He is, and we've worked with him before he was in Children,of Eden and stuff. So some of the kids we have worked. With before, some of them are new to me, 

Rex Willis: one of our actresses, Amanda Curtis has never done any acting before and at the auditions. , I was like, wow, you've never done anything like this before. And we've heard her sing  and she has. So you got the chops, you got the, the, the character of Jack very, very much so

Kelly Burnette: Our last two girl characters. We have bike who is portrayed by Anna. Grace, Robin. Thank you. The beautiful Anna. She stole my, my part. Now she's doing a great job. It's been a joy to see. And his take on it. Cause that is the character I played before. So it's been really fun to see her very different, very wonderful take on it. And then last but not least, we can't say too much about  Kelsey Thorton, who is playing. Last female character, Carrie. And although she's somebody I've worked with before, this is the first time we've really seen her in this capacity in terms of, because really they're all leads, they're all main characters. And  we've just been super, super impressed because  it's difficult material.  With due respect to the musicals, I love that are lighter and tap dancing and joyous. This one has joy in it too, but  it has a lot of pathos. It has a lot of drama. It has a lot of Tevye sadness. It is, it's a heavy topic. And it's addressed appropriately. 

Robyn Bell:  Now of all the people that I know are in this than one, I do not know is Josh Brammer. So tell me, Josh is lined to SCF and how he came to work with us here. 

Kelly Burnette: Well, it was, it was through me. He is a young man that I've been working with at Manatee School for the Arts for the last couple of years. And he has helped out both as a sub for us in the dance department, as well as. Some coaching for our teams and so forth. He's a  very gifted hip hop artist break,  dancing b-boy and so forth. And so his,  style, his background is very different from mine. And  when  Rex and I first started talking about this, he initially asked me to do both to direct and choreograph, which,  I frequently do. Yeah. But, you know, this time around, I started thinking about it and I was like, you know what, I'm not the right chick for the job for this iteration, because it really needed that more kind of street drive, you know? And a more youthful vibe dare I say,  so I asked Josh about it.  I had no idea whether this was something that would ever interest him. I was fairly certain, he'd never done anything like this before. And, once I started explaining it to him and he listened to some of the music, he got really excited and he's not a street person himself, but he certainly is familiar with,  the scene in terms of,  the graffiti art and skateboarding and things of this nature, you know? And so he was really excited.  Then I took it to Rex and I said, listen, I've got this young man that I,  really want to help him and support him in his career. I think he's the right guy for the job. He's really excited. How do you feel about it? Cause again, this is Rex's. No baby, this is Rex's private material, copyright written material. And I didn't know how I'd feel about it from this guy I'd never met before in his life. So we did what collaborators often do. We met for coffee at Starbucks whenever you're welcome Starbucks for your plug. And  it's still obviously during the pandemic, so we sat outside and these two gentlemen never met in their lives, so that facilitated it, but it was lovely. We had a really great meeting. 

Rex Willis: I like you a lot at first. Right? Exactly. And I just could tell this guy, the right attitude and we hit it off and I'll tell you, he has been wonderful to work with no matter what. And  I've loved everything he did. And there, there was something that I was questioning one day and he goes, Hey, it's not about me. It's about the whole thing. 

Kelly Burnette: He served the project, which is what, what your job is 

Robyn Bell: very nice. Now, in addition to the, musicians in the pit orchestra and the actors and singers on the stage, everyone knows a musical doesn't quite really get off the ground without the people behind the scenes that people do in the tech. So tell us  who all has been helping with this and what all have they done to make this production go?

Kelly Burnette: Well, it's been a mix of staff and students. And we'd like to say a big thank you and a big shout out to Allison Baker who is also  become our defacto stage manager bless her heart. So she's going to call the show as well as handling front of house aspects and so forth. Dorian Boyd who is working on our projections and sound. As well as Jan  Van Wart, whom I've known for many, many years, I used to work with him at the Apple and he's running our light board. And also we have Zach and several other students who are helping us with spot ops and things of that nature. So it's really, as Rex mentioned before, it absolutely takes a village and it takes a very multi-talented village to make musicals and in a show coming up with a yeah, we're, we're all very grateful. It's going to make the show look beautiful and we're very grateful to him 

Robyn Bell: and the Neel Performing Arts Center, such a beautiful place to put on not just a symphony concert, but a musical. And to have that support, we're really grateful to the State College of Florida who provides these wonderful talented people that they never get seen. But boy, they get seen. 

Kelly Burnette: Absolutely  I watched the Kennedy Center Honors last night, Robyn and I,  was so taken. I was so touched by it because the arts is coming back and we're very thrilled and proud to be a part of that. And we're grateful that  this  SCF community has provided this opportunity for people on both sides of the stage. People to come see it as well as the kids to do it because  I feel like myself again, I don't know 

Rex Willis: about your expert. And in fact, this might be the first production in Neel in a long time where we actually really can invite people. And other than just to, yeah, it is, it does. It feels good if the reawakening it does the awakening.

Robyn Bell:  I had heard that there were some super cool graffiti visual component to this show. So tell us about that and how that,  plays in the show and where that graffiti art came from.

Rex Willis:  So originally the very first show Scavengers Reggie Williams, who is now a well-known artist, R-Lamar he's. On the charts, he had these long  dreadlocks and he was actually  one of our first scavengers. So I got the whole idea of the graffiti art then, and then all the trips that we make to New York City LA seeing graffiti art. That's like. Amazing really. Oh. And then sometimes it's here today and gone tomorrow. Right. And so reading articles, talking to people, seeing interviews on YouTube some of the graffiti artists, they're so proud of what they do, even though they know it's going to be gone. And sometimes they take risk, get arrested because they do it in the wrong place. So that was kind of the creation of that. And so the very first times we did these artworks, I actually did them myself. I must say, they're not. Too bad. 

Kelly Burnette: They're great. 

Rex Willis: But I I talked to some folks got some connections and we have this amazing graphic artist who has created  these, it's kind of hard to say. You  just have to come and see them, but it's these. Insanely beautiful, colorful dreadlocks that fly up to the heavens with these eyes that are rather hollow. And,  the idea behind that is because my life  seems to be going in a hollow direction, so to speak without a mouth, but the sayings.  There's always some caption underneath them. The words are misspelled and intentionally because, well, you can kind of read into it at the show. If you come see it, there's several reasons why , but the idea is if you see a word spelled with a Y instead of an I or a pH instead of an F, it kind of grabs your attention. And then you're asking yourself, why is this misspelled? So there's these captions where the mouth would be, and it also kind of represents the sad state of many children being homeless and children oftentimes misspell words, or they might put an S backwards. So that's kind of the back drop for, I see a graffiti art 

Kelly Burnette: and nowadays spelled like the text. Yeah. 

Rex Willis: I do want to do a shout out. Our graffiti artists  Kate Vega. This was through Katherine Bzura And Sue Wyer  some of our wonderful faculty and  they found a student that was hungry to work. Very, very talented. And Kate Vega has just done an incredible job. Graffiti art. 

Kelly Burnette: That's really cool.

Robyn Bell: Now,   you said the opening scene, like in a soup kitchen, but Rex  is the city of Bradenton in your mind where all this takes place. 

Rex Willis: Question to me, this is anywhere.  One of the things I did and my research,  it's been field work, me, hanging out with,  people at places on the streets, but I also watched. Literally hundreds of YouTube,  interviews professionally done and otherwise here and different parts of the world.   So yes, it's anywhere Bradenton,  LA New York anywhere. 

Robyn Bell:  The plight of homelessness is not specific to where we live. It is every city you go to every town you go to there's somebody or a group of somebodies who do not have a home and are,  scavenging and dumpster diving and living moment to moment. 

Rex Willis: Yes,  I remember years ago, one of my trips to Europe, I seen a lady and beautiful part of town in the Czech Republic, pulling a hamburger out of the trashcan. It's anywhere it's everywhere.  One other thought I think what I really decided to do was go. With realism. I didn't want to hide the truth. I didn't want to cover it up and what I know exactly. And so what I found with the,  people that I've talked to is humor. Sometimes the funniest things. And, sometimes I talked to this guy who had been in Iraq he's missing his teeth and he had nothing but fun things to say his outlook on life. I, it's just an amazing from that extreme to seeing ambulance show up at a drug overdose. And so. The idea was to catch the essence and the realistic way. These are fascinating people. They're sad, they're happy. And they're really human beings. And there's a moment in a song nameless, faceless, and we want people to know they're not nameless. They're not faceless they're people. 

Kelly Burnette: And I know my dad would want to mention Robyn that many, many homeless folks are veterans and  that is always super heartbreaking. And so it,  brings it even near and dear to my heart. And Rex has decided, and I really am thrilled and support this, that the,  entrance fee, if you will, rather than being money is a donation to food banks.  And I think that is a perfect way to support the,  ultimate. Vision and, he said he's not a humanitarian. I would probably dispute that a bit. But the point is that he's trying to shed light on a plight that affects all of us, whether directly or indirectly. Probably most of us, maybe three degrees of separation should probably have somebody in our world that 

Robyn Bell: one or two paychecks away.

Kelly Burnette: Absolutely. And I think the pandemic unfortunately, made that even  more apparent to some people than,  they were aware of before. 

Rex Willis: There will be. Bins it's the SCF Food Pantry and Michelle Puls will have those bins at the entrance.   

Robyn Bell: I love this idea of. no tickets, but instead bring food for the food pantry. Really. And I have the list here that can items there asked people to bring our mixed veggies, chef Boyardee, carrots, corn, fruit, Vienna sausages, and the some other items you could also bring that are not in cans, Mac and cheese, fruit cups. Pop tarts, my personal favorite oatmeal, popcorn, cereal applesauce, and granola bars. However, we must say that people just can't come to this show, right?  It's not really open to the public Rex, but they are allowing you to invite people. So if someone's listening and wants to attend this Friday or Saturday, how do they get on the guests?

Rex Willis:  Well, first of all, All SCF employees and staff and students can come. If you are not a part of the SCF family  then if you know Kelly, you know me, then you just simply have to contact us. And then we will send you the information.  You would send the box office in emails saying I'm a guest of, but they first have to  connect with us.

Robyn Bell:  So they need to email you email. What is that email address 

Rex Willis: willisr@scf.edu.

Kelly Burnette: And you can get ahold of me at Kelly dance. K E L L Y. Dance and the numeral one, Kelly dance1@aol.com.  

Robyn Bell:  We're all very excited for this summer workshop and to see the latest version of your homeless musical Rex  Worthy Souls. Thank you both for coming on the podcast today, to tell us all about it. And I look forward to seeing it myself on Friday night. Let's hope you get some wonderful feedback and this is the next step and it actually really becoming a full blown musical show. So thank you both for helping us explain all this to us today. 

Rex Willis: Thank you so much, Robyn. 

Kelly Burnette: Thank you, Robyn. Appreciate it 

Rex Willis: very much.