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On Your Mark!

Music by Aaron Kenny, book and lyrics by Danny K. Bernstein

A contemporary re-imagining of the Aesop Fable 'The Tortoise and the Hare,' this fun new show takes the familiar classic and exposes the truth behind this infamous woodland race.

Dramatic Comedy


Cast Size

2m, 2f, 1a (Flex to 10)


12 Mins


Woodland Critters Race, the forest.




Theatre For Young Audiences Fantasy Fables/Folktales


Business, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Parenting/Family, Economic/Financial Interest

Target Audience

Appropriate for all audiences


Classic/Standard Musical Theatre


Piano/Vocal, Violin, Bass, Woodwind, Percussion

Additional Resources



It’s race day as all of the woodland critters race through the forest. Unsurprisingly the humble favorite, the Hare, finishes first and collects the cash prize as her winnings “WHO WILL FINISH FIRST”. The hare gives her cash winnings to her parents, to help them afford the rent on their burrow. However, matters get complicated when their landlord, a badger, badgers them for the rent, informing them that their rent will be considerably higher next month. “RAISE YOUR RENT”. The new rent is higher than the Hare’s winnings can accommodate, so she seeks out a loan from a shady tortoise. “PAPA TORTOISE”. However, the tortoise hatches a scheme - to fix the race, and rig all of the bets that will be placed on it. The hare will throw the race, thereby making all those who placed bets on her to win lose, and instead the tortoise will fool everyone into thinking he finished first. “FAST”. Just before the race is about to win, the Hare considers whether she is really doing the right thing, and if there’s any moral to be learned at all. “WHO WILL FINISH FIRST (REPRISE)”


Casting Information

  • HARE -  Sharp, spritely, determined and practical. Our heroine.

  • TORTOISE - A large, shadowy figure. Mysterious, full of ulterior motives. Holds all the power in the forest.

  • BADGER - Sneaky and conniving. A financial vulture. Raises the rent on the hare family because he can.

  • ENSEMBLE 1 - Plays Mrs. Fox, a sportscaster, Mother Hare, a kindly old mother, and one of the Tortoise’s lackeys.

  • ENSEMBLE 2 - Plays Jamie The Fox, a sportscaster, Father Hare, a kindly old father, and one of the Tortoise’s lackeys.


NOTE: ENSEMBLE 1 and ENSEMBLE 2 tracks can be divided up to create more roles.


Who Will Finish First
00:00 / 02:42
The Fast Shuffle
00:00 / 03:47
00:00 / 00:00
00:00 / 00:00
Casting & Songs



Production History

  • 2016 - First produced as part of Theatre Now's SOUND BITES 3.0, festival of 10-minute musicals at the 47th Street Theatre in NYC.

Author Bios

Illustrated Mountains

AARON KENNY is an Australian composer based in New York, featured by ASCAP as a "composer to watch". Composing for film, television, theater, and the concert hall, he was nominated for Best Song at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (2019), as well as being awarded Australian Young Composer of the Year. His theatrical writing debut happened in 2016 with On Your Mark!, a contemporary musical adaptation of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Aaron is a current member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop. He has also previously been selected for the ASCAP Foundation’s Broadway Conductors Program (NYC 2012), and the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop (NYC 2017). He is also the Music Assistant to Disney Legend and Broadway composer Alan Menken, and has worked on Beauty and the Beast (2017 film), Hercules (Stage) and the upcoming The Little Mermaid (film).

Illustrated Mountains

DANNY K. BERNSTEIN is an award-winning composer/lyricist, director, music director and pianist. His music and lyrics have been heard Off-Broadway, Feinstein’s 54 Below, Green Room 42, Club Cumming, Prohibition, and all over New York City. NYC: Far From Canterbury (Book, Music, Lyrics) - Outstanding Overall Musical, 2015 New York International Fringe Festival, The Bishops (Book, Music, Lyrics), Danny has Friends! At The Green Room 42 (Music, Lyrics), Procrasticomposer (Music, Lyrics) Danny K Bernstein in Concert at 54 Below (Music, Lyrics). TV: Broadway At The White House. 2019 and 2017 Jonathan Larson Award Finalist, 2014 Winner, New Voices Project, New Musical Inc., through Walt Disney Imagineering, Los Angeles. Proud member of ASCAP and the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop.

Illustrated Mountains
Author's Bios
Production History
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