Grand Prize winner of the American Musical Theater Festival contest for new musicals

Best of the Fest at New Tuners, Chicago. “The music has sweep and variety … period Americana with contemporary dissonances … the lyrics are simple but not predictable. A big hit.” PerformInk

Overland is a full-length musical with book and lyrics by Ken Stone and music by Jan Powell, about people caught up in the American westward movement. The year is 1844, when the crossing from Missouri to Oregon by ox-drawn wagon is still a new and uncertain undertaking. But the focus is on the very emotional human stories inside the historical events. The tone is serious, at times even tragic, but ultimately this is a tremendously uplifting story of perseverance and hope for the future.

A large-cast show for:

What it requires

Strong singing actors.

What it does not require

Elaborate sets, wagons, or onstage animals. Please.


The show can be performed very effectively on a nearly bare stage. The staging concept calls only for a nonrealistic set of platforms, ramps, and varied spaces, artfully lit.


Whether played by piano and small combo or a full orchestra, the music soars, with folk-influenced ballads, choral ensembles, and dances.


Principal Characters (click or tap the character name to listen)

Phoebe mezzo soprano, mid-40s
Sarah soprano, about 20
Andrew tenor, about 20
Joseph baritone, mid-30s
Ulysses boy soprano or tenor, about 14
Maudie soprano, mid-30s
Kitt baritone, 30 to 50
Isaac tenor, mid-40s

The supporting roles bring the total cast requirements to 10 men, 6 women, 2 boys, and 1 girl. At a minimum it can be done with 16. On the other hand, a producing group that wants to expand the chorus can certainly do so.

With a few exceptions it should be a young cast, typical of the people who made the journey in real life.


Watch a video clip of the first ten minutes of the show in a staged reading.

Get inspired

Read a superb historical note that inspired us. Let it inspire you too.


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