Musical written by UK student to debut later this month


Kara Powell, left, and Devin Landis rehearse for “Lucidity: A New Musical” on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo provided by Alix Lawler.

Alexis Baker, Staff Reporter

UK students Devin Landis and Emily Gardner announced in a press release on Feb. 18 that their upcoming original musical is to be performed by UK theater students later this month. 

According to the press release, the musical is called “Lucidity: A New Musical.” Landis is the producing executive director while Gardner is the resident stage manager for the production. 

The release said that the plot of the musical ignites a conversation about mental health and how it affects teenagers.

“Young people are increasingly searching for escape from the problems we face in the modern world, but what happens when they take it too far? The show follows Cole, a student whose life is changed forever when his father dies,” the release said.

Landis, who wrote the musical, said the idea for the production started in 2019 in collaboration with a peer from high school, Aaron Soltis.

“As the pandemic hit, we took a while, I took a step back from the idea since we were both going to college at the time, but then a couple months ago I finished the script and we collaborated again,” Landis said. 

“Lucidity: A New Musical” will debut at the Southeastern Theatre Convention and will come to the UK Briggs Theatre on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. This showing is free of charge. 

An additional showing, The Fringe Festival performance, will be at the Lexington Children’s Theatre on March 3 at 3:30 PM. Admission is $10.

Landis said the music is outstanding and that the audience can look forward to the soundtrack. He wrote the lyrics for the show and Soltis did the composition. 

When it came to funding for the production, Landis said, due to their submission to the Southeastern Theatre Convention, they received a venue and marketing efforts through the convention’s resources. 

UK provided additional funding through a research grant.

Landis said the UK Department of Theatre and Dance’s faculty advisor, Stephen Wrentmore, has been helping the production team find funds.

The release said the musical is a partnership with the UK Department of Theatre and Dance, and the production is run and led entirely by students. 

“I’m really proud of them (the cast) for kind of taking ownership of their character, even though they don’t have any form of reference,” Landis said.