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By the Lazours
Music Supervision & Direction by Madeline Benson

Developmental Reading: February 6 – 18, 2023
Public Presentations:
February 11, 17 & 18 at 7:30pm
Black Box 206, Wirtz Center Chicago
Abbott Hall, 710 N Lake Shore Drive
Chicago Parking & Directions
Click on the images below to see more photos from rehearsal!

“Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.”  – Susan Sontag

Yasmine Holly is a fictional every-person on an illness journey. As we hear Yasmine’s story from her entrance into the night side, to treatment, to her relationships with her doctors, nurses, her husband, and her mother, the audience also experiences short visions of other characters on illness journeys of their own. The crux of Night Side Songs is its sing-along score, where audiences are asked to participate in the story by learning songs to sing with and to the characters, bearing witness and adding their voices as they go on this journey side by side.

Night Side Songs is not a musical, nor is it a play. It is a secular mass, only holy insofar as togetherness is holy. We look to bring new space, new ritual to the illness experience. The piece takes doctors, patients, caretakers, and researchers out of the hospital or the bedroom to meld the land of the well and the sick. It is a gathering of music and story meant to bring us closer to that thing we all avoid talking about – and thus, closer to life.


Daniel Lazour and Patrick Lazour are brothers and music theatre writers. Their musical We Live in Cairo premiered at the American Repertory Theater in May 2019 directed by Taibi Magar. Their album FLAP MY WINGS (Songs from We Live in Cairo) was recorded in quarantine and features the Lazours as well as major activist-songwriters from across the Arab world. They are working with Ritesh Batra to adapt his film The Lunchbox for the stage, commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater. Their movie musical Challenger: An American Dream is about Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe and the Reagan White House; and they are developing a 60-minute song titled Romulus & Remus, or How We Came to Live in the Festering Wound of the West.  Patrick and Daniel and were 2015-16 Dramatists Guild Fellows, 2021 Jonathan Larson Award winners, MacDowell Fellows and New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspects. They were artists-in-residence at the American University in Cairo and are teaching artists at Lincoln Center Theater. @frereslazour

Madeline Benson is a music director, arranger, composer, and instrumentalist based in New York. MD credits (selected): Bhangin’ It (La Jolla Playhouse), We Live In Cairo (ART), Rags Parkland… (Ars Nova), Ragtime on Ellis Island, An Octoroon (TFANA), FUTURITY (Ars Nova/Soho Rep), Skin of our Teeth (TFANA), Loch Ness (the Rev), Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat (ATF), Agent 355 (CTC). Broadway credits (selected): Waitress, SIX, War Paint. Madeline musically adapted Disney Theatrical’s Frozen Jr. and Descendants. B.A. Classical Civilizations from Harvard University.


Aashna Rai
Claudia Kinahan
Lucy London
Mako Yamamoto
Robbie Matthew
Ryder McDaniel

Sophia Danielle-Grenier, Stage Manager
Sydney MacGilvray, Workshop Assistant
Libby Hatton, Music Assistant
Claudia Kinahan, Dramaturg