A New Musical from the Grammy-Nominated Composer of “Invention & Alchemy,” Deborah Henson-Conant


“A musical and lyrical masterpiece …”
Tony-Award Nominee Paul Gordon

“An inspirational musical-comedy for those of us who can get trapped in our minds”
Joan Davidson

CreateTheater 2022 New Works Festival ~ PhotoRachel Monteleone


“Deborah Henson-Conant’s genius is on full display in her stunning musical THE GOLDEN CAGE. A musical and lyrical masterpiece, the score is deeply satisfying in its harmonic inventions that will remind you of both Sondheim and Guettel – but is truly the composer’s own unique voice. The lyrics and the dialogue are expertly woven into this two-person musical that will delight sophisticated audiences”.

Tony-Award Nominee, Paul Gordon (composer/writer of Broadway’s “Jane Eyre” and “Daddy Long Legs” and creator of the new “Streaming Musicals” Platform)

Photos from the 2022 Workshop Production in NYC – Click Photos to see Full-Size

Photos by Rachel Monteleone and Emily Hewitt
From the 2022 “CreateTheater Festival” production in NYC  with Chris Isolano: Boris and Maddie Allen: Alphea

‘The Golden Cage’ is an inspirational musical-comedy fantasy for those of us who sometimes feel trapped in our own minds.”  Joan Davidson

“It’s not a coincidence that this show is emerging now because it is about the inner evolution that each of us is experiencing coming out of the last two years.” Simonne Willems

“The Golden Cage” is …

“The Golden Cage” is an award-winning chamber musical about a glorious, mythical cage that’s irresistible from the outside, and inescapable from the inside.  

The story tells of two creatures who meet on either side of its bars: Boris, half-man and half-bird, is stranded on the outside after a lifetime searching for it. Alphea, trapped on the inside, is a melodramatic diva, who longs for freedom, fears the outside, and can’t remember how she got trapped inside.

In April 2022 “The Golden Cage” won awards for Best Actor, Best Musical Score and Most Innovative Production at the CreateTheater Festival in NYC – and we got it all on film. YOUR donations made that possible! 

Now we need your help to to complete editing the film so we can release it worldwide in February 2023 as a Streaming Musical with the goal of licensing it for LIVE performance by theater and opera companies, festivals, schools and community theaters. 

The story speaks to multi-generational audiences.The themes are universal and timely. The music by Grammy-Nominated composer Deborah Henson-Conant has been described as a lyrical masterpiece – and with a two-person cast, a small orchestra and a single set, it’s a producer’s dream.

Thank you your support in bringing this story and its music to take its place the world.

You can play a major role in bringing this new musical to the world. 


Take your place in the magic of creation 

Be part of bringing “The Golden Cage” to its place in the canon of musical theater – and far beyond the stage.

The role of supporter is THE most important role in any production and YOU are the one that role was made for.  I invite you to step into that role and support the FILM now to bring this show to the whole world . I am grateful for every single penny of support – it means you’re PART of this adventure with me.  

“The Golden Cage” is a story of our lives

Imagine chasing something your whole life – only to find out it’s someone else hell.  “The Golden Cage” is about self-created traps of isolation and blind achievement – and the power of human connection to set us free. 

An intimate production, powerful themes, soaring music – and two amazing young actors who bring these funny, tender, dramatic characters to life on stage – and now on film.

We’re at a pivotal stage – and this is just the beginning! 

In April 2022 in NYC “The Golden Cage” was filmed in front of live audiences at the CreateTheater New Works Festival where it won awards for Best Actor, Best Musical Score and Most Innovative Production. That was Phase One.

PHASE 2: Now that production is available  – the original cast, director and designers can create the show in new venues.  YES – right now the original production is available. That means you can bring the NYC production to YOUR theater. 

PHASE 3: THE FILM: Now we’re preparing that film for WORLDWIDE distribution on the “Streaming Musicals” platform (think Netflix for musicals).

PHASE 4: LIVE EVERYWHERE: But that’s just the START. Once the film is released, the show itself becomes available to any theater, opera company, festival, school or community center to license – to create their OWN performance. 

And even THAT is just the beginning because we all live inside of Golden Cages. The story holds a possibility for everyone … if we unlock it.

PHASE 5: UNLOCKING THE GOLDEN CAGE:   “Unlocking the Golden Cage” is self-development program growing from the themes of the show – a way for people to use those themes to expand their own lives, discover their own cages and work together to unlock those cages through human connection.


YOU are the one who can make that happen.

Donation Details (for those who like details) - Click to Open

Here are details of how to donate:

“The Golden Cage” is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. All donations made on Fundraising by Fractured Atlas (at the link above) will be processed by Fractured Atlas and are are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

If you want to make a major donation and the tax deduction is NOT important to you, just send the check made out to Deborah Henson-Conant at Box 1039 – Arlington, MA 02474.  Otherwise read on!

If all these details are tedious or confusing, then just connect with me here and we’ll do it together. If you’re good at details, read on!


  1. ONLINE: You can donate direct online at “The Golden Cage” Fractured Atlas giving page

2. CHECKS: If you prefer to donate by check contributions for the charitable purposes of “The Golden Cage” must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law.  For donations over $5,000, I have a form for you to fill out for tax deductible purposes and the link is below)

Important Details for Donating via Check.  First of all – I am so grateful, delighted, excited that you’re supporting this project!  If you’re paying by check because you want to make a large donation and the tax-deduction isn’t important to you, that’s great!  Just make it out to me Deborah Henson-Conant at Box 1039 – Arlington, MA 02474



If you’re paying by check to avoid me having to pay processing fee that Fractured Atlas charges, just know that they  will still charge that fee even with a check (and trust me, it’s small compensation for all the work they do to manage the tax deductions) – so if it’s easier for you, just donate thru the online link above.


Now that you know that, if you want to make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION by CHECK, here’s how:

– Make Checks Out to “Fractured Atlas”
– In the “notes” or “memo” or “for” section on the front of check, write “Golden Cage Musical”
– Send the check to
Deborah Henson-Conant • Box 1039 • Arlington, MA 02474

It is extremely important that all checks are made out to “Fractured Atlas” ONLY as they cannot accept checks that are made out to me (the artist), my company or my “project name/Fractured Atlas” — and they will return the checks to me if they receive them.

C. Donations of $5,000 or more made by check:  Fractured Atlas (our fiscal sponsor) needs this letter on file for each gift of $5,000 or more for their annual accounting audit. The precise language used is important to ensure the tax-deductibility of the gift, so they ask that you use the form they provide specifically for my project ( https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/donations/major_gift_letter.pdf)

If you’re sending a check, just include this completed, signed form with the check and when we get them we’ll forward them together to Fractured Atlas so they can process the donation correctly.

If you’ve already sent the check or you’d prefer to send the form electronically, just get in touch to let me know, and we’ll work that out.


If this is all tedious and confusing, just get in touch with me and we’ll do it together! 


  1. SPECIAL SKILLS, RESOURCES or CONTACTS:  Maybe you have a special skill (like team management, PR, photography, videography, or social media) – or you have a rehearsal space or a home in NYC where you’d love to host the composer of a musical (me!) when she opens her show on 42nd street. Or maybe you just love to connect people and you have friends who are passionate patrons of the arts and love musicals. Let me know!

There will be other ways to get involved down the line — don’t worry, you’ll be hearing a LOT about this from me!  But for now the goal is to get THE GOLDEN CAGE fully funded and available on streaming video for all.

Play an even bigger role – become an Angel Supporter

For my last big video story-music project, “Invention & Alchemy,” I had a single beloved patron, Peter Wege, who told me that the day we went to the Grammys was the happiest day of his life. 

Peter was an “Angel” patron – someone who believes so deeply in a project that they fund it entirely.  Peter was the heart of that project – he changed the life of everyone who was touched by that award-winning project – and the legacy of every artist and orchestra who now performs and records those works. 

I am so grateful for the support of everyone who’s already donated to this project, including major donors who made the live production and filming possible.

Now we’re looking for that unique Angel Patron who becomes the foundation of this story’s legacy.

Whether you’re able to donate $10,000 or $100,000, you’re in the Angel Patron category – and at higher levels you shift into the ‘Producer’ category (see more on that below).   Connect with me here and let’s talk.

Major Donations

Every single donation is meaningful to me – but there’s a deep, collaborative 1-on-1 relationship that a Major Supporter and Creative have. I had that relationship with a man named Peter Wege on my last major video-music project. It led to a Grammy Nomination, a PBS special and a lifelong friendship.  We did that together and it bonded us forever.   Now I’m looking for that relationship and that bond with YOU.


Donations of $100K+

  • Executive Producer Credit on the film
  • “The Golden Cage” signed script
  • High Quality Print of the Original Poster Artwork (signed & ready for framing)
  • A signed, handwritten page of the original score (signed and ready for framing)
  • My undying adoration. Together we decide how to celebrate – a dinner, a long walk, a private concert – we’ll work that out together.
  • This amount allows us to complete the film, promote its release, submit it to film festivals, promote the script for live performance and complete all the editing and orchestration. It also lets us pay for sound editing that would make it possible for us to submit the soundtrack for a Grammy.

Donations of $50K+

  • Associate Producer Credit on the film
  • “The Golden Cage” signed script
  • High Quality Print of the Original Poster Artwork (signed & ready for framing)
  • My undying adoration. Together we decide how to celebrate – a dinner, a long walk, a private concert – we’ll work that out together.
  • This amount allows us to complete the editing and orchestration and helps pay for the promoting the release events.

Donations of $15K+

  • Assistant Producer Credit on the film
  • “The Golden Cage” signed script
  • My undying adoration. Together we decide how to celebrate – a dinner, a long walk, a long talk – we’ll work that out together.
  • This amount helps us complete the editing and orchestration.

Special Thanks to the Sponsor & Patrons
of  the Early Development of “The Golden Cage”

Without you, we could never have gotten this far!

Rachael Solem & The Irving House at Harvard (a unique Cambridge, MA Bed & Breakfast)

Gloria Hodes & Music & Masque, Paul Gordon, New Opera & Musical Theatre Initiative.

Betsy Scott Chapman and John Daggett, Nancy Lamell, Sandra Periera and Family, Elaine Benveniste, Jeffrey Biegelsen, Tara O’Brien Pride – and the countless other people who have supported this project and who will support this project.


BORIS – Christopher Isolano made his off-Broadway debut as “Boris” in The Golden Cage. He recently gained notice in The NY Times for originating the role of the “Anxiety Monster” in the new children’s musical, Petunia’s Big Day! – which streamed from the New Ohio Theatre on Eventive! Originally from Long Island, he’s a graduate of Pace University’s Musical Theater program and has performed regionally with Theatre Aspen, The Hangar, The Gateway and in NYC with Barrington Stage Co., IRT Theater and at Lincoln Center. Chris can also be found hosting concerts and managing the newly opened off-Broadway Theater 555 on 42nd St. @Chris-Isolano on Instagram

ALPHEA – Maddie Allen made her Off-Broadway Debut as Alphea in the new musical “The Golden Cage” at the first CreateTheater New Works Fest at TheatreRow in April 2022. Maddie trained at The Globe Theatre in London and recently appeared in “Broadway Holiday!” at ‘The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice’. Originally from California, she’s a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Syracuse University’s Musical Theatre program. Learn more about Maddie and her creative adventures at MaddieAllen.com.

SWING (UNDERSTUDY)  – Katie Horner  (she/her) is an NYC-based actor, singer, instrumentalist, and composer who understudied BOTH parts, of Alphea & Boris.  Katie’s regional credits include Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story (National Tour and Florida Studio Theatre); Million Dollar Quartet (Mill Mountain Theatre); Lend Me a Tenor (Resident Theatre Company); Once (Arden Theatre Company). In summer 2022, she joined the Zachary Scott Theatre for an actor-musician production of The Sound of Music. Check out her single Bright & Breezy by Kay Rose on all streaming services. BLM. https://www.intersectionalenvironmentalist.com/take-the-pledge and learn more about Katie and her creative projects at Katie-Horner.com 

PLAYWRIGHT/COMPOSER –  Deborah Henson-Conant is a Grammy-Nominated composer & performer who combines stories and music in multiple genres from narrated concerts to song cycles, one-person musicals, operetta and musical.

Her full-length music special “Invention & Alchemy” in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Symphony, appeared on PBS stations throughout the U.S. and received a Grammy Nomination for Best Classical Crossover album. She’s performed and premiered her works internationally with orchestras and venues including Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Tacoma Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Humanities Festival, Kennedy Center, Boston’s Lyric Stage and Central Square Theater.

Her TEDx talk chronicles the development of the harp that’s named after her,  the “DHC” body-harp – an instrument that enables one to become a single performing unit with an electric harp. Link to Deborah’s Website. Link to “The Golden Cage” web page.

DIRECTOR – R. Lee Kratzer (she/her) is a New York-based director of theatre and opera. She works across and through mediums to develop new work, dismantle notions of genre, and interrogate the canon. She is the resident stage director at Helios Opera and a visiting guest director at various colleges and universities.

R. Lee formerly served as the Artistic Director of the NEMPAC Opera Project and produced and directed opera in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall. She’s directed at Opera Saratoga, Emerson Stage, NEMPAC Opera Project, Opera del West, Fordham University, The Footlight Club, and Columbia University. Upcoming engagements include a Young Artist Position with The Glimmerglass Festival, Bright Star at Montclair State, and projects with LIU Roc Nation and Longy School of Music. Rebecca has also worked with Katie Mitchell, Whitney White, Annie-B Parson, The New York Times, Big Dance Theatre, BAM, The Bushwick Starr, and The Tank. MFA Columbia. MFA Columbia. Link to R. Lee Kratzer’s website.

MUSIC DIRECTOR – Nevada Lozano  Nevada Lozano is a musical theater composer, lyricist, music director, and pianist. He has served as music assistant on several Broadway productions, including: Oklahoma! (2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical), The Sound Inside (directed by David Cromer, starring Mary-Louise Parker), and Sea Wall/A Life (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge). He is currently serving as associate sound effects designer on Suffs (written by Shaina Taub, directed by Leigh Silverman) at the Public Theater.

Nevada is a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop (Advanced) and received the organization’s Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in 2018. He has participated in residencies at Yaddo, the Johnny Mercer Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals, KHN Center for the Arts and Brush Creek Foundation. He studied composition and piano at the Eastman School of Music and Rice University.  Link to Nevada’s website.

ORCHESTRATOR – Tim Maurice is a composer/pianist, orchestrator and film composer who has produced music for independent film & media projects and feature length documentaries, including “Searchdog” (an award winning film featured on the NBC Today Show), and “Sunken Steamboats of Moosehead Lake” and has orchestrated for the Grammy award winning jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti.

He also served as music director, arranger, and pianist for the cabaret show “Never Far From Home” at Central Square Theater, which earned critical acclaim from The Boston Globe.  Tim has been a primary creative facilitator for “The Golden Cage” since 2013 as music director, tech advisor and film composer, expanding the solo piano orchestration of the stage show into a cinematic sound.  Link to Tim’s website.

COMPANY MANAGER / GENERAL MANAGER – Scott DelaCruz is the Executive Producer of All The Way Around productions ( https://www.atwaproductions.com/ ). Scott has worked in the media and entertainment industry for over 20 years. His projects have ranged from award winning commercial content to global theatrical tours and films. He is based in New York City.  https://www.atwaproductions.com/

STAGE MANAGER – Tala Munsterman (They/Them) is a NYC based Freelance Production Stage Manager. NYC credits include Into The Woods and Starting Here Starting Now with the New Your Film Academy, Director Fest with The Drama League, and  The Winters Tale with New York Shakespeare Exchange. A few of their Regional credits include Matilda, Legally Blonde, Sweeny Todd, Mamma Mia, and Annie, (with The Fort Wayne Civic Theater)  Company, The Last Five Years, and Ordinary People (with Goodluck Macbeth Theater). They are excited and honored to be a part of the team creating this wonderful new musical!

ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER – Emily Burstyn graduated from the City College of New York with a degree in Technical Theater/Theater Design and Technology. She brings her experience as a Stage Manager, a Studio Manager, and a Light Board Operator, with a passion for the technical aspects of theatrical productions.  

SCENIC DESIGN – Tyler R.  Herald  (he/him) is a New York-based scenic designer. He values the importance of new work and different ways of storytelling. He endeavors to create work that supports often unheard/unseen stories and challenges the conversation.

Most recently Tyler has collaborated on projects through Columbia University (Trojan Women, Fairytales and Other Stories That Scare Me,Titus Andronicus, Three Sisters), Maryland Opera Studio (Dialogues of the Carmelites), and the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute (Eurydice). He has assisted on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regionally—most notably working alongside David Korins, Adam Koch, Neil Patel, Kevin Depinet, Daniel Conway and Misha Kachman. Immersive Frida Kahlo, Immersive Van Gogh, Beetlejuice, Treasures from Chatsworth, The Great Society, The Hamilton Exhibition, 91st Academy Awards, (David Korins), La Boheme, Sweeney Todd, The Thieving Magpie, The Crucible, Wilde Tales (Glimmerglass Festival). MFA University of Maryland. Local USA 829. www.tylerrheralddesign.com

COSTUME DESIGN – Evan Prizant’s designs for theatre, opera, and dance have been seen on stages across the country, from Cape Cod to Honolulu, including his hometown Louisville, KY, and his current home Brooklyn, NY.  Evan regularly works on Broadway as an Associate Costume Designer, where his credits include Girl from the North Country (currently running), Torch Song and The Rose Tattoo (both Tony nominated for Best Costume Design), Choir Boy, and Sunday in the Park with George starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He assisted legendary costume designer Bob Mackie on The Cher Show, and styled Mike Birbiglia’s one-man show The New One, which transferred to Broadway and is currently available on Netflix. MFA: Boston University, BA: Tulane University. www.EvanPrizant.com 

LIGHTING DESIGN – Michael Cole attended the University of Oklahoma where he received a B.F.A Drama – Lighting Design Emphasis as well as a B.F.A in Musical Theatre Performance. His experience includes lighting design and moving light programming for plays and musicals. https://www.michaelcole.lighting/ 

PROJECTION DESIGN – Peter Leibold & Paul Deziel. 

Peter Leibold is an award winning lighting designer for theatre, dance, opera, music, and anywhere else light can exist. Currently he is based in both NYC and Washington DC. He is also the co-founder of BoldARC Lighting, the inventor of the WebLD control system for virtual performance. https://www.peterleibold.com/

Paul Deziel is a New York & Chicago based projection designer.   He holds a B.A. in Technical Theatre from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in Projection & Multimedia Design from the University of Maryland.   https://www.pauldeziel.com/

CASTING – CINDI RUSH is the principal at Cindi Rush Casting, Ltd. which is based in New York City. She has cast countless productions including: NY: Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Gets in a Jam, After, Friends, Shame Of Thrones,  Promising, Ruthless, Disenchanted, Drop Dead Perfect, Under My Skin, Silence!, Rooms, Jacques Brel, Urinetown. The Thing About Men, Home Street Home.  Tours including Golden Girls, Paddington Gets in a Jam. Regional Theaters including Triad Stage,  5th Avenue, Hudson Stage, Penguin Rep, Pittsburgh Public, Charleston Stage Co. Virginia Stage Co, Cape Fear Regional Film: A Bread Factory (Independent Spirit), The Grief of Others (SXSW/Cannes), Runoff (L.A Film Fest), Policy of Truth (SOHO Film Fest), The Woman (Sundance), Funeral Kings (SXSW) Ghoul, Theresa is a Mother, Jugface (Slamdance), In The Family (Independent Spirit)  and she’s a consultant for NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (1999-2020).

HEAD OF PROPS – Daniel  Brothers. Playwright, Propsmaker, Carpenter, Mechanic, Actor, Game Master, Ornithologist, collector of professions. Recently, he has been writing a Sci fi novel for publication in 2023, a play “Living Together” to be staged in the fall, and props for Playco’s production of Will You Come With Me. Further, inquire at dannyjbrothers.com

PROPS ASSITANT – Brittany Daggett-Duffy was born and raised in Brockton Massachusetts and had the privilege of attending Brockton High School where her interest in technical theatre began. It was not until her Freshman Year at Ithaca College where she discovered her passion for Theatrical Scenic Design and Props Artistry. https://www.brittanydaggettduffy.com/

SOUND ENGINEER – Colin Taber graduated from Temple University with a degree in Jazz/Commercial Guitar Performance. After 16 months on a cruise ship in the house band he moved to NY city and spent the past years gigging and teaching throughout the tri-state area and beyond as well as working in theatrical productions. https://www.colintaber.com

FESTIVAL PRODUCER –  Cate Cammarata is an Off-Broadway producer, director and dramatic specializing in the development of new plays and musicals. She is also the founder of CreateTheater.com, an online theater community, and the producer of the Monday Night Reading Series.

Off-Broadway: THE ASSIGNMENT, MY FATHER’S DAUGHTER. Regional: MY LIFE IS A MUSICAL (Bay Street Theater), BRAN CASTLE (Porchlight Theater), CRUDE (Cape Cod Theater Company), and numerous early developmental productions and readings in NYC.

Cate coaches writers on script development and self-producing, leads musical theater writing workshops and serves as the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU). She is also the associate Artistic Director of Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Collective and the Artistic Director of CreateTheater’s ETC.

​Cate has an MFA in Dramaturgy and a BFA in Directing, and teaches theater at Baruch College. In development: AUSTEN’S PRIDE, ATLANTIS and a hip hop musical by the recording artist Masta Ace. www.CreateTheater.com, www.CateCammarata.com

CREATETHEATER SERIES –  is a new theatre series in NYC – of new works presented  by series producer Cate Cammarata, that’s focused on the development of new plays and musicals. The full series – with six new musicals and one new play – ran April 14 – May 15, 2022  at Theatre Four –  Theatre Row at 42nd Street, NYC.  “The Golden Cage” ran April 20-24. CreateTheater New Works Festival.

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