On April 1, 1931 teenager Jackie Mitchell struck out two of the greatest baseball players of all time: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig- and that was the easy part. Jackie was signed by the "P.T. Barnum of Baseball", Joe Engel, to pitch for the Chattanooga Lookouts, a woman entered the sports world and threatened the way the game was played. In this coming of age story, young Jackie finds herself at war on and off the field with the most powerful figures of major league baseball who want to protect the status quo and discovers that some games are bigger than her. Through a unique blend of bluegrass, folk, and jazz, the score captures the mood of Depression era Tennessee and one young womans' love of the game.
Unbelievable was conceived by Rachel Fogarty in 2013, after coming across a tweet linking an article about Jackie Mitchell. In 2015, director Sam Scalamoni was attached to the project as an integral part of the creative team. In 2016, the piece had its first table reading in New York City at Pearl Studios. This was followed by book rewrites and the completion of the score.
In March 2017, we presented our first 29-hour reading at Skyline Theatre Company, as part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival. This was followed by more book and song revisions, plus the addition of new material. In March of 2019, we presented our second 29-hour reading again at Skyline Theatre Company, as part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival. The work was selected as a semi-finalist for the 2020 National Musical Theater Festival at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.
concept, book, Music
Rachel DeVore Fogarty's works have been commissioned, awarded and performed by organizations in the U.S. and internationally, including ACDA, KMEA, IAWM, the Bryan Symphony, the Oak Ridge Symphony, St. Olaf's College, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the Indianapolis Children's Choir, SACRA/PROFANA, Oklahoma State University, University of Kentucky, Conundrum, Tapestry Singers, Muse (Cincinnati Women's Ensemble), the Young New Yorkers' Chorus, the Concert Chorale of Nashville, Western Michigan University, the Seen/Heard Trio, the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, the Astoria Music Project, the Luna Nova Music Ensemble, the Six Degree Singers, the Festival Singers of Atlanta, the Capital Hearings and VocalEssence.
Her works have been chosen for inclusion in Vox Reflexa's New Millennium Composers project, the Cro Patria Choir Festival and in the London Contemporary Church Music Festival. She was the 2014 American Composers Forum Welcome Christmas winner in which her music was featured by VocalEssence on a national broadcast by American Public Media. Her vocal arrangement of “Silver Bells” was featured in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performed by Sarah McLachlan and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
John R. DeVore book & Story
John is a writer of many short stories, has completed his first novel, is collaborating on a poetry collection with Rachel DeVore Fogarty and is an educator. John holds a BA in English Literature and a M. Ed. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He was a film critic for The Chattanooga Pulse for ten years and is a founding member and PAC chair of Hamilton County United, an education advocacy group. John lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his family where he teaches English and where the great story of Jackie Mitchell took place. Everything John knows about baseball comes from him watching his son play Little League and from being an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Kevin Fogarty Music, lyrics, & Book
Kevin Fogarty is a contemporary musical theatre composer and lyricist, a recognized commercial songwriter, and an experienced multi-instrumentalist. A finalist for the John Wallowitch Award, his work has been selected for both the New Voices at CUA Music Festival and the Manhattan Repertory Theatre Summerfest.
His songs have been featured twice by Cutting Edge Composers, a concert series featured at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). His musicals have been produced as readings, full productions, and workshopped by Montgomery Bell Academy and Skyline Theatre.
A member of the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Workshop, his current projects include lyrics for A Thousand Faces (with composer Rachel DeVore Fogarty and book writer Eric Lane), a musical about silent film star Lon Chaney; Southern Harmony, a musical that tells the true story of Bernie Tiede.
Sam Scalamoni Director
Sam Scalamoni is a director who is inspired to tell great stories that move audiences. He is based in New York and his work has been seen by audiences across the United States and worldwide. Sam is the director of the critically acclaimed National Tours of Elf the Musical which has had thirteen companies across seven years playing The Theatre at Madison Square Garden and the Kennedy Center. Sam is currently developing a new musical, A Thousand Faces, based on the life of film legend Lon Chaney, the musical Unbelievable, about American baseball legend Jackie Mitchell and a stage adaptation of the MGM musical Summer Stock. In 2018 Sam directed the world premiere national tour of the new musical Noel with book by best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl book series, Eoin Colfer.
Sam has a long relationship with the classic musical Disney’s Beauty and the Beast which he has directed for the Ogunquit Playhouse, North Carolina Theatre and The Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Sam is the Associate Director of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for Disney Theatrical Group which he supervised on Broadway and mounted multiple companies world-wide, most recently in Shanghai, China. Sam directed Les Miserables at Cortland Repertory Theatre, winning the SALT Award for Best Director of a Musical along with Best Musical of the Year. He also won the Broadway World Award for Best Director of a Play for his direction of Agatha Christie’s An Unexpected Guest also at CRT. Other national tours directed; Nickelodeon’s Storytime Live! which broke box office records at Radio City Music Hall and The Gazillion Bubble Show.
Sam’s direction of original works include the two original incarnations of Alan Menken’s Broadway musical Leap of Faith in workshop, the original developmental workshop of Mulan Jr. for Disney Theatrical Productions, a workshop presentation of Sense and Sensibility at Playwrights Horizons, workshops of the musical At the Back of the North Wind at the National Arts Club and The Village Theatre, a workshop of The New Picasso at New World Stages, Treaty 321! at the Lucille Lortel, and Fidelity Futurestage at New World Stages for Richard Frankel Productions. He is a founding member and currently serves as the Artistic Director of Skyline Theatre Company, a professional non-profit theatre company in New Jersey.