"Key Change"

Music, Lyrics and Book by Ben Wexler

 

Key Change is a story of tradition, belonging, gender equity, and a cappella music. It follows the intricate weeks-long audition process for the Melodaires, a fictionalized group that pulls inspiration from Yale's Whiffenpoofs. The elite all-male singing group has existed since the early 1900’s and has amassed a major reputation and enough connections to sustain a 30-country world tour every summer. Their audition process (drawing from the real-life process at Yale) is a grueling week of singing, social engagements, hurt feelings, and fierce group deliberations, open to freshmen men only. Until now. It's 2017, and Samantha, a freshman and first-generation college student, decides to audition for the Melodaires, signing up simply as Sam. The musical follows her and two other key freshmen as they jump through the many hoops of the audition process-meets-fraternity rush in hopes of getting into the group. As the three of them attempt to sing (and sometimes connive) their way into the group's good graces, the group finds itself in a full-blown identity crisis. Young, passionate, and at times short-sighted, they struggle to balance the strong views of their conservative alumni with Samantha's push for inclusion. The musical is performed a cappella, with the voices of the Melodaires providing their own accompaniment.