Holland resident Elizabeth Miller recently performed at the world premier of “Goddess Wheel,” a new musical by “Hair” composer Galt MacDermot, with lyrics written by playwright and lyricist Matty Selman.
The premier was held this past April at Wagner College Theatre, one of the top 20 collegiate theater programs in the country.
“We were the first ones to put on a full-scale production of this show,” says Elizabeth, a junior at Wagner College’s Theater Program in Staten Island, New York.
“Goddess Wheel” is the musical adaptation of the play, “Lysistrata,” by Aristophanes. It tells the story of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens.
The women, fed up with the war, decide to withhold sex from their husbands until the men sign a peace treaty bringing the war to an end.
Elizabeth, who played Myrrhina, a supporting lead role, says, “Up until ‘Goddess Wheel,’ I had always performed in shows I had seen before, so I could model my roles based on existing characters. However, during this show, I actually originated my character.”
One of the challenges Elizabeth faced performing on a new show was adapting to constant changes, since this musical was truly “a work in progress.” She adds, “The lyrics, script and lines were changed on a regular basis, but this helped me with my mental flexibility as an actress.”
Galt came to Wagner during a few rehearsals and for the show’s opening night.
“It was a huge honor to perform in a musical composed by Galt,” says Elizabeth. “We were all a little star struck to meet him.”
Although Elizabeth anticipates that there will be many modifications made to “Goddess Wheel,” her hope is that this production will ultimately tour. But to date, nothing has been announced.
“Goddess Tour” was Elizabeth’s third college performance. Prior to attending Wagner, Elizabeth performed in a variety of plays at Council Rock High School South in Holland and at the Downtown Performing Arts Center in Lambertville.