"You are worthy of love, worthy of life. And knowing that will set you free, there's nothing else you have to be. You are worthy to me."
From the song "Worthy", from "The Hinterlands"
In the middle of nowhere, growing up gay is the worst.
Meet Paul. He’s 16. He’s into theoretical physics. He lives in the middle of nowhere. And he’s gay. Being a scrawny, queer science nerd practically makes him a bully magnet. And as the harassment piles up, Paul contemplates taking his own life. In THE HINTERLANDS, a six-part musical miniseries, Paul struggles to keep his head above water as he confronts intolerance, his sexuality and the rocky path of adolescence.
We wanted to respond to the issue of gay bullying in a way that would help kids like Paul understand that they're incredibly valuable members of our human community and that they are inherently worthy of love and compassion. We decided to do what we do best - write a musical. As storytellers and songwriters, we can ask questions, create empathy and make change. By creating the character of Paul we believe we will be giving young people a person with whom they can relate and empathize. By watching Paul's journey to discover how to cope with the day-to-day bullying he faces, teens can gain strength and be inspired to overcome their own obstacles. Yes, “it gets better” for gay youth who make it through their difficult childhood and teenage years, but The Hinterlands is our attempt to help all bullied young people find and embrace their own innate worthiness NOW, despite the onslaught of hatred they must survive every day.
A guiding factor in the creation of the Hinterlands as a musical web series – rather than a staged production – was our belief that kids need to be able to access a story like this from the safety of their own laptops, iPads and smart phones. And kids in the real hinterlands are the most in need of a project like this, as some communities are highly intolerant of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender kids.
The Hinterlands would not have been possible without generous donations from:
DeLona Allers, Michele G Ankrim, Maura Barr, Christine Bateman, Jenny Bennett, Heather & Alex Berry, Charlie and Margie, Bicknell, Ofra Bloch, Danielle Boor, Laura Bott, Jeanie, Bourgeous, Megan Bourgeous White, David Budinger, Jackie Cale, Lori Cameron, Pamela Campi Spee, David Chilton, Catherine Cho, Dan Collins, Jane Collins, Nicholas Corey, Shileah Corey, Jamie Cowperthwait, Arlene Crane, Jeffrey Crane, Mark Crane, Nancy Crane, Annie M. Cull, Ryan Cunningham, Kimberly Dare, Sarah Davis, Jenny DeBower, Gion DeFrancesco, Michelle DeFranco, Edith Demas, Jared Dembowski, Loretta Deranleau Howard, Nick DeSantis, Beth & Chad DeVries, Sherrill Dryden, Christian Duhamel, Michelle Elliott, Sandy and Ralph Elliott, Iris Elton, Susan Fitzgerald, Amy Fowler, Katie Friis, Gary Fuller, Steve and Gail Gant, Hillary Gault, Timothy Glynn, Amy Gornet, Jodi Graham, Jennifer Grajewski, Dennis Griffiths, John Grimmett, Susan Gurman, Jared & Jenny Hancock, Paul Hansen, Jennifer Harkness, Kat Hennessey, Brooke Hills, Cassie Hohn, Diana Huey, Yoko Huey, Sandy Ivie, Auston James, Robin Jamison, Chad Jennings, Lisa Johnson, Lea Kaemerer, Melissa Kalt, Jason & Loni Kappus, Christy Kenny, Gavin Kenny, Janet Kenny, Sara Kimmerle, Jen King, Laurie King, Jill Klinge, Roger Klorese, Bob Knuth, Felice Kuan, Dale & UnHui Larsen, Danny Larsen, Debra Levin, Corinne Liegel, Christopher D. Littlefield, Peter Lockyer, Mary Longo, Zev Lowe, Keith MacDonald, Brett V Macias, Robert Maddock, Christopher Marcacci, Ryan McCabe, Galen McKay, Mike Mendiola, Scot Anderson, Orville Mendoza, Jay Mielke, Vanessa Miller McConaghy, Susan Miller, Mary Mitchell Campbell, Natalie Moe, Judy Ann Moulton, Barbara Murphy, John Nettleton, Kathryne Nickerson, Colleen Nielsen, Akiko Okada, Sybille Pearson, Margaret Pehrson, Charissa & James Pingenot, Holly Potter, Penny Purcell, Kat Ramsburg, Mike Reid, James Reif, James Rocco, Shannon Russell, Sarah Schlesinger, Cari Schutzler, Ron Schwizer, Sara Scopp, Lorraine A Scott, Michael Shaieb, Brent Lord, Patrick Shelton, Mel Silverman, Tam P Sneddon, Jamie Sorenson, Erin Sprow, Elizabeth Stam, Irene Steiner, Stone Productions, Elana Story, Scott Strack, Michelle Sullivan, Cheryl Thiede, Michelle Thompson & Nick Neu, Jack Vandever, Frank & Eliza Ventura, Helen Voelker, James F. Voelker, Kevin Vuong, Wendy Wartes, Michael Wartofsky, Ira Weitzman, Billie Wildrick, Melinda Wilson, Chang Hsien Yu & Christopher Zinovitch
Also special thanks to:
The Calhoun School, The Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, The Professional Performing Arts School of NYC, Brian Cavanagh-Strong, Marjorie Duffield, Hannah Scarritt-Selman, Sarah Schlesinger, Julianne Wick Davis, Susan Gurman, Brian Yorkey, Charles M. Vassallo, Kyle Pleasant & Glynn Davis