Oceanborn Creators Exclusive Interview!

Oceanborn creators took time out of their busy schedules to have a chat with us! Check out our exclusive interview here!

What is your musical about?

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 Oceanborn is a new musical about Vikings, ancient Gods of chaos, and overcoming cycles of violence. Morgan and I(Mhairi) know as female artists that stories about strong women have the capacity to inspire and communicate unique messages that currently are not widespread in the Broadway canon. From singing musicals in our kitchen to seeing innumerable local and New York shows, we have been frustrated since we were children that, while the vast majority of the Broadway fandom is female, none of its protagonists are. 

Plot-wise, Oceanborn is about Eira, the daughter of a Viking chief, who is stranded in a Celtic village. Gideon, a trickster god, creates a plan to turn Eira’s betrothed against her and goad the Vikings into more violence. Finn, the daughter of a village fisherman, befriends Eira across the chasm of their culture’s hatred. Their love for each other transcends the fear and chaos of their surroundings, and ultimately brings two nations together.

What do you think will make viewers excited about the piece?

Besides some heart-stopping action and a soundtrack hopefully worthy of a re-listen, I know viewers will be able to connect with these characters. Oceanborn taps into our desires to travel, to contribute to our communities, to love people different than us. Ultimately, it is an uplifting story that combines some classic Broadway drama with accessible political commentary and some lovable protagonists.

Where are you in the process of staging it?

I’m going to have to zip my lip on this question, but, suffice to say, we have some very exciting news coming soon!

What inspired the creation of the musical?

There was an article a few years back in National Geographic about archeologists discovering the graves of female Viking warriors. Of course, that was the start of something magnificent. Who doesn’t love Vikings and badass ladies, right?

What is it like to be young female artists forging the way in the creation of the piece?

There is so much to be thankful for. Being young and female, gives my co-writer and I a perspective that is wholly different from any musical writers before us. Through a support system of amazing women, we have been appreciated for the unique gifts we bring to the table throughout this project. Knowing that I(Mhairi) am head-over-heels for composing, which is notoriously male-centric, and a genre that manages to go years at a time without a female director nominated for a Tony, is both a challenge and a heartache. 

However, Oceanborn is an opportunity to make art by and about women. We chose to purposefully forego a love story in this plot, because we wanted to show women on Broadway with an identity separate from their romantic lives. We were criticized by producers who thought the lack of love story would make the story unappealing. We were criticized for our decision to add political commentary to our art. That criticism, that scrutiny, that Morgan and I receive for being female artists and making art that is unapologetically feminine, is above all and opportunity to change the way we as a society think about teenage girls and what they are capable of.

Why is diversity in entertainment so important?

If we don’t see ourselves on the stage, we don’t know we can be there. Women like Serena Williams and Mhairi Black are opening up windows for young girls. If children are able to say, I look like that so I can be that, then they are truly able to do anything.

What progress do you think is being made on the stage?

I’m so glad you asked this question! It is vitally important to talk about the positive progress we are making and not get bogged down in the stuff that will always need fixing. This year, movies like The Hate U Give and the in-development Wonder Woman sequel are showcasing female leads, one of whom is a black! The MeToo movement is rippling up to Congressional resignations. Movies like Moonlight are winning best picture. When we look at how far we’ve come instead of focusing on where society is stuck, we can be invigorated for change in a way that is ultimately more productive. I, for sure, know I will be seeing a bunch of female-led and directed movies this year, and I’m bringing my younger sisters along with me.

Where can we find more information about you, the show, and your co-creators?

You can find more about Oceanborn on our Instagram @OceanbornMusical and our website OceanbornMusical.com. Our newest foray is into youtube, where you can find us at @MSquared for vlogs, challenges, and booktubing or @Mhairi Cameron for more of our composer’s original stuff. 

 

Trevor Chauvin