Belmont Alumni Contribute to New Musical ‘Hamlet’ with Discovering Broadway

Searcy in
Belmont alumnus Liam Searcy starred in the "Hamlet" production at Belmont.

Joel Kirk, founder of musical theater development program Discovering Broadway Inc., is the director and conceiver for the Shakespeare-inspired new musical “Hamlet.” This show assigns a different writer or writing team to each character, and Belmont alumnus Cody Fry is authoring the titular character Prince Hamlet.

Fry is the son of Emmy-winning composer Gary Fry who is co-authoring the character of Prince Hamlet. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote “Hamlet” shortly after the death of his eleven year old son, Hamnet. At the core of the musical is a father and son relationship, which brings a unique element to the father and son writing duo.

Kirk told Playbill, “Each character is complex and nuanced enough to get their own musical: so I wanted each of them to get their own writer. I believe a music style can capture the soul of each character.”

Cody Fry on American Idol
Belmont alumnus Cody Fry on his audition for “American Idol”

The creative team for the musical will participate in Discovering Broadway Inc.’s writer’s retreat program with a ticketed show on August 20, premiering songs from the show. The show will star Broadway icon Adam Pascal (Rent), Samantha Pauly (Six) and Jordan Donica (My Fair Lady) as well as Belmont alumnus Kyle Caress.

Hamlet is the third show to participate in Discovering Broadway Inc.’s writers retreat program, following May’s Ever After and February’s The Devil Wears Prada. The new musical is the final show of the nonprofit’s inaugural season.

Kirk visited Belmont’s campus last year to workshop the musical alongside Belmont musical theater undergraduate students. The show was recorded as a student album, staged with social distancing, and filmed.