Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Keith Byron Kirk

Second Advisor

Kikau Alvaro

Third Advisor

Dr. Jesse Njus


The Golden Door is a new musical created in answer to the question "how does one write a musical?" This short work is based on immigration through Ellis Island in the 1920s. The script focuses on three young adults immigrating from Sweden in 1922, exploring the reasons why each might choose to leave their homeland and attempt a new life in a completely foreign land. The script also details historical information such as how long the crossing was and the reception that awaited them in the "promised land", juxtaposing promises and actuality. The script and score examines themes such as bravery, homesickness and loss, and the perception of Americana and its processes dating back to a romanticized time. This document details the writing process, justification of the document, and historical research to support it, as well as the performance text itself (including both script and score).


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Available for download on Sunday, February 21, 2219

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