26 N Williams Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

RCSA On Stage presents “Static: Noise of a New Musical”

Written/Composed by Tess Rowan
Directed by Rob Scharlow
Music Direction by James Mablin

July 12, 18, 19 @ 7 PM
July 13, 14, 20, 21 @ 2 PM

Talk Back: Friday, July 19 @ 8:30pm

Tickets: $25 | Students: $10
RaueNOW Members: $17.50 | $7*



Static is an original Morse code musical about a teen trying to find her dad who’s lost in the woods on the Appalachian Trail. The McAfees have lived in the Pennsylvania forest ever since their father went missing while hiking. Daughter Maine teams up with local teen Charlie on a detective mission to find Maine’s father, working through new friendships and hidden family history along the way. Yet, the true secrets may silence waves of sound.

Static is the first musical to utilize morse code as a method of dramatic storytelling, including cryptic morse mode clues and secret messages embedded in the music, creating an immersive and mystery-filled audience experience.

Imagine an acoustic campfire sing-along mixed with a true-crime podcast. Static is an original adventure musical with a radio blend of musical theater, folk-rock music, and Morse code.

The hot-selling ticket of the summer.”

“Nothing less than astounding.”
DC Theatre Arts

“The story combines musical theater, rock, folk, and—possibly the first ever musical to do so—
immersive Morse code.”

Washington City Paper


Tess Rowan (Book/Music/Lyrics) is a writer, director, and performer from the Washington, D.C. Area. She began writing the book, music, and lyrics of Static when she was in middle school and is thrilled to workshop Static with Raue Center School For The Arts this summer.

Tess has trained at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Stagedoor Manor, the New York Film Academy at Harvard University, and the Broadway Artists Alliance. Select theater credits include Break My Bones (The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center YPF), Static (Capital Fringe Festival, Flying V Theatre), Mr. Stranger (Stagedoor Manor Dramafest), Pie from the Pattersons (Stagedoor Manor Dramafest), Your Carving Footprint (Saxon Stage After Hours, NOVA Outside), Gravediggers (Saxon Stage After Hours.)

Tess had her first play published at 14 years old. She co-founded Saxon Stage After Hours, a playwriting, directing, and student production group. She was a Lead Critic in the Cappies of the National Capital Area for youth theater journalism in the D.C. Area. Tess will also choreograph The Raue Center for the Arts’ production of Moana Jr. this summer.

Tess is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Maestra Music. More at tessrowan.com

Rob Scharlow (Director) is an award-winning director and has spent 35+ years working in the performing arts which has taken him across the country working as a director, actor, teacher and more. For the past 17 years, he worked for the internationally acclaimed performing arts training center, Stagedoor Manor in New York… a recipient of Broadway Theatre Museums Award for Excellence in Arts Education. During his time at Stagedoor, his journey began as a director/teacher, eventually transitioning into the role of Director of Education for 11 years and then most recently serving as Associate Artistic Director. Rob also oversaw the Dramafest program which helps to develop new and exciting 10-minute plays by young writers. A program that worked in conjunction with Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwrights.

Education in the arts has always played such a large part in his career and he couldn’t be more delighted to be helping develop and ignite the education program as he comes back to the Raue Center, where (what seems like a lifetime ago) he spent time working as a marketing intern, appeared in several productions including the role of Sweeney Todd in William Street Rep’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (BroadwayWorld.com Best Actor Nominee), Hands on a Hardbody and Barefoot in the Park. He also directed their production of Search for Signs of Intelligent Life and spent some time with SAGE Studios teaching an advanced acting class.

With 150+ directing credits under his belt, some of his most memorable productions include; Ride the Cyclone: High School Edition where he had the opportunity to direct and help workshop the first production designed specifically for high school-aged performers. Evil Dead: The Musical in which he helped in the creation of the High School Edition working closely with Dramatic Publishing and the creators of the show. Other favorite directing credits include Evita, High Fidelity, BARE, Spring Awakening, Carrie: The Musical, In the Heights, BKLYN the Musical, The Toxic Avenger, Big Fish, Rock of Ages, You Can’t Take It With You, and more. On the flip side of things, some favorite acting credits include; Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd (BroadwayWorld Best Actor Nominee), Billy Flynn in Chicago, Lockstock in Urinetown, Phantom in Phantom, Jon in Tick, tick…BOOM!, El Gallo in The Fantasticks and others.

James Mablin (Music Director) hails from London, England. He has musically directed and/or played Keyboards in over a hundred shows. Favorites include Joseph and the Amazing TechnicoloredÓ Dreamcoat (UK Tour), Whistle Down the Wind (UK Tour), High School Musical (World Premiere – Stagedoor Manor, NY), Caroline or Change (Cyrano’s Theatre Company, AK), Little Shop of Horrors (Thin Air Theatre Company, CO), The Toxic Avenger (Thin Air Theatre Company, CO) and Into the Woods (Slow Burn Theatre Company, FL).

As an educator, James ran the musical theatre program at a large college in London, was a professor & musical theatre specialist at The Yale School of Drama, and most recently on the Musical Theatre faculty at Auburn University as their resident Music Director. James is also the associate artistic director and head of the music department at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center, named one of the top summer theatre programs in the world.

James has written the vocal arrangements and musically directed opening and closing numbers for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade including the Emmy award-winning song “Join Our Parade”. In January of 2024, James is thrilled to be stepping into the role of Resident Music Director for the Raue Center for the Arts.

Jessie Higgins (Stage Manager) – is excited to be working with RCSA again! As a freelance Stage Manager based in Cleveland, she has worked primarily throughout the eastern US. For the past ten summers, Jessie has worked at Stagedoor Manor in New York and has spent six summers serving as a Production Stage Manager. Favorite past production includes Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville…, Ken Ludwig’s Moriarty… (Cleveland Play House); Heathers: High School Edition, Beauty and the Beast (Stagedoor Manor); Groundhog Day, Legally Blonde (Slow Burn Theatre Company). Touring credits include (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival). She would like to thank Jack and her parents for their endless support.