State of Jefferson
Music, Lyrics, and Book by Jason Heald
State of Jefferson is a light-hearted musical based on the 1941 secession movement of the counties along the Oregon-California border. This is the story of a San Francisco reporter and a small group of ordinary citizens that defy state authorities and challenge political giants of the day to bring economic justice to their region. Through imagination and determination, a rag-tag group of loggers and miners turn the eyes of the entire nation to a small, unknown town in the mountains of northern California. A tale of rebellion and romance told through catchy songs and snappy musical production, STATE OF JEFFERSON holds universal appeal for audiences of all ages.
Stanton Delaplane – slick, fast talking San Francisco reporter in his early twenties.
Judge John C. Childs – plain-spoken elderly judge from Crescent City.
Mayor Gilbert Gable – charismatic man older man with a powerful presence.
Herbert Freeman – middle-age shopkeeper.
Lucy Freeman – young woman in her late teens; daughter of Herbert Freeman.
Lester Todd – young, hot-headed pilot in his late teens; Lucy Freeman’s boyfriend.
Margaret Swenson – middle-age widow; Herbert Freeman’s girlfriend.
Lowell Hanson – local pharmacist.
Gus Walker – logger.
Ben Payne – logger.
Caesar Luigi – owner of the Rex Club; of Italian descent.
Senator Randolph Collier – a state legislator in his 30’s.
(with selected tracks)
STATE OF JEFFERSON opens with reporter Stanton Delaplane entering a meeting in progress of the Yreka 20/30 Club. The members are discussing plans to form a new state that would include counties in southern Oregon and northern California. The plan, presented by Mayor Gable and Judge Childs, is adopted by the enthusiastic audience.
Stanton is befriended by a Yreka shopkeeper, Herbert Freeman, and his daughter, Lucy, who are both active in the secession movement. Lester Todd, Lucy's boyfriend, has just returned from pilot training and is jealous of Lucy's friendship with Stanton. Lucy and Lester have a spat on the day that Lester is shipped off to his next assignment in Hawaii. The friction that Stanton sees between Lester and Lucy prompts him to sing a contemplative, cynical ballad.
Stanton runs into Ben, Gus, and Lowell - three local characters who have been carousing at a local saloon. Upon returning to the saloon, the owner, Caesar Luigi, sings a comical tune explaining the key to his success.
The secession movement moves into full swing, and the leaders of the movement agree on "Jefferson" as the name of the new state. The leaders also outline many of the new state policies, including lifting the 2:00 curfew that was in place across California. They organize a large rally on December 6, 1941 that attracts a host of major news organizations.
On December 7, 1941, the day after the rally, the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and the secession movement is terminated in the interest of national unity. However, Lester is in Hawaii during the attack and is feared dead.
State of Jefferson ends with the reunion of Lucy and Lester, and Stanton Delaplane winning the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the secession movement.
ACT I ACT II
1. Miner Rebellion 10. Barricade
2. The Great Northwest 11. Love the Woman Who
3. Economics 12. Unity Reprise
4. Unity 13. She’s Golden
5. Good Intentions 14. Curfew
6. Redwood Sal 15. Good Intentions Reprise
7. Possession 16. Wrap Me Up for Christmas
8. Speak It with an Accent 17. Unity Finale
9. The Coast is Clear