Name: Julian Drucker
Hometown: New York City
Education: The Dalton School; Yale University
Favorite Credits: “My Bunny” performed by Laura Osnes; “I Only Want To Be With You” arrangement performed by Chris Parker and John Miller; Dante Behind Bars (prison musical theater project); A Long Way from Schtutchavest (original one-act musical); Antony & Cleopatra (Yale 2014 production, incidental music); Richard III (Yale 2013 production, incidental music); Spring Awakening Assistant Musical Director (Yale 2012 production)
Why theater?: I have been writing pop songs from an early age. My first semester at Yale I signed up for a songwriting class without realizing that it focused on musical theater. At first I was disappointed, but then I came to love the storytelling aspect of theater songs. It has since been a major academic and extracurricular pursuit.
Tell us about Under: The show follows Serena’s journey to a psych ward through flashbacks to her first two years of pathological lying and identity crises at Yale. In the present, Serena makes friends with an unlikely patient in the ward named Billy, who is from the inner city and has received much less education, but for whom the stakes are arguably higher than for Serena. The show weaves in and out of these two stories, which run parallel in more ways than one might imagine.
What inspired you to write Under?: Monica found me last May through a professor’s recommendation, but we didn’t know each other yet. She sent me the script and I devoured it in one sitting. It’s a compelling story and also a far cry from your typical song and dance musical. That inspired me to write the music, which I knew would turn it into a unique and unusual piece. I especially saw the musical potential in a character with bipolar disorder, who is sometimes manic and other times depressed.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Any theater that can make me think to question my values speaks to me. I learn a lot from watching and listening to all genres of theater and music, and I often like works which infuse two or more distinct styles. That being said, my favorite current singer/songwriters are Gabriel Kahane and Sufjan Stevens. I also grew up performing and listening to classical music, so I always turn back to the greats for inspiration.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Within reason, I would probably say one of my best friends Max Weinreich, who, among other things, is a writer. We have been tossing around a couple of ideas for a musical. Otherwise, Stevie Wonder. I also have yet to work with him.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I often recommend A Little Night Music, ever since I appeared in a cameo role as Frid. Now it’s one of my favorite musicals!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The movie would be called "Boy Meets World: A True Friendship". It would star my doppelganger, Denzel Washington.
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: In the Heights!
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I still jam to *NSYNC on the regular.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A husband.
What’s up next?: Another musical for my senior thesis project! This year has been an amazing journey, but I’m also looking forward to starting something new.
For more on Julian, visit www.juliandrucker.bandcamp.com. For more on Under, visit http://www.under-a-new-musical.com