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The Yellow Stocking Play


The Bard meets the Marx Brothers in this madcap, quick-change musical comedy inspired by Shakespeare’s  Twelfth Night. 

The story: A 17th Century acting troupe—undone by food poisoning, drowning, and duels—is down to four actors with only minutes to spare before the curtain rises on their next-to-final show. Disaster strikes again when the ingénue elopes with the innkeeper in town, leaving her spurned lover  Gropio too heart-broken to go on, while her confidante, Tremolo, simply refuses to kiss a man.  It falls to Simpatica, the leading lady,  to keep the backstage drama from spoiling the onstage comedy. One more stop and they all go home to Parma—if they live that long!

The book is by D.W. Gregory, author of Radium Girls and Memoirs of a Forgotten Man. The music and lyrics are by writing team Steven M. Alper & Sarah Knapp,  whose musical version of Mark Harelik’s The Immigrant received two Drama Desk award nominations when it was produced off-Broadway. 


Demos can be accessed at


STEVEN M. ALPER (music) composed and orchestrated the score of The Immigrant, for which he received a Drama Desk nomination (cast recording on Ghostlight Records). Other musicals include Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance, which received a National Alliance of Musical Theatre Producers grant, was developed at the New Harmony Project, and premiered at Maine State Music Theatre; The Library, which received an NEA grant, was developed at the New Harmony Project, and was produced at Stamford Theatre Works; Rappaccini’s Daughter; C’est la vie; and The Audition (which premiered
at Manhattan Class Company). He has composed for the theatre, film (including the score for the feature film, Adrift (starring Luna Velez), commercials, and award-winning
educational musicals (with Karen DeMauro). He is the author of Next! Auditioning for the Musical Theatre (Heinemann Books, reprinted by Girandole Books) and has worked in theatres around the country as conductor, music director, vocal arranger and orchestrator on numerous theatrical projects. See more at

SARAH KNAPP (lyrics) appeared on Broadway in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Among her Off-Broadway credits are Nunsense, Smoke on the Mountain, The “No- Frills” Revue, Godspell, and Gifts of the Magi. She has appeared regionally in productions at The Alley Theatre (Houston), Asolo Theatre (Sarasota, FL), Cincinnati Playhouse, Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami), North Shore Music Theatre (MA), Goodspeed Opera House and Seven Angels (CT), and many others, and toured Europe in Richard Foreman’s Africanis Instructus. She has appeared in several Law and Order and L&O:SVU episodes and numerous recordings. As bookwriter/lyricist she works with her husband, composer Steven M. Alper. Their produced musicals include The Library, Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance, and The Immigrant—which garnered two Drama Desk nominations off-Broadway and has been produced across the United States and Canada. It is published by Samuel French and is available on Ghostlight Records. For more information, see

D.W. GREGORY (book writer) D.W. Gregory’s plays frequently explore political issues through a personal lens and with a comedic twist. The New York Times called her “a playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke” for her most produced work, RADIUM GIRLS, which has received more than 1,500 productions in the U.S. and abroad. Other plays include MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN, a National New Play Network rolling world premiere (Contemporary American Theater Festival, Shadowland Stages, and New Jersey Rep); MOLUMBY’S MILLION (Iron Age Theatre), nominated for a Barrymore Award by Philadelphia Theatre Alliance; THE GOOD DAUGHTER and OCTOBER 1962 (New Jersey Rep). A THING OF BEAUTY is the 2023 winner of the Southeastern Theatre Conference Charles M. Getchell New Play Award and was featured in Barter Theatre’s 2023 Festival of Appalachian Plays and Playwrights. She is currently developing a new musical comedy, THE YELLOW STOCKING PLAY, with composer Steven M. Alper and lyricist Sarah Knapp and a new drama, PROJECT BLUEBIRD, for New Jersey Rep. More information at



The Yellow Stocking Play is written for three actors covering 12 roles.


The cast is as follows:



GROPIO, a self-absorbed actor in a broken-down traveling troupe

TREMOLO, his jumpy fellow cast member

SIMPATICA, the last remaining female member, struggling to hold it all together



ORSINO, a lovesick duke

VIOLA, survivor of a shipwreck, later disguised as Cesario, a servant to Orsino

LADY OLIVIA, in mourning for her lost brother

FESTE, a clown, servant to Lady Olivia

MALVOLIO, her trusted steward

SIR TOBY BELCH, her uncle, uncouth of manner and feeling

MARIA, her maidservant, enemy to Malvolio

SEBASTIAN, Viola’s lost brother



The doubling is as follows:


GROPIO (M): Orsino/Malvolio/Maria

TREMOLO (M): Feste/Sea Captain/Olivia

SIMPATICA (F): Viola (Cesario)/Toby Belch/Sebastian

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