Part of the SHORT MUSICALS NOW COLLECTION
End of The Line
Book by Howard Ho, Lyrics by Chris Edgar, Music by Kristen Rea
Four worker ants set out on a routine mission to retrieve tasty morsels for their colony and end up on the quest of a lifetime. When faced with a fork in the road, will they return home empty handed or receive a hero’s welcome for discovering the “legendary stuff” long prophesied by their ancestors?
It’s Squirt’s first day on the job as a Worker Ant. Squirt is eager to complete their first mission: to bring back morsels for the Queen from the nearby 7-11 parking lot. But, as we learn in “THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE ANTS / STEP OUT OF LINE,” Squirt is even more eager to explore the world outside of the Ant Colony. Stacy, the wizened old Worker Ant, with the help of Alex and Taylor, teaches Squirt the life or death importance of their #1 rule: “A.N.T. - Always. Never. Transcend” -- never get out of The Line (the scent trail made up of pheromones). With the rules of the job established, Stacy counts off “THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE ANTS (REPRISE)” and leads The Line, followed by the no-nonsense Alex, the ever-fearful Taylor, and a young, idealistic, and easily distracted Squirt.
However, Stacy smells something of mythical proportions: a Twinkie. In “LEGENDARY STUFF”, Stacy recounts the days when their Ant-cestors feasted on the holiest of Hostess cakes, until they vanished. But, though generations had passed, some Ants believed in the prophecy that if all ants learned to stay In Line, the God’s would smile upon them with the second coming of the Twinkie. Stacy pushes forward, renewed at the prospect of returning a hero, but the team is quickly halted by a giant object blocking their pheromone path, a fork.
Alex views the prophecy as a useless fantasy, demanding they follow protocol and return to the colony. But Stacy and Squirt believe the Twinkie is more important than the rules. Stacy starts to push over the fork... and dies. His final words in “MAKE YOUR OWN FATE” are, “Your new mission is to keep going until you find the Twinkie.”
Alex as second-in-command, is now in charge. She’s convinced that Stacy was smited by the Gods for stepping out of Line, and demands they return to the colony at once. Squirt, convinced Stacy died of old age and determined to honor Stacy’s legacy and their new mission, refuses to go back. The three find themselves in a complete standstill in “ANT-POCALYPSE NOW”: Alex leading the line but dead-set on returning to the colony, Squirt in the back trying to move forward, and Taylor, terrified and attempting to burrow straight down.
The brave, Squirt takes a stand in “STEP OUT OF LINE (REPRISE)”, walks over the fork, and exclaims that the pheromone continues on the other side of the fork-- they’ve found the line again! Alex and Taylor reluctantly follow Squirt over the fork and reunite with a new-found sense of purpose -- to find the sacred snack cake and return victoriously to the colony with the Twinkie as their trophy! They joyfully end the show with “THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE ANTS (FINAL REPRISE)”.
STACY - A senior worker ant. Wise and disciplined with a youthful optimism.
TAYLOR - A young worker ant. Naive and fearful. Loves the Queen.
ALEX - An experienced worker ant. Second in command. No funny business.
SQUIRT - A new worker ant. This is his first day on the job.
2015 - Developed in association with New Musicals, Inc. (NMI) and first produced by NMI at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood, California.
2018 - Produced Off-Broadway at Signature Theatre’s Irene Diamond Stage as part of Theatre Now 10-Minute Musical 5.0, ’s SOUND BITES Festival.
2019 - END OF THE LINE was produced in NYC at The Vineyard’s Dimson 15th Street Theatre as part of the 44th Annual Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival.
KRISTEN REA is a former dancing french hornist turned musical theater book writer, lyricist & composer. After over a decade performing in the Tony and Emmy award-winning theatrical production, Blast! and Blast! The Music of Disney, throughout the US and Japan, Kristen shifted to the creative side and studied Music and Lyrics at New Musicals, Inc. and BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. Original works include End of the Line (Samuel French Off-off-Broadway Short Play Festival, Theatre Now’s SOUND BITES 5.0 Festival, NMI), New Horizons (BMI Workshop), North Pole High (NMI Got Musical, NMI New Works Staged Reading), Sombrellu (CITYstage), and In The Hall (with Lori Jaroslow). Kristen grew up in Placerville, CA - the epicenter of California’s Gold Rush, and holds a B.M. in French Horn Performance from the University of Southern California and an M.F.A. in Brass Performance from California Institute of the Arts. She currently resides in New York City where she works in musical theatre publishing and licensing and tries to make your favorite musicals’ scores and parts look pretty.
HOWARD HO is a playwright and composer. His short musical End Of The Line (co-written with Kristen Rea and Chris Edgar) was in The Samuel French Off-off-Broadway Short Play Festival and Theatre Now’s SOUND BITES 5.0. His play Various Emporia was a 2017 O'Neill National Playwrights Finalist. His musical Pretendo was featured in the Center Theatre Group (CTG) Library Reading Series. He was a 2016 CTG Literary Fellow and a 2013 NY State Summer Writers Institute Scholarship recipient. His work has been developed with East West Players, Playwrights’ Arena, Company of Angels, Kaya Press, New Musicals Inc., Playground-LA, Santa Monica Playhouse, Here and Now, and The Vagrancy. His popular Youtube videos analyzing the musical Hamilton (youtube.com/HowardHoMusic) have been recognized by Lin-Manuel Miranda and have garnered millions of views collectively. He holds a musicology degree from UCLA and a Master of Professional Writing from USC.
CHRIS EDGAR is a composer and songwriter writing music for film, theater, TV, and digital series. Edgar has scored award-winning films, including Ghost in the Gun, which won numerous film festival awards for Best Original Score; the movie musical The Breakout: A Rock Opera; and the animated musical Steve’s Quest, which won numerous awards including the International Academy of Web Television’s Best Animated Series Award and the Best Original Score Award at the Hollyweb festival. Edgar has also toured as a drummer, and worked as an orchestrator, with signed recording artists. Last and probably least, Edgar is an attorney who specializes in commercial litigation and entertainment law, although he is in the process of leaving that behind to fully focus on music.