She Persisted, The Musical
Some of America's most fearless women get the spotlight in this new musical for Young Audiences based on the best-selling children's book.
Restrictions may apply.
Show Essentials

Full Synopsis

Ms. Chan has brought her fourth grade students from Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School to the National Museum of Women in History. Naomi, one of her students, arrives late and is bothered about a mistake she made for a class assignment ("Perfect/Not"). Naomi learns that she will have to write a paper on how the women in the museum inspire her to follow her dreams. She asks why there needs to be a women's history museum when women's history should just be "history history." Ms. Chan and the Museum Tour Guide explain that women often get left out and give the class examples of historical women, explaining "They Changed the World".

Naomi is very stressed about the essay, but her classmates assure her that it's easy - especially since everyone knows that her dream is to be an astronaut. Naomi is overwhelmed and wonders how she can accomplish so much ("Perfect/Not Reprise"). She wishes aloud that she could be "anywhere but here" when Time appears. Times transports Naomi back to The Bronx in 1961, where she meets a young Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Young Sonia tells Naomi that with "persistence plus flexibility" she can solve any problem and find "Another Solution".

Time takes an amazed Naomi to the 1930s, where she meets Dr. Virginia Apgar, a very inquisitive and observant doctor. Dr. Apgar explains that nobody checks newborn babies closely for their health right after they're born. But she has come up with a test to score a baby's health ("That's The Score!"). Naomi realizes that by asking questions and being curious in nature, Dr. Apgar made a difference.

Time says goodbye to Naomi, leaving her alone and a little lost. She crosses paths with Harriet Tubman, who says she can guide Naomi north to Canada. Harriet explains to Naomi that although the northern states are technically "free", runaway slaves can still be taken back south. Naomi asks her how she finds the strength to keep going, and Harriet says that she has "Hope".

Naomi finds Time and says goodbye to Harriet. Naomi meets Sonia Sotomayor again - this time in 1974 at Princeton University, where she is a student. Sonia wants to challenge the university president about the lack of Puerto Rican and Chicano professors and the fact that there are no classes on Puerto Rican or Chicano culture. Naomi assures her that she deserves to be heard and that she just needs to be herself. When Sonia tells the president her demands, he brushes her off. Undeterred, Sonia tells Naomi that she will simply need to find "Another Solution Reprise".

Naomi believes that she can't accomplish as much as the women she's met. Time suggests that she needs to learn to love herself more and shows her Olympic medalist Florence Griffith Joyner at the 1984 Olympics, where she is running the women's 200 meter sprint. When Naomi asks Florence what helps her believe that she's good enough, she tells her that she doesn't listen to what people say about her and keeps doing her best on her terms ("Run My Race").

Naomi then meets Sally Ride, who is preparing for her first space mission - which will make her the first American woman in space. Sally tells Naomi to not worry about being perfect and that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes and learning from them. She guides Naomi through all the training that led her to her mission ("Isn't It Cool?") and how she handles sexist question from reporters.

Back with her class on the field trip, Naomi has doubts that a young girl like her can change the world. Time takes her to New Orleans in 1960, where she meets Ruby Bridges. Ruby is on her way to her new school, where she will be the first black student. An angry crowd is harassing and threatening her. Ruby is scared and almost wants to give up, but she knows she needs to keep going ("Walk On"). Ruby makes her way to school, no matter what the crowd says to her.

Naomi finally understands she doesn't have to be perfect to make a difference and that her personal best is more than enough ("Perfect/Not Reprise II"). She returns to her field trip and asks Ms. Chan for help with her essay and explains how all the women in the museum have inspired her. Ms. Chan tells Naomi that she clearly doesn't need help with the essay. Naomi takes in all that she has learned as the historical women join her onstage ("Walk On Reprise -Finale").



Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Mainly Women

Character Breakdown

Actress 1

Plays Naomi, a 10 year-old student. African American.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Actress 4

Plays Harriet Tubman, Florence Griffith Joyner, Male Reporter 2, Astronaut Trainer (offstage). African American

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: F#3
Actress 2

Plays Ms. Chan, Time. Asian American.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Actress 3

Plays Juno, Sonia Sotomayor, Museum Guide, Male Reporter 1. Latina

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Actress 5

Plays Dr. Virginia Apgar, Sally Ride, President of Princeton, Sonia's Mother (offstage). Caucasian

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Actress 6

Plays Ruby Bridges, Bailey, Nurse, Race Announcer (offstage). African American.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: G3
Full Song List
She Persisted, The Musical: Perfect/Not
She Persisted, The Musical: They Changed The World
She Persisted, The Musical: Perfect/Not (Reprise)
She Persisted, The Musical: Another Solution
She Persisted, The Musical: That's The Score!
She Persisted, The Musical: Hope
She Persisted, The Musical: Another Solution (Reprise)
She Persisted, The Musical: Run My Race
She Persisted, The Musical: Isn't It Cool
She Persisted, The Musical: Walk On
She Persisted, The Musical: Perfect/Not (Reprise II)
She Persisted, The Musical: Walk On Reprise (Finale)


Book Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger


You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
The Musical


Script and Lyrics by
Adam Tobin
Music by
Deborah Wicks La Puma
Adapted from the Book Written by Chelsea Clinton and Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger


Published by Philomel Books


In addition to the foregoing, you agree to include the following credit in all programs for the show:
“This play was commissioned and first produced by Bay Area Children’s Theatre during the 2018/2019 season”


In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, or where only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided, the following "shortened billing" is permissible:
The Musical
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