Aaron Alon’s

The Chosen Ones

The Chosen Ones is a new musical about a group of young LGBTQ+ people in a conversion therapy camp.

Synopsis

The following synopsis contains spoilers. Song titles are indicated parenthetically.

Content Warnings: Conversion Therapy, Homophobia, Suicide, Transphobia

The show opens on Way in the Wilderness, a conversion therapy Christian summer camp for LGBTQ+ teens. Six campers arrive and nervously reflect on how they or their parents hope that somehow this place will miraculously make them straight and cisgender. (WAITING FOR A MIRACLE) These six campers were all picked to be part of the same small group, led by “ex-gay” Pastor Noah. In an early small group meeting, Iris, a 17-year-old femme lesbian shares her coming out story. (THIS IS ME) At the next small group meeting, they learn that unlike the rest of them, Caleb is there by his own choice; he feels broken and wants God to heal him. (SAVE ME) Noah is prayer partners this summer with Matt, a straight staffer who works on the grounds crew. Noah struggles with feeling attracted to Matt. At another small group, Daniel tells the story about how he tricked his parents into letting him go to gay clubs and hook up with his boyfriend by telling them he was going to church events instead. (I’M GOING TO CHURCH) In their next small group, a nonbinary, pansexual teen named Billie shares their story of growing up in a small town in the south, but learning that the world and its pleasures are far richer than anything they were taught growing up. (THIS WORLD) Back in his quarters, Noah is racked with self-loathing and guilt after he gave in to masturbating to gay porn. At another small group, Jo, a transgender teen, tells her story about being born “Joseph,” struggling with her gender identity and attempting suicide, as her family would prefer her dead than queer. (JOSEPH/JO) Meanwhile, tensions rise between Caleb and Daniel. Daniel leads the others in an anthem to assert the validity of their existences and to ignore those who would annihilate their truth and uniquenesses. (WE ARE THE MUSIC) Pastor Noah preaches to the full camp about the story of Job, suggesting that the youths’ queerness is a burden that God chose them for and that by overcoming it, they could become a greater part of His plan. In another small group, Alex, a butch lesbian, reflects on the disappearance of lesbian, and especially butch, culture, and how lonely the future seems as a result. (WHERE DID ALL THE BUTCHES GO?) Matt and Noah again meet in Noah’s quarters to talk and pray together, and Noah continues to struggle with his attraction to Matt. In the boys’ dorms, Iris has smuggled some makeup to Daniel, who surprises Jo by doing her makeup, saying that when done right, makeup reveals the hidden beauty within. (THE SECRET OF MAKEUP) Daniel and Jo sneak over to the small group room to share how incredible Jo looks. Caleb runs off and gets Pastor Noah before Jo can remove her makeup. Noah frog marches Jo back to the boys’ dorm and Daniel and Caleb have it out. When Daniel tells Caleb that he’s gay and nothing and no one can change that, Caleb lunges at Daniel, who drops Caleb with a single punch. Caleb runs off. Noah disciplines Daniel, who pleads to not be sent home, fearful that he’ll be thrown out on the streets. Noah receives a call and urgently sends Daniel back to small group. The small group discovers that Caleb attempted to hang himself; Jo found him and pocketed his suicide note, which they read together. (SAVE ME – REPRISE) The teens join Noah and the rest of the camp on the field, where they hold a vigil to pray for Caleb to come out of his coma. (WAITING FOR A MIRACLE – REPRISE) Feeling guilty for having his attention divided and missing the signs of Caleb’s suicidality, Noah separates himself from Matt, arranging for him to have a different prayer partner; Matt is hurt and confused by his sudden rejection. At their final small group, the teens try to cope with the news that Caleb’s parents are weighing taking him off life support and their fears of leaving each other to head home and back into the closet. Since they have to prepare their end-of-summer testimonials to give in front of the whole camp and their families, Alex suggests that give their testimonies together, sharing how they found hope and truth, something to believe in, and their place in the world. Their parents can think they found it in Christ, while they can secretly know that they found those things in the family of choice they’ve formed together. The show closes with them singing their group testimony. (THE ANSWER WAS YOU)

Demo Recordings

Demo recordings sung by the composer other than where noted.

1. Waiting for a Miracle

The show opens on a conversion therapy Christian summer camp named “Way in the Wilderness.” Six campers arrive and nervously reflect on how their parents (or, in one case, they, themselves) hope that somehow this place will miraculously make them straight or cisgender.

"Waiting for a Miracle"

by Aaron Alon | The Chosen Ones

2. This is Me

In an early small group meeting, Iris, a 17-year-old femme lesbian shares her coming out story.

3. Save Me

At the next small group meeting, the teens learn that, unlike the rest of them, Caleb, a gay teen, is there by his own choice. He believes himself to be broken and wants God to heal him.

4. I’m Going to Church

At another small group, Daniel, a gay teen, tells the story about how he tricked his parents into letting him go to gay clubs and hook up with his boyfriend by telling them he was going to church events instead. (Sung by Isaac Gonzalez)

5. This World

In their next small group, a nonbinary, pansexual teen named Billie shares their story of growing up in a small town in the south, but learning that the world and its pleasures are far richer than anything they were taught growing up.

6. Joseph/Jo

At another small group, Jo, a transgender teen, tells her story about being born “Joseph,” struggling with her gender identity, and attempting suicide, as her family would prefer her dead than queer. (Sung by Zachary Sharp)

7. We Are the Music

At another small group, tension is brewing between Caleb and Daniel. Daniel leads the others in an anthem to assert the validity of their existence and to ignore those who would annihilate their truth and uniqueness.

8. Where Did All the Butches Go?

In another small group, Alex, a butch teenage lesbian, reflects on the disappearance of lesbian, and especially butch, culture, and how lonely the future seems as a result.

"Where Did All the Butches Go?"

by Aaron Alon | The Chosen Ones

9. The Secret of Makeup

In the boys’ dorms, Iris has smuggled some makeup to Daniel, who surprises Jo by doing her makeup, saying that when done right, makeup reveals the hidden beauty within.

10. Save Me – Reprise

The small group discovers that Caleb attempted to hang himself; Jo found him and pocketed his suicide note, which they read together. (Sung by Jordi Viscarri)

"Save Me – Reprise"

by Aaron Alon | The Chosen Ones

11. Waiting for a Miracle – Reprise

The teens join Noah and the rest of the camp on the field, where they hold a vigil to pray for Caleb to come out of his coma.

"Waiting for a Miracle – Reprise"

by Aaron Alon | The Chosen Ones

12. The Answer Was You

The teens, save Caleb, give their end-of-summer testimonies in front of the camp and their families. They make it sound like they’re talking about finding answers in their faith, but they secretly mean that they found their answers in the family of choice they’ve found in one another.

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