A Live, Multi-Media Theatrical Production Inspired by Victor Hugo’s Classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Stephen Marra Media Production - 50% Profit Sharing March 19, 2018 at 7:07 pm
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Project Ends on June/30/2019
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Project Description

Esmeralda the Musical captures the milieu of the times in spectacular fashion. The inventive set design, delightful, decadent costumes, jaw-dropping special theatrical effects and, of course, the MUSIC. With contemporary styles mixed with traditional big show anthems, the music in Esmeralda will captivate audiences of all ages. A classic tale of love, deception and vindication, Esmeralda is a theatrical experience that will appeal to a worldwide audience.


Many new musicals have been born outside of the major metropolitan markets of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Producers have found staging the inaugural show in an intermediate market and venue has provided initial success. The purpose of this strategy is to build brand awareness, while getting the entire show off the ground at a greatly reduced production cost.

We intend to implement this strategy to bring Esmeralda to life. The production will be a premiere-styled first run to build awareness based on its performance and promote the show as Broadway capable. To accomplish this the show will debut in Indianapolis as the World Premiere and it will be promoted as such.

The economic and strategic reasons for this approach:

  1. The expense of opening the show in Indianapolis is considerably less than a debut in Chicago, Cincinnati or St. Louis.
  2. To take advantage of certain activities that bring visitors to Indianapolis, the show run is planned for April and May, 2020.
  3. The world premiere in Indianapolis will provide considerable special interest news for regional and national broadcast.
  4. The show was created by a local writer/musician and local talent will perform much of the production.
  5. Sponsorships will be solicited to help defray some production costs and provide services or supplies.
  6. The production will partner with local Internet-savvy organizations to help build brand awareness through the various social media outlets.
  7. The Premiere will be billed as a fund-raising event to benefit local not-for-profit organizations.

There are several feasible venues for the premiere of Esmeralda. The newly renovated Walker Theater and the Athenaeum theatre are both located  in downtown Indianapolis. These venues boast a popularity in the community and have established technical facilities, lighting and sound, plus ample make-up and dressing room facilities. The stage areas are suitable for the initial production and, since they are working venues, public parking is widely available. Additional services, such as ticketing, cash bar, restrooms, are all available.


The success of Broadway-styled musicals is predicated by several factors:

  1. The original source material for the show
    1. Some shows are adapted from existing material, books, TV shows, documentaries, etc.
    2. Others are based on an original story or idea
    3. Esmeralda was inspired by Victor Hugo’s classic novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  2. The Cast
    1. Known stars are often attracted to certain material
    2. Unknown talent often get their careers launched from a popular musical and music downloads
    3. Cast can include talent from Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Cleveland
  3. The Music
    1. Original music can become popular and receive substantial air play via music downloads and broadcast radio.
    2. Often popular singing artists can help make the music accessible to their fans
    3. Listen to Esmeralda’s music at:
  4. The Production Design and Staging
    1. Countless Broadway musicals have become known simply because of a spectacular event that occurs in the staging of the show
      1.  “Phantom of the Opera’s” chandelier scene
      2. The mechanical Dragon and flying scenes from “Wicked”
      3. The Helicopter in “Miss Saigon”
      4. The Tomb sequence in “Aladdin”
    2.  There are three staging spectacles in Esmeralda
      1.  The closing scenes at the excavation pit in front of the Cathedral
      2. Quasimodo swinging down from over the audience to rescue Esmeralda from the gallows
      3. The moment Quasimodo sends Dom Claude Frollo plummeting through the gigantic stained glass window of Notre Dame
  1. The Costumes (Basically ANY Disney Show)
    1. “Cats” made dressing like a feline very popular
    2. The “steam-punk” feel from “Wicked,” with it’s industrial fantasy design
    3. “Lion King’s” magnificent portrayal of the African animal kingdom.

Esmeralda is a musical that will exemplify many of the fantastic staging techniques experienced in major Broadway shows. The music is a creative blend of contemporary themes and anthems that are dramatic, memorable and accessible. Being a period piece, there are enormous possibilities for colorful, playful and ingenious costume designs. The libretto (the script) for Esmeralda maintains Victor Hugo’s original milieu of Paris in 1600 but bookends the story with a contemporary prelude and a very dramatic ending. Most importantly, the Producers want to create that “signature” visual that will inspire the audience to talk about the musical long after they leave the theatre. To that end, a central stage effect used in Esmeralda will be a large-format LED video screen.

This 40’ X 24’ seamless screen will be used to enhance the set design and stage scenery, while reducing the large set construction costs. Imagine, watching a scene in Esmeralda while the background is alive with movement, clouds, birds, a vibrant Parisian street filled with pedestrians—all projected on the large video screen.

The scenic example below is a conceptual illustration of Quasimodo’s chamber, which is located in one of the Cathedral bell towers. The set where the action takes place will be a physical set piece. Outside the windows, however, the LED screen can project the entire cityscape of Paris in the 1600’s with flowing clouds, birds, even a setting sun.

Quasimodo’s “Sanctuary” in the Bell Tower of Notre Dame overlooking the city of Paris.

Here is a conceptual illustration of the opening scene. Set in Present day Paris, the entire background image of the buildings, sky, clouds, full moon and even pedestrians, will be entirely projected on the large video screen. The façade of Notre Dame will be the only physical set piece.

Opening scene shows utility workers accidentally uncovering an underground chamber. There, nearly buried in the dirt, is a female skeleton, the remains of Esmeralda.

The usage of a large-format video screen has heralded the melding of live musical theater with the dynamic visual power of motion pictures. In Esmeralda, we believe the prominent use of this technology will set the show apart from other new productions, promote a newsworthy story in the media and give the audience something they have never experienced before.

The super screen is called PixelFLEX and is manufactured by Elite Multimedia in Nashville, TN. You can view this technology at

An example of the PixelFlex large screen video system.


Esmeralda: Costume concept illustration

Quasimodo: Costume concept illustration.

Dom Claude Frollo: Costume concept illustration.

Paris street scene as projected through PixelFlex large-format video screen.

This image will be exhibited on the PixelFlex large screen video system.

Esmeralda sings “Keep Me Company” as the Moonlight shines through the open ceiling grate.

Quasimodo screams “Sanctuary” after rescuing Esmeralda from the gallows.

9 thoughts on “ESMERALDA

  1. Stephen Marra

    We have met with a MAJOR Midwestern University and their wonderful theatre department. We discussed how to co-produce a version of the show with student theatre majors and utilize their fantastic facilities. You know if academia is hot on the project it has to have some incredible merit! Moving forward. Getting closer.

  2. Stephen Marra

    Had a great conversation this weekend with some friends from High School. They have offered a matching funds arrangement to help us with our Crowd-Investing program for “Esmeralda.” Incredible offer!

  3. Stephen Marra

    Huge! Fantastic! And unexpected surprise this week. We completed our matching funds grant on Monday. Then, a new Executive Producer came on board on Wednesday! More weeks like this and Esmeralda will be on the stage in no time. Thank you one and all for your generosity and commitment.

  4. Stephen Marra

    Hey we are getting some outstanding traction on securing a venue for “Esmeralda.” Stay tuned because that will be awesome news.

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