Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSane, writers of “Island Girls”

"Island Girls" by Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSaneHow does one go from writing contemporary comedies to writing historically-based musicals, reintroducing certain figures who popular culture have largely forgotten?

As Island Girls director/co-author Barbara Kahn notes in our conversation, she made that transition out of a desire to make social change. And although this play is set in 1927 at the women’s prison on Welfare Island, it’s surprising (and, I’m this case, sad) just how much things stay the same, no matter how much they change — the social change needed in the 1920’s is pretty similar to change we need now, in 2014.

Listen in as Barbara and co-author/composer Noelle LuSane discuss their “fluid, organic process,” why you should speak up for your artistic talents, and how you turn the history of a women’s prison into a musical.

“I think artistic talent is transferable….when somebody offers something like that, I usually jump on it.”

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