Max Understood A Musical by Nancy Carlin (Book & Lyrics) and Michael Rasbury (Music & Lyrics)
- Elise Youssef *- Mom
- Teddy Spencer * – Dad
- Jonah Broscow – Max
- Jeremy Kahn *- Albert
- Alyssa Rhoney – Finn
- Jackson Davis * – Munc
- Hayley Lovgren – Peg
Scenic Designer: Alexander V. Nichols
Lighting Designer: David Robertson
Projection Designer: Micah J. Stieglitz
Choreographer: MaryBeth Cavanaugh**
Sound Designer: The Norman Conquest
Production Stage Manager: Kevin Johnson *
Assistant Choreographer: Christine Germain
Properties Designer: Juliana Bradley
Assistant Stage Manager: Gabrielle Immelman
Set Construction: David McCullough
Music Consultant: David Moschler
Costume Assistant: Jean Fredrickson
Dramaturg: Philippa Kelly Publicist: David Hyry & Associates
Associate Producer: Nancy Carlin
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
**Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
We first meet Max, a seven-year-old boy with Autism, on an ordinary morning as he is distractedly waiting for breakfast. As his loving but overwhelmed parents struggle to start their day while attending to his daily needs, Max quietly sneaks out of the apartment.
Outside he is soon confronted by three unfriendly, neighborhood children whom he imagines to be a Pegasus doll, a rapper named Albert Einstein, and a bossy mermaid named Finn. In response to their cruel taunts and insistent questions, Max runs out into the street and is nearly hit by a car, saved by a leaf-blowing philosopher Munc, representing Max’s inner self, who teaches Max about the calming effect of poetry and the magic of metaphor.
In the meantime, Max’s parents, who have been desperately searching for their missing son, begin to experience an autistic nightmare of their own. Frantically calling out for him, even when he is nearby he cannot answer because of his autism.
In the final scene, the family is happily reunited at home. As Max’s parents and neighbors hover watching him exhibit the same autistic behaviors as before, they are finally able to respect him for simply being.