FLORENCE, S.C. – Abigail Greenwood will bring history to life Saturday night at Florence Little Theatre with “Antonia the Musical.”
The musical tells the story of Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution, from her marriage at the age of 14 to her execution.
The 15-year-old songwriter, actress and now playwright, said she has always had dreams of writing a musical.
After traveling to New York City and seeing “Anastasia” on Broadway this January, Abigail said, she was inspired to start writing a historical musical. On the plane trip home, she began writing melodies, which later turned into songs for the musical.
Abigail finished writing the musical in three months and then began preparing for a live production of the play, she said.
Abigail said FLT members have been very supportive her, and have helped with getting the musical ready for the stage. The play has 19 people in the cast, and Abigail said most of the cast members have taken part in an FLT production.
“I’d say it’s definitely been difficult to pull together in the amount of time that we’ve done it, but without the support of FLT, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” Abigail said. “It’s been hard.”
In the production Abigail has worn several hats, including actress and director, in addition to writing the musical. She said taking on several roles has allowed her to dabble in all of the aspects of putting on a musical.
“It’s hectic, and it’s scary, but it helps me; it keeps me on my toes and keeps me learning,” Abigail said.
Abigail said she’s also learned to delegate responsibilities while preparing for the production.
“The worst thing that’s going to happen is they’re going to say no,” Abigail said. “So just ask.”
Prior to the musical’s debut, Abigail has been releasing some recordings of the songs on YouTube. She said she’s already gotten feedback from people telling her how the show has affected them. That’s the goal, she said, to see her work influence others.
“The most rewarding part is to hear that it’s helped them in some way or that it’s affected them,” Abigail said.
Abigail said she hopes that people learn that in history there’s always a gray area – people aren’t all bad and aren’t all evil.
“Everyone thinks Marie Antoinette was this big evil woman, but I think there’s a lot more to that,” Abigail said. “I think a lot of that was due to her being a woman during that time; she never wanted to be queen.”
The musical will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the show are $5 and will be available at the door.