National Insecurity

                             Music, Lyrics, and Book by Jason Heald


National Insecurity is a musical based on the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were accused of selling plans for the atomic bomb to the Russians. Their trial was one of the biggest trials of the twentieth century. Many of the issues surrounding the security measures taken by the government and the rights of citizens during times of crisis seem as relevant today as they were in the early 1950’s. An original score and script, National Insecurity incorporates excerpts from the Rosenberg trial transcript as transitions between scenes.


Ethel Rosenberg - female in her thirties.

Julius Rosenberg - husband of Ethel, male in his thirties.

Davey Greenglass - younger brother of Ethel, male in his twenties.

Ruth Greenglass - wife of Davey, female in her twenties.

Irving Saypol, District Attorney - distinguished middle-aged attorney.

Roy Cohn, Assistant District Attorney - young, dapper attorney

The Honorable Irving Kaufman, Judge - older, distinguished gentleman.

Shipping Dock Foreman/Vendor 1

Policeman/Vendor 2


                                       BRIEF SYNOPSIS
                                          (with selected tracks)

Union workers have gathered at a shipping dock to organize a strike to protest earning substandard pay. Ethel Greenglass leads workers in the struggle to demand better wages.

Shortly afterwards at a New Years Eve meeting of the Young Communist League, Ethel is introduced to labor activist Julius Rosenberg. They meet again in a park, realize they share common bonds, and are soon married.

Julius persuades Davey, Ethel’s younger brother, to join the American Communist Party and to steal sensitive documents from his latest military assignment, the Manhattan Project, where the army is developing the atomic bomb.

                                           Cribbage     MP3       PDF

                             We're In It for the Money    MP3     PDF

The government becomes aware of Davey’s acts of espionage and orders District Attorney Irving Saypol and Deputy District Attorney Roy Cohn to apprehend and convict anyone involved. Davey is arrested and convinced to turn state’s evidence. Davey implicates Julius and Ethel in order to reduce his own sentence and keep his wife Ruth out of jail.

                                   Fish in a Barrel     MP3       PDF

Shortly after Davey's testimony, the Rosenbergs are arrested and brought to trial.

                                   I Miss Your Voice    MP3      PDF


Cohn recommends to Saypol that the state seek the death penalty for both Rosenbergs as leverage to force Ethel to confess and implicate Julius. In exchange for her confession, they offer her leniency. 

                                           Roy's Tango     MP3     PDF

Their plan fails. Ethel denies all accusations and refuses to implicate Julius, which results in both of their convictions and executions.

                                     Red Tide / It was Julius     MP3               

                                              Red Tide II      PDF

                                           It Was Julius    PDF

                                        Red Tide Reprise    PDF     

                                     Sitting with Ethel     MP3   PDF



                         NATIONAL INSECURITY (script)   PDF

                                   MUSICAL SELECTIONS

1. “HOLD THE LINE” Ethel and Chorus

“NEW YEAR'S EVE” Ethel, Julius, and Chorus

3. “IS HE THE ONE?” Davey and Ethel

4. A DREAM THAT WE CAN SHARE Ethel and Julius

5. “THE PARTY’S RIGHT FOR YOU” Julius and Davey

6. “CRIBBAGE” Ethel, Julius, Ruth, and Davey.        

7. “WE’RE IN IT FOR THE MONEY” Ruth and Davey  

8. “RED TIDE” Irving and Roy      

9. “BUSINESS VENTURE” Julius and Davey

10. “FISH IN A BARREL” Roy, Irving, and Davey

11. “HOLD THE LINE” Ethel, Julius, and Chorus

13. “NEWS TO US” Vendor 1 & 2, Chorus

13. “I MISS YOUR VOICE” Julius

14. “ROY’S TANGO” Roy

15. “RED TIDE II” /“IT WAS JULIUS”/ "RED TIDE REPRISE" Davey, Ethel, Ruth, Roy,
        Irving, and Chorus


17. “HOLD THE LINE REPRISE” Cast and Chorus