Hildegard: A New Musical Hildegard Productions | 2019 Paula Borman and Paul Vriend

SAINT HILDEGARD is a musical about the latter 40 years of the life of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century abbess and someday-saint. She was a composer, philosopher, visionary, and pre-Reformation reformer.

We see great swaths of fabric connecting Hildegard’s epoch to our own moment in history. How do you change institutions to give power to the powerless? When are you complicit? Hildegard’s life was a revolution on hold, brimming with potential energy. This musical unleashes that energy.

HILDEGARD has been in development since spring 2018. In March of 2019, Elizabeth Swanson received an individual artist grant for her work on HILDEGARD from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The creative team used the grant to continue developing the musical, adding a second act and clarifying the show’s central action. Meanwhile, Chicago musician Heidi Joosten orchestrating music from the show for a 5-piece band. The year of development culminated in a live album recording of songs from both acts of the musical. On December 8, 2019, we played a live recording of our HILDEGARD concept album to a sold out house at Sleeping Village in Chicago.

Today, the team is working on the latest draft of the book and searching for grants and workshop opportunities to continue developing the musical.

HILDEGARD LIVE @ Sleeping Village

Recorded December 8, 2019
Released July 21, 2020

Written by Davyd Reddyk and Ethan Krupp
Orchestrated & Music Directed by Heidi Joosten
Directed by Elizabeth Swanson
Mixed by Miles Comiskey


A. Nikki Greenlee singing Hildegard
Marco Braun
Caitlyn Cerza
Paige Daigle
Megan Elk
Gabriella Fernandez
Clara Flaherty
Andi Sharavsky
Nik Whitcomb


Heidi Joosten
Cali Kasten
Davyd Kenworthy Reddyk
Rachel Schuldt
Austin Williams

Stage Manager – Addison Clearwood
Videography – Jim O’Connell
Poster by Kelli Cohen


On campus residency September 1-10, 2019
Workshop performance September 10, 2019

In September 2019, the creative team spent 10 days in residency at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts at the invitation of Jane Cox, Director of the Lewis Center with funding provided by the Music Theater’s Alumni Connections New Works Series. During those ten days, the team worked with a wonderful team of student collaborators to sift through historical context and discuss major themes. The workshop also addressed two specific issues—the opening number, and the dramaturgy surrounding the narrators, who at the time were written as the Holy Trinity embodied by three female actors. By the end of those 10 days we decided to make a massive shift and cut the Trinity narrators, replacing them with historical nuns who follow Hildegard.

Students who participated in the workshop performed songs from the show in a sold-out concert on the final night of the residency.

Prop Thtr Reading JULY 2019

In July 2019, the creative team presented the first public reading of both acts of the show at Prop Thtr in Avondale, Chicago.

The week-long workshop before the reading gave the team a chance to trace character arcs and hold listening sessions with actors and devout Christians to strengthen the story.

Chicago Fringe Festival SEPTEMBER 2018

In September 2018, the first act of Hildegard: A New Musical (Now titled Hildegard: An Unfinished Revolution) premiered at the Chicago Fringe Festival in Jefferson Park. With a limited budget, the show was presented with modified costumes, no set, and composer Davyd Reddyk serving as sole accompaniment on an electric guitar. The show was played to 3 standing-room-only houses (in a VERY hot and sweaty second-floor gym) and won the Audience Choice Award.

Creative Team

Music and Lyrics by Davyd Reddyk
Book and Additional Lyrics by Ethan Krupp
Director: Elizabeth Swanson
Orchestrator & Music Director: Heidi Joosten
Producer: Nik Whitcomb

Listen to Rachel Katz of A Tempo on WWFM interview myself and Davyd Reddyk about the show in 2019. Used with courtesy of Rachel Katz & WWFM.

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