‘Five Points’ takes another step


For Douglas Lyons, this writers’ retreat was another major step for “Five Points.”

Lyons and Ethan Pakchar and Harrison David Rivers were hosted by Discovering Broadway Oct. 9-14 at the Hotel Carmichael in Carmel.

Set in New York City in 1863, “Five Points” follows Willie Green, a young Black man, and Irish immigrant and jig champion Josh Diamond. The show follows the birth of American tap dance. The musical’s book was written by Rivers, the lyrics by Lyons and the music by Lyons and Pakchar.

“The Discovering Broadway residency was a huge game changer for our process,” Lyons said. “Since we started this show eight years ago, all our lives have evolved. Scheduling has become one of our largest hurdles, so our time in Indy afforded us some divine time to solely focus on our much-needed changes. We got a lot of great work done.”

Lyons said some changes were made during the retreat.

“Two characters were cut,” he said. “Two new songs were written, and a lot of new lyrics were reworked. Personally, not being in NYC and having the space to meet without much distraction created a vibration around the work. I like to call it ‘the hum.’”

Lyons said the internal team goal is to finish a brand-new draft of the show by February 2023.

“Our time with Discovering Broadway really got us closer to that dream,” he said.

A concert with songs from the musical at the Madam Walker Legacy Center at Indianapolis will be performed Feb. 10 during Black History Month.

“The concert in February will serve as a celebration of our recent progress, as well as a debut of some brand-new material,” Lyons said.

During the October writers retreat, Discovering Broadway founder and chief executive officer Joel Kirk, a 2012 Carmel High School graduate, said the writers gave themselves the time and space to be excited about their musical “Five Points.”

“Distractions abound in our everyday lives,” Kirk said. “When an artist can leave New York City, fully focus on what is inspiring them and ask deeper questions about the art they want to make for the world, the brighter the future of Broadway.”

For more, visit discoveringbroadway.org.