"I think that we can win it. Really think that we can win it, this time!"
How did this show come to be, anyway?
The idea for a curling musical began in 2006, as Timothy Matson (one of the writers of Second Shot) spent a week watching curling on TV from the treadmill at the NYU gym. He and Kiersten (then future wife and the other half of the writing team) were studying musical theatre, so they were both steeped in singing and dancing when Tim was introduced to the sport.
He didn't understand a thing about what was going on. He couldn't figure out the scoring. He thought the brooms were weird. He knew there was a lot of yelling but had no idea what the curlers were yelling or why.
But there was something interesting and he kept watching all week.
So he read up on Wikipedia and created an outline for a musical about a young man and his friend, travelling to Canada to see a curling bonspiel in person. The young man gets to Canada, starts to understand curling, falls in love with the skip from one of the teams, and musical comedy hijinx ensue.
This version of Second Shot never made it past that outline. But the interest in curling grew.
Fast forward a few years, Kiersten and Tim get married and move to Newfoundland. Where there was much more access to curling.
In the intervening years, Tim remembers watching Kevin Martin and Cheryl Bernard curl in Vancouver 2010. And maybe understanding a little bit more.
Upon moving to Canada, he began watching the game regularly with his mother-in-law, understanding the scoring and strategy, appreciating the use of brooms, and generally falling in the love with the sport. He'd watch the major bonspiels every year, follow the careers of the players, and read as much about and watch as much curling as possible. He and Kiersten would watch games together and talk about their favorites (looking at you, Team Gushue).
And so the idea to write a curling musical returned! Kiersten, a brilliant musical theatre performer with a thorough knowledge of the form, and a songwriter herself, agreed to be a part of the writing team.
And the process of writing began.
With Tim working on the script and providing rough ideas of lyrics and Kiersten writing music and sharpening lyrics, plus a constant conversation about the story and the characters, the idea came to exist. On a car ride from the family cabin, after structuring the show around two female teams, they came upon the idea to have it be a mixed tournament instead. They decided to write two endings, and let the audience choose which team would win the championship. They built character back stories and relationships and tried to fill in the blanks.
And in December of 2017, as a curtain raiser for a reading of Daniel Lasby and Kyle McDavid's musical Red Rock, they performed three songs from Second Shot. At the time, they were calling the show Hurry Hard. And while that title has changed, the show (and the song with that title!) has remained the same.
In February 2018, they presented a reading of the musical at the St. John's Curling Club.
In February of 2019, they presented songs from the show as a part of Go! a Night of Original Musical Theatre Songs at the LSPU Hall in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
In October 2019, the show, then still called Hurry Hard, hit the stage at the LSPU Hall in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador as a workshop production. For two nights, the audience watched the show, listened to the songs, cast their votes, and waited to see who won the championship draw.
Kiersten and Tim went into rewrites to hopefully get the show to a full premiere production when COVID-19 shuttered theatres around the world. Even in the midst of the pandemic, with generous support from the Arts and Culture Centres of Newfoundland and Labrador and ArtsNL, the development of the show continued, working with actors, designers, a brilliant music arranger (Evan Smith), and a fantastic dramaturg (Petrina Bromley).
In the spring and summer of 2021, plans started to take shape to bring the premiere production of Second Shot to the stage.
And the time is almost here!
Why curling in a musical?
We love curling. We're true fans and could talk all day about the roaring game.
We love musical theatre. It's how we met, it's what we do, it's what we think about and talk about pretty much every day.
It felt natural for us to bring them together in this show!
I'm in! Can I get tickets to see the show?
Tickets are not on sale for the show just yet, but check back here and through our social media and we will post as soon as they are available!
Is there actual curling on stage? Or is it like those Greek dramas we read in high school where all of the action happens off stage?
The short answer is yes! There are rocks, brooms, and players sliding on stage in the show. While we don't have an actual house with rocks in play, there is curling on stage in the show.
Do you really have more than one ending? Do the actors know which ending of the show is happening for any given performance?
Yes and no! We really do have two endings, corresponding to the to central teams, Team Max and Team Cassie, winning the championship draw. You, the audience, really do get to vote on which team you would like to see win it all. And after you vote, we encourage you to cheer on your favorites during the second act!
And the actors do not know which ending they are playing until your votes are all in! They find out at the intermission, but at the beginning of the show each night, they will not know who is going to win.
What's the deal with the title? Wasn't there another title before?
Yes, there was! We presented the show under the title Hurry Hard for a reading and a workshop. We like the title Hurry Hard, and we LOVE when curlers are yelling it on the ice!
But we came up with the title years ago, before we had characters, songs, scenes, or really even the basic story. During the pandemic, as we had more time at home to talk about the show (between feedings and diaper changes - we have two young children), we talked about a title that really reflected the story and characters in the show. And that's how we came up with Second Shot.
In curling, second shot can mean the rocks thrown by the second, and it can mean the rock that is second closest to the button in the house. Not shot rock, but the second closest. In the show, several characters are looking for second chances - at love, at family, at curling greatness. So for us, Second Shot captured the excitement of the show, the heartbreak when you're not quite shot rock, and the search for a second chance when you most need one.
And don't worry! The song "Hurry Hard" is still in the show, and our skips are certainly yelling it when on the ice in the show.
This show sounds fantastic! How can I help?
We are absolutely interested in show sponsorship. If you own, manage, or work for a small business that would be interested in a sponsorship package for the show, please get in touch on the contact page! We have some cool ways that we can showcase sponsor logos - on the show poster, but also on the set itself, and even on cast costumes, the same way curling teams have their sponsors on their uniforms.
Also, we will be holding auditions for the show this fall. While some roles are already cast, there are some roles we will be filling from these auditions. Are you a performer? Please come and sing for us! Keep an eye on the social media for Best Kind Productions for more information when available.
Did you do all of this yourself?
No, we definitely did not. Over the past several years as we have been developing the show, we've had actors, directors, designers, musicians, technicians, dramaturgs, and theatre people contribute their time, talent, and incredible theatre minds to making this show. We would absolutely not have SECOND SHOT without them and we are so, so grateful for all of their help and support!
Who are your favorite curling teams?
We honestly, truly love ALL curling teams. We just love watching the game! But we are of course pretty partial to our hometown heroes, Team Gushue. We watch them any time we can and cheer them on! We also love Team Edin from Sweden, Team Tracy Fleury, Team Einarson, and Team Bottcher. Also Team Jones. And Homan. Team Brad Jacobs, too.
The list is a long one. We love curling.