The Golden Cage

A New Mythical Musical Comedy
by Deborah Henson-Conant

Directed by R. Lee Kratzer

Starring Maddie Allen & Chris Isolano


“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


to the “Streaming Musicals” Network

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

Join me to Unlock “The Golden Cage”

“The Golden Cage” digital release is set for mid-December 2022 on the ‘Streaming Musicals’ Platform.

Join us this Fall for “Unlocking the Golden Cage” – a series of live-streamed conversations that explore the themes and concepts in this provoking new fable.   We’ll look at those themes with experts in diverse fields – a Jungian Psychoanalyst, a Trauma Recovery Coach, a Human Development Expert, a public health expert who focuses on sexuality – and many others.

Then YOU’LL get to enter the conversation as we journal about these themes together, and you’ll get to attend an intimate Concert version of the show in NYC. 

In a world where art is valued on its likes, hits, viral popularity and where it ranks in the next great trend, the hunger for meaning grows ever stronger. We can find that meaning in exploration, together – discovering connection by viewing the same work of art through a thousand different windows.  This is how we unlock its meaning.

Sign up to be part of “The Golden Cage” conversations, concerts, events and digital premiere:

What is “The Golden Cage”?

“The Golden Cage” is a musical fable about the powerful illusions we trap ourselves in, and the one thing that can set us free.

Meet Boris, a mythical creature – half-bird, half-human, who’s on a lifelong quest to find the legendary Golden Cage.  When Boris finally finds the glorious cage on a remote mountain peak, it’s everything the legends described – except for one thing: There’s a grumpy, reclusive Diva living inside it, Alphea – who says the cage is a prison with bars of iron.

A story of perception, isolation, freedom and ambition, “The Golden Cage” is a story about breaking free of our own isolation and remembering the beauty and freedom we were born to fly with.

In April 2022 “The Golden Cage” made the leap from page to stage, when it was selected for the 2022 Off-Broadway “CreateTheater SERIES” in NYC, winning awards for Best Musical Score, Best Actor and Most Innovative Production.

Now the show is ready to fly from stage to screen as we partner with the new “Streaming Musicals” platform (think ‘Netflix’ for original musicals) to distribute the show world-wide via streaming in late 2022. 

In Summer of 2022 – we’re editing the video and sound for digital production. You can see a small example of our work process here – including thetracking numbers that help us edit. This particular video is being prepared for the next round of fundraising  – but you don’t have to wait until it’s fully edited to support the next phase of this project – scroll down for more on how you can support the show now. And thank you!

“The Golden Cage” is a show for multi-generational audiences. Because of its universal subject matter, sophisticated music and whimsical characters, “The Golden Cage” is a  powerful show for many ages to see together,  giving them a common language to talk about the trap of isolation, the polarized reality of being an ‘insider’ or an ‘outsider’ — and the discovery that it’s only through human connection that we can break through to our common humanity and the glorious truth of who we most deeply are.

Click on a photo to see it 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


“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)

‘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

Read about the show in Broadway World

Read the Broadway World article about the Spring 2022 performances of “The Golden Cage” at Theatre Row in NYC

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

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.

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, 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.,

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.


Take your place in the magic of creation – to bring “The Golden Cage” to it’s place in the canon of musical theater.

“The Golden Cage” is a story for our times, of how we create our own traps of isolation through the struggle for security and the driving need for achievement.  It’s an intimate musical with deep themes, powerful music, whimsical characters – and two powerful young actors who bring these funny, tender, soaring character to life on stage.

It’s a show that speaks to multigenerational audiences about the traps we create for ourselves – and the power of human connection to set us free.

We’re at a pivotal stage in the development of this show.

The 5 live performances April 20-24 in NYC were a feature of the “CreateTheater NEW WORKS FEST” at the Theatre Row’s intimate ‘Theatre Four.’

But the live performances were just the beginning:

The new “Streaming Musicals” platform (think Netflix for original musicals) has accepted the project for distribution so people around the world can see it, and so that theaters, opera companies, festivals, communities and schools can license the piece for LIVE production.   

The film is now ‘in the can’ – but now comes the hard part: editing the video and the music.

For that I need your help: your financial, emotional and cheerleading support.

We need to raise the final $40,000 to finish and release the film – so please join me in bringing this show from the stage to film by donating now.

Have you ever wanted to see YOUR name as the Executive Producer of a show?   

Your donation helps make that happen so donate nowDonations are tax deductible.  

If you were one of the hundreds of people who saw the show LIVE in NYC in April 2022, you witnessed the birth of a new musical.

If you weren’t there – you’ll soon have a chance to see the show in your own living-room  – IF we can raise the funding for this second half of the project.  

I invite you to join me in making the leap from stage to screen possible by donating now. 

All donations are tax deductible.


Play an even bigger role – join me as a Angel Patron

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. Many of you may have seen that show on PBS, or in the special streaming presentation in summer 2020.

Peter is what is known as an “Angel” patron – someone who believes so deeply in a project that they fund it entirely.  Though Peter is no longer living, his support changed my life and the lives of everyone that production reached, everyone who saw it on PBS, everyone who heard the production live – 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 single Angel Patron who can become the foundation of this story’s legacy.

Whether you’re able to donate $10,000 or $50,000, you’re in the Angel Patron category.   Connect with me here and let’s have a conversation.

And whether your donation is $25 or $50,000 – I am eternally grateful for your support. 

Details of How to Donate (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 below) will be processed by Fractured Atlas and are are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

  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


A. I am so grateful, delighted, excited that you’re supporting this project!

B. Here’s how to donate by check:

     – 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 them 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 (

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.


  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.

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.


"5-DAY Harp IMPROV Challenge" 

A FREE Training 
from  Deborah Henson-Conant


Learn the First Step of Freedom: Free Yourself from Reading the Notes on the Page.  Register here to join the challenge

Woohoo! You'r Registered for the 2022 "5-Day Harp Improv" Challenge!