Jekyll and Hyde (Youth Version)
This quirky adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic highlights the consequences of substance abuse.
Show Essentials
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Full Synopsis

A troupe of actors in Victorian costume addresses the audience ("Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde"). They tell the story of Dr. Jekyll, a good and decent scientist who invented a potion to turn himself into the murderous Mr. Hyde, and who died as a result of his dangerous experimentation.

But there's another story to be told. Henry Meckler, a high school student, reads Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and becomes obsessed with it. Henry is a straight-A student and president of the chemistry club, but he can't talk to Chelsea McFadden, the girl he has a crush on. His best (and only) friend, Stuart, advises him to make up lies to impress her (he's a champion surfer, raised in Africa). But, when Henry decides to march right up to her and ask her out, he's intercepted by Chuck Vernicker, the class bully, who robs and humiliates him in front of Chelsea... just like every other day.

But today, Henry vows to change things by changing himself. He tells Stuart that he's going to recreate Dr. Jekyll's formula ("What If..."). After all, if a person is only chemicals, why not alter a few of those chemicals a bit? Stuart tells Henry that he's crazy, but Henry withdraws into his garage laboratory. For weeks, he hides not only from his family, but from Stuart, who is tormented by an alcoholic father and desperately needs his best friend's ear, and reminds Henry of his promise never to tell anybody else about it. Meanwhile, Henry finishes his potion, drinks and... nothing happens.

Despondent, Henry joins his ever-patient parents and his squabbling brother and sister at the dinner table ("Just Once"). As Tony and Beth scream and carry on, their parents urge them to be more like quiet, obedient Henry. But, in the middle of his father telling about his day at the bank, Henry begins to change ("Something's Happening"). He runs from the room.

The next day at school, everybody's gossiping about the handsome, confident "New Kid." Chelsea and her friend, Marissa, flirt with him. Even Stuart doesn't recognize him, and he introduces himself as Eddie. Eddie faces down Chuck and stops him from bullying Stuart. He intimidates his teacher, Mr. Hebner, into letting him into history class and stands up and asks Chelsea out in front of everybody. She says yes. Eddie is everybody's hero.

But Stuart is worried about Henry, wondering why his friend missed school for the first time ever. But Henry was there, and he proves it by recounting the events of the day to Stuart. Then, he reveals his secret: he drinks his potion and turns into Eddie ("More"). He feels great and he pressures Stuart to join him. Stuart declines, first politely and then more firmly. Eddie starts to threaten Stuart, then changes his mind: "If you don't want any, that just leaves me more."

Coming out of a movie with Chelsea that Friday night, Eddie starts spinning all of Stuart's lies about surfing and Africa. In the middle of a story about his pet elephant, Spot, he starts to turn back into Henry. He takes more of his potion in front of Chelsea, placating her by saying that it's medicine for a rare, non-contagious disease that he got in Africa.

Eddie takes over more and more of Henry's life ("More – Sequence"). Stuart finds Eddie to be no substitute for his best friend, and Henry's teachers worry about the effect that his new attendance problem will have on the chemistry scholarship for which he is applying. Eddie even bullies Chelsea into getting out of a weekend with her grandmother to spend more time with him.

Henry's parents get a letter from Henry's school and confront him, but he refuses to answer their questions, angrily asserting his independence ("Something's Wrong").

Transformed again, Eddie tries to convince Stuart, Chelsea and Marissa to help him steal a car so that they can go to the beach for the weekend and "borrow" somebody's beach house. Stuart finally stands up to Eddie and refuses to go. Eddie retaliates by telling the girls about Stuart's alcoholic father. Stuart storms off, and so does Marissa. Chelsea tries to follow them, but Eddie yells, begs and physically threatens Chelsea, grabbing her wrist so hard that it hurts. She promises to go with him that weekend, and he turns sweet and nice again.

Later that day, Henry reverts to himself and begs Stuart for forgiveness, but Stuart recognizes the signs of addiction ("More – Reprise"), and tells Henry to get help. Henry insists that he's got it under control and that he can stop on his own.

To prove it, he decides to talk to Chelsea as himself, not as Eddie. He tells her that Eddie has gone away and is never coming back... and is surprised to find her relieved. They find that they have more in common than they thought, since Chelsea wishes that she were smart, like Henry, just as much as Henry wishes he were popular, like her ("If I Were You"). Henry hesitantly asks her out, and – to their mutual astonishment – she agrees. It looks like Eddie is gone for good.

But, Henry still has to get through his interview for the chemistry scholarship and he still has a vial of potion in his pocket, even though he had sworn off it. As he waits, getting more and more nervous, he finally succumbs and drinks the potion. He transforms into Eddie, who insults the interviewer, tears up Henry's application essay and goes to find Chelsea. He calls her stupid and threatens her again, but she's had enough this time. She walks out on him, leaving him shouting after her.

Eddie runs back to his lab, desperate for his next fix. Henry's mother walks in and doesn't recognize her own son. She comes between Eddie and the beaker of potion, tries to kick him out and threatens to call the police. Then, Eddie comes down, transforming back into Henry in front of her eyes. He attacks her, wanting only the potion, and realizes only too late what he's done. Finally, at rock bottom, he recognizes that he can't stop and asks her for help. The rest of the cast joins her in assuring Henry, "You're Not Alone."

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Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Older Roles
Dance Requirements: None

Character Breakdown

Henry Meckler
A brainiac and 'outsider,' and our story's troubled protagonist. Timid and introverted, he desperately yearns to be someone else. On his quest to become someone new, he develops a terrifying alter ego: Eddie.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: A4
Henry's best friend. Good-natured with an active sense of humor. Not one of the popular kids and has an alcoholic father.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Chelsea Mcfadden
Henry's biggest crush and the most popular girl in school. A pretty girl who is secretly envious of Henry's smarts. Becomes Eddie's girlfriend but eventually has a change of heart about the relationship.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A4
Henry's mother. She is a good mother and wife who wants the best for her family. Loyal, supportive, kind.
Gender: female
Age: 40 to 50
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: B4
Henry's Father. A businessman in a bank who just wants the best for his three kids. Kind, caring, loving.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 50
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: B4
Chelsea's best friend. One of the popular kids, she is protective of Chelsea and wants her to leave Eddie.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Chuck Vernicker
The class bully, he is always targeting Henry in his antics. Revealed to be woefully insecure despite a facade of confident machismo.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Henry's alter ego. He is borderline abusive to those around him and possesses a hot temper. Cocky, controlling, and mean.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Students; Teachers
Full Song List
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): What If?
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): Just Once
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): New Kid
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): More
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): Something's Wrong
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): If I Were You
Jekyll And Hyde (Youth Version): Finale (You're Not Alone)

Show History


Jekyll and Hyde (Youth Version) is a theatre for young audiences musical with book and lyrics by David Crane and Marta Kauffman and music by Michael Skloff. Crane and Kauffman are most well known for creating the Emmy-nominated television series, "Friends" and "Veronica's Closet," as well as creating the musicals, Rapunzel and When the Cookie Crumbles. Skloff also composed music for their previous projects.

The musical is a modern retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic horror novel of the same name. Like the novel, it tells the story of a man who produces dual identities after drinking a concoction. However, the themes of the show reside much more in the realm of drug use and bullying, which ties it into more educational theatre.


Jekyll and Hyde was created in the summer of 1990 by the company, Theatreworks, which specializes in touring musicals that function as theatre for young audiences. In October 1990, the company was asked to perform Jekyll and Hyde at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It helped launch the "All Babies Count" conference in Washington, D.C., which brought together prominent leaders in health care, education and the media to discuss the problems of drug abuse.

Critical Reaction

"Full of humor, astute true-to-life situations, snappy contemporary music, and a message that grabs but doesn't bludgeon. ...A riveting work, a creative means of changing attitudes."
– The Chicago Tribune

"Jekyll and Hyde demonstrates an unusually high degree of workmanship for a show aimed at children (in this case between 10 and 17 years). The book deftly negotiates the tricky transposition of the story from late-19th-century London to a high school in contemporary Cleveland. From the opening number, in which Henry longingly envisions the liberation of 'a very different me,' Mr. Skloff's pop-rock music echoes Andrew Lloyd Webber, scaled-down and Americanized for the occasion. ...Succeeds admirably in maintaining the precarious balance between being fun and conveying its warning against the pitfalls of quick chemical fixes."
– The New York Times

"Broadway-caliber songs from the play's stellar creative team."
– The Topeka Capital-Journal

"A superb contemporary musical. ...Jekyll and Hyde uses humor, music, witty dialogue and familiar situations to help teens see the dangers of substance abuse."
– St. Petersburg Times



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Book & Lyrics by
Music by
Commissioned and Originally Produced by THEATREWORKS USA

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